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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

Robust arts and environmental programs

The Downside

Cramped quarters

PS 34 is a small neighborhood school that honors its historic traditions, while keeping apace with the times. Children benefit from robust arts and environmental programs including dance, theater, music, visual arts and STEM taught in a lab with hydroponics equipment.

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 long-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. 

While enrollment in the dual language program has skewed toward Polish speakers, principal Alain Buegoms said non-Polish speakers are on the rise, “for the exposure to another culture and language, and based on brain science research around [benefits of] dual language.” 

Built in 1867, after the end of the Civil War and the assassination of President Lincoln, PS 34 is the longest continually running elementary school in New York City, It maintains patriotic traditions dating back to the 1940s, a time when Greenpoint saw an influx of new immigrants. At one time, these traditions were stressed as a way to Americanize new immigrants, said Beugoms, who took the helm in 2021, but the “modern iteration is really about diversity—a global celebration honoring nations and countries.” The school celebrates with dances, songs and readings by members of the community. It also marks Veterans Day in November, inviting veterans to speak to the children.

Students are given time to complete hands-on projects during school hours, said a parent.  Her son researched African-American ophthalmologist and inventor Patricia Bath and made informational posters. Students may express what they know in a variety of ways, she said, such as in a diorama or by presenting an oral report. “Academics are important, but so is the social and emotional health of the kids,” she stressed. 

All students take part in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) classes. They may study water samples from Newton Creek or visit the farmers market to purchase plants for the classroom. Children assess energy usage and waste in the building. They recycle and compost at lunch. A high point of the STEM program is the annual Eco Fashion Show, during which students wear outfits made of cast-off and recycled items.

Children study art weekly with an in-house visual art teacher. The Art Parade is a much-loved tradition for which children design a costume based on research of a famous artist. Children sample theater, dance and music through partnerships with outside organizations. 

A potential downside is the lack of many hallways in the building. One must walk through one classroom to get to another. Surprisingly, the arrangement works, parents say. Teachers connect more and learn from each other in the closer quarters and children of different ages get to know and care about one another. 

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school offers SETSS (special education teacher support services), and ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes, where two teachers work with both special and general education students in one class, as well as related services such as speech, occupational therapy and more. 

ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. The school occasionally has room for children from outside the zone. Let the parent coordinator know if you’re interested and on the waitlist. (Lydie Raschka, interviews, May 2021)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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?
87%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
70%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
93%
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?
77%
80% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school
6.9

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?
66%
51% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
57%
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

Enrollment
479
Asian
3%
Black
4%
Hispanic
20%
White
70%
Other
3%
Free or reduced priced lunch
28%
Students with disabilities
14%
English language learners
11%
Pre-K seats
53

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
94%
93% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
14%
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?
36%
28% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
0%
23% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
57%
28% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
32%
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
Alain Buegoms
Parent Coordinator
Deise Kowalski

Other Details

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

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

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