PS 118 Maurice Sendak Community School
BROOKLYN NY 11215 Map
PS 118 Maurice Sendak Community School
PS 118, the Maurice Sendak Community School, a small school designed to ease overcrowding in nearby PS 321 and PS 107 adopted many of the successful practices of those popular schools when it opened in 2013, even as it carves out its own multicultural niche and culture. Spanish is infused into academics and play, and children hear it spoken throughout the day—not just in twice weekly Spanish periods. At least one of the two teachers in every classroom is bilingual.
Principal Elizabeth Garroway designed this multicultural approach in keeping with her own international background. A graduate of Midwood High School, she has a master's degree in Spanish and anthropology and studied in Europe, living in Spain for seven years. She taught both Spanish and French in Brooklyn middle and high schools. "My background is in language, culture and people, and what's important to me is to use that background in the work that I do," Garroway told DNAinfo.com before the school opened.
Beginning in pre-kindergarten, children are introduced to Spanish. They sing songs in Spanish, learn the alphabet and simple vocabulary words about the weather, clothing and body parts. For example, a teacher might ask a child to "go get your coat" in Spanish, Garroway said in a telephone interview. The approach "is just like you would learn a language naturally," she said, following the Estrellita program.
Opened in 2013 in a former parochial school building, St. Thomas Aquinas, PS 118 has two classes per grade and will have four pre-kindergarten classes as long as there is space. By 2018, the school will serve pre-k–5th-grade with 14–17 classrooms.
Garroway's ties with the popular and successful PS 321 continue: Garroway is mentored by Principal Liz Phillips, a few PS 118 teachers came from PS 321 and the schools share an assistant principal. Both are Teachers College schools, meaning they have adopted the reading and writing workshop model. A combination of math programs are used at PS 118 including Terc, Math in the City and Engage NY. "Math is best when you use various approaches," Garroway said.
Parents are very active at PS 118. They accompany classes on the many field trips, led the initiative to upgrade the school's playground and began a fee-based after-school program.
Special education: There are no specific self-contained or ICT classes at PS 118. Instead, students with special needs receive supports "that meet the child's needs," said Garroway, formerly a special ed supervisor at PS 321. A lot of the teachers are certified to teach special education, she said, and the educational assistants are trained to give extra support.
Admission: Neighborhood school. Its zone is not in the immediate vicinity of the school but was carved out of the western side of PS 321's zone, roughly comprising the area between Third and Fourth avenues and President and Sixth streets. In the first few years there were a handful of spots for children from outside the zone. There is room in the pre-kindergarten classrooms for people outside of the zone. (Pamela Wheaton, interview and web reports, February 2014)
At a glance
Number of Students 82
Average Daily Attendance 94%
Safety & vibe
How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?NA 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?100% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten class23 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade classNA 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?100% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?100% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?NA 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam
Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam
Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam
Does the school encourage family involvement?
How many parents say they were invited to an event at the school at least 3 times in the last school year?100% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Do parents like the school?
How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?97% 94% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Special ed & ELL
How well does this school serve students with disabilities?
This school does not offer self-contained classes.
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
This school does not offer team teaching (ict).
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 18% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
This school does not offer SETSS.
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 16% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many parents say students with disabilities are included in all activities?
How many teachers say students with special needs are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate?
How many parents of students with ieps say this school offers a wide enough variety of services and activities for their children’s needs?