This school would be great under better leadership. The teachers are talented, hard-working and dedicated and the PTA is very active in supporting the school. The amount of money they raise to subsidize the school is huge--bigger than any sum raised by any other PTA in NYC, I believe. But the principal is a bureaucrat with no vision. She does not bring people together to work on issues; on the contrary, she is divisive and hostile. The manner in which she speaks at meetings is unprofessional, negative, defensive, and works against any progress. She carries such obvious contempt for the parents and staff that it's baffling as to why she chooses to continue to work at PS6. Every time I've interacted with her, she's been absolutely miserable. People try to avoid her, so communication breaks down. It's amazing to think of where the school could go under a strong leader with a clear vision, good management/people skills, and a passion and love for all members of the school community. Such a shame.
My experience with this school has been very mixed. On the positive side, it is clean and safe and offers a vast array of afterschool activities. Academics are taken very seriously following the Common Core.
On the negative side however, there is a great disparity between teachers. Our child's kindergarten teacher was creative, fun and engaging while the first grade teacher was very rigid and inflexible, unable to see and nurture the "whole child". The school really needs a clear communication policy. The kindergarten teacher was wonderful and gave me her personal email, responded quickly and efficiently to any questions or concerns. The first grade teacher was so hesitant to even use email, then complained when I copied other school staff members on emails about my own child. I was told later by a member of the administration that a parent can not expect to have frequent communication with teachers as the student enter upper grades. Even in the case when the student was facing challenges, as mine has has been facing. I have found the administration to personalize feedback against me as a parent rather than truly having the best interest of my child at heart. In meetings about my child I have been talked AT rather than listened to.. there was no real dialog..
I really wish this school could be what it has the potential to be. I am a highly educated person trying to navigate what is supposedly one of the best public schools in NYC and facing tremendous sadness and difficulty. Imagine what an uneducated parent in an under resourced school must have to go through. It makes me sad. I really hope my opinion on the school turns around in the coming years.
PS 6 is an excellent elementary school. The teachers are among the best. The parents are involved. And the PTA is a powerhouse. Fund raising is strong here, but if it weren't the school wouldn't have the extensive resources it does. The only pressure I feel to give to the school comes from my own sense of obligation. My children are getting a great education, better than many private elementary schools. And that takes donations from the parent body. I get it. Test scores at the school dropped, as they did at most if not all other schools because the DOE changed the tests. So school test prep across the city was off. You'll see scores go up again next year as the schools and kids get more savvy about the new tests. This of course begs the testing accuracy question, but that's a conversation for a different time and place.
Thanks for the frank and insightful comments. Very helpful. I'm a parent who is considering buying a property in this school zone but am a bit concern about the constant fundraising mentioned in lots of comments. Could someone please let me know how much the parents "donate" each week on average? Thanks!
PS6 is a machine - Very bureaucratic. Hence it's lack of ability to stretch and add value as it struggles with DOE frameworks that can be counterproductive. A solid safe education yes - an excellent challenging education definitely not. You kind of get what you pay for (literally as majority of 4/5th grade are privately tutored so who gets credit) it is also a political player (staff and PTA alike) Have 3 kids there and asked for money almost weekly (very pushy and for large sums thousands plus). There are many assumptions made about status of those able to live in most expensive NYC real estate! We try and support but it does feel like they're wannabe private (staff and a lot of parents) even pressured requests for money for frontline teaching which we found wrong on principle. You won't be surprised pleasantly or other, get what says on tin, and if you use private tutors etc may just get into east side middle
PS 6 has truly lived up to its lofty reputation. It has the characteristics expected of a high-performing school: high standards for students, good communication with parents, positive attitudes from faculty, and a PTA that is a fundraising machine. Meetings with teacher/principal are both child-centered, data-driven and very productive. I'm not a PTA member or someone who is always at the school. I'm just baffled by some of the below criticisms. We pay a fortune to send our daughter to a private high school in the neighborhood, and PS 6 is just as impressive as that school.
Excellent school with very good teachers, involved and active parent body and an administration that seems to care about doing things correctly. A few complaints: working within Board of Ed restrictions seems to lead to compromises in programming - wish the arts and music program were richer. Staff always seems a bit overwhelmed, and reaction seems to be to be strict with the children - maybe it is the number of students in the school. I wish the teachers used email - sending paper notes through student backpacks does not seem very efficient (not to mention not good for the environment or printer supplies). Overall though, the programming for core subjects is excellent, the facilities are high quality (gym, auditorium, library and large bright classrooms), and school has suprisingly good technology (smart boards, computers, etc.). All these elements are critical to the functioning and feel of the school. It is no wonder that people move into this school zone - sending your kids here is a no brainer - only wish it sent through high school and you did not have to deal with applying out for middle school.