Progressive - Finland / Finnish like education. Because grades are combined, a child who is a bit advance can sit in on the next year's curriculum, or if behind can sit in the previous year curriculum while staying at grade for the rest of classes...they also have on-site tutors. They use math manipulative e.g. blocks, tiles, charts and graphs. English is taught using both phonics and whole language e.g. they have to learn letter sounds and sounding out words, but also understand and infer meaning through context. Everyday has an art, gym, or music class. They have a ceramics rm, dance rm, yoga, library, computer rm, cooking rm and garden. They have a science teacher ! Projects and book publishing start in K / 1st grade. Some teachers are more relaxed, some more strict, and many in between. The hallways at drop off and pick up are chaotic, halls are narrow,...though, each child is greeted by the teacher and cannot leave the room without eye to eye contact as a measure of security. The building is old...though has a lot of window light. No elevator. Reading HW starts in K /1st grade. Spelling tests start in 1st grade.
We love ps3. When I say we I mean, my two kids who are happy to go there everyday and come back with enchanted stories, and me and my husband who know that every problem that we may have will be answered, that we are a part of a community, that we are respected and that we have a role to play in our kids' education. We were new in New York when we first arrived to PS3, and this school made us feel at home and welcome.
I have 2 children at PS3 and we have been very happy there. It is truly a warm, embracing and stimulating environment. We have had great teachers and they are different styles but all are able to really connect and work with the children to instill the basic skills they need while still instilling a love for learning. Yes they have some test prep since that is the name of the game now, it is too bad but seems unavoidable at this point. We have found the homework level appropriate. My one complaint is the class size as it is just hard for a teacher to give that many students the optimal level of attention and feedback. Homework is often only checked for being completed not for quality.
Our school is terrific! The academics are challenging in the best kind of way, the teachers and staff are extraordinarily dedicated, and the parent community works hard to support the school wherever it is needed. This is a school where community, innovation and independence are emphasized, and it shows in the confident, intelligent, curious and happy nature of the children who learn here. Couldn't be more pleased we chose PS 3!
This school is creative, messy, and wonderful for kids who don't need a lot of structure.
PS3 is a potentially great school. Strong teachers (we have consistently had academically strong teachers, except in one year where the teacher was problematic and most parents in the class agreed), involved parents, and a real focus on arts and creativity. Yes, they teach to the test but the teachers are dedicated to injecting creativity into doing so and seem to be given a great deal of pedagogical flexibility. PS 3's Achilles heel, however, is that it does not deal very well with children who fall outside of a very narrow band of learning style. The school has exhibited a remarkable laziness when it comes to these kids. If they cannot snap them quickly into shape, the child is a "problem" beyond their capacity to deal with and PS 3 turns its back quickly on these kids. Relatedly, the school deals quite ineffectively with bullying behavior; it has no school wide educational program on bullying and has shown no willingness to devote the resources to a less chaotic recess/lunch environment that is truly a free for all where kids get hurt. A huge deficit in its educational program, and part of educating the whole child, is teaching kids how to relate to one another with respect.
Love PS3! We have 2 children currently attending and can't say enough about this school. The love and compassion from the staff and teachers is exactly what you want for your children. The teachers teach for learning not to take a test. The students want to be there, the teachers want to be there and even the parents too. The school is always open and excepting of parental help. Parental involvement is high. The extra classes supported by the PTA are incredible: dance, music, art, clay, computers, library, creative movement, swimming. This school includes everyone. They go out of their way to make you feel apart of the school. A gem.
I have two sons currently attending PS3, one in first grade and one in fourth. We have been at the school since my older son started kindergarten and we have had an absolutely wonderful experience. Their teachers are caring and kind, and super attentive to their individual needs. My boys are very different in temperament and learning styles, and both are thriving at the school. Their teachers this year have been amazing for the boys' development, socially, emotionally, and academically. The parent community and the administration are both wonderfully enthusiastic, welcoming, and easy going, and always have the children's best interests as top priority. Both my kids are becoming wonderful writers, and my older son's math skills are exceptional. In addition to the strong academics, they get to participate in so many wonderful arts activities - architecture studies of the Village, an Alvin Ailey dance program, playwriting workshop, and cooking with a professional chef, just to name a few. We really couldn't be happier with our children's primary education.
PS 3 has been the best school a parent could ask for! My daughter is loved by all of her teachers which include her classroom teacher, music, clay, art, dance, games, library and computers. Plus, she's in the 1st grade and has had the privilage in a public school to do all of these things. The principal and vice principal run a tight ship, yet are loving and caring to all. Set in Greenich Village, the school still remains very special since there are many bridge classes which give a child to be a novice and then a mentor. As an educator in the private sector, I am so very proud to say my child knows how to read,solve math problems with ease, and enjoys the arts. The staff is tops and I recommend this school for all who are lucky enough to live in the zoned area.
We have two very happy kids enrolled at PS3 and we thank our lucky stars every day for the experience and education they receive there. (It s an added bonus that we don t have to go out of our neighborhood for a school like this - as the families are all neighbors, we experience a great sense of community, which is not always easy to find in Manhattan). The teachers, principals, and staff are top-notch and they have a wonderful curriculum that, as far as we have seen, teaches our kids to LOVE learning. Every day they share something new and exciting from school (which usually blows our mind, like the day our kindergartner pointed out and named an architectural detail on a building. How old are you again?!) Through the impressive arts program (music, art, movement, clay to name a few), the kids learn how to express themselves and discover and be comfortable with who they are (something we could have all used a little bit more of growing up, I would imagine!) The combined grades help the kids develop patience, understanding, generosity, and citizenship. The older ones help and model for the younger ones, and the younger ones pay it forward, It is a joyous and joyful school.
I totally agree. I am surprised by the negative comments posted. To the parent who wrote about her 2nd grader: "is capable of doing five digit multiplication as well as long and short division, all of which she learned at home", I ask, why? Why is it necessary to push your child to learn above age appropriate level? If you wish to do so then maybe home schooling is for you. PS3 is a child-centric, nurturing yet structured environment where critical thinking is considered more important than standardized test results. We love the entire PS3 community. The school has a wonderful culture and the parents are encouraged to be involved. There are plenty of families who could afford private education, but chose PS3 for what it is. Wonderful!
I like that at PS 3, you don't drop the kids at the door. Are allowed to volunteer for different parts of the day, including lunch/recess, cooking class, which really lends itself to the community I was looking for, for my daughter. This school has really surpassed my expectations. And maybe my experience at PS 3 is different but it is quite orderly, organized and the teachers, staff and administration really go out of their way. I feel truly lucky to be a part of this community and our first year isn't even over yet...
I'm a very happy parent of a Kindergartner this year at P.S.3. I am so surprised to see the reviews on this site about bullying. Since my kid is so young I haven't seen or known of such behavior at this school at all. I'm very involved and am routinely at the school volunteering and see a very inclusive and nurturing community between the children and the parents. I think that there is a wonderful balance between the principal and the asst. principal. Lisa and Regina are a wonderful team. My Kindergartener daughter is so confident at PS3 and is learning science, math, computers, music, art and movement. I absolutely love the teachers of this school and feel very much a part of the community. It is one that I feel the parents have every part to make a difference.
The upper grade Special ED. teacher is a nightmare! Doesn't teach, doesn't give HW!!! 2 yrs not one sheet of HW!!!! EVEN MY SON SAID WE WASn't GETTING AN EDUCATION!!!!!
I am very disappointed with PS3. The principal is a disaster. The academics are poor. Expectations are low. For example, my daughter, who is in 2nd grade (and has been at PS3 since Kindergarten) has been reading since she was four and is capable of doing five digit multiplication as well as long and short division, all of which she learned at home. When I met with her math teacher to find out why she wasn't being challenged, I was told simply: "2nd graders do not do multiplication." Pathetic! I also find it hard to believe that the showcase of students' work on the walls outside my daughter's classroom often contains examples that are rife with uncorrected errors.
A school above the average NYC school, no doubt. I have been disappointed in creative and academic reality of the school. My kid's in 5th grade graduating from a very different school from when he began there 6 years ago. The school has changed because it HAS to change in order to meet the requirements held out by the powers. There is mild resistance to the change. The school is way to populated to continue the progressive style of teaching that we once embraced. They need to address the sadly lacking music program. Kids who learn music outside school are fostered. My kid had to learn the xylophone (the only choice offered). Really, how many kids tell their parents they are interested in learning the xylophone? Exactly. There is absolutely no support for kids who get bullied and NO policy of disciplining those doing the bullying. There are very exciting new experienced teachers coming each year and they are wonderful. There are some truly unique experiences children have in the classroom. One teacher builds wigwams, another has the kids create a restaurant and run it. My kid got lost in the transition to mainstream school. Once the transition is complete I think it will be better
What's not to love? I've got a fourth grader who's been attending PS3 since there was a pre-K at PS3. If you want your creative child to have the freedom to spread his wings, there's room for that at the school and he'll be writing, drawing, singing/playing up a storm. If he needs more structure, you can get that, too, at PS3. Teachers now teach to the ELA et al for several months of the year but that can help any kid smooth out the kinks in grammar and spelling, and the math tests end up being a review for many of the PS3 kids. Additionally, we've seen that they've accommodated the kids who want to learn beyond their grade in math, and chess has taken a bigger role in the 3rd grade curriculum, as more PS3 kids compete at each Council Cup.
amazing teachers and staff, wonderful arts, dance, music, fantastic families. i feel so fortunate to have my kids at this unique and wonderful school.
It's all changing now - less diversity, less of the great open-minded philosophy. Some teachers are very creative in their methods, others are not. Some teachers are kind and nurturing, others are not. Principal is not. Lot's of community, parental involvement and great arts - clay, art (they are building their own schools) and dance. Music could use some help.
If you want your kid to go to school to have fun this is the place for you. Academically soft curriculum taught by many nice but uninspired teachers. Principle is a disaster. 2009/10 school starting to have serious overcrowding issues. Administration seemingly preoccupied with fund raising, marching/protests etc., with little focus on teaching. My kid loved the place though.
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