P.S. 11 Purvis J. Behan

Grades Pre-K, K-5
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

Multiracial PTA and kids who love school

The Downside

Some writing assignments are one-size-fits-all

Our Review

Kids love PS 11 so much that they beg their parents to let them come to PTA meetings, one mother says. Another says she was thrilled to hear girls chatting about math strategies on their way home from school. And still another says the principal not only knows every child by name, she also knows what books they are reading.

The enrollment of PS 11 has increased dramatically in recent years, a sign of its growing popularity in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of Clinton Hill. At the same time, the school still has room for children outside its attendance zone, offering a good option to parents who are unsatisfied with their neighborhood schools elsewhere. PS 11 has a large pre-kindergarten program.

I love the diversity, one mother said. Not just the racial diversity, but every kind of diversity. We have homeless kids and kids who live in public housing and kids of doctors, lawyers, artists and designers. Its the happiest place on earth for my kids.

The school has an active, multiracial PTA that offers tours for prospective parents; organizes family movie nights, dances and workshops; and raises money for enrichment activities such as violin lessons and recess coaches on the playground.

The building, while clean, well-lit, and well-kept, has undistinguished 1950s era architecture with drab gray and green tiled walls. The lunchroom can get noisy, and the library is a bit bare. But there are signs of life throughout, from the science room where kids raise trout from eggs (and release them on a field trip to Harriman State Park in the spring) to the auditorium where kids may practice their dance steps in classes taught by Mark Morris dancers or learn to play instruments as part of a program with the New York Philharmonic.

Test scores are among the highest in the district, and teachers make sure that the curriculum closely follows the Common Core State Standards on which the states standardized tests are based. Children answer sophisticated questions about literary devices. For example, all 2nd-graders read Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World, Mildred Pitts Walters story about a black cowboy and his grandson in the American West, and answer the same question: Would you agree that Justin was influenced by Grandpa to behave or feel in a certain way? Use text details to support your argument.

While the writing samples posted on bulletin boards tend to be one-size-fits-all, its clear that children are exposed to demanding and engaging books.

Abidemi Hope became principal in 2015, replacing Alonta Wrighton who took an administrative job in the Department of Education. Hope was previously assistant principal, and parents say the transition has been smooth.

In past years, some parents withdrew their children after a few years in school, in part because they feared the districts middle school options were inadequate. Those fears may be eased somewhat by the opening of a new district middle school, called Dock Street, in 2016.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school offers self-contained and ICT team-teaching classes. While the test scores of special needs children are in line with citywide averages, a goal of the school is to improve those scores, according to the schools yearly plan.

ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. PS 11 sometimes admits children from outside the school attendance zone as well as outside the district. About one-third of children enrolled live outside the district. (Clara Hemphill, March 2016)

About the students

Enrollment
876
Pre-K seats
72
Asian
3.4%
Black
67.1%
Hispanic
11.3%
White
11.2%
Other
7.0%
Free or reduced priced lunch
43%
Students with disabilities
11%
English language learners
1%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
115%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
95%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
13%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
95%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
100%
85% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
0.9
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
94%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
100%
87% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
82%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
71%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
98%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
95%
83% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
97%
87% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
83%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
91%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
95%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents say their child's teacher helped their child adjust to Pre-K?
96%
97% Citywide Average
How many parents say this Pre-K program helped them consider which elementary schools would meet their childrens' needs?
88%
91% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
97%
96% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Test scores

How many students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
66%
40% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
71%
39% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 3 dedicated spaces for Music, Visual arts, and an Auditorium
This school has 3 licensed arts teachers in Music
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
56%
22% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
Average math score for ICT students
2.18
2.0 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.57
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.94
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.71
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
2.61
2.8 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.46
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
87%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
86%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
87%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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