P.S./I.S. 229 Dyker

Grades: Pre-K, K-8
Staff Pick
1400 Benson Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11228
Phone: 718-236-5447

Our Insights

What’s Special

Strong visual arts program

The Downside

Middle school students would like more course variety

PS 229 has some of the highest test scores in the district and a strong visual arts program during and after school. Art teachers and subject teachers plan cross discipline projects together to incorporate art and the core subjects. We stress the basics and foundations of English language arts and mathematics, with an appreciation towards the arts, said Principal Robert Zappulla in a phone interview. The school has a gifted program for K-5 and honors accelerated Regents track for middle school students.

The school offers a variety of art programs, such as chorus, orchestra, band, general music and visual arts. In the middle school, students can choose from enrichment programs such as dramatic arts and jazz music.

Parents and teachers are quite happy with the principal and school management. Teachers seem satisfied working at PS 229, and all teachers agree the school sets high standards for student work, according to the Learning Environment Survey. Yet, there appears to be some grumbling among middle school students. More than a third say school discipline is unfair and half say theydo not have enough variety of classes to choose from.This could be because the middle school was started in 2009, and Zappulla said they are adding more enrichment programs.

What makes our school special is that small school atmosphere that continues even through the 8th grade, said Zappulla. Our biggest challenge is financing but we have a very supportive PTA who plan family gatherings and assembly programs for the children.

Zappulla is organized, detailed-oriented, sensitive, has empathy for others, and can take a vision and turn it into a practical goal, Ellen Driesen, School District 20s UFT representative, told Brooklyn Daily.

Zappulla graduated from District 21 schools himself. He became principal in 2010, replacing respected James Harrigan who retired. Zappulla started as a music teacher at PS 229 and was named assistant principal in 2008. When I first met Bob, I was immediately impressed with his intelligence and knowledge. I always appreciated his ability to analyze situations and anticipate problems and provide solutions to the problem, Harrigan told the Brooklyn Daily.

The school hosts NIA, a free neighborhood wide after school program offering recreational and cultural activites.

Special Education: The school has self-contained and ICT classes.

Admissions: Zoned neighborhood school. Admissions to the gifted program is based on acombination of factors making up a "composite score". The final 4th grade report card counts for 45 percent, state tests 45 percent, attendance five percent and punctuality five percent. A few children are accepted from outside the zone. There are no open houses. (Annaclaire Diianni-Miller, web reports, July 2013; admissions updated January 2015)

Read more

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?
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
84% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
50% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
78% Citywide Average

From 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 2019-20 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
78% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

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?
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 2021 Middle School Directory

What high schools do most graduates attend?
New Utrecht High School, Fort Hamilton High School, and Brooklyn Technical High School
Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
English,Spanish,Algebra I

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

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

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

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

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

From 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

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?
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


Bensonhurst (District 20)
Buses: B1, B64, B8, X28, X38


William Kirk
Parent Coordinator
Andrea Abrams

Other Details

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

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


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