P.S. 705 Brooklyn Arts and Science Elementary School

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

A welcoming school in a gentrifying neighborhood

The Downside

Some growing pains as new school finds its way

Our Review

PS 705, the Brooklyn Arts and Science Elementary School (BASES), is a cheerful and orderly school opened in 2012 on the border of two gentrifying neighborhoods, Prospect Heights and Crown Heights. A popular dual language program gives children the chance to become fluent readers and speakers of English and Spanish. The school offers classes in dance, music, art and fencing.

Founding principal Sandra Soto works hard to balance the concerns of a range of parentsfamilies who want a progressive approach to education and those who prefer traditional methods; homeless families who live in nearby shelters and upper middle class families who live in brownstones. The PTA has a diversity committee to make sure that all parents feel included; the leadership of the PTA includes people of different races. Sotos own family is multi-racialshe is of Haitian ancestry and her husband is Puerto Ricanand she seems to have a good rapport with parents of different ethnic groups.

Most grades have two classes: a dual language class (in which the language of instruction alternates between English and Spanish each day) and a team-teaching class (which mixes special needs and general education pupils, with two teachers). On our visit, we saw some traditional teaching methodssuch as math drills on worksheetsas well as some progressive approachessuch as lessons on the life cycle of the trout, from eggs hatched in a classroom aquarium. Classes are small and most have an assistant teacher or an aide in addition to the classroom teachers.

The building that houses PS 705 has seen a remarkable transformation. Formerly known as PS 22, it was a chaotic, low-performing school with a declining enrollment and one of the lowest rated principals in the city. Soto, formerly assistant principal at the well-regarded PS 189, opened her new school in 2012 with grades k-3 and added a grade each year; Explore Exceed Charter School opened in the building the same year. PS 22 took in no new students that year and closed permanently in 2014.

Starting a new school was easier than turning around an old school would have been, Soto said. You get to set the tone. You get to choose your staff, Soto said. Key to the schools success is the attention to childrens social and emotional development. A full-time social worker and four social work interns staff the feelings room where they help children manage their frustrations before they become behavior problems.

While Sotos vision is clear, the school is a work in progress. In the schools first years, some parents withdrew their children after kindergarten or 1st grade to transfer to better-established schools. Attendance and test scores are below average.But parents who are willing to stay and work together to improve the school can count on the support of the administration and a cohesive staff.

You have to be a pioneer, and you have to be willing to fight through the growing pains, Soto said.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school is welcoming to children with a range of special needs and offers lots of one-on-one help. In addition to the ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes, there are self-contained classes.

ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. Eager to keep the mix of different kinds of families as the neighborhood becomes more wealthy, Soto received permission from the Department of Education to give preference to out-of-zone families who are learning English or who are in the child welfare system. (Any child who lives in the zone is automatically admitted.)(Clara Hemphill, November 2015)

About the students

Enrollment
378
Pre-K seats
53
Asian
5.3%
Black
46.6%
Hispanic
28.6%
White
18.5%
Other
1.1%
Free or reduced priced lunch
64%
Students with disabilities
25%
English language learners
10%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares its building with Explore Exceed Charter School
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
92%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
29%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
53%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
100%
88% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
4.0
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
70%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
85%
90% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
55%
82% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
52%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
98%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
71%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
76%
89% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
57%
65% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
90%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
89%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents say their child's teacher helped their child adjust to Pre-K?
100%
98% Citywide Average
How many parents say this Pre-K program helped them consider which elementary schools would meet their childrens' needs?
94%
92% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
97%
97% 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?
20%
43% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
16%
42% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 3 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, and Visual arts
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 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
2.13
2.4 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.8
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.09
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
96%
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?
100%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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Location

443 St Marks Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11238
Crown Heights (District 17)
Trains: F, S to Park Place; 4, 5, C to Franklin Ave; 2, 3 to Eastern Parkway-Brooklyn Museum
Buses: B25, B26, B44, B45, B48, B49, B65, B69

Contact

Phone
718-230-0851
Principal
Sandra Beauvoir Soto
Parent Coordinator
Kibibi Oyo

Zone for the 2017-2018 school year. Call school to confirm.