special needs parents! PS3 has been amazing in this regard. There are many CTT classes and Also some 12:1:1. Therapists and SBST are really supportive and knowledgable and there is even an ASD support team. I've never had to "fight" for fair services at this school. I regularly meet SN parents at other schools that remark on our experience as being other than the norm and something for which we should be grateful. However I'm sorry to say I just saw poster on insideschools say the gen Ed teacher in 4th grade ICT class is terrible :(( hopefully that won't last ! Also, regarding reputation, Im always a little confused that PS3 retains its rep as the "less structured school" as compared to ps41. I think this is a holdover from hippie days perhaps :) when i walk down the halls during class time it's extremely quiet and looking into classrooms I always see tidy spaces filled with kids busily working. An non-chaotic environment is extremely important to me for my child and I never would have sent my son to a super loose program. Come tour this school!
We love ps3. We're in our third year here and wouldn't want to go anywhere else. Both my kids love their teachers. Recess is a bit hectic but the teachers are great. We started 1st grade with Megan (the best!!!) and didn't think we would be so lucky again till we got Stephanie who is just as great. She works with me DAILY on my son's performance in school. You can't ask for better attention/love. Kindergartens Tal & Jack are also totally awesome.
The school is wonderful. The teachers and staff are amazing. our son is there since pre K and now he is in First grade. The academic and social skills that our son had gained are exeptional. We are happy to be part of PS3.
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!
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.