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Ps 81 Robert J Christen

Public | K-5 & ungraded | 635 students

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 1 rating
2013:
Based on 4 ratings
2012:
Based on 1 rating
2011:
Based on 1 rating

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22 reviews of this school


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Posted April 29, 2014

Sadly this school has become a test prep factory. Grades 3-5 began test prep at the end of January and it continued up until today, the day before the state math test. There was test prep in the morning and in the afternoon. It was overwhelming for my child. I am saddened by the direction the school took in regards to the test prep.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 1, 2013

My children have been attending P.S. 81 for the past four years. My husband and I are very happy with the teachers and the principal. The principal is a hands on person who is always available to meet with parents. She has made many positive changes since she became principal. Coffee with the principal is a new event at 81. These small meetings are opportunities to learn more about the happenings at the school and the curriculum. There is an increased focus in the study of arts. This year there is a full time art and music teacher. We also have many other art experiences like New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center. The assistant principal is very helpful and is always available to answer questions. The principal met with all of the parents at the beginning of the year to share her plans for this school year. We were excited about the study of foreign language. The principal informed us about the safety procedures that are in place. My husband and I are very happy with the safety plans that are in place. We are grateful to have a neighborhood school where our children receive an excellent education from caring teacher and administration.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 22, 2013

Our child attended PS81 school from K through 5th. Generally our child's academic experience was solid, and apart from one year, the educators were dedicated, rigorous and capable. Excellence in science and the arts is sadly lacking though. The science curriculum is great when the state test is upon students in 4th grade but otherwise, it is mediocre with an unacceptable failure to teach students 'real' science. The major problem with the school is an inability to accept and / or control bullying, which we found to be prevalent in 5th grade and negatively impacted our overall experience here. We were not the only family to encounter this problem in this age group and sadly the senior administration did not effectively deal with this problem or implement policies to prevent it. Disrespectful kids who 'mouth-off' during class and exhibit rude behavior to teachers and fellow-students were not adequately dealt with, such that this type of behavior became pandemic and negatively influenced the class dynamic. The head is a dedicated educator but she drastically needs to assert her authority more to eliminate these problems. The school needs a SHAKE-UP!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 21, 2013

THE ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL IS TERRIBLE SHE LACKS EMPATHY FOR BOTH THE CHILDREN AND PARENTS THE TEACHERS HOWEVER ARE AMAZING LEADERS AND EDUCATORS BUT DURING LUCH WHERE THE ONLY ONES WATCHING OUR CHILDREN ARE THE SCHOOL AIDS , WAY WAY TOO MUCH BULLYING OCCURS AND THEY DONT DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. FOR EXAMPLE IF A CHILD IS SEEN RUNNING AROUND IN THE LUNCH ROOM THEY WOULD GET HELD IN AND NOT ALLOWED RECESS BUT IF ANOTHER CHILD IS BULLYING ACHILD THEY IGNORE IT .
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 10, 2013

Academically, it is still a fine school, but beyond that it is declining rapidly. Bullying around the lunch room and at recess time, continues unabated and the administration is completely blind to it. Lip service is all we get from them. The continuing emphasis, sadly, is on test scores and though the curriculum is still met, fostering a love of learning seems to have gone out the window. While I realize this is the reality of Bush's No Child Left Behind Act, it is a sad commentary on our children's future. Teachers have to focus on these results and these results only. I don't think they like it any more than I do. The Parents Association tries hard, but the lingering apathy among too many of the other parents' makes those of us who do participate feel like we are shouldering an enormous burden... and for what? They need a new/real Principal and they need it soon. There is no real direction from the front office. The interim Principal is a great educator, but an invisible leader. Her predecessor was lacking in grace, but really controlled the school well. My child graduates this May and we are beyond ready to have P.S. 81 in our rear view mirror.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 13, 2012

We were very happy to send our so to P.S.81. The faculty and administratopnn were very caring and extremely competent. The parents are very involved and there is a great sense of community. Overall a great experience.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 19, 2011

This school has been declining over the past couple years, there is not enough art or technology utilized in this school. There is a lot of bullying at lunch and at recess and the administration does not respond to parent requests for more information as to how they are addressing this problem.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 25, 2010

Nothing is perfect so with that said as a public school this one is doing great. Do I want more art and music, yes! Would I like to see more physical activity time and play time? Yes. Would I like the principal and teachers to focus far less on test scores? Absolutely YES. However that will take a revolution so as long as the scores are tied to funds there can be very little change. Can the principal loosen some of the funds for these other activities, for sure. If enough parents band together change can occur. If not, then it won't.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 25, 2010

Parent. of a 4th grader. Very happy with his teachers and the overall community through the years.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 24, 2009

My son is always complaining the HW was easy. I think he need to get more work or be placed in a class where he does not become complacent and is constantly being challenged. I am woried he is falling behind.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 25, 2009

My son is in ps 81 and i always ask why the school does not give to the kids any kind of art class, like other shool, any music class, nothing
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 21, 2009

My son is in the third grade and I'm getting pretty upset about the amount of homework. Some nights we are doing homework well past 9pm. And the test prep is out of this world. I think the focus of children have been lost to the bottom line ' the test scores'.Over all its a good school and they do care.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 16, 2008

I think over all it's a good school. My grandson is really happy attending.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 10, 2007

It seems as if the school only cares about good report card for the Board of Education. There are hardly any art, music or science classes. There is a good level of parent involvement through the PA but parents also have to pick up where the teachers left off or nurture their children in subjects like art and chess and sports. Also, the quality of education seems to rest solely in the hands of the teacher assigned to your child each year.Overall, it is a good school but not the best school if you want your child to have a well rounded, liberal, full curriculum with extra curricular activities.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 24, 2007

I had two kid's in P.S.81, one is still there. I think it's a good school. Both of my kid enjoy the experiences. My wife and I, think the stuff are also wonderful.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 6, 2006

As of Feb 2006, the focus is on standardized tests, standardized tests, standardized tests. All they do is practice standardized tests. There are no projects, no field trips. (My daughter has been there 3 years -- she's gone on 2 field trips in that time.) There's very little art, or music, or sports. (Maybe they'll get an art lesson every month or so.) Lots of parental involvement - not involving the curriculum, just around fundraising. PS81 administrators are stuck in the Stone Age. They use threats of expulsion and other heavy-handed tactics to deal with discipline problems. I wish I'd never put my children here.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 14, 2006

My son attended this school for 6 years. He did wonderfully. This school addressed his needs to the fullest. He thrived. The teachers and staff there are wonderful. I highly recommend this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 14, 2005

My son has attended 2 years. Academically the school is solid. One year he got a mediocre education, the next he got a superior education. Teachers are professional. Building is well maintained and inviting. Fantastic parental involvement has led to more resources than most NYC public schools, include Sat. programs and Arts. A bit overcrowded. Most discipline problems handled appropriately, but there is bullying and other common schoolyard minor violence. Many staff from the neighborhood, which helps a lot. Very friendly.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 13, 2005

P.S. 81 is a wonderful, diverse, safe and welcoming school. In addition to the excellent classroom instruction provided by the well-qualified teachers, students are exposed to numerous arts and cultural programs. P.S. 81 has art, music and computer teachers. There are on-going programs in conjunction with Lincoln Center and a clarinet instructional program for 4th and 5th graders, in addition to numerous guest performances and presentations. The administration and guidance counselors ensure that each child's individual needs are addressed. Being a large NYC public school, you may have to jump through some hurdles, but you can and will be heard. The Parents' Association is very active and involved in supporting and improving the quality of P.S. 81's programs. Children graduating from P.S. 81 are well prepared to enter competitive and academically rigorous middle schools, both public and private. Overall, I am very pleased with my children's experiences at P.S. 81.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 4, 2005

Robert J. Christen is a warm and inviting school with a good mix of traditional and more modern teaching methods. The teachers are dedicated and encourage parental involvement. The PTA is very active and welcoming.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 31% in 2013.

104 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
43%

2012

 
 
65%

2011

 
 
67%
Math

The state average for Math was 34% in 2013.

105 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
46%

2012

 
 
68%

2011

 
 
62%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, the New York State Department of Instruction implemented new assessments designed to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The new standards for proficiency in these subjects are higher than in previous years and the percent of students earning a proficient score is expected to be lower as a result of this change. See this letter from New York's Commissioner of Education for more information on these changes.

In 2012-2013 New York used the New York State Assessments to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and math, and in grades 4 and 8 in Science. The tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New York. The goal is for 90% of students to meet or exceed grade-level standards on the tests.

Source: New York State Education Department

English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 30% in 2013.

101 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
30%

2012

 
 
63%

2011

 
 
68%
Math

The state average for Math was 36% in 2013.

102 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
43%

2012

 
 
68%

2011

 
 
65%
Science

The state average for Science was 90% in 2013.

102 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
97%

2011

 
 
91%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, the New York State Department of Instruction implemented new assessments designed to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The new standards for proficiency in these subjects are higher than in previous years and the percent of students earning a proficient score is expected to be lower as a result of this change. See this letter from New York's Commissioner of Education for more information on these changes.

In 2012-2013 New York used the New York State Assessments to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and math, and in grades 4 and 8 in Science. The tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New York. The goal is for 90% of students to meet or exceed grade-level standards on the tests.

Source: New York State Education Department

English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 31% in 2013.

85 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
48%

2012

 
 
57%

2011

 
 
58%
Math

The state average for Math was 30% in 2013.

87 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
34%

2012

 
 
70%

2011

 
 
65%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, the New York State Department of Instruction implemented new assessments designed to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The new standards for proficiency in these subjects are higher than in previous years and the percent of students earning a proficient score is expected to be lower as a result of this change. See this letter from New York's Commissioner of Education for more information on these changes.

In 2012-2013 New York used the New York State Assessments to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and math, and in grades 4 and 8 in Science. The tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New York. The goal is for 90% of students to meet or exceed grade-level standards on the tests.

Source: New York State Education Department

English Language Arts

All Students43%
Female53%
Male32%
African American36%
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanic35%
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White51%
Economically disadvantaged29%
Not economically disadvantaged60%
Students with disabilities10%
General population50%
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in English45%
Non-migrant43%

Math

All Students46%
Female48%
Male43%
African American27%
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanic34%
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White63%
Economically disadvantaged38%
Not economically disadvantaged55%
Students with disabilities5%
General population56%
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in English49%
Non-migrant46%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, the New York State Department of Instruction implemented new assessments designed to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The new standards for proficiency in these subjects are higher than in previous years and the percent of students earning a proficient score is expected to be lower as a result of this change. See this letter from New York's Commissioner of Education for more information on these changes.

In 2012-2013 New York used the New York State Assessments to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and math, and in grades 4 and 8 in Science. The tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New York. The goal is for 90% of students to meet or exceed grade-level standards on the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the New York Department of Education. If there are fewer than 5 students in a particular group, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: New York State Education Department

English Language Arts

All Students30%
Female38%
Male21%
African American0%
Asian/Pacific Islander26%
Hispanic24%
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White53%
Economically disadvantaged17%
Not economically disadvantaged45%
Students with disabilities7%
General population33%
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in English32%
Migrantn/a
Non-migrant30%

Math

All Students43%
Female40%
Male47%
African American9%
Asian/Pacific Islander60%
Hispanic37%
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White59%
Economically disadvantaged34%
Not economically disadvantaged53%
Students with disabilities0%
General population50%
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in English46%
Migrantn/a
Non-migrant43%

Science

All Students97%
Female97%
Male98%
African American100%
Asian/Pacific Islander100%
Hispanic96%
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White96%
Economically disadvantaged95%
Not economically disadvantaged100%
Students with disabilities100%
General population97%
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in English99%
Migrantn/a
Non-migrant97%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, the New York State Department of Instruction implemented new assessments designed to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The new standards for proficiency in these subjects are higher than in previous years and the percent of students earning a proficient score is expected to be lower as a result of this change. See this letter from New York's Commissioner of Education for more information on these changes.

In 2012-2013 New York used the New York State Assessments to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and math, and in grades 4 and 8 in Science. The tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New York. The goal is for 90% of students to meet or exceed grade-level standards on the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the New York Department of Education. If there are fewer than 5 students in a particular group, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: New York State Education Department

English Language Arts

All Students48%
Female59%
Male37%
African American63%
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanic35%
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White58%
Economically disadvantaged36%
Not economically disadvantaged65%
Students with disabilities7%
General population57%
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in English52%
Migrantn/a
Non-migrant48%

Math

All Students34%
Female29%
Male39%
African American18%
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanic19%
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White54%
Economically disadvantaged20%
Not economically disadvantaged56%
Students with disabilities0%
General population42%
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in English35%
Migrantn/a
Non-migrant34%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, the New York State Department of Instruction implemented new assessments designed to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The new standards for proficiency in these subjects are higher than in previous years and the percent of students earning a proficient score is expected to be lower as a result of this change. See this letter from New York's Commissioner of Education for more information on these changes.

In 2012-2013 New York used the New York State Assessments to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and math, and in grades 4 and 8 in Science. The tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New York. The goal is for 90% of students to meet or exceed grade-level standards on the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the New York Department of Education. If there are fewer than 5 students in a particular group, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: New York State Education Department

In 2009-2010, this school was given a grade of "C" for the elementary school level.

About the tests


Progress Report Grades measure the school's contribution to student learning in three areas: School Environment, Student Performance and Student Progress. Schools can receive additional credit for achieving exemplary performance progress among high-needs students. Progress Report Grades range from A to F.

Source: New York City Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Hispanic 1 46% 23%
White 1 30% 48%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 2 13% 9%
Black 2 11% 19%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1 1% 1%
Two or more races 2 0% 1%
Source: NYSED, 2011-2012
Source: 2 NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Limited English proficient 211%N/A8%
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 156%N/A43%
Source: 1 NCES, 2011-2012
Source: 2 NYSED, 2011-2012

Teacher experience

  This school District averageState average
Fewer than 3 years experience 7%N/A5%
Source: NYSED, 2011-2012

Teacher education levels

  This school District averageState average
Master's degree and above 42%N/A39%
Source: NYSED, 2011-2012

Teacher credentials

  This school District averageState average
Teachers with no valid teaching certificate 0%N/A0%
Source: NYSED, 2011-2012
The NYC Department of Education asked parents, teachers and students about their school's learning environment. Results provide insight into school climate, such as whether the school is academically rigorous, safe, communicative and collaborative. Learn more

The information captured by the survey is designed to support a dialogue among all members of the school community about how to make the school a better place to learn. An overall category score is calculated for each respondent group (parents, teachers, or students) by averaging the scores of the questions within that survey category.

Category scores for each of the respondent groups are then combined to form overall category scores. Alongside the results for each school are the aggregated results across all NYC public schools, which are provided as a basis for comparisons.

Learn more about the NYC DOE survey »Close
Based on 568 responses

This school provides ... 1

A safe and respectful environmentWhat's this?

This score measures whether parents, students and teachers feel that the school creates a physically and emotionally secure environment in which everyone can focus on student learning.

Close
 
This school
8.6
out of 10
 
City average
8.0
out of 10
 

Parents

This school

 
8.6
 

City average

 
8.4
 

Teachers

This school

 
8.6
 

City average

 
8.0
 
Clear, useful communication about educational goalsWhat's this?

This score measures whether parents, students and teachers feel that the school provides information about the school's educational goals and offers appropriate feedback on each student's learning outcome.

Close
 
This school
8.8
out of 10
 
City average
8.1
out of 10
 

Parents

This school

 
8.8
 

City average

 
8.5
 

Teachers

This school

 
8.8
 

City average

 
7.8
 
Strong parent, teacher and student engagementWhat's this?

This score measures how engaged parents, students and teachers feel they are in an active and vibrant partnership to promote student learning.

Close
 
This school
8.6
out of 10
 
City average
7.8
out of 10
 

Parents

This school

 
8.4
 

City average

 
8.1
 

Teachers

This school

 
8.8
 

City average

 
7.8
 
High academic expectations for all studentsWhat's this?

This score measures how well parents, students and teachers feel that the school develops rigorous and meaningful academic goals that encourage students to do their best.

Close
 
This school
8.6
out of 10
 
City average
8.2
out of 10
 

Parents

This school

 
8.4
 

City average

 
8.3
 

Teachers

This school

 
8.8
 

City average

 
8.1
 

Based on surveys from:

 RespondentsResponse rate
Parents524100%
Teachers44100%

12012-2013 New York City Department of Education School Survey

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School basics

School Leader's name
  • MS. ANNA KIRRANE

Resources

Extra learning resources offered
  • Title I Schoolwide program (SWP)
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5550 Riverdale Ave
Bronx, NY 10471
Phone: (718) 796-8965

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