P.S. 705 Brooklyn Arts and Science Elementary School

Grades: Pre-K, K-5
Staff Pick Staff Pick for Special Ed
443 St Marks Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11238
Phone: 718-230-0851

Our Insights

What’s Special

A welcoming school

The Downside

Some growing pains as new school finds its way

PS 705, the Brooklyn Arts and Science Elementary School (BASES), is a cheerful and orderly school opened in 2012 on the border of Prospect Heights and Crown Heights. A popular dual language program gives children the chance to become fluent readers and speakers of English and Spanish. The school offers classes in dance, music, art and fencing.

Founding principal Sandra Soto works hard to balance the concerns of a range of parents and families: those who want a progressive approach to education and those who prefer traditional methods; homeless families who live in nearby shelters and upper middle class families who live in brownstones. The PTA has a diversity committee to make sure that all parents feel included; the leadership of the PTA includes people of different races. Sotos's own family is multi-racial--she is of Haitian ancestry and her husband is Puerto Rican--and she seems to have a good rapport with parents of different ethnic groups.

Most grades have two classes: a dual language class (in which the language of instruction alternates between English and Spanish each day) and a team-teaching class (which mixes special needs and general education pupils, with two teachers). On our visit, we saw some traditional teaching methods, such as math drills on worksheets as well as some progressive approaches, such as lessons on the life cycle of the trout, from eggs hatched in a classroom aquarium. Classes are small and most have an assistant teacher or an aide in addition to the classroom teachers.

The building that houses PS 705 has seen a remarkable transformation. Formerly known as PS 22, it was a chaotic, low-performing school with a declining enrollment and one of the lowest rated principals in the city. Soto, formerly assistant principal at the well-regarded PS 189, opened her new school in 2012 with grades k-3 and added a grade each year; Explore Exceed Charter School opened in the building the same year. PS 22 took in no new students that year and closed permanently in 2014.

Starting a new school was easier than turning around an old school would have been, Soto said. "You get to set the tone. You get to choose your staff," Soto said. Key to the school's success is the attention to children's social and emotional development. A full-time social worker and four social work interns staff the feelings room where they help children manage their frustrations before they become behavior problems.

While Sotos's vision is clear, the school is a work in progress. In the school's first years, some parents withdrew their children after kindergarten or 1st grade to transfer to better-established schools. But parents who are willing to stay and work together to improve the school can count on the support of the administration and a cohesive staff.

"You have to be a pioneer, and you have to be willing to fight through the growing pains," Soto said.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school is welcoming to children with a range of special needs and offers lots of one-on-one help. In addition to the ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes, there are self-contained classes.

ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. Eager to keep the mix of different kinds of families as the neighborhood becomes more wealthy, Soto received permission from the Department of Education to give preference to out-of-zone families who are learning English or who are in the child welfare system. (Any child who lives in the zone is automatically admitted.)(Clara Hemphill, November 2015)

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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 2019-20 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
77%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
64%
81% Citywide Average

From 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
0%
0% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
48%
80% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school
7.1

How do students perform academically?

From 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
38%
51% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
35%
49% Citywide Average

What is the Pre-K like?

From the NYC Program Assessment (CLASS and ECERS-R) Database through 2018-2019

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 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Enrollment
310
Asian
4%
Black
43%
Hispanic
34%
White
16%
Other
3%
Free or reduced priced lunch
75%
Students with disabilities
22%
English language learners
13%
Pre-K seats
36

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
93%
93% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
22%
25% Citywide Average

From 2020 School Directories

This school offers Dual Language classes in Spanish.

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
15%
28% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
7%
23% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
25%
28% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
0%
17% Citywide Average


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

Contact & Location

Location

Crown Heights (District 17)
Trains: F Line, S Line to Park Place; 4 Line, 5 Line, C Line to Franklin Ave; 2 Line, 3 Line to Eastern Parkway-Brooklyn Museum
Buses: B25, B26, B44, B45, B48, B49, B65, B69

Contact

Principal
Valerie Macey
Parent Coordinator
Melissa Graham

Other Details

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares its building with Explore Exceed Charter School
Metal detectors?
No

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

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