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PS 118 Maurice Sendak Community School

Grades: K-5
Staff Pick
211 8th Street
Brooklyn NY 11215
Phone: 718-840-5660

Our Insights

What’s Special

Experienced leader; robust social studies

The Downside

School is located outside the attendance zone

Aptly named after Maurice Sendak, the author of Where the Wild Things Are, PS 118 is a bubbly, inventive place where young wild things are encouraged to express themselves and explore the jungle of New York City and beyond. Children create projects based on trips, experiences and lessons in a rich social studies program that brings added meaning to reading and writing. They study Spanish and get to design their own homework.

A sign on the door to a pre-kindergarten class says, Under Construction! because of all the building going on inside, with LEGOs, wooden blocks, Magna-Tiles and other materials. Hallways are filled with collage, sculpture, facts about polar bears, bar graphs and photos of childrens faces with bubbles saying what they want to be when they grow up. A big, bright science room has fish tanks, crickets and plants. In science, parents were told on a tour, kindergartners get to study worms.

Children explore their neighborhood and the wider city: On our February visit, 1st graders had already gone on eight field trips to see historic sites, museums and more, in their exploration of Brooklyns history.

Second graders take field trips to Ellis Island as part of their immigration study, culminating in a living wax museum in which kids dress up and tell immigrant stories. Every opportunity is an opportunity to learn something new, said Principal Elizabeth Garraway.

Spanish is infused into academics and play, and children hear it spoken throughout the daynot just in twice weekly Spanish lessons. At least one of the two teachers in every classroom is bilingual. Beginning in pre-kindergarten, children sing songs in Spanish, learn the alphabet, and practice simple words about the weather, clothing and body parts.

Garraway designed this multicultural approach in keeping with her own international background and her experience as assistant principal at popular PS 321. A graduate of Midwood High School, she has a master's degree in Spanish and anthropology and studied in Europe, living in Spain for seven years. She taught both Spanish and French in Brooklyn middle and high schools. "My background is in language, culture and people, and what's important to me is to use that background in the work that I do," Garraway told DNAinfo.

The school has an unusual homework policy called EYB (exercise your brain), in which children choose from a menu of ideas that may include making a nonfiction book, a diorama or a homemade board game incorporating facts about tornadoes. On our tour, we saw projects that went far beyond the scope of typical fill-in-the-blank homeworkbut in their sophistication seemed dependent on organizational guidance from an adult at home.

Parents are very active at PS 118. They accompany classes on field trips and neighborhood walks and began a fee-based after-school program. They are invited to monthly family Fridays for an art project or breakfast. They raise money for trips, arts and the second adult in every classroom. Garraway said parents raise about $1,000 per child per year.

Opened in 2013 to ease overcrowding at nearby PS 321 and PS 107, PS 118 is housed in former parochial school building, St. Thomas Aquinas. There are two classes on most grades, including pre-kindergarten. Well-designed renovations include a airy top-floor gymnasium and a cafeteria with a glass divider on the ground floor.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school is flexible about offering children the services they need, said Garraway, formerly a special education supervisor at PS 321. A lot of the teachers are certified to teach special education, she said.

ADMISSION: Neighborhood school. The school is located outside its attendance zone, roughly comprising the area between Third and Fifth avenues and President and Sixth streets. (Lydie Raschka, parent tour, February 2017)

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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 2022-2023 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
0% Citywide Average

From the 2019-20 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 2023 End-of-year Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism Report

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
84% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
53% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
50% Citywide Average

What is the Pre-K like?

From the NYC Program Assessment (CLASS and ECERS-R) Database through 2019-2020

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 the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2023 End-of-year Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism Report

Average daily attendance
90% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
40% Citywide Average

How does this school serve special populations?

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
30% 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?
21% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
12% Citywide Average

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

Contact & Location


Park Slope (District 15)
Trains: F Line, G Line, R Line to 4th Ave - 9th St
Buses: B103, B37, B61, B63, B67, B69


W. Elizabe Garraway
Parent Coordinator
Mariateresa Bazzi

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?

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

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