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Middle School High School

P.S. 31 Samuel F. Dupont

Grades: Pre-K, K-5
Staff Pick
75 Meserole Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11222
Phone: 718-383-8998
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Our Insights

What’s Special

Solid academics with old-fashioned values, lots of arts enrichment

The Downside

Traditional tone may not appeal to everyone

At PS 31, parents take pride in their schools longstanding reputation for solid academics and old-fashioned values. The school is an orderly place where children are primed to follow the rules, but the environment is pleasant and instruction has moved away from very traditional methods.

Located in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, PS 31s student body has shifted over time, but not as dramatically as in rapidly gentrifying areas such as nearby Williamsburg. The school attracts middle class families new to the area, but continues to serve many low-income families.

The schools biggest change has been in tone and type of instruction. "I wouldn't say 'old-fashioned' values rule the day quite so much anymore," wrote the PTA co-president on our website. Teachers have shifted their lessons to emphasize group work and class discussions. "We used to be very traditional, with children sitting in rows facing the teacher," said longtime principal Mary Scarlato. "Now they share ideas and critique each other's work."

Teachers in all grades use the Reciprocal Teaching method, where students, typically in groups of four, guide one another through a lesson. For instance, students may read a passage silently and then highlight key ideas as a group, answer each others questions, figure out the meaning of tricky words and predict what they may encounter as they continue their reading. In math, kids work together to break down and solve word problems.

The school has also boosted its writing and research instruction. During our visit we saw 1st-graders mapping out ideas for their next writing project. In the library, 2nd-graders worked in pairs to choose and research a state on laptop computers. Scanning the room we also noticed that most had by their side a grade-level or challenging book that they selected to read for enjoyment. In the upper grades students write lengthier essays.

There's plenty of traditional learning going on too. We saw 5th-graders working in pairs to solve math problems in a textbook. Second-graders learn cursive writing and must use it exclusively starting in 3rd grade. A few parents we spoke with said they appreciated that the teachers were strict with their students.

Pre-kindergarten classes are vibrant spaces. During math time in one class, teachers worked one-on-one with students as their classmates played with stackable counting blocks or threaded string through labeled cardboard shapes such as a rhombus, rectangle and oval. Next door a very experienced pre-k teacher was at ease among the hubbub of center time where children were enjoying their activities of choice: sand table, painting, playing with cars and trucks, building with blocks or a computer math game.

Special teachers travel to classrooms to teach social studies and science. Enrichment activities, including art, music, ballroom dancing and chess, are funded by the Parents Association. Children produce an annual show in partnership with Disney Musicals in Schools.

PS 31 is part of the Greenpoint Eco-Schools initiative that funds a full-time sustainability coach who helps teachers and students design conservation and recycling projects to benefit the school and the community.

Working in the student-run bookstore is a popular activity. Students interview for jobs and manage all aspects of the business including handling purchases, setting prices (most books sell for $3 or less) writing book reviews, keeping track of inventory and running monthly promotions.

Children go outside for recess, and a parent commented that children now have access gym led by a full-time physical education teacher, after years of teachers leading gym in the basement. Teachers also lead a daily movement break in their classrooms.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school has ICT classes on each grade and SETSS. Speech and occupational therapy are provided onsite.

ADMISSIONS: Zoned, neighborhood school. PS 31 typically has room for students living outside its zone. (Laura Zingmond, May 2016; updated Jan 2018)

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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 2018-19 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
100%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
90%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
91%
83% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
0%
1% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
79%
80% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school
18.9

How do students perform academically?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
75%
51% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
72%
49% Citywide Average

What is the Pre-K like?

From this school's most recent Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)

Instruction: Teachers ask kids to explain their reasoning when they solve problems

From this school's most recent Early Childhood Environmental Rating System (ECERS-R)

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 2018-19 Demographic Snapshot

Enrollment
619
Asian
8%
Black
5%
Hispanic
41%
White
43%
Other
2%
Free or reduced priced lunch
72%
Students with disabilities
13%
English language learners
6%

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
94%
93% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
18%
25% Citywide Average

From 2018 School Directories

Pre-K seats
90

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
38%
28% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
28%
23% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
38%
28% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
13%
17% Citywide Average


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

Contact & Location

Location

Greenpoint (District 14)
Trains: G Line to Nassau Ave
Buses: B24, B32, B43, B48, B62

Contact

Principal
Mary Scarlato
Parent Coordinator
Alvita Echevarria

Other Details

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?
No

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

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