We just toured a great little public school near Downtown Brooklyn that is getting ready for the big time. P.S. 307 (located between DUMBO and Downtown) is the recent recipient of a federal Magnet grant that will bring with it millions of dollars of additional funding and will transform the school into the science and technology-themed Magnet School for STEM Studies starting in the 2014-15 school year. It is definitely an option worth considering if you are looking for pre-K, Kindergarten, or even looking to transfer your child to a new school for grades 1-5.
Magnet grants are designed to create new and innovative thematic programs within a school and foster diversity. A Magnet School is a ‘choice’ school which means that it is open to both zoned and non-zoned students. 307 is strategically located in the heart of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle (DoBro, DUMBO and Navy Yard) and the new emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) will certainly draw new students from across Brooklyn. In many ways, P.S. 307 has a lot in common with its neighbor P.S. 8 (they are in the same school support network). Nine years ago P.S. 8 received a magnet grant and was transformed by a great principal into the highly sought-after school that it is today.
P.S. 307 is led by a highly experienced and dynamic principal, Roberta Davenport, who has been building up the school for the last 10 years. At the moment, it is a small community school already filled with many great resources including a science lab, arts & music programs, Mandarin Chinese language program starting in elementary school, violin instruction, choir, and sports teams. They also have many partnerships with local institutions including arts and tech groups in DUMBO, the Brooklyn Ballet, The DBP, the Brooklyn Friends School ‘Horizons’ program, among others. After-schools programs are run by the YMCA, Kids Orbit and Brooklyn Friends.
The DOE’s recent evaluations gave it a ‘B’ for student performance. The magnet grant will help infuse STEM project-based learning into the entire curriculum and allow the school to build a second science ‘wet’ lab. The school is already embracing technology in the classroom in a big way with smart-boards, lots of computers and laptops, and online learning programs. They are an inclusive school and focus on the social-emotional development of all of their students and are dedicated to educating children with special-needs especially autism spectrum disorders.
They are now accepting applications for Pre-K through 5th grade for the 2014-15 school year. Next year they will be adding two more pre-K classes (probably because P.S. 8 is losing theirs.) If you are looking for a diverse school with lot to offer (particularly in the arts and sciences), I think you should check them out and see if it is right for your child.
Visit the school during their upcoming open houses for prospective parents: Tuesday, Feb. 4th @ 9 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 4th @ 6 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 8th @ 11 a.m
- P.S. 307 Website – check for latest tour dates.
- DNA Info Article, “Principal Returns Home to Transform a School“
- DNA Article, “Brooklyn Heights, Vinegar Hill Schools Make Improvements“
- DBP, “DUMBO Founders Inspire Big Ideas at PS 307“
- What is a Magnet School?
- What is STEM education?