Ughhh. Great scores. Some very talented teachers. But a nasty, rude staff. Most of whom act as if they secretly wish they worked in a private Catholic school in the 50's where they could yell at children and whack them with a ruler for bad behavior. It's utterly bewildering that these people have opted for a job or profession working with children when they appear to hate them so much and have no tolerance for kids acting like kids. The front office is run by a woman who yells at parents and kids. The after school is run by a woman who yells at parents and children. The lunch staff screams if kids are too noisy but ignores bullying by older kids and aggressive physical behavior by the younger kids in the playground. The principal puts up with this and in fact models it. Rude, entitled and judgmental staff. Talented teachers and amazing parents compensate for such a poorly run and uncaring administration.
If you want a competitive environment that is as good as a Private school if not better, then PS 158 is your School. The Principal is great,however, she does not suffer fools, so don't expect hugs over nonsense, the staff is amazing but also will not coddle you.From the guard that greets you in the morning to the teachers, PS 158 is formidable.They are kind and attentive to each student, they mix discipline and love in a way that conveys more a vocation rather than a job in Education.If you are lucky enough to have your child attend the Pre-k there, they will be reading and writing by the time they graduate and go to Kindergarden.Very grateful to have such a wonderful school. The PA is fantastic as well.
If you want your child to be bullied and made to feel insecure in a learning environment, then this is the place for you. The principal is a bully, the teachers are bullies and the children are too. Parents bully each other and even other children. It all starts from the top and trickles down. The principal only cares about state test scores. She doesn't care about children or creating a loving, nurturing, comfortable learning environment for them. The principal, teachers and office staff create a hostile and uncomfortable learning environment. I'm sure some of the teachers are very good but they can't perform to their full potential because they are bullied by the principal and feel threatened that if they don't follow her rules they will be fired. From day one of the academic year it has been nothing but TEST PREP. My child has learned nothing all year but 'how to take a state test'. The Parent Association is involved and they raise a lot of money for the school. There needs to be a complete re-haul of this school before any more tax-payer's money is wasted. I'm very disappointed in our experience at PS 158.
Pros: My Kindergartener's reading level has soared near second grade level. However even with a seemingly rigorous reading program 3rd grade 2013 ELA scores are not that high. Cons: Differentiated instruction for strugglers is good but weak for accelerated learners especially in math. We have repeatedly requested more challenging math instruction but response has been lackluster. It seems as though the school wide policy is that no one student should outshine another. Perhaps thats why there is not a G&T program in place although Upper East Side has the highest percentage of qualifiers. PS 158 is weak in arts, music, & PE as students receive it only 1x per week. Hardly enough time for anything meaningful. Recess is only 20 minutes long and during inclement weather children watch cartoons indoors! You would think such a highly regarded school would come up with something more enriching! The after school is overpriced for what it actually is. Also, PS158's morning drop-off policy is unfriendly to working parents. There is no supervised breakfast program. Not everyone has the resources for a nanny!
Fantastic school. My child is very happy in PS158 and is thriving. I am impressed with the quality of education, and leadership. Anyone desiring more cultural experiences for their children and exercise should take them to the museums and parks after school, on weekends and holidays. That doesn't make or break the school. There are many extra curricular activities already offered.
Great school. Our daughter has been attending PS 158 for 2 years now and we could not be happier. The education is excellent, much better than some private schools when comparing skills of same-age children, the communication is very good and the PA very active. The school environment is very pleasant and the staff is very friendly when you are polite with them, which may not be the case of some parents. We feel the kids are safe and respected. And I agree with the previous review: it is the role of the parents to take their kids to the museums, parks and other cultural activities during the weekends and holidays. The school should not be blamed for that.
Can a young boy or girl have a good education and a so-so 'childhood' experience? Are they mutually exclusive? That is the challenge at PS 158 and, if you are willing to risk your kid's experience as a child, then go right ahead to PS 158. Speak to the children and you will learn many of them could not tell you where the Met or the Guggenheim are located. Ask them if they can run in the play yard. Ask them how often they go on a 'class trip' 1/2 block away to John Jay park or to Central Park? Sadly, tragically, some of them do not even know these are choices and are important to experience. Parents, these things are important for kids to experience. And please stop being an apologist by stating that geez, there are 700 kids and grades are good so they must be doing a good job. It is a false choice. There are many shades of gray and a good, thoughtful leader (principal) always strives to maintain a balance between extremes. Is Zero tolerance sound in practice? Read, and you will learn it fails. Congratulations to the school for its good scores but, at what cost. Keep in mind, it is the UES with high parent involvement and low poverty so, keep the scores in context.
This school is run very well. The no tolerance policy for bullying and bad behavior is enforced for the benefit of all. I find it comforting to know the staff is tough enough to address issues effectively and efficiently. The curriculum is strong and as good as the private school my child was in previously. The PA is very dedicated and does an amazing job.
I have 2 kids at this school and we love it! The principal is great with the curriculum and the kids, and perhaps the review below is for the wrong school.
The PA raises quite a lot of money for the school but they come across as very eager for money too! The principal is dismissive and unfriendly. Dropoff is not done in the safest way and you would never see the principal or the security guard at the gate when many parents have to drop their children off in the yard and run to work. There is more focus on the state tests and less on children's overall development. Your child will learn the basics but do not expect any enrichment. Arts, PE, music and science are very weak. Needless to say, we are no longer at PS158 and we are much happier now!
We have one child, a first grader, here at this school. The best thing about this school are the teachers--they are all top notch--In our opinion, this is very important. The teachers work really hard to not only teach what they have to but also to make school inviting and fun. Much of the money raised by the PA goes to keeping teachers up on their skills--also something we completely support. My child is so lucky to also have kids from all over the world attend school with him. International Night is outstanding--parents showcase countries they are from or are interested in--there are too many count! The after school program is also very good--my son has enjoyed classes such as baseball and multi-sports. There is something for everyone and its really reasonably priced. We are very happy at this school and every time we think about moving away from the city, we think twice because we want our younger child to be able to attend PS 158.
I have two children at this school and we love it. The teachers are outstanding and the administration has a clear vision on goals and curriculum...and they are willing to make the tough decisions to remove ineffective staff (which of course creates controversy, but in my opinion keeps the teaching levels consistently high). The children are safe, happy, and we are very satisfied.
this is a great school that gets a lot of flack because it is big and has an effective but demanding PTA . My granddaugher needed some special attention, got the whole schools attention and is now doing excellent . The extra reading and after school progams are great . The kids, teachers , parents and administration are all enthusiastic and it just spreads . They seem to strike a great balance between discipline , education and creatvity .
We are so excited to send our little girl into the 1st grade at this school. Her K year was outstanding and her teacher was terrific. I find many of the support staff to be very helpful, though they are often quite busy. I think the principal runs a no-nonsense tight ship; however, she has been very helpful when I've needed to call upon her. My daughter LOVES school. Oh yeah, the PE teacher and after school program Tai Kwon Do teacher are both awesome, too.
GREAT SCHOOL..TEACHERS AND STAFF ARE UNDER A LOT OF PRESSURE WITH TEST SCORES. UNFORTUNATELY, A GOOD EDUCATION IS ONLY DETERMINED BY TEST SCORES IN TODAYS WORLD. I HAVE ALSO WITNESSED PARENTAL ATTITUDES TOWARD STAFF AND IF YOU ARE GETTING ATTITUDE FROM STAFF, YOU NEED TO SEE WHAT YOUR GIVING IN RETURN. MY FRIENDS AND I HAVE FOUND THEM NOTHING BUT CARING AND RESPONSIVE.
My children have been in the school from 1st grade to 4th grade now and graduating next year. I am very happy and I feel blessed to be able to send my kids to this wonderful school. They are getting a great elementary education.
The teachers are great. The community of parents is wonderful. The principal is very bad. Although she seems to do a good job focusing on test scores, she is a terrible communicator with parents and has managed to alienate many of us with her often rude and offensive style. The school does not thrive because of her. It thrives despite her. If she could just get past her defensiveness or whatever it is that drives her inappropriate and counterproductive behavior, she would probably see that just a little effort to demonstrate respect for the concerns of parents would go a long way.
The teachers are wonderful and focused on the children's future. The children receive a complete education plus extras like art, music and after school activities.
my daughter loves going to school everyday and learning, what could be better than that!
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