I am a 6th Grade graduate from this school, and If I described it one word, it would be extraordinary. This was the best school I have ever went to. The teacher, the programs and the level of creativity was amazing. I never had a bad day. I hope this helps anyone looking for a good elementary school! And remember, try to get Alan as your child's 5th grade teacher.
The positive aspect of this school is that the environment is warm and welcoming of parents and other family. The school allows family/caretakers to drop kids off in their classrooms and stay awhile. This was particularly helpful for my nephew who was used to that routine from pre-school. The downside of this school is that the environment is a bit chaotic and disorganized. The student to teacher ratio is very high and the school does not encourage student teachers which would alleviate some of the problem. There was an aide in my nephew's class who was assigned to help only one student with developmental disabilities. That aide did nothing to assist the other students despite the fact that she had plenty of free time to do so and the other kids needed assistance. The lunch hour is extremely chaotic. This seems to be a problem at other public schools in NYC.
Our son is a kindergarten student at PS 3 and we couldn't be more pleased. We turned down two district G&T offers for a place there. Not only is our son happy, making great friends, but he is getting a wonderful education. We initially had our reservations as so many progressive schools, while wonderful in spirit and morale, are slow to teach academics, putting children at a competitive disadvantage by the time middle school rolls around. I am happy to report that has not been our experience at PS 3 - they "do progressive" well. Our son is immersed in inquiry based learned, but is also seems at ease with traditional math and vocabulary concepts. He came home the other day and said, "Guess what? A dozen is 12. Half of 12 is 6. Twice 6 is 12. 6 plus 6 is 12. 12 minus 6 is 6…" and so on. He is confident with addition, subtraction, simple fractions, and shape properties, and really takes his work seriously. While PS 3 doesn’t send home extensive math homework (it does send home reading and writing homework), I often leave math workbook pages on our dining table every Friday evening for our son to work on when he wakes up. He completes all the pages (usually correctly) before waking me up on Saturday morning. I believe he learned this good work ethic from his wonderful teacher at PS 3. With respect to reading, he has quickly learned how to read sentences, and age appropriate book. While still a work in progress, the improvement in just a few months has been amazing.
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.