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P.S. 138 Brooklyn

Grades: Pre-K, K-8
760 Prospect Place
Brooklyn NY 11216
Phone: 718-467-0800

Our Insights

What’s Special

More than half the 8th graders earn high school credit

The Downside

No lockers for middle school. Limited music and art

PS/MS 138 has a happy, spirited tone from the laughter in the main office to the joyful mayhem on the playground, where children race across the yard to embrace their beaming Haitian-born principal. For decades the school has served a primarily West Indian and African-American population; in recent years, newcomers from Yemen have also joined the community.

Enrollment has declined as rising rents have forced out working-class families and young professionals have moved in. As a result, the school has room for children from outside the attendance zone, particularly in 6th through 8th grade where there are three classes on each grade instead of two.

The middle school accepts all comers, says long-time principal Marie Chauvet-Monchik; the day we visited, two Arabic-speaking 6th graders, just arrived from Yemen, were seated at computers with programs designed to teach them English.

The majestic school building, constructed in 1902, has a large auditorium with a balcony, spotless corridors and large windows. PS/MS 138 shares the building with Success Academy Prospect Heights Charter School ,a K-4 school with stratospheric test scores that was the subject of a PBS News Hour report for its practice of suspending children as young as kindergarten. By contrast, school leaders at PS/MS 138 say teachers can keep order without such drastic measures. "We let children be children," says Chauvet-Monchik. Teachers agree that order and discipline are maintained at PS/MS 138, according to school surveys.

Pre-kindergarten classes at PS/MS 138 buzz with the sound of kids talking and doing. The school has four science labs, which children visit at least twice a week. Pre-kindergartners may stay in the after school program until 5 pm.

The schools loses a few kids to Medgar Evers College Preparatory School in 6th grade, but most 5th graders stay on for middle school.

The tone of the middle school tends toward the traditional, with teachers standing at the front of the classroom offering instruction to the whole class. There are some lively class discussions and children write imaginative papers on topics such as the Haitian Revolution, women's suffrage and Alexander Hamilton's financial plan.

Middle school pupils are encouraged to tackle algebra, earth science and biology and to take Regents exams typically taken by high school students. More than half the children receive high school credit before they graduate.

The school offers a special class to prepare students for the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT). Typically, one or two students a yea, of the 20 who take the class, are admitted to Brooklyn Tech. Other top students go to Benjamin Banneker, Medgar Evers, Bedford Academy, and Talent Unlimited. Graduates also attend Clara Barton, Lincoln, and Boys and Girls High School.

A drawback to the school's small size: limited art and music offerings during the school day. Dance and drama are offered after school. There are no lockers in the middle school, so children must take their coats and backpacks from class to class.

Special education: PS/MS 138 has several team-taught, or integrated co-teaching (ICT) classes that mix special and general education students in one room, as well as several self-contained classes. Many teaching assistants sit with individual students.

Admissions: Neighborhood school. The school takes roughly 30 new students in 6th grade. (Clara Hemphill, April 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 the 2020-21 NYC School Survey

How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
91% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
32% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
84% 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 the 2020-21 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
83% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From the New York State 2021 -22 Assessment Database

How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
54% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
50% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
45% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
50% Citywide Average

From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
35% 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 2021-22 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners
Pre-K seats
3-K seats

From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
91% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
27% Citywide Average

From the 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

How does this school serve special populations?

From the New York State 2021 -22 Assessment Database

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
25% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
22% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
24% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
16% Citywide Average

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

Contact & Location


Crown Heights (District 17)
Trains: F Line, S Line to Park Place; 3 Line, A Line, C Line to Nostrand Ave; 2 Line, 5 Line to President St; 2 Line, 4 Line, 5 Line to Franklin Ave
Buses: B25, B43, B44, B44-SBS, B45, B48, B49, B65


Marie Chauvet Monchik
Parent Coordinator
Jessenia Tavera

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares a building with Success Academy Prospect Heights Charter School
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?

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

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