PS 87 has a pretty strong community with a few wonderful teachers. It ends there. The administration is simply awful. Claudia is an unprofessional presence and I cringe each time my daughter tells me another story describing her "crazy behavior". The guidance counselor is also known for giving parents minimal and sometimes misinformation.The principal is known throughout the community as one that will never take a stand. She feeds back platitudes and offers minimal to no help. She is, simply, incompetent. The school is grossly overcrowded with 29, 6 yr old 2nd graders to 1 overwhelmed teacher. Many teachers have considerable potential but they need clear direction and guidance. There is almost no academic consistency from one classroom to another and I hear the science teacher is so absolutely awful that the kids call him "the most boring human ever". One teacher is actually known for cursing at her students! This is where the principal needs to do her job...but she would rather not ever make waves. The only way one's "non gifted" child can thrive is to be supportive, send them for additional after school academic programing and tutor, tutor, tutor for that 4th grade test.
Thank god I don't work here any more. The staff here are just plain unkind to one another and treat eachother rudely. Meanwhile. they teach kids to respect one another! There are exceptions, of course, but they are in the minority. I'll give this school 3 stars because I know there are other schools that are even worse.
If I could give this school a rating of zero stars, I certainly would! The Principle, Monica Berry, is ineffective - she won't solve festering problems, all the while ignoring my emails and phone calls. If you walk into her office to speak with her, she'll always claim she's too busy. My daughter wears hearing aids in both ears and teachers must wear an FM unit so she can hear them. Throughout the school year, she has been bullied and pushed around by Noelia, a teacher and an attitudinal late room supervisor. Despite repeated attempts to reach out to the principle, nothing was done! Noelia has never bothered to wear the FM unit but yells at my daughter for not listening. How can you yell at a girl when she can't even hear you? Due to the fact that my daughter is able to read lips and facial expressions, she was able to tell me that Noelia curses and rolls her eyes at her - my daughter's feelings notwithstanding. Noelia doesn't even allow my daughter to eat in the late room, despite the fact that she openly snacks right in front of her. What kind of an example is she setting? I am totally disgusted at this point to send both of my girls to this institution that passes as a school.
This is a busy, joyful school that does its best to meet UWS parent expectations for an academically challenging and arts/culturally enriched program. Most teachers are dedicated, passionate and creative -- each in their own way. Most parents are giving, involved and dedicated members of the school community. And the kids are mostly bright, sweet, eager students. There are exceptions to all of the above (of course!). But in a school this big you are bound to come across a few less-than-impressive teachers, parents, kids. The school has made strides in recent years to better support kids with IEPs, in ICT, etc. - including the hiring of special ed coordinator. The classes are big, lunchroom is crowded and the auditorium gets noisy -- but this is a NYC public school. The experience for kids and parents, I think, mirrors real life: How can you make your voice heard? How can you get your questions answered? How can you make the most of a teacher who has a different style than yours? How can you focus in a classroom where there are kids of all abilities learning next to you? I highly recommend this school for families looking for well-rounded education in life and in academics.
Just saw the review below. I can't disagree, because these things are subjective and everyone is entitled to an opinion about his/her own experience. Having said that, my child has had a wonderful group of teachers over the years, and her two years in an ICT class (as a general ed student) were fraught with real-life lessons on empathy, tolerance and understanding Moreover, having the two teachers was a big bonus. The school is large (and indeed, the building is 60 years old), and the administration is subject to all kinds of criticism every time something aries that 600+ families don't all agree with. Yet I've seen a level of caring and compassion from everyone. From the principal to the APs to the office staff to the school security guard. Love this school, warts and all.
As a parent of a child with special needs, I was very disappointed. PS87 shows a lack of understanding about different learning styles. Let's start with the cafeteria which is hosts 150 kindergarteners for lunch. Would that overwhelm your child? No problem! PS87 will give your child noise-cancelling headphones so they won't be bothered by the noise. Nor can they interact with their peers. Wonderful. And the Parent Coordinator... sadly, when we asked about the OT gym, we were told that we *absolutely* could not see it. Her demeanor was as if she thought we wanted to gawk at the poor special needs children; perhaps she hadn't considered the fact that the children in question were just like OURS. The school literature says about the ICT classes (which are 60% gen ed, 40% special ed) "Children on the general education side are 'model' students they must model excellent behavioral and learning habits." Seriously? Do these kids get *nothing* else out of the experience of being with differently-abled peers? How about tolerance? Or empathy? Or maybe, just maybe, those special needs kids have *something* to offer. It's worth considering. So much more to say. So few characters allowed.
It's an excellent school, period (seems like a couple of bitter posters below, as the whole favoritism thing seems way off base for example...I've seen hyperinvolved kids/families assigned to the "lesser-reputation" teachers or shut out of popular afterschool programs all the time). But let's be clear -- the school suffers from the same maladies that NYC publics have been suffering from. Bare-bones funding means large classes (but not nearly as large as other schools frankly...kudos to the administration for its continuous and under-appreciated push to keep sizes more reasonable), lack of administration/staffing, downgraded arts/music programs, a shell of a library. Why can't NYC schools be the cathedrals of excellence that parents, politicians, administrators and teachers all seem to be demanding?
I am a PS87 parent. I've been a big fan of the school until recently when I've become quite disillusioned over how the class assignments are made. Every year, the same favored families get the choice teachers. It's become tiresome seeing this happen year after year. This is supposed to be a public school, not a two tiered system where the favorite families end up getting the better school experience.
I was a cheerleader for PS 87 for 2 1/2 years, great teachers... but the comments below are true. I think the school is running on 'laurels of yesteryear'. This year feels a waste. Most of the parents in my class can't wait till it is over, the teachers seemed to care about the test , and checking their email. Bullying is not handled expeditiously (to say the least). A general lack of citizenship is being tolerated by a few over indulged students, and it is sadly impacting the many.
There is a huge disparity in the quality of teaching at PS 87, with some very strong teachers and some extremely weak. The quality of the education a child receives completely depends on the teacher they have. If a teacher is week, children and parent are completely at their teacher s mercy. So far, this year has been lost school time for my child. There is no standard which school administration implements on teachers performance, which is very disturbing.
My parents attended PS 87, I did and so did my now 22yr and my 17yr old boys. I would say the last time I was truely happy with PS 87 as a whole was when Jane Hand was principal. "One Family Under The Sun". That's what PS 87 used to feel like, a family. Kids of all cultures, incomes and family compositions felt like they were welcomed. When my boys were there things started to change. I started seeing "cliques" among the parents. Teachers started having preferences with the children. We began to see more and more indifference among the teachers, staff, parents. And of course the community kids who grow-up in the area lost out to those who came in from England, France, Ukranine and Japan. My ethnic family has been a part of this community since the 1950s when it was mostly a Jewish/Cuban lower middle class community. We live literally accross the street from the school and my 4yr was not accepted into pre-k because "there were too many siblings of children already attending who got first choice". So why even have applications for people with no children currently attending apply? The why applications were being accepted is because they were being screened.
This school, throughout the years, truly has earned the description "One Family Under The Sun." The teachers put a lot of time and effort in, and they get to know and to understand each student very well. Learning is fun, and children are very involved in seeking answers to their questions and in the creative process. My daughter loves coming to school each day. Now, with leaps in technology, telecommunications, and connections with outside organizations, P.S. 87's community ventures into the future with the concept of "Classrooms Without Walls." It's a place where learning is exciting, and the day goes quickly.
P.S. 87 is a wonderful school with a rich history (since 1895). The administration and staff are hard working and the great majority of the teachers are wonderful. Our child has just left 5th grade having done very well on test scores and easily getting into the middle schools we applied to. With sometimes limited resources the school manages music, drama and other "cluster" programs. The PA is highly motivated and provide amazing concerts, events and enrichment programs for the children as well as funding other school resources. Thee afterschool program is award winning. As with any public school, to some extent what you get out of it depends on what you put into it -- we had a truly amazing experience at PS 87.
NY state & NYC have become hostile to those using the public school system and it has broken down schools like PS87. Over the years I ve watched funding decrease & the school deteriorate. Thankfully, the fundraising team helps by raising considerable dollars & many parents do their best to support the school. Despite efforts, the building is overwhelmingly crowded and the PA is politically untenable. The administrators view the parents with hostility and visa versa. This environment, filled with anxiety and tension, is due to weak leadership from the top (PA included) A more inclusive, transparent and supportive line of communication is in order, especially for working parents like myself who cannot attend meetings I hear that some teachers are amazing and academically challenging while our experience has been so weak we believe some teachers should be let go or properly managed. We even refer to 2010/2011 as our child's "lost year". Lack of communication from the teachers is also an extreme & common concern. Our principal should step in, but unfortunately this is where PS87 falls flat on its a- -.. Our child manages because we supplement with programs like Kumon & Mannes.
This school was bad when i was there they caught kids smoking in the bathroom. Think do you want your child here
The school is taking a turn for the worse. The administration and the new guidance counselor are ineffective. Now we are contending with a Fifth grade teacher who doesn't teach and is clearly not in control of his classroom. The teacher is so bad (no lesson plans, relys on the student teacher to teach, demands that children be a part of the parent teacher conference in what appears to be a way to deflect responsibility from the teacher) that parents have asked for their children to be switched out of his classroom. The administration are failing to address the matter in a satisfactory manner. Add to the equation that these are families applying to middle schools. The teacher has no information about the process and there isnt school-work to be compiled into portfolios unless you wish to submit scholastic handouts and an ungraded writing notebooks, and you have an environment that is rife with tension. Supplementing the curriculum is not enough, outside tutors to teach kids the 5th grade curriculum is a must at this point. Thank goodness the parents do work together to problem solve in the absence of leadership.
Strong parent involvement and exceptional fundraising enable the teachers to raise PS 87 up to a satisfactory level. The school is overcrowded with many out-of-catchment kids causing the school to drop the instrumental music program and science lab. Most parents supplement their children s education with additional outside after school programming. It is apparent that the new principal lacks the confidence and social ability to walk the halls, visit classrooms and interact with parents. It is such a pervasive problem that many parents complain she does not even respond to requested group or individual meetings. Instead, much is delegated to the unrefined and ineffective vice principals. Given NY s plethora of talented educators and administrators those women should all feel lucky to be employed. You can still make this public school work for you child if you supplement the curriculum with music, math and science.
I have to agree with a prior post regarding Monica Berry's lack of communication with parents. I had emailed and called her several times and never got a phone call in return. It is a sad statement and gives strong evidence that there is a lack of professionalism. The school is grounded in much of the work that parents do. It is a shame to shut them out. I had expected more from an educational leader.
New principal Monica Berry has a few cheerleaders--but to the rest of the population, she is essentially invisible. She does not respond to, or even acknowledge, parent emails, letters, or phone calls. Questions about her plans or decisions are deleted from the school's Yahoo group. She does not visit classrooms. She does not walk the halls. She does not attend class, grade, school, parent, or community events, no matter how important. This is new in my 5 years as part of the PS87 community. She is the first principal that has not only made no effort to be a part of the community, but seems to actively avoid it. It's a growing concern that parents have no way to address or discuss, due to the aforementioned lack of participation/accessibility on her part, and the censoring of the Yahoo group and PA meetings on the subject. (Meetings that she doesn't attend.)
PS 87 is an amazing community, with a wonderful principal in Monica Berry. Though it has been a bit of a struggle recently with overcrowding, the school has not failed to provide each student with the best education available in New York City. It is a model of what a great public school can accomplish.
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