P.S. 34 Oliver H. Perry

Grades Pre-K, K-5
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

Close-knit neighborhood school with patriotic celebrations

The Downside

Cramped quarters

Our Review

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)

About the students

Enrollment
489
Pre-K seats
36
Asian
2.5%
Black
3.7%
Hispanic
18.0%
White
74.9%
Other
1.0%
Free or reduced priced lunch
100%
Students with disabilities
11%
English language learners
15%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
141%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
94%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
16%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
87%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
100%
88% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
3.9
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
66%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
80%
90% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
62%
82% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
97%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
95%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
90%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
83%
89% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
88%
65% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
88%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
86%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents say their child's teacher helped their child adjust to Pre-K?
100%
98% Citywide Average
How many parents say this Pre-K program helped them consider which elementary schools would meet their childrens' needs?
83%
92% Citywide Average
How many Pre-K parents say their child's teacher gave helpful ideas for how to support their child's learning?
100%
97% 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?
63%
43% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
59%
42% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 2 dedicated spaces for Visual and Media arts
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

This school offers Dual Language classes in Polish.
How many English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
11%
9% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
65%
46% 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 self-contained students
2.38
2.4 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.14
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
92%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
96%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
93%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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Location

131 Norman Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11222
Greenpoint (District 14)
Trains: G to Nassau Ave
Buses: B24, B32, B43, B48, B62

Contact

Phone
718-389-5842
Principal
Carmen Asselta
Parent Coordinator
Deise Kowalski

Zone for the 2017-2018 school year. Call school to confirm.