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GreatSchools Rating

Paula Hedbavny School

Public | K-8 & ungraded | 529 students

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 4 ratings
2013:
Based on 9 ratings
2012:
Based on 10 ratings
2011:
Based on 1 rating

Teacher quality

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Parent involvement

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30 reviews of this school


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Posted May 2, 2014

When we first started thinking about schools several years ago we didn't even know 278 existed. But here was this rising, well-respected school right in our area, and we chose it over several other options. We've been very happy with our experience so far. The school is now quite popular (one of the only schools in all of Upper Manhattan to have a waitlist) and for good reason. Wonderful teachers, attentive administration, art and music.... The shared cafeteria and gym with PS 18 do present some challenges but the combination of the two schools also works positively for things like menu and the unusually good auditorium. If you are considering attending and want to learn more than you've seen on the tour, don't sit on 220th St and focus on the industrial surroundings or plain schoolyard. (The outside of the school is admittedly less attractive than many.) You won't see any of the kids on those blocks outside of school hours. The actual heart of the school on evenings and weekends is Isham Park, in the middle of the school's zone and where many of the students play off-hours. And of course the spacious and well maintained inside of the school is very much up to par.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 14, 2014

My son is in Kindergarten with Ms. Paynter. We could not be happier with our choice of school or teacher than we are right now. Ms Paynter manages all of the distinct personalities of the kids with a cheerful and sunny demeanor. The children are engaged and excited about learning. Parents have seemingly unlimited opportunities to participate actively i the curriculum. She provides frequent updates via email and a photo website so we always know what the kids are working on. The school itself is about as close to a parochial school style as a public school can get. In a neighborhood with a wide range of income levels I appreciate the uniform policy. The principal, Mrs. Guido, is a very "firm but fair" type and the kids seem to thrive in the structured environment. The PTA is extremely strong and provides parents with one more way to participate in the education process. The school offers music, dance, arts and other creative outlets in world class fashion. The lunch menu has me jealous of my son's choices. I wish they had more opportunity for physical play, but this seems to be a universal component of schools under pressure to improve test scores. Overall, we love PS/MS 278.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 2, 2014

My school PSMS 278 is a strongly community oriented. The arts, dance and music classes are strong part of the curriculum. Parents and students are actively involved in the school life and future. Teachers, principal and vice principal are extremely responsive to students' needs.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 12, 2014

So far so good! My daughter is in Kindergarten with Ms. Paynter....amazing teacher! I wish all teachers can be like her. My daughter is enjoying her Kindergarten experience which includes art, music, and dance. So far, I'm happy! I will review again at the end of the year. Thank you Ms. Paynter !!!! :)
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 5, 2013

A three star rating is a generous one. My son has been in here for several years and we have had our share of problems and some positive moments too. Kinder and first are definitely the strongest grades, and others need serious attention. The teachers are not engaged with the parents, and do not provide any updates of student progress other than the couple of parent teacher conferences. The school does have strong extracurricular and arts, which helps and the principal does seem to fight for as much funding as she can. There is a band of PTA parents who discredit any parents who voice concern. I have seen and heard it first hand. This school would do a lot better if the PTA and principal were more open to hearing feedback and address those concerns, rather than ignore them. They should also encourage the teachers to provide more updates to parents on student progress.


Posted October 1, 2013

I agree. I am a parent of a second grader at the school and, while, academically things were not that bad, the teachers were not responsive and able to catch students' attention. Third grade is fun again. Hang in there.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 8, 2013

is the best school in the area. However i will like to receive more individual information about child progress. i love the extracurricular activities dance , art, theater , book fair, bake sale family dinner walkathons many things. the only ASPECT FOR IMPROVEMENT i have about this is that sometimes teachers are not as motivated as kids k-5 need teachers to be. The only teacher i can vouch for is Ms. Painter 1st year in the school and she is awesome.... i wish she was my teacher when i was in school i wish is was the teacher for all my kids. but unfortunately my daughter is above K already. The old teachers should teach older kids... And brand new teachers that haven't been bit down by system should teach younger kids. Lets face it... if the first experience of a child is great at least the first years he will continue to be motivated. the school is clean organize , they really know how to set parents straight - if your kid is miss behaving - hey i don't mind who you know he is miss behaving and that needs to be addressed. I like discipline and in this school the security guard is sweet but he even disciplines me. is great ... :D
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 4, 2013

We love PS/MS 278! I never thought my kids could get such a well rounded education from a NYC public school. But 278 has it all, strong focus on academics in addition to music, art, dance and opportunities for hands-on experiential learning. Thanks 278.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 13, 2013

This is a school where the Principal really cares about the school, teachers and students!
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted June 6, 2013

This is one of the most improved schools in the city and the principal is extremely pro-active and very involved in the school. We have our oldest son in Kinder this year and his teacher Ms Paynter is phenomenal. We get great communication from the teacher and the school frequently. The extra curriculum (Music, art and dance) is wonderful especially with all the cuts in public school. The school got an A from the NY board of education for two years in a row and the student's ethnicity is a great mixture. The school deserve a 9 at least and this website need to update it's information by pulling the test results from the NY department of education. Great school!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 6, 2013

PS/ MS 278 ROCKS! The students are great and very respectful. The parents are very supportive. And the staff is amazing and dedicated!
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted June 6, 2013

Great teachers. Super elementary school program. Strong community and neighborhood support. What a great surprise in upper Manhattan.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 6, 2013

My son is in kindergarten this year and I just love this school. He has a speech problem, so when he enter the school he wasn't talking much. He now practically can have a conversation with any body and is always looking forward to go to school. I love how the staff all know the kids and are always helpful. His teacher is the best and I couldn't have asked for a better teacher for him. She always communicates with us threw email and always has us involved in any activity that she does with the kids.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 30, 2012

I am very happy with PS 278, my son is in II grade and doing excellent! The school has a rich curriculum, an art and music program and a warm environment. As a parent, I believe success in your children education is a 50/50 effort and I found in PS 278 the tools I need to provide a safe and stimulating environment for my son. I am mostly grateful for the tireless effort of the parents involved in the school and Ms Guido whom I think is a wonderful and dedicated Principal. PS 278 is a real gem in our neighborhood.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 30, 2012

We have two children attending PS 278 and are very happy with the school. There was a time when we weren t sure about raising our children in the city when they reached school age , but due to the wonderful experience we've had at 278, we have stayed. In the 278 School Community, our children see dedicated Moms and Dads from all walks of life working at the Bake Sale, Book Fair, Cancer Walk etc. and they see first hand what it means to be part of a community. They see the staff and families not only in school, but at the playground, in the grocery store, at functions outside the school, and it strengthens their feelings of belonging. To me that is such an important lesson. Even in this big, loud, sometimes tough as nails city, we have carved out a little slice of small town life. On top of all that, they are challenged academically and exposed to so many incredible programs Music, Art, Theatre, Dance. In the same month one of our children attended a concert with Natalie Merchant at the 92nd St. Y, the other a concert at Carnegie Hall - not too shabby! I think with every school, there will be bumps along the way, but for us, 278 has been a terrific experience. C. Leonardo
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 29, 2012

Kindergarten can be a very tough transition for a child and for their parent. However, as adults, we should be mature and realize it is wrong to generalize a whole school by one's own experience. To say that "People are being pushed out of Inwood because of this particular school" is a ridiculous comment! There are so many schools in Inwood to choose from - try another school if you want. Maybe if people have had issues with the local daycare and now the school they need to take a look at what the continual issue is. I for one am extremely pleased with 278. My teacher is warm, kind and comunicative. I get calls from the school about events and notices sent home. No school is perfect. I have friends with children at Muscota, Amistad, 178, Washington Heights Academy and even Anderson - all have things they love and things they do not like and would change - but they don't disparage the entire school. At 278 there are a lot of wonderful dedicated families committed so please don't speak for everyone when many wonderful families ARE staying. We love the music program, the dance program, the 92nd street Y relationship, the SEM prgram, etc.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 29, 2012

I completely disagree with your review of the school. The school goes above and beyond what it needs to do to communicate to all of the families. Unfortunately, this is NYC and their are lots of different kids with lots of different issues. You seem to have your facts quite wrong. My child, Patrick is a 1st grader and has had a wonderful learning growth curve at this school. Not to say that the road hasn't been bumpy but I am not under a cloud of delusion. I am also proud to post my name to this because being passive aggressive is a trait I am not fond of. Marcee Deegan
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 29, 2012

Bearing in mind that this is a NYC Public School, we have been happy with the experience thus far. Anyone who would think they would be going into this experience not expecting bumps in the road is delusional. Communication - anytime we have needed response from the teachers, we have received it. If I have called the school, I receive a call back the same day or next. A request for a conversation or meeting has always been accommodated. We have received consistent communication as well from the school & PTA. Email we are a title 1 school, there are a great number of families who are not able to use email which means we would be excluding them from communication. That is not fair to them, is it? As long as I get a response, I do not care if it is via email or on a piece of paper. In 1st grade (remember, KG IS optional) the reading criteria is tough! The DOE this year has even increased the year end goals. I will not discredit the entire institution for occasional unsatisfactory things that are happening in his class alone. Dealing with difficult children and their families is the way this goes. Understandably, not everyone is up for that challenge. Danielle Floyd
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 29, 2012

I would like to address some key points that have been criticized: 1) We have ALWAYS received response back from the teacher/school so your attempt to apply this to the school as a whole is inaccurate. 2) Every time we have had issues the school has dismissed the child early and attempted to notify the parent. What are you expecting them to do? Welcome to NYC public school! 3) As the parent of a kindergartner you clearly have NO concept of how intense the reading is for the DOE curriculum. KG is OPTIONAL and the core curriculum does not enter the picture until 1st GRADE! 4) We are in CONSTANT communication with our teachers and ALWAYS receive communication back from them. The school still has a majority of families that are on or below poverty level and DO NOT HAVE ACCESS to email. Who cares if the response comes back on paper as long as there IS a response! 5) As for the statement of the school itself driving families out of the neighborhood that is just a futile attempt to smear this school s reputation and is just plain ignorant. Everyone knows there are multiple public school options as well as parochial. Glad you are moving on.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 29, 2012

The opposite is true regarding driving parents out of the school and neighborhood. PS/MS 278 is continually adding children from other local schools into grades 1-8. I do not know any parents at any of the other area schools who have children that left 278 dissatisfied. Have people left the neighborhood who have left the school? - Of course they have. Is the school perfect and right for every child and parent? Of course it's not, but bad mouthing the school, out of spite, here or anywhere else in social media or cyberspace is in poor taste. Matt O'Shea
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

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.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 32% in 2014.

53 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
29%

2013

 
 
49%

2012

 
 
50%
Math

The state average for Math was 42% in 2014.

53 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
32%

2013

 
 
38%

2012

 
 
61%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, the New York State Department of Instruction implemented new assessments designed to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The new standards for proficiency in these subjects are higher than in previous years and the percent of students earning a proficient score is expected to be lower as a result of this change. See this letter from New York's Commissioner of Education for more information on these changes.

In 2013-2014 New York used the New York State Assessments to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and math, and in grades 4 and 8 in Science. At present 2013-14 results are available only for English language arts and math. The tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New York. The goal is for 90% of students to meet or exceed grade-level standards on the tests.

Source: New York State Education Department

English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 33% in 2014.

55 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
43%

2013

 
 
22%

2012

 
 
65%
Math

The state average for Math was 43% in 2014.

55 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
49%

2013

 
 
25%

2012

 
 
79%
Science

The state average for Science was 90% in 2013.

64 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
96%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, the New York State Department of Instruction implemented new assessments designed to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The new standards for proficiency in these subjects are higher than in previous years and the percent of students earning a proficient score is expected to be lower as a result of this change. See this letter from New York's Commissioner of Education for more information on these changes.

In 2013-2014 New York used the New York State Assessments to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and math, and in grades 4 and 8 in Science. At present 2013-14 results are available only for English language arts and math. The tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New York. The goal is for 90% of students to meet or exceed grade-level standards on the tests.

Source: New York State Education Department

English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 30% in 2014.

64 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
22%

2013

 
 
17%

2012

 
 
42%
Math

The state average for Math was 40% in 2014.

64 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
51%

2013

 
 
19%

2012

 
 
77%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, the New York State Department of Instruction implemented new assessments designed to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The new standards for proficiency in these subjects are higher than in previous years and the percent of students earning a proficient score is expected to be lower as a result of this change. See this letter from New York's Commissioner of Education for more information on these changes.

In 2013-2014 New York used the New York State Assessments to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and math, and in grades 4 and 8 in Science. At present 2013-14 results are available only for English language arts and math. The tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New York. The goal is for 90% of students to meet or exceed grade-level standards on the tests.

Source: New York State Education Department

English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 29% in 2014.

61 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
31%

2013

 
 
17%

2012

 
 
45%
Math

The state average for Math was 38% in 2014.

61 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
29%

2013

 
 
17%

2012

 
 
62%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, the New York State Department of Instruction implemented new assessments designed to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The new standards for proficiency in these subjects are higher than in previous years and the percent of students earning a proficient score is expected to be lower as a result of this change. See this letter from New York's Commissioner of Education for more information on these changes.

In 2013-2014 New York used the New York State Assessments to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and math, and in grades 4 and 8 in Science. At present 2013-14 results are available only for English language arts and math. The tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New York. The goal is for 90% of students to meet or exceed grade-level standards on the tests.

Source: New York State Education Department

English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 29% in 2014.

63 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
35%

2013

 
 
14%

2012

 
 
54%
Math

The state average for Math was 33% in 2014.

63 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
46%

2013

 
 
19%

2012

 
 
92%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, the New York State Department of Instruction implemented new assessments designed to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The new standards for proficiency in these subjects are higher than in previous years and the percent of students earning a proficient score is expected to be lower as a result of this change. See this letter from New York's Commissioner of Education for more information on these changes.

In 2013-2014 New York used the New York State Assessments to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and math, and in grades 4 and 8 in Science. At present 2013-14 results are available only for English language arts and math. The tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New York. The goal is for 90% of students to meet or exceed grade-level standards on the tests.

Source: New York State Education Department

English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 36% in 2014.

62 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
23%

2013

 
 
28%

2012

 
 
46%
Math

The state average for Math was 22% in 2014.

62 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
57%

2013

 
 
44%

2012

 
 
66%
Science

The state average for Science was 69% in 2013.

64 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
90%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, the New York State Department of Instruction implemented new assessments designed to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The new standards for proficiency in these subjects are higher than in previous years and the percent of students earning a proficient score is expected to be lower as a result of this change. See this letter from New York's Commissioner of Education for more information on these changes.

In 2013-2014 New York used the New York State Assessments to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and math, and in grades 4 and 8 in Science. At present 2013-14 results are available only for English language arts and math. The tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New York. The goal is for 90% of students to meet or exceed grade-level standards on the tests.

Source: New York State Education Department

In 2009-2010, this school was given a grade of "B" for the elementary and middle school level.

About the tests


Progress Report Grades measure the school's contribution to student learning in three areas: School Environment, Student Performance and Student Progress. Schools can receive additional credit for achieving exemplary performance progress among high-needs students. Progress Report Grades range from A to F.

Source: New York City Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Hispanic 2 80% 23%
White 2 12% 48%
Black 1 4% 19%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 2 3% 9%
American Indian/Alaska Native 2 0% 1%
Two or more races 1 0% 1%
Source: NYSED, 2011-2012
Source: 2 NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Limited English proficient 216%N/A8%
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 277%N/A43%
Source: 1 NCES, 2011-2012
Source: 2 NYSED, 2011-2012

Teacher experience

  This school District averageState average
Fewer than 3 years experience 0%N/A5%
Source: NYSED, 2011-2012

Teacher education levels

  This school District averageState average
Master's degree and above 53%N/A39%
Source: NYSED, 2011-2012

Teacher credentials

  This school District averageState average
Teachers with no valid teaching certificate 0%N/A0%
Source: NYSED, 2011-2012
The NYC Department of Education asked parents, teachers and students about their school's learning environment. Results provide insight into school climate, such as whether the school is academically rigorous, safe, communicative and collaborative. Learn more

The information captured by the survey is designed to support a dialogue among all members of the school community about how to make the school a better place to learn. An overall category score is calculated for each respondent group (parents, teachers, or students) by averaging the scores of the questions within that survey category.

Category scores for each of the respondent groups are then combined to form overall category scores. Alongside the results for each school are the aggregated results across all NYC public schools, which are provided as a basis for comparisons.

Learn more about the NYC DOE survey »Close
Based on 633 responses

This school provides ... 1

A safe and respectful environmentWhat's this?

This score measures whether parents, students and teachers feel that the school creates a physically and emotionally secure environment in which everyone can focus on student learning.

Close
 
This school
8.8
out of 10
 
City average
8.0
out of 10
 

Parents

This school

 
8.9
 

City average

 
8.4
 

Students

This school

 
8.6
 

City average

 
7.2
 

Teachers

This school

 
8.8
 

City average

 
8.0
 
Clear, useful communication about educational goalsWhat's this?

This score measures whether parents, students and teachers feel that the school provides information about the school's educational goals and offers appropriate feedback on each student's learning outcome.

Close
 
This school
8.6
out of 10
 
City average
8.1
out of 10
 

Parents

This school

 
8.7
 

City average

 
8.5
 

Students

This school

 
8.7
 

City average

 
7.8
 

Teachers

This school

 
8.4
 

City average

 
7.8
 
Strong parent, teacher and student engagementWhat's this?

This score measures how engaged parents, students and teachers feel they are in an active and vibrant partnership to promote student learning.

Close
 
This school
8.3
out of 10
 
City average
7.8
out of 10
 

Parents

This school

 
8.5
 

City average

 
8.1
 

Students

This school

 
8.0
 

City average

 
7.2
 

Teachers

This school

 
8.5
 

City average

 
7.8
 
High academic expectations for all studentsWhat's this?

This score measures how well parents, students and teachers feel that the school develops rigorous and meaningful academic goals that encourage students to do their best.

Close
 
This school
8.6
out of 10
 
City average
8.2
out of 10
 

Parents

This school

 
8.5
 

City average

 
8.3
 

Students

This school

 
8.8
 

City average

 
8.1
 

Teachers

This school

 
8.6
 

City average

 
8.1
 

Based on surveys from:

 RespondentsResponse rate
Parents40793%
Students190100%
Teachers36100%

12012-2013 New York City Department of Education School Survey

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School basics

School Leader's name
  • MS. MAUREEN GUIDO

Resources

Extra learning resources offered
  • Title I Schoolwide program (SWP)
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421 W 219th St
New York, NY 10034
Website: Click here
Phone: (212) 942-3440

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