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Elementary School Middle School High School

M.S. 839

Grades: 6-8
Noteworthy
713 Caton Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11218
Phone: 718-686-2730

Our Insights

What’s Special

Strong academics and engaging curriculum

The Downside

French instruction offerred one semester each year

MS 839, opened in 2015, is part of the NYC Outward Bound network, a nonprofit that supports a dozen schools in the city, and follows the network’s EL Education model (formerly called expeditionary learning).

Students work on projects in all the major subject areas, based on current events and real-world situations. In history class, for example, students learned about the civil unrest among college students during the Vietnam War and made modern-day connections to student-led political movements today. In science, students made models of the local Gowanus Canal while studying environmental impact and clean up strategies.     

Students may choose from a wide variety of elective courses each semester such as robotics, photography, and guitar. These classes also ask students to work on at least one project per year. French instruction is rotated through the schedule with visual arts, theater, and music, so students can only take it for half the year. Algebra is offered in the 8th grade.

Parents say the homework load is manageable and assingments tend to be meaningful. Teachers at this school would overwhelmingly recommend it to families, according to NYC School Survey results.   

At MS 839, every student is part of a "crew," which meets three periods per week in small groups. Students stay with the same crew for a full year, and work on issues of social and emotional support, family and school connection, and monitor academic progress. Crew activities help prepare students to be successful in high school and beyond. Students in seventh-grade crews visited high schools and got to interview high school seniors about student life at their schools. Before the event, students prepared questions and practiced interviewing skills, such as making eye contact, taking notes, and listening. 

Parents have been part of the development of the school from its inception. Twice each year, parents, students and teachers meet to discuss academic goal. Parents on the School Leadership Team propose skills they would like their children to work on, like time management and organization, to be incorporated in the curriculum. There are open parent engagement hours every week for parents to meet with teachers.   

MS 839 shares a newly constructed building with grades 3-5 of nearby PS 130. Each school has its own science lab and shares a full gymnasium, a combination gym and auditorium, and an outdoor playground. 

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school has two ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes. Reading periods in all grades are co-taught to ensure all students have detailed support, regardless of their reading level.

Admissions: District 15 has launched a districtwide plan to increase middle school diversity and equity. As part of this plan, all middle schools in District 15 use an open admissions method with an admissions priority for 52% of seats set aside for students from low-income households (who qualify for the federal free and reduced-price lunch program), students in temporary housing, and English Language Learners. To learn more about the D15 Diversity Plan, visit d15diversityplan.com. (Melanie Quiroz, web reports and DOE data, November 2018)

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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?
71%
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
85%
82% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
45%
52% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
90%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
90%
81% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
1%
3% 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?
70%
75% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school
4.1

How do students perform academically?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
47%
37% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
56%
42% Citywide Average

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
50%
32% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2018-19 Demographic Snapshot

Enrollment
345
Asian
11%
Black
14%
Hispanic
25%
White
44%
Other
6%
Free or reduced priced lunch
41%
Students with disabilities
28%
English language learners
2%

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
95%
93% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
12%
23% Citywide Average

From 2018 School Directories

Uniforms required?
No

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
14%
14% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
19%
15% Citywide Average


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

Contact & Location

Location

Kensington (District 15)
Trains: F Line, G Line to Fort Hamilton Parkway
Buses: B103, B16, B35, B67, B68, B69, BM3, BM4

Contact

Principal
Michael Perlberg
Parent Coordinator
Leah Ruggiero-Ortiz

Other Details

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares a building with grades 3-5 of PS 130.
Uniforms required?
No
Metal detectors?
No

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