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Elementary School Middle School High School

P.S. 34 Oliver H. Perry

Grades: Pre-K, K-5
Staff Pick
131 Norman Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11222
Phone: 718-389-5842

Our Insights

What’s Special

Close-knit neighborhood school with patriotic celebrations

The Downside

Cramped quarters

PS 34 is a close-knit neighborhood school with good attendance, high test scores and a warm sense of community. The neighborhood has long been home to working-class Polish and Spanish speaking immigrants. Increasingly, Greenpoint has gentrified, and PS 34 has successfully integrated the old-timers and newcomers, parents say. In 2015, PS 34 became the first school in New York City to offer a Polish-English dual language program.

Patriotism is prized: Children begin the day with the Pledge of Allegiance. The whole school celebrates Flag Day in June with dances, songs and readings with members of the community. Children also mark Veterans Day in November, inviting veterans to speak.

"We still have a traditional heart," says Carmen Asselta, principal since 2012. "This is a true community school. No child is lost. We make every effort to welcome our parents."

One of the oldest schools in Brooklyn, PS 34 was used as a hospital in the Civil War and the former wards were divided into classrooms. As a result, there are few hallways in the buildingone must walk through one classroom to get to another, ducking under student artwork hanging from clotheslines in the makeshift corridors. Surprisingly, the arrangement works: Classes are orderly and teachers keep kids focused despite the distractions.

The school has long had the enthusiastic support of parents, according to the annual survey. "The principal knows every child by name," said a parent volunteer in the lunchroom the day of our visit. "I feel like I just walked into a family."

Reading instruction begins with the highly structured Core Knowledge approach, which emphasizes instruction in phonics, vocabulary drills, and units on history and science. For example, 2nd graders study Greek mythology, Westward Expansion and the human body. Starting in 3rd grade, children use the Expeditionary Learning reading curriculum, which emphasizes interdisciplinary projects. PS 34 has adopted GoMath, which balances quick recall of facts and conceptual understanding. Every grade has STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) enrichment classes.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school offers SETSS (special education teacher support services) and ICT team-teaching classes, where two teachers work with both special and general education students.

ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. There are monthly tours for prospective parents and the parent coordinator will schedule tours on request. The school occasionally has room for children from outside the zone. (Clara Hemphill, May 2015; updated August 2016)

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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?
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
83% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
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?
80% 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?
49% 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 2019-20 Demographic Snapshot

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

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

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

From 2020 School Directories

This school offers Dual Language classes in Polish.

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
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
28% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
17% Citywide Average

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

Contact & Location


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


Carmen Asselta
Parent Coordinator
Deise Kowalski

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.

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

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