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Dock Street School for STEAM Studies

Grades: 6-8
19 Dock Street
Brooklyn NY 11201
Phone: 718-834-6774

Our Insights

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

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)

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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 order and discipline are maintained at this school?
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
82% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
52% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
82% Citywide Average

From 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
3% 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?
75% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
37% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
42% Citywide Average

From 2021 Middle School Directory

What high schools do most graduates attend?
Benjamin Banneker Academy, and Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School (BCAM)
Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
English,Algebra I,Living Environment

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
32% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
93% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
23% Citywide Average

From 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

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?
14% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
15% Citywide Average

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

Contact & Location


DUMBO (District 13)
Trains: F Line to York St; A Line, C Line to High St; 2 Line, 3 Line to Clark St
Buses: B103, B25, B26, B38, B52, B67, B69, X14, X2, X42, X5


Melissa Vaughan
Parent Coordinator
Latashia Andrews

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares a building with a Pre-K Center
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?

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