P.S. 84 Jose De Diego

Grades Pre-K, K-7
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

Dual language program, strong leadership and parent involvement

The Downside

Middle school is a work in progress

Our Review

Theres a lot to like about PS 84. Once a struggling school with low enrollment, PS 84 has transformed into a popular neighborhood option thanks to strong leadership, a sought-after dual language program, lots of parent involvement and a rich curriculum. In 2014 it added a middle schoolexpanding by one grade per yearand is set to reach capacity, serving grades pre-k to 8, in September 2016.

The tone throughout the large building is sweet and cheery. Children walk calmly in the hallways and are well-behaved in class. We saw lots of writing, group work and creative projects across all subjects and didnt observe any difference in the quality or pace of instruction between dual language and other classes.

Principal Sereida Rodriguez-Guerra took the helm in the middle of the 2009-10 school year. A public school parent herself, Rodriguez-Guerra grew up in the area and proved adept at building consensus among the longtime Latino residents and the more affluent newcomers to the schools Williamsburg neighborhood. For instance, during Hispanic Heritage Month, which occurs at the beginning of the school year, students learn about important contributions from the Hispanic community, but also work on projects about their own cultural heritage that they share with their classmates.

In the beginning, I sat in on every school committee to make sure everyone felt welcomed, said Rodriguez-Guerra. Thats changed. We have very active parents from all backgrounds and there are lots of ways to be involved. Parents fundraise to support enrichment activities, but they also help out with school tours and in the library; they happily show up for class and school-wide events such as the annual Halloween parade.

Children in all grades benefit from strong instruction. After what Rodriguez-Guerra described as a detour through Ready Gen, a Common Core English curriculum that lacks supports for English language learners, the school now draws from multiple resources for English and math. The school switched to theTeachers College Reading and Writing Program, which encourages students to read a large amount of books of their choosing and at their skill level as well as write and revise multiple drafts of work on a variety of topics. Teachers also draw from other curriculum to weave in explicit instruction in phonics, spelling and vocabulary.

For elementary school math, teaches draw from several programs including GoMath, Finish Line and Spatial Temporal (ST) Math.

The middle school is a work in process and Rodriguez-Guerra and the teachers are open to rethinking decisions as well as learning from other middle schools. PS 84 teachers are working with instructors from the Institute for Collaborative Education, a well-regarded portfolio assessment school in Manhattan, to incorporate more projects and presentations into the English curriculum. In response to a survey of its first group of 6th-graders, the school added elective classesrather than scheduling an entire class for an activity. Students can choose from classes such as art, robotics, technology, hip hop and band.

Middle school students wear uniforms of black bottoms and collared school shirts. Each year 5th-graders vote on the shirt color their grade will wear for all three years of middle school.

There are two dual language classes per grade in the elementary school, which allows for the Department of Educations preferred method of side-by-side classrooms with separate teachers for English and Spanish. Students spend a whole day immersed in one language in one room and then switch the next day. All other elementary school classes have Spanish instruction once or twice a week.

The middle school doesnt have a formal dual language program but all students learn Spanish. The goal is to phase in dual language instruction once the younger kids, who were in the dual language program since kindergarten, move on to middle school, according to Rodriguez-Guerra.

Art and science are not afterthoughts at this school. Students take art classes and teachers are adept at weaving art into lessons and projects across all subjects.

There are separate science rooms for grades pre-k to 2, 3-5 and the middle school. In 2015, the school opened a rooftop green house featuring state-of-the-art hydroponics equipment. Staffed by a full-time teacher, the green house functions as an additional science classroom, with students in all grades visiting for lessons, though students in the older grades will visit it more frequently. Early grade students grow fruits and vegetables in their dedicated science room, which has its own hydroponic equipment.

Special education: Every class that is not dual language follows the ICT model of two teachers (one certified in special education) serving a mix of general education and special needs students. There is also an ASD Nest Program for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). ASD children are in what the school calls micro ICT classes, which are smaller than typical classes and serve a mix of general education and ASD NEST students.

After school: The Greenpoint YMCA runs a free program on-site for elementary school children. Middle school students have their own after-school activities such as robotics, step, chorus, band and 3-D printing. There are also fee-based programs in the neighborhood, which will pick up PS 84 students and escort them to the off-site activities. Two teachers run a street hockey program at the school.

Admission: Zoned students only for grades k-5. The school typically has spots open for out-of-zone pre-k students because many zoned families opt for alternative pre-K options that offer extended day care. For grades 6-8, top priority goes to continuing 5th-graders, and then to District 14 students or residents who sign in at an admissions event. (Laura Zingmond, October 2015)

About the students

Enrollment
799
Pre-K seats
63
Asian
3.3%
Black
4.5%
Hispanic
63.1%
White
25.3%
Other
3.9%
Free or reduced priced lunch
100%
Students with disabilities
18%
English language learners
16%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
Yes
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
75%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
93%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
23%
19% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
71%
75% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
46%
25% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
87%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
95%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
39%
46% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
6.5
6.4 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
74%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
82%
86% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
76%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
62%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
98%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
92%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
83%
85% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
56%
59% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
93%
79% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
92%
84% Citywide Average
How many parents say their child's teacher helped their child adjust to Pre-K?
100%
97% Citywide Average
How many parents say this Pre-K program helped them consider which elementary schools would meet their childrens' needs?
73%
88% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
94%
95% 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?
18%
39% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
25%
40% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 9 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, Theater, Visual arts, and an Auditorium
This school has 5 licensed arts teachers in Visual arts (part-time), Music, and Theater

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
83%
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
56%
55% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
83%
70% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

This school offers Dual Language classes in Spanish.
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
18%
18% 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
1.98
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.09
2.2 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.85
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.04
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
2.27
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.27
2.3 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
69%
69% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
96%
84% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
96%
89% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
96%
87% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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