P.S. 9 Sarah Smith Garnet

Grades: Pre-K, K-5
Staff Pick
80 Underhill Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11238
Phone: 718-638-3260

Our Insights

What’s Special

A warm, open atmosphere and some excellent teachers

The Downside

Not all students are consistently engaged

PS 9 has popular music and dance performances, a promising partnership with Park Slope's fabled PS 321, and steadily increasing enrollmenta sign of the community's growing confidence in the school.

The school has a mix of children of different racial and ethnic groups, which parents say is a great strength. "In the lunchroom, on the playground, in the halls, PS 9 has a Sesame Street level of mixture," one parent said. "In addition to black and white, PS 9 has a bunch of mixed-race kids and a number of South Asian kids. It's a warm, tolerant and diverse place." Both the office staff and Principal Sandra D'Avilar are welcoming to parents.

The school has a Spanish-English dual language program and gifted and talented classes that attract children from across the district. The dance and art teachers collaborate on musical productions that include 200 children and have custom-made scenery and sets.

Teachers have adopted a challenging math program called "Math in Focus," based on the techniques perfected in Singapore, one of the world's top countries for math instruction.

The Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University's Teachers College trains the staff to develop children's writing skills, teaching them to write with a voice and to revise multiple drafts.

Some teachers are excellent, engaging their pupils in imaginative projects that involve significant research. For example, children in a 5th-grade gifted class wrote polished essays on topics such as Buffalo Soldiers (African American soldiers in the Amerian West), The Trail of Tears (Native Americans' forced migration to Oklahoma), and the Transcontinental Railroad. Unfortunately, the quality of teaching is inconsistent: The school's 2015 Quality Review said there should be less teacher talking, more class discussions and a higher level of student engagement.

On the positive side, PS 9 has joined what's called the "Learning Partners Program" in which teachers and administrators visit one another's schools to share best practices. PS 9 is paired with PS 321, widely considered one of the best schools in the city, and teachers visit one another's classes at least four times a year. Principal D'Avilar says her teachers have focused on improving reading instruction in small groups; three have been named "model teachers" and are beginning to share what they've learned with their colleagues. (Two of the model teachers are in the gifted program and one teaches special education.) PS 321 principal Liz Phillips says she has seen the "real impact" as a result of the program.

The Spanish-English dual language program, which started in 2011, has grown steadily and now serves 10 classes of children. These classes, which mix children who speak Spanish at home with those who speak English, are designed to make children fluent speakers, readers and writers in both languages.

PS 9 shares a building with Brooklyn East Collegiate Charter School.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school offers team-teaching as well as self-contained special education classes. One of the school's "model teachers" is in the self-contained class. Teachers trained in a special program called Reading Recovery assist children with reading difficulties.

ADMISSIONS: Zoned neighborhood school. (Clara Hemphill, March 2016)

Read more

School Stats

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

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2019-20 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
86% Citywide Average

From 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
0% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
86% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
51% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
50% Citywide Average

What is the Pre-K like?

From the NYC Program Assessment (CLASS and ECERS-R) Database through 2018-2019

Instruction: Teachers ask kids to explain their reasoning when they solve problems
Activities: Children explore art, music, sand/water, dramatic play and more
Language: Teachers talk and listen to kids in a supportive way
Interaction: Teachers ask kids good questions and invite back-and-forth conversation

Who does this school serve?

From 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners
Pre-K seats
3-K seats

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
92% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
26% Citywide Average

From 2020 School Directories

This school offers Dual Language classes in Spanish.

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
28% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
23% Citywide Average

For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Contact & Location


Prospect Heights (District 13)
Trains: S Line to Park Place; C Line to Clinton-Washington Aves; B Line, Q Line to 7th Ave; 2 Line, 3 Line to Grand Army Plaza
Buses: B25, B26, B41, B45, B48, B65, B67, B69


Fatimah Ali
Parent Coordinator
Charmain Derrell

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?

Zone for the 2019-2020 school year. Call school to confirm.

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