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P.S. 277 Gerritsen Beach

Grades: Pre-K, K-5
Staff Pick
2529 Gerritsen Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11229
Phone: 718-743-6689

Our Insights

What’s Special

Unique marine biology program

The Downside

Limited budget for marine biology and art

Tucked on a peninsula between Marine Park's salt marshes and Shell Bank Creek, PS 277 serves the children of firefighters, police officers, teachers, nurses, electricians and other public service workers. Bungalows with fences and flags line quiet side streets ideal for learning how to ride a bike.

The school has long had a marine biology program. Children walk to a saltwater creek to observe sea plants and animal life. Local fishermen drop off sea bass and puffer fish for the impressive 1,000-gallon saltwater tank in the school's science room.

Fourth and 5th-graders use nets to catch small fish and crabs, which they bring to the tanks for further study. Once or twice a year they walk to the Salt Water Nature Center near the school. At school, children have jobs keeping track of weather statistics.

"It piques their interest," said Principal Jeanne Fish, adding that at least one former student became a marine biologist. She is particularly proud that the school has sparked an interest in science among girls.

At PS 277, children receive a solid education and the school earns above-average test scores. Classroom instruction has an ordered, timeless quality on this peninsulawe saw desks in rows, teachers talking and children working with textbooks.

At the same time, the principal leads school-wide initiatives each year to strengthen, say, problem-solving in math or to train teachers to ask meatier questions that make kids think hard.

Students from other schools visit PS 277's marine biology lab to participate in water filtration experiments and make Japanese fish prints using paper and ink.

With fewer than 500 students, the budget is tight not only for a fuller marine biology program but also for the arts. "We should have an art teacher," Fish said. Parents pay for painting and digital architecture classes from Marquis Studios.

The outdoor space at the school is wonderful. Curiously, on a mild 55-degree day, children were inside watching a video. The principal said it's uncommon for kids to stay in when the weather is above 40 degrees, but that sometimes this happens if they are understaffed that day.

The physical education teacher is licensed to teach physical education, which is unusual for an elementary school, and we saw a well-organized ball skills class in which every child was active.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Team-teaching classes mix children with disabilities into general education classes. There is one class for children with special needs only.

ADMISSIONS: Zoned, neighborhood school.(Lydie Raschka, March 2016)

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 the 2020-21 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
86% Citywide Average

From the 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
0% 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?
86% 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?
51% 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 2021-22 Demographic Snapshot

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

From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
92% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
26% Citywide Average

From the 2020 School Directories

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?
28% 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?
28% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
17% Citywide Average

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

Contact & Location


Sheepshead Bay (District 22)
Buses: B31, BM4


Theresa Vlantis
Parent Coordinator
Karen Salinas

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.

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

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