MS 313, Dock Street School for STEAM Studies

Grades 6-8
Noteworthy
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What’s Special

Sparkling new building; dual emphasis on arts and science; ASD Nest program

The Downside

New school is still developing its culture & tone

Our Review

The Dock Street School for STEAM Studies, opened in September 2016, is off to a good start. With a handsome, light-filled building; a challenging, well-rounded curriculum; and a supportive group of parents, Dock Street is a welcome addition to a district with few strong middle school options.

"Here you don't have to choose between arts and science," said the parent of a 6th-grader who graduated from the popular PS 11. STEAM is short for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math and the school has two science labs and an enticing array of visual arts, dance, music and drama. The school, housed on the second floor of a residential building in DUMBO, has an art room with a kiln and a dance studio. An Alvin Ailey instructor teaches dance.

Classrooms are cozy: some students curl up on comfy beanbag chairs while others nestle in a window seat. Teachers encourage class discussions and projects; for example, 6th graders created dioramas depicting life in Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt.

On our visit, during Black History Month, students started the day screening a videotape about prominent African-Americans. In music class, they sang Lift Every Voice and Sing. In art class, they made mannequins of clear tape to symbolize invisible slavesprops for a play they would put on.

The neighborhood has embraced Dock Street: St. Ann's Warehouse, across the street, holds student workshops, helps with school productions and invites students to their performances. Their stagehands taught teachers how to use the lighting and equipment in the schools combined gym and auditorium called a gymatorium. A local tech company invited Dock Street to participate in Big Idea Week. GAP clothing store donated uniform pants and shirts. Two Trees, a real estate developer, funds a Saturday Academy and a chess team. The school has no playground, but students go to Brooklyn Bridge Park at lunchtime. There is no technology lab, but laptops are used throughout the building.

Parents and teachers credit the principal, Dr. Melissa Vaughan, with creating a welcoming environment. "She's very highly respected. She's created that nurturing environment," a teacher said. "Kids feel safe and they feel cared for."  A few red flags on the 2017 school survey: only 72 percent of the teachers said the principal was an effective manager and only 35 percent of the students said their classmates treated one another with respect.

Vaughan, a former Alvin Ailey dancer, was a special education teacher and dance teacher at Brooklyn High School of the Arts before becoming principal of Satellite West, a tiny middle school previously housed in nearby PS 307. When Satellite West closed in 2016, Vaughan and its remaining students moved to Dock Street, which kept the old schools number, MS 313. They were joined by about 100 new 6th graders.

The school shares a building with a Pre-K center.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school offers ICT class and self-contained classes. Graduates of the PS 307 ASD Horizon Program for students on the autism spectrum continue in the program at Dock Street.

ADMISSIONS: Priority goes to District 13. The school considers student grades, test scores, attendance and teacher comments. After reviewing report cards, the school invites some students to a group interview and to complete a writing and science assignment. In 2017, the school got the most applications of any middle school in District 13, the principal said. (Pamela Wheaton, February 2017; updated October 2017)

About the students

Enrollment
137
Asian
6.6%
Black
66.4%
Hispanic
24.1%
White
2.2%
Other
0.7%
Free or reduced priced lunch
77%
Students with disabilities
28%
English language learners
2%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares a building with a Pre-K Center
Uniforms required?
Yes
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
26%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
87%
93% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
49%
20% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
86%
78% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
48%
50% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
84%
83% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
35%
43% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
1.8
6.0 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
72%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
79%
89% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
79%
83% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
89%
72% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
99%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
72%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
71%
87% 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?
38%
27% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
37%
35% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 0 licensed arts teacher in Dance (part-time), Music (part-time), Theater (part-time), and Visual arts (part-time)

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
82%
76% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
68%
61% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
65%
72% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Algebra I, Living Environment
How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
45%
26% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
61%
84% Citywide Average
What high schools do most graduates attend?
Bedford Academy HS and Brooklyn HS of the Arts
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the 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
1.75
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
1.97
2.1 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.88
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.02
2.2 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
77%
68% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
87%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
95%
90% 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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Location

19 Dock Street
Brooklyn NY 11201
DUMBO (District 13)
Trains: A, C to High St ; F to York St
Buses: B25, B57, B62, B67, B69

Contact

Phone
718-780-7660
Principal
Melissa Vaughan
Parent Coordinator
Lorraine White

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