Explore Excel Charter Lower School

Grades K-8

Location

1077 Remsen Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11236
Canarsie (District 18)

Contact

Phone
347-902-1758
Principal
Dana Bogle

What’s Special

Established charter network

The Downside

Many new teachers; some discipline issues

Our Review

Explore Excel Charter School opened in 2011 in Canarsie as part of the Explore Schools network, which operates several other schools in Brooklyn including the original Explore Charter School. Excel opened with kindergarten through 3rd grade students and will be a full K-8 school by 2016.

Explore schools offer personalized attention, small group instruction, a back-to-basics philosophy and two-teachers in each elementary classroom, a model which Morty Ballen, the network's CEO, says he adopted when he realized it was used by many high-performing schools.

The school's first principal, Ethan Mitnick, a former bilingual special education teacher in the Bronx, left the school to become a consultant after the 2011-2012 school year. Dana Bogle, a Bank Street graduate who also worked for Teach for America, became principal. She was formerly the academic director at Explore Schools network and an Explore teacher.

Explore Excel shares space with PS 114, a troubled school that had been slated for closure in 2011 before winning a partial reprieve; the school remains open, but its enrollment was cut to make room for Excel. At the time, PS 114 parents and teachers expressed concern about how the two schools would share space and resources in the century-old building, located in a neighborhood that was once largely Italian and Jewish but is now home to families of mostly Caribbean and African American backgrounds.

There have been complaints about the state of the school building with 35 percent of the teachers reporting on the Learning Environment Survey that it was not kept clean. A majority of teachers have fewer than four years of experience in the classroom; 47 percent of teachers answering the survey said there were some problems of order and discipline at the school.

Admissions: According to Explore Schools' Director of Strategy Lizz Pawlson, Explore gives priority in admissions to District 18 students who are at risk of academic failure, particularly those who are zoned for PS 114. For its first year, 2011-2012, Excel received more than 750 applications for 240 spots in kindergarten through 3rd grade. About 60% of the applicants attended or are zoned to attend PS 114. These students receive first preference in the lottery. (Amanda Hass, September 2011; updated 2013)

About the students

Enrollment
544
Asian
0.9%
Black
91.2%
Hispanic
4.4%
White
0.5%
Other
2.9%
Free or reduced priced lunch
78%
Students with disabilities
19%
English language learners
4%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares a building with PS 114
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
117%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
96%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
9%
19% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
61%
75% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
42%
25% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
80%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
44%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
14%
46% Citywide Average

About the leadership

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
68%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
96%
86% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
69%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
48%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
77%
85% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
74%
59% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
72%
79% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
82%
84% 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?
37%
39% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
27%
40% Citywide Average

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
61%
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
52%
55% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
68%
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 students with disabilities?

Average math score for ICT students
1.73
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.25
2.2 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.84
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.08
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
1.98
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
1.95
2.3 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
65%
69% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
88%
84% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
85%
89% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
85%
87% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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