P.S. 287 Bailey K. Ashford

Grades Pre-K, K-5
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What’s Special

Lots of technology; attractive building & Robin Hood library

The Downside

Low enrollment & awkward location

Our Review

PS 287, located in an out-of-the-way location near the Brooklyn Queens Expressway and the Manhattan Bridge, has a beautifully renovated library, brand-new outdoor playground and a well-equipped science lab. The school offers instruction in music and dance, and there are laptops and SMART boards in every classroom.

"We are very tech savvy in this school," said Principal Michele Rawlins-Brown, a PS 287 parent herself. Even longtime teachers say they use technology every day.
The principal "dragged us kicking and screaming into the future...from black boards to SMART boards," said science teacher Michael West. "It's a testament to this administration's forward-thinking."

However, the enrollment is very low, with only about 200 students in a building made for more than 600 students. With two classes on every grade, the largest has 22 students and most have far fewer. The school does not have enough money to hire art or physical education teachers, because the budget is based on enrollment. Test scores are low and attendance is poor. Most students come from nearby housing projects. Eighty percent of teachers responding to the Learning Environment Survey said there are problems with order and discipline.

To improve behavior, West developed a character education program called "Guiding Principles of Peace and Unity." Children are randomly assigned to "family groups" which meet twice a month on Friday afternoons for special events such as movie nights, pastry parties or trips Students gain points - and stickers -- for good behavior. Student leaders become "elders" who help monitor the cafeteria. More students now arrive on time to school and there has been a decrease in suspensions, West said.

The school has actively integrated the Common Core Learning Standards. On our visit, we noticed that teachers pay attention to writing, including correct capitalization and punctuation, from the early grades. Even the pre-kindergartners were organizing their stories and labeling them with a beginning, middle and end. Fifth graders write five page essays. To promote conversation between children and to help build their vocabularies some teachers hand out "speaking cards." Students sit in a circle and rather than raise their hands when they want to contribute to the conversation, they put their speaking card in the center. Kindergartners were speaking about the children's book author Eric Carle.

PS 287 shares the building with Community Roots Charter School middle school students.

After school: Academic help is available from 3:30 to 5:30 pm Monday through Thursday. Family Fitness Fridays, a program offering aerobics for parents and children, is sponsored by Shape Up NYC.

Special education: The school no longer has self-contained classes but there is a co-teaching class on every grade.

Admission: Neighborhood school, but there is ample room for children from outside the zone. Call the principal or the parent coordinator to arrange a tour. (Pamela Wheaton, January 2013)

About the students

Enrollment
200
Pre-K seats
26
Asian
5.0%
Black
70.0%
Hispanic
20.5%
White
1.0%
Other
3.5%
Free or reduced priced lunch
94%
Students with disabilities
24%
English language learners
6%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the building with Community Roots Charter Middle School
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
58%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
88%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
48%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
100%
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
9.8
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
71%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
85%
87% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
85%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
87%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
96%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
100%
83% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
100%
87% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
77%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
71%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
83%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents say their child's teacher helped their child adjust to Pre-K?
95%
97% Citywide Average
How many parents say this Pre-K program helped them consider which elementary schools would meet their childrens' needs?
89%
91% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
89%
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?
16%
40% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
12%
39% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 5 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, Theater, an Auditorium, and a Film Studio
This school has 1 licensed arts teacher in Music (part-time)
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the 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 self-contained students
1.99
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
1.7
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
1.92
2.8 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
1.87
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
66%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
75%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
67%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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