Located in the Greenwood Heights section of Sunset Park in Brooklyn, NY, P.S. 172 is a public elementary school serving students from Pre-Kindergarten through Fifth Grade. Since its opening on February 2, 1914, P.S. 172 has provided hundreds of Brooklyn students with a rich and well rounded education. In 2011, P.S. 172 was awarded the National Blue Ribbon Award for academic excellence from the U.S. Department of Education. In 2013, P.S. 172 was ranked among the top 25 schools in New York State.
P.S. 172 has been a mainstay in Sunset Park for 100 years and is a community school in every sense of the word. Nestled in a densely populated and remarkably diverse community with a large percentage of recent immigrants with ties to multiple ethnic groups, our school works in partnership with our students' families as well as the community. The school has established and maintained a very successful partnership with Lutheran Medical Center, which sponsors a school-based medical clinic, dental clinic, and provides on-site mental health services. Together, these programs offer our students and their families primary medical and dental care as well as a certified mental health program that provides individual, group, and family counseling to those in need.
Part of maximizing our students' success has translated into the way in which our school day is structured. The P.S. 172 school day has expanded from 6 hours and 20 minutes to 6 hours and 50 minutes. This allows more time for focused learning. Additionally, we offer academic after-school and Saturday programs where teachers can work in small groups with their "at-risk" students. Arts teachers also offer 3-6 hours of after-school and Saturday enrichment learning each week.
P.S. 172's success is due in large part to our school's commitment to professional development. Much of our professional development work has been focused on differentiating instruction and providing teaching and learning experiences that match each student's individual needs and capacities. A good deal of work at our weekly extended grade level meetings has focused on using data to inform our work in curriculum planning, implementation, assessment, and revision.
Our school's dedication to collaboration and data-driven decision-making is evidenced by our many impressive accomplishments. Since 2006, more than 95% of our third, fourth and fifth graders have met or exceeded grade level standards on the New York State English Language Arts and Mathematics exams. Since 2008, P.S. 172 has consistently received the Department of Education's Excellence Award and has been named an "outstanding" school, scoring in the 99th percentile of all elementary schools citywide. Our most recent test data places P.S. 172 in the top 5 of New York City's highest achieving schools. P.S. 172's accomplishments have been chronicled by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and the Daily News. It was, however, our own local chapter, The Sunset Park Chronicle that described P.S. 172 best--an April 2010 article referred to our school simply as "...the little elementary school that could."