P.S. 38 The Pacific School

Grades Pre-K, K-5
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Zone for the 2017-2018 school year. Call school to confirm.

What’s Special

Great arts, spacious building & playground; small classes, especially in G&T

The Downside

Some mistrust between the staff and administration

Our Review

PS 38 has a clean, spacious building with large, airy classrooms and entire rooms for blocks, LEGO play and a sophisticated STEM lab. Its enrollment has increased in recent years, but it is still one of the few schools in District 15 that usually has room for children outside the zone and even outside the district.

Located just off increasingly trendy Atlantic Avenue, near the new Barclay Center Arena, PS 38 serves an economically diverse community that includes residents of one-family brownstones to those who live in public housing. PS 38 makes the most of its accessible location near most subway lines, and works with numerous arts organizations including nearby Mark Morris Dance Center. Children learn violin, steel pan drumming, and African dance.

"There's a warm and lovely environment here and it's a good fit for our family," said a mother of two who says she spends a "good chunk of time" at the school. "I love the diversity of it. All my kids have felt welcome and comfortable here from the first day."

A district gifted and talented program is housed at the school. G&T classes are small and there is usually room for children from other districts. Parents say they are well-integrated with the general education classes, although G&T classes tend to have far fewer children who qualify for free lunch than the rest of the school. School PTA officers mostly come from the G&T population.

Unlike its uber-progressive neighbor, PS 261, PS 38 has some of the trappings of a traditional school. There is no talk about "opting out" of test tests. The school's Parent Handbook, praises "spiffy dressers" and suggests that parents might send their sons to school wearing ties and that it is "nice to see girls in dresses or skirts as often as possible." Fifth graders have a prom

Built to accommodate 820 students, enrollment hovers around 550, but is on the rise with the expansion of the pre-kindergarten program. Many families choose the school for its vibrant pre-kin a corridor of seven classrooms that lead out into a private playgroundbut not all stay for the older grades. There are four kindergarten classes.

Four-year-olds illustrated simple addition problems with cut-outs of different colored fish and learned how to measure by making applesauce. Lessons are frequently based upon seasons and what the children want to learn. In January, a lesson plan was based upon the polar bear.

Pre-k parents come in to read on "mystery reader Fridays," a surprise to their own children. A mother who moved to the school mid-year said. "So far the school is better than the private school we paid for in North Carolina. There are class pets which is pretty cool and the teachers are friendly and so smart."

Principal Yolanda Ramirez, at the school since 2006, holds monthly community breakfasts with families to share ideas and get input. Parent say she is responsive and does a good job of managing the school budget and attracting resources. However, there appears to be friction between her and some of the staff; one-third of teachers who responded to school surveys said they did not trust her.

Students go on frequent field trips; beginning with neighborhood walks for the youngest children; older ones have sleepovers at the Intrepid, Club Getaway, the Natural History Museum Club Getaway and go on far-flung trips to the Museum of African American History in Washington, DC, and to Disney World in Florida, paid for by individual parents. Scholarships are available, the principal said, but not all parents choose to send their children on the overnight trips or can afford them.

The most frequent middle school choices are MS 442, School for International StudiesandMS 51.

AFTER SCHOOL: The YMCA offers a free program. The PTA runs fee-based enrichment activities including French, chess, fencing, science, and piano lessons among others.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: PS 38 has self-contained classes in every grade. There are no team-teaching classes.

ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. There is usually room for students from outside the zone. "If you want to be here, we'll find a way," said Parent Coordinator Hassan Salaam. Citywide test for entrance to the gifted program. Many G&T students come from outside of the district. (Pamela Wheaton, pre-k tour, January 2017)

About the students

Enrollment
544
Pre-K seats
93
Asian
17.5%
Black
34.9%
Hispanic
22.1%
White
21.3%
Other
4.2%
Free or reduced priced lunch
52%
Students with disabilities
14%
English language learners
5%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
88%
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?
24%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
89%
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?
81%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
89%
87% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
67%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
70%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
92%
83% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
98%
87% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
67%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
86%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
97%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents say their child's teacher helped their child adjust to Pre-K?
98%
97% Citywide Average
How many parents say this Pre-K program helped them consider which elementary schools would meet their childrens' needs?
72%
91% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
95%
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?
48%
40% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
49%
39% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 6 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, Visual arts, and an Auditorium
This school has 3 licensed arts teachers in Visual arts (part-time) and Theater
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
7%
10% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
0%
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
1.86
2.0 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.36
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.74
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.49
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
2.43
2.8 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.04
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
100%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
97%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
95%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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