P.S. 139 Alexine A. Fenty

An Insideschools pick
330 RUGBY ROAD
BROOKLYN NY 11226 Map
Phone: (718) 282-5254
Website: Click here
Admissions: neighborhood school
Principal: Mary Mcdonald
Neighborhood: Flatbush
District: 22
Grade range: PK-5
Parent Coordinator: Maria Caridi
Zoned

What's special:

Warm atmosphere and camaraderie among parents

The downside:

Only average test scores

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

PS 139 serves a neighborhood with large Victorian houses and modest apartment buildings, long-time New Yorkers as well as new immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, the former Soviet Union, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Despite its huge size, the school has a warm atmosphere and a sense of camaraderie among parents. An active Parents Association welcomes new immigrants. Both children and parents may study English as a Second Language. One immigrant mother told us how a teacher taught her the alphabet in English, so she could help her own child learn.

Parents help out in the classrooms--and some stop by even without an appointment. One mother told us she enjoyed helping out in a cooking lesson in her child’s class.

The building has long housed two popular mini-schools, the Flatbush Academy, focused on science, and the Brotherhood Institute, focused on social students. It also offers a SOAR (Students of Academic Rigor) program with accelerated classes for academically advanced students. However, in January 2014, Principal Mary McDonald told parents that PS 139 would no longer offer the SOAR program, or the mini-schools, to incoming kindergartners.  Citing a lack of diversity in those programs she said in a letter to parents: "Our Kindergarten classes will be heterogeneously grouped to reflect the diversity of our student body and the community we live in," the Daily News reported.

Students already enrolled in the mini-schools and the SOAR program would remain in those programs until graduation, she said.

While the school has strong arts programs and a nationally ranked chess team, it has only average test scores. The principal has introduced a new math program and modified the reading program to boost the scores.

The Learning Environment Survey suggests the administration and staff don't get along, but on our visit teachers and the principal seemed to work together as a team.

Special education: The school offers a wide range of special education services. The principal, who taught for years in a self-contained special education classroom, has personal experience in dealing with children with Asperger's syndrome. She has particular concerns for children with special needs and understands that some children with disabilities can achieve at a high level.

Admissions: Neighborhood school. The school offers regular tours. (Eliana Mascio, February 2013; updated January 2014 with information about the discontinuation of the SOAR program and the mini schools for incoming kindergartners.)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Number of Students 1041

Average Daily Attendance 95%

Students at this school

Asian

  
18%

Black

  
33%

Hispanic

  
38%

White

  
10%

Free Lunch

  
80%

Special ed

  
13%

English Language Learners

  
20%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

40% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?

39% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

24 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

27 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

38% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

67% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

16% 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

How many teachers say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep students engaged?

90% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching social-emotional skills?

69% 88% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching organizational and study skills?

67% 91% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam

36% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam

26% 29% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam

77% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

52% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say they attended at least one pta meeting in the last school year?

76% 72% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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?

79% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Do parents like the school?

How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?

92% 94% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

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

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

12% 18% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

0% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

10% 16% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

5% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say students with disabilities are included in all activities?

96% 98% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with special needs are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate?

86% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents of students with ieps say this school offers a wide enough variety of services and activities for their children’s needs?

86% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

1% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

14% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school ensures that ells receive the same curriculum as non-ells with appropriate suppports?

77% 90% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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