P.S. 139 Alexine A. Fenty

Grades Pre-K, K-5
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What’s Special

Warm atmosphere and camaraderie among parents

The Downside

Only average test scores

Our Review

PS 139 serves a neighborhood with large Victorian houses and modest apartment buildings, long-time New Yorkers as well as new immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, the former Soviet Union, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Despite its huge size, the school has a warm atmosphere and a sense of camaraderie among parents. An active Parents Association welcomes new immigrants. Both children and parents may study English as a Second Language. One immigrant mother told us how a teacher taught her the alphabet in English, so she could help her own child learn.

Parents help out in the classrooms--and some stop by even without an appointment. One mother told us she enjoyed helping out in a cooking lesson in her childs class.

The building has long housed two popular mini-schools, the Flatbush Academy, focused on science, and the Brotherhood Institute, focused on social students. It also offers a SOAR (Students of Academic Rigor) program with accelerated classes for academically advanced students. However, in January 2014, Principal Mary McDonald told parents that PS 139 would no longer offer the SOAR program, or the mini-schools, to incoming kindergartners. Citing a lack of diversity in those programs she said in a letter to parents: "Our Kindergarten classes will be heterogeneously grouped to reflect the diversity of our student body and the community we live in," the Daily News reported.

Students already enrolled in the mini-schools and the SOAR program would remain in those programs until graduation, she said.

While the school has strong arts programs and a nationally ranked chess team, it has only average test scores. The principal has introduced a new math program and modified the reading program to boost the scores.

The Learning Environment Surveysuggests the administration and staff don't get along, but on our visit teachers and the principal seemed to work together as a team.

Special education:The school offers a wide range of special education services. The principal, who taught for years in a self-contained special education classroom, has personal experience in dealing with children with Asperger's syndrome. She has particular concerns for children with special needs and understands that some children with disabilities can achieve at a high level.

Admissions:Neighborhood school. The school offers regular tours.(Eliana Mascio, February 2013; updated January 2014 with information about the discontinuation of the SOAR program and the mini schools for incoming kindergartners.)

About the students

Enrollment
975
Pre-K seats
72
Asian
17.8%
Black
27.8%
Hispanic
40.0%
White
10.7%
Other
3.7%
Free or reduced priced lunch
83%
Students with disabilities
17%
English language learners
19%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
121%
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?
15%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
32%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
88%
85% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
12.9
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
42%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
61%
87% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
50%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
53%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
52%
83% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
55%
87% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
52%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
85%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
78%
87% 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?
82%
91% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
96%
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?
32%
40% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
36%
39% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 3 dedicated spaces for Music and Visual arts
This school has 3 licensed arts teachers in Dance and Theater
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 English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
5%
10% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
12%
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
1.67
2.0 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.09
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.7
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.13
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
2.29
2.8 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
1.98
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
81%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
87%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
84%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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