This is a wonderful school! I came across it just by chance and had to go through great length to get my daughter into this zone - but the move was well worth it! The principal and his staff create such a warm and open atmosphere - acknowledging the strength not just of students but also of teachers and parents. Here are just a few of the many special opportunities: Kind & Gentle philosophy; 3rd graders get to write 5 minute plays which are performed by actors at a Broadway theater; 4th graders have a collaboration with Julliard - attending monthly concerts; the indoor swimming pool is part of phys ed; there are many workshops for children & their families focusing on poetry, math, architecture, and many other topics; the after school program offers a wide variety of programs, including hip-hop instructions that end in an incredible show; frequent workshops for parents to learn how to help children grow, ... and chickens in the school yard to learn about caring for animals and science. Of course nothing is ever perfect, but my daughter has been in a nightmarish school before coming to PS11 - the difference is like night and day!
I have a child in 2nd grade in the G&T program and a child in kindergarten in general ed. I couldn't be happier with this school. I feel both of my children are getting a well rounded education. The principal is a true leader who attracts outstanding teachers. I feel very lucky to have my children here. The only criticism is that the systems within the school office feel a bit antiquated and could use some upgrading to the digital age. They have made some strides this yr in this area but still have a ways to go.
CONSTANT HITTING AND TORMENTING. WHERE'S THE SUPERVISION??? Kids are getting banged up with metal lunch pails launched at each other's heads. But, there is NEVER a problem says admin.
I can't say enough great things about this school and it's staff. My son has been attending this school since Kindergarten. He is now in the 3rd Grade. His teachers have always been attentive, informative and extremely kind and patient. Mr. Bender is the best! I remember this school when I was a child (I never attended) and it wasn't the best learning environment. Mr. Bender changed all that dramatically! There are no lingering traces of what it used to be. This school has a pretty good emphasis on the creative arts, which I adore. Just yesterday my kids class were able to see plays they wrote re-enacted by actual actors in a theater on Broadway! My son and I are lucky to be a part of this school.
P.S.11 William T. Harris is a vibrant, culturally enriched school. My daughter is attending kindergarten G&T and it's very challenging for her. Her teacher is concerned about her progress and responds quickly to our emails and any concerns we have. The arts there are incredible and really sophisticated. The parents are fabulous. The toughest part is the long school bus commute from the upper east side which really takes a toll on my daughter. She's often too tired to do her homework (of which there is too much). Fortunately her teacher is understanding and has helped us figure out ways to adapt. I'm also glad to see there are a lot of kids coming from our neighborhood to P.S. 11 so we have plenty of friends in the neighborhood. Her teachers are on top of my daughter's progress, but I still wish she received more attention. All the families in the class are so fabulous, bright, interesting, and unpretentious. I love the fact that there is space and light at the school, much more than the other G&T programs we considered (NEST, Anderson, Lower Lab). Just wish there was more science for kindergarteners and there's no foreign language program.
The school is great! Like anything in life it is what you make of it that counts. My daughter enjoys going to PS11. The teaching staff is good. They use Columbia University Teachers College methods in reading, in which my daughter has responded very well to. She is learning time management and is transitioning better to changes that occur during the day. My daughter is learning to be a good person here.
Spitting, teasing, pushing, acting out. That's what my kid learned in PS 11's kindergarten CTT class. More than one parent openly talks about "a wasted year" for their child. The teachers never gave feedback on homework and the parent-teacher conferences were perfunctory. My kid's lunch box got thrashed and dragged around one day at recess. When I asked the assistant teachers about it, the response was, "We don't know what happened. We were watching the kids." Really? On the surface, everything is wonderful at this school.
Our daughter is just about finished with her first year @ PS11. We could not be happier with her teachers, the principal, staff, and most importantly, how much our daughter loves the school. The parents tend to be active, involved, and cool. Our daughter really developed her reading skills this year beyond our wildest dreams. Seeing her beaming smile each day after school has been quite a trip for us. Our only gripe is how inflexible the bus system is for kids who are from out of the zone, and how long and inefficient some of the bus routes are -- but that is not the school's fault. Overall, this is truly an excellent school. We stressed out a bit, like most parents, before choosing a K class for our daughter, but we could not be happier with this choice in retrospect.
To the parent who stated that the curriculum is the same for Gen Ed and G&T. You are incorrect. My 2nd grader iin G&T s coming home with the exact same worksheets that my 3rd grader in Gen Ed has. In G&T they learn multiplication, division and fractions exactly one year earlier than those in Gen Ed. I find that the Gen Ed teachers to do not push the students to learn at a higher level if they are capable. Instead, they all learn at the same pace. In the first half of theyear my Gen Ed student came home with only 1 math sheet of homework a night, my G&T student came home with at least an hour of homework a night. No, they do not go deeper into a subject - that's what ty say they do.
I would like to respond to the poster below who was concerned about the difference between Gen Ed and G&T; AT PS 11, as in all G&T programs within Gen Ed schools across the city, the curriculum is exactly the same across each grade level. Teachers plan their units together--G&T does not plan separate units. The only difference is that G&T may go deeper into the material, according to the kids' ability. As a PS 11 parent, I have been delighted by the quality of the education the kids are getting, and absolutely wowed by the amount of enrichment the principal has incorporated in the program--in every type of classroom, and at every grade level. I couldn't ask for a better school!
We could not be happier with PS11. We moved into the neighborhood years ago, long before we had kids, and cannot believe how fortunate we are that this is our zoned school. Bob Bender is the most amazing principal - the best i have seen. His authentic enthusiasm and love for the students is infectious - the kids respect him deeply and adore him wholeheartedly. The teachers are great, and we have been close with each of our son's teachers. Communication is open, parents feel welcome and are very involved, kids are happy and challenged. Joy and rigor are in beautiful balance. The school is a gem.
My children attend PS 11. I do love the school, however, there is a big divide between what the children in Gen Ed learn and those in G&T. I believe there is a wider gap in learning ability / speed in the Gen Ed classes than you have in G&T. Unfortunately, for those in Gen Ed who are brighter - but did not do as well on the G&T testing - they are languishing with a slower course of study. I would like the school to teach all children to the learning levels their ability allows. Also, a pet peeve - why don't children learn the Pledge of Allegiance or the Star Spangled Banner? The U.S. tax payer is funding these schools. I've had to teach my children at home - the fundamentals of being an American. Separation of church and state does not mean separation of state and state.
Extraordinary school with a devoted, caring and visionary principal. The diversity of the student body and their high level of performance speaks volumes of the school's ability to educate our children well regardless of their demographic profile.
We love PS 11! It's a warm community with a wonderfully enriched curriculum and a dedicated staff.
P.S. 11 is a lively, comfortable school and truly representative of the population of New York City. The teachers are warm and enthusiastic.
From DOE progress report, PS11 did better than 93% of public elementary school citywide. It has serious upward momentum, thanks to its dynamic principal, administrative staff and enthusiastic teachers
The best public school in NYC! Great principal, great teachers, great students and a pool. Who could ask for anything more.
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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.
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