P.S. 257 John F. Hylan

Grades Pre-K, K-5
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What’s Special

Marching band and ballet classes

The Downside

Location is less than ideal

Our Review

PS 257 is a true community school. Many teachers live in the neighborhood, and a handful went to the school themselves as children. Other teachers can't bring themselves to leave, even after they reach retirement age.

The school serves many Spanish-speaking and African American children who live in the Williamsburg Houses, a mass of nearby housing projects. A handful of children of Chinese ancestry and even a few blonde kids have enrolled as the gentrifying neighborhood has become more diverse, said Brian Leavy De Vale, principal since 2002. But the location, amid housing projects and near the bleak-looking Woodhull Hospital, is less than ideal.

Thanks to a 2010 federal magnet grant, the school has a marching band and classes in ballet. It also offers graphic arts and after-school touch football.

The school is a joyful place, where teachers seem happy to teach and kids are encouraged to treat each other with respect. "The sense of community is amazing, said Joseph Gallagher, the magnet coordinator for District 14. Test scores are above average for the city, a testament to the success of a school where the majority of children are poor enough to qualify for free lunch.

De Vale is a traditionalist who recalls fondly his own education at Roman Catholic parochial schools. He believes in strict discipline and order, and insists that children wear uniforms. But he also believes in the importance of play. Children go outside for recess except when the weather is below freezing. Kindergarten classes have blocks. He has also adopted some of the so-called balanced literacy techniques to teach reading with picture books and childrens literaturenot textbooks.

Special education: The school offers "self-contained" classes for children with special needs as well as team-teaching classes that mix special ed and general education students. There is a school psychologist and social worker. It is barrier free, and children who use wheelchairs have special "adaptive phys ed" classes. Assistant principal Melvin Martinez, formerly a special education teachers, gave up his office to turn it into a room for extra help for special education pupils. On our visit, we saw kids faces light up when he was with them.

Admissions: Neighborhood school. Children from outside the zone may apply through the magnet program. (Clara Hemphill, phone interviews, February 2013)

About the students

Enrollment
658
Pre-K seats
57
Asian
1.1%
Black
20.7%
Hispanic
76.4%
White
1.8%
Other
0.0%
Free or reduced priced lunch
100%
Students with disabilities
25%
English language learners
16%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
96%
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?
21%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
100%
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
13.9
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
100%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
100%
90% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
100%
82% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
77%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
98%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
100%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
100%
89% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
79%
65% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
89%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
95%
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?
97%
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?
35%
43% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
39%
42% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 3 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, and Visual 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 Transitional Bilingual Education in Spanish.
How many English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
3%
9% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
29%
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 ICT students
1.91
2.0 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
2.02
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
3.5
2.8 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.33
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
96%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
97%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
98%
89% Citywide Average
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Location

60 Cook Street
Brooklyn NY 11206
Williamsburg (District 14)
Trains: Z to Myrtle Ave; L to Montrose Ave; G, J, M to Flushing Ave
Buses: B15, B43, B46, B47, B48, B54, B57, B60

Contact

Phone
718-384-7128
Principal
Brian De Vale
Parent Coordinator
Brenda Jusino

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