Our child was not prepared for the rigors of middle school, nor did our child's test results reflect their learning in class. In fact, during one of the Common Core standardized tests, the fourth grade teacher walked around the testing room and suggested that students reconsider their answers!
PS 9 has potential that hasn't been reached yet. Most of the teachers are hardworking and some have to deal with challenging conditions like large class size (30+) and not many resources. Each of my child's teachers has had to use Donors Choose to get basic supplies like books for the classroom. There is diversity in the school but the classes on each grade end up being quite segregated. The dual language classes are predominately white while the general ed and special ed classes are predominately students of color. The gifted classes are the most diverse. The administration has been a disappointment. They are disorganized and give lip service to some legitimate parent concerns. I think this school works well for some families but it hasn't been so great for us. The arts programs are mostly in the classroom led by outside arts organizations. There is no art or music teacher.
Our child has been a student at PS 9 since First Grade, and we have been somewhat happy with the experience. The G&T class is the only diverse class in each grade. A great deal of time has been set aside from inquiry to prep the kids for the Common Core tests, and one gets the sense that the school is struggling to make the grade. The middle school options are not great, and the school does not have any record of placing students in notable middle schools. Everyone wants the school to succeed but several of its best teachers have left in the past two years. One fifth grade parent asked the teacher who taught their child in the third and fourth grades for a middle school recommendation, and the teacher refused.
My child is a 3rd grader and has been a student since pre-k. It's a good neighborhood school with a warm, friendly environment, varied curriculum, and an energetic & diverse community. It has a core group of parents who have been strong advocates for the school. The school's potential - which is that to Park Slope's 321- has not yet been realized in my opinion. The adminstration/teachers have many good qualities but need to do more to meet the demands of a changing neighborhood that has put a greater focus on improving the school's environment & academics. The principal has been too loyal to long-time employees that are not dynamic enough to keep up with the school's growth. The neighborhood - home owners, real estate companies & local businesses - are also somewhat to blame as it has been a bit slow to realize that a thriving PS9 is good for the community. They need to contribute far more to the school than they are currently doing. Too many homeowners of 2-3 MM homes do not send their kids here nor contribute to the school financially. The DOE has not been a friend to PS9 either and certainly has caused the school stress right at the time that it was beginning to grow & excel.
I am very pleased and happy with P.S.9. My children love it. They are very engaged and enjoy going to shcool everday. Only one draw back, I wished the class size was much smaller. Overall though excellent school definitely recommend for your little ones.
My daughter is beginning her second year at PS 9. We have absolutely enjoyed their attention to the whole child. The school is a community where everyone is able to participate and interact with one another. Parents lend their gifts and talents to the success of the school. Teachers learn the kids and positively interact with them regardless of which class or grade they are in. My daughter is in the dual language program and is thriving both academically and bilingually. The open door policy of the principal is because she genuinely cares about everyone in her community. My son went to private school K - 12 and I honestly did not feel the interconnection and thriving community connection that I now feel with PS 9 with any of the schools he attended.
We are extremely happy with PS 9. Our son is in 2nd grade, and absolutely loves it. He has had terrific teachers and is reading above his grade level. The PTO is very active, and the community is invaluable. I do wish the school had more money to help enhance the teacher to student ratio. We need more TAs and substitutes.
PS9 is the epitome of what a neighborhood public school should be. It's a nurturing place that cares about its children and its families and provides a strong foundation to the neighboring community. There are other schools around that may have fancier programs or certainly better funding, but this place is ours -- we love it and it loves us back. I have two boys attending the school and they are happy to get there every single day. The parents and teachers and administration all work together, with egos and other agendas laid aside, to do the best they can do for the children and the strength of the community as a whole.