My son has been at PS 38 since pre-K and in G&T since K. He is now in 5th grade. In those 7 years we have 6 teachers, who were at least very, very good, and a couple who were really remarkable. No, I am not a big fan of the administration, but the administration forms such a minor part of the school experience. What has been much, much more important to his intellectual development and emotional well-being have been those 6 teachers, small (sometimes very small) classes, a remarkable music program (which to give credit where credit is due, the administration built with help from the PTA), and a student body is that is warm, friendly and diverse. Really diverse, as in looks like NYC, not diverse as in there are a few students who don't look like my kid. A small, but passionate PTA, growing in strength and sophistication, has abetted a steady stream of increasingly positive developments over our 7 year tenure. We have friends whose children attended several of the schools in the area that spring to mind more quickly when "good schools" are listed. I think PS 38 and the education my son received there compare favorably with those other schools.
Sure there is "a lot going on" at PS 38 but what is going on is not that impressive compared to other local schools. The administration is painful to deal with and keeps the School from being all it can be. I do not recommend this school and say that with sadness because the teachers and families are great but the Principal and Assistant Principal and some of the admin are not unless you completely agree with them all of the time. It is their way or the highway and you will be shown the highway when you become a threat to them with your ideas which is why so many parents leave after a year or two (case in point - 3rd grade G&T class dropped 9 kids during the year!) Some parents get so desperate they put their kids in private school mid-year just to get out of there! PTA is tiny compared to neighboring schools - a real struggle to get anything done though a few passionate parents always seem to hang in every year. That being said, if you find your child there you will survive and your child will have some great teachers and nice friends along the way.
This is our second year with PS 38 and I am thrilled with the academic achievements, the caring teachers and the welcoming administrative staff. There are small class sizes across all grades; which allows the teachers to dedicate their time to answer and foster inquisitive minds and truly made the classes thrive. The staff works wonderfully together on integrating cross curricular activites, amazing field trips. As both a mother and a teacher I know firsthand the benefits of small class size. As a teacher you are better able to interact, rather than crowd control and give busy work. They have covered lovely course work, projects, school performances, wide variety of after school enrichment classes to choice from and fun field trips. For any parent considering P.S. 38, there is a palpable and unique energy, which can be seen in the devotion of the teachers, the heart-felt administrative staff including Ms. Yolanda and Ms. De Anna and the PTA. I am looking forward to 2nd grade and my younger son to enter their pre-k program. Many thanks to all of you who have had a hand in my little one's education and making it such a positive experience for the whole family.
My son is in the G&T program here. He likes it very much. So much of the value of the program lies with the other kids in the program, and it's a great, diverse, engaged, very bright group of kids. The K teachers were amazing. Committed beyond the call of duty. The in-school programs to expose the kids to music and art and dance and computers, etc are very good. The administration seems to be typical of a NYC PS, in other words, generally lackluster. That's where the involved parents come in. We have some spectacular parents involved in the school, to whom I am forever grateful (my job keeps me from being one of them). Small as it seems, our current complaint is the awful food, but I think that's no different at other PSs.
My son is in 1st Grade at PS 38 in the G&T program and I love the school. He is very smart and loves to learn but last year when he was in GenEd K at a different school, it was boring for him. Now, he comes home everyday excited about what he is learning and looking forward to more. That is greatly in part to his amazing teacher Mrs. Richard. She makes learning fun, while continuing to challenge. Mrs. Richard was new to PS 38 this year but it is no accident that they found her. Ms. Yolanda, the school's principal, is very committed to finding warm, encouraging and dedicated teachers. She does not hire just anyone so we end up with truly amazing teachers. Music, Art and Dance are a big part of the school. Including, the Noel Pointer Foundation teaching music and Mark Morris Dance program. The PTA is great and has done amazing things, including after school Enrichment Programs, that have a small fee but a very wide range (sports, chess, music, creative arts). Coming from out of district I was expecting to feel like an outsider, and that is not the case at all. The parents and staff are incredibly welcoming. I am proud to be a part of the PTA and have a voice in my child's education.
The G&T Teachers are great but the administration is painful to work with. The Principal is a huge problem but seems to be protected by people she knows in the DOE - many parents are unhappy but complaints about her always fall on deaf ears. The parent coordinator is unresponsive. The assistant Principal is unfriendly and we still can't figure out what she does at the school. It is as if the Principal surrounds herself with people she can control. On the plus side, the PTA president is very friendly and has done a great deal for the school. He is well liked by all kids and parents. However it seems he is not able to stand up to the Principal when challenges do not put the Principal in good light making it difficult to get things done. Overall, the Principal has a serious lack of leadership and follow-through, especially compared to Principals at other local schools. At one point the Principal even intimidated teachers not to speak up - see NY Daily News article about Yolanda Ramirez. All in all, a frustrating experience with PS38 administration. Sorry to put all this out there but we would want to know if we were looking into elementary schools.
My son has been in Pre-K at PS 38 since September and he LOVES it. The teachers are wonderful. The children seemed to feel at home from day 1. There are many affordable after school programs on offer even for the pre-k kids. There seems to be a good balance of play based learning as well as skill based and the lego room is wonderful. I cannot speak yet as regarding administration or other aspects of the school but so far we are very happy with PS 38.
We have been at PS 38 since K (G&T). We came into a class community that we fell in love with (kids & parents). The teachers have been excellent. An incredibly couple have given all to building an outstanding PTA. Over the last 3 years, enrichment pgms/after school offerings are second to none... violin, guitar, dance, cooking, spanish, soccer and more. Truly PS 38 is becoming a school of the arts with dance & recording studios, stellar art pgm, chorus and dance troop. Academically we could not have been happier. Ms. Yolanda is always present. We did torture her a bit when we had an issue with another student's behavior; she never lost patience or love for us. The staff is supportive and we have seen big love at PS 38 when there have been families in need. Our daughter won her 1st prize this year for an academic contest. The PTA came in and added a prize on top. Kids in her class cried. I cried that they all love each other so much. Big thanks to the PTA Pres Chris Brown, the incomparable Ms. Padilla, the teacher aids that know all our kids by name, Mr. Hassan who coddles us nervous parents, and Ms. Yolanda and Ms. DeAnna for fostering an atmosphere of family.
Diverse, lively, engaging, enriching, progressive, an agent of change... Just a few of the terms that come to mind when describing P.S. 38 (The Pacific School) in Brooklyn. The school has undergone a transition over the past few years, a dramatic improvement thanks to new leadership and a growing faculty coupled with partnerships with outside organizations like the Mark Morris Dance Center, Studio in School, Mighty Milers and others. These enrichment programs open up new worlds to children, many of whom live below the poverty line, eve though the PTA raises a fraction of the money its better off neighboring schools are able to raise. Yet the principal manages to do more with less, fostering a safe and nurturing environment for kids from all backgrounds. One of 38's greatest strengths is its diversity. Students come from a variety of socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. They are constantly learning from each other. But P.S. 38 needs help! Computer upgrades, a librarian, basic classroom supplies, school yard renovations, a dance floor... Please show these wonderful children that they are every bit as deserving as their better off neighbors and award them with one of your grants.
Sad to see that some people take the time to trash someone else's work, especially (and thankfully for the current parents of 38) when they don't even belong to the school community! ps38, as every public school in the area, has its good things and things that need to improve. My experience as a parent of a g&t student for the last 4 years has been incredible; the teachers are excellent (and several of them are in the list of the best teachers of ny); they have a music program with their own composition studio, the african drums classes, guitar, violin, chorus, after school enrichment classes and their own dance company. Plus art classes that are offered by Studio-in-a-school (moma). ah! and all these plus small size classes! that the administration needs improvement? sure it does, but I don't sent my child to this school because I fully agree with the principal! My daughter goes to ps38 because she's getting a good challenging diverse education with excellent teachers and a great group of friends. the administration doesn't make the school, the good teachers do.