Schools in Crown Heights — Brooklynian

Schools in Crown Heights

Hi Everyone,

I have a child who will be ready for pre-K in a few years, and I am already wondering about the school options in District 17/Crown Heights. Our zoned school is PS 138 on Park Place, which I hear is pretty good, but I would love to hear other people's experiences (hopefully satisfactory!) with the elementary school options. My family just recently moved into the neighborhood and the array of public schools and charter schools is just dizzying. I'm leaning away from a "discipline and order" charter school, but am worried that these charter schools may be the only way to get art, music and gym into my kid's school day. Is that worry unfounded?

Thanks, in advance, for your input!


  • We have a son entering PreK in the Fall as well so we've done a lot of research on District 17 ... PS 705 is new but seems to hold a lot of promise (and is focused on the arts), PS 770 The New American Academy also as a new and very interesting approach with large classrooms (60 students) and 4 co-teachers so very small groups can be taken my a teacher to focus on a specific interest. PS 316 seems ok...there was a lot of parent support a year or so but that seems to have dwindled and transfered to PS 705.

    There are more and more options so don't be disheartened.

    Good luck!

  • I am re-posting this for hopefully some more responses -- thanks keribberi!

  • My son is in pre-K at PS 705 and loves it. Can't endorse the school more enthusiastically. He will be attending kindergarten there in the fall.

  • My daughter is also happy at 705.  She's starting her third year there in the fall.  While there is still work to be done in terms of administrative organization, we like the families and are highly optimistic for the future.
  • News from the Q at Parkside:

    "Word has reached the Q that the longtime principal and assistant principal at PS375 - the Jackie Robinson School - will NOT be returning this Fall. That's right. New leadership, new opportunity."
  • I've been following the UPK roll-out with great interest. District 15, the district of Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Sunset Park, etc, is getting a ton of extra preK seats. There are huge waiting lists to get into the public school UPKs, and the DOE has responded to the parent demand by creating more public school seats in District 15 (as opposed to situating UPKs in nonprofits or community-based organizations). What's going on in District 17? Were our public school preK's expanded? Are they integrated? Are the District 17 parents sending their kids to District 17 schools, or trying to get into the District 15 schools? Once again, so much coverage of Brooklyn schools, once again, basically no information available about changes in our neighborhood schools. The lack of communication from our District's leaders is very annoying.
  • edited September 2014
    Here's a little bit of information on what's been happening, although it really only focuses on two schools - PS 705 and PS 770

    It also looks like Friends of Crown Heights was one of the private programs that benefited from the UPK expansion. They now have facilities as far away as the LES.
  • Thanks @homeowner! I wish there was more information about schools other than 705 and 770. I mean, they sound great. But they are two schools out of many...

    I do look forward to seeing that stats on how many kids ended up attending public school preK programs in District 17, and what the demographics are. I think that would tell us a lot about the effect of gentrification in our neighborhood.
  • Are you implying that gentrification influences test scores? Are you sure it isn't that the teachers are not just doing a far better job?

  • @whynot...nope, I'm not *that* interested in test scores. Just the demographic breakdown of students. I'd say that if the class is more racially integrated, then that is a clear effect of gentrification. I'd also be interested to discern from the stats if, say, my zoned school was flooded with preK applications, had turn turn people away, and had a class of, say, 40% Black, 20% White, and 10% Asian, and 30% Hispanic students. That would mean something big is happening. Or if the school maintained its current demographic, which is something like 80% Black, 5% White, 10% Hispanic, and 5% Asian. Bellweathers of change, the lower grades are.
  • edited September 2014
    The playgrounds and daycares provide an even earlier forecast.

    Not all of the families are going to fake an address in a better district when their kid turns 5.
  • there are several kids in Crown Heights N attending Art & Letters in dist 13.  A school Bus stop is proposed at Washington and Pacific.
  • Are those CHN kids attending, are they zoned for D13? I read that it's a lottery for D13 only. Would be interesting if it was open to D17 or at least D17 could get in.
  • edited September 2014
    North of Park Pl, the border becomes Grand Ave. Anyone West of Grand Ave is in D13, so Washington and Pacific would be D13.

    You can apply to Arts and Letters from another district, but you won't get in.
  • A lot of families seem happy with 705 and they start at pre-k. My son has been going to the Charter in the same building since it opened that same year (kinder) and he's in the 2nd grade now. Both schools work closely and have a good relationship and I've always liked 705's principal and her vision (my husband preferred Exceed's, and since he's born and raised here, I trusted his judgement). Our son has also been to Friends of Crown Heights since kinder for after school in the school building and summer camp (2 summers). Not the best at all imo and he HATES it, which reflected in his behavior. It's free which is helpful when you have another child in daycare full-time but didn't end up being worth it for us. This year we put him in the other after school in the building full time and next summer we'll try the Y Camp. For pre-k we left him in his daycare because he didn't get into any of my choices at the time which were all out-of-district (17) because PS 22 (in 17) was not an option (it was phased out by PS 705 and Exceed when he started kinder thankfully). Pre-k is tough if you want to go out of district. Better off waiting and trying for Kinder...though I'm sure things may have changed since I last tried.
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