PS 11 is a large public school in Chelsea that focuses in the arts/theater. It has a gifted and talented program and general education. Curriculum is the same throughout the school, although taught at a faster pace in the G&T classes. SLT and PTA are very strong. The PTA raises lots of money that fund STEM initiatives, and other extra activities. In depth portfolios are prepared for each student and sent to parents about 3 times a year. Mr. Bender, the principal is well liked by the students and parents.
Positives- own building, large yard with garden and chicken coup, many enrichment class options (cooking, dance, science, etc.), swimming pool in basement, strong parent community, larger budget primarily due to PTA funding, kind and gentle school mantra.
Negatives -- Mr. Bender does not believe in teacher's assistants, two small half gyms, students are showned movies during recess when weather is bad, large school, large class sizes, old building, admin folks can be unpleasant and unhelpful especially with transportation arrangements, too much art/theater in the curriculum (50% of trips during year is to the theater, sometimes they have dance twice a week).
My daughter and I absolutely love this school! she transferred to this school in the 2nd grade from a private school (Guardian Angel; HORRIBLE). I was worried about switching school but from the moment she got there she loved it made friends easily, she was behind in reading because the private didn't focus on reading so when she got there she was at level "E" by January she was at a level "J" and by the end of the year she was at "N". After school here is great (Adi hip hop teacher is awesome) ALOT of parent involvement, no bullying I can go on and on about this school! Thank you Ms.Rhee and Mrs.Rosevear they are great teachers. We look forward to the next two yrs at Ps11
I absolutely love the after school program my daughter a 2nd grader has learned amazing dances such as ballet and hip hop. the teachers are wonderful and truly worry about the child's academic developments. proud to have my daughter attending this school!
This is a wonderful school! I came across it just by chance and had to go through great length to get my daughter into this zone - but the move was well worth it! The principal and his staff create such a warm and open atmosphere - acknowledging the strength not just of students but also of teachers and parents. Here are just a few of the many special opportunities: Kind & Gentle philosophy; 3rd graders get to write 5 minute plays which are performed by actors at a Broadway theater; 4th graders have a collaboration with Julliard - attending monthly concerts; the indoor swimming pool is part of phys ed; there are many workshops for children & their families focusing on poetry, math, architecture, and many other topics; the after school program offers a wide variety of programs, including hip-hop instructions that end in an incredible show; frequent workshops for parents to learn how to help children grow, ... and chickens in the school yard to learn about caring for animals and science. Of course nothing is ever perfect, but my daughter has been in a nightmarish school before coming to PS11 - the difference is like night and day!
I have a child in 2nd grade in the G&T program and a child in kindergarten in general ed. I couldn't be happier with this school. I feel both of my children are getting a well rounded education. The principal is a true leader who attracts outstanding teachers. I feel very lucky to have my children here. The only criticism is that the systems within the school office feel a bit antiquated and could use some upgrading to the digital age. They have made some strides this yr in this area but still have a ways to go.
I can't say enough great things about this school and it's staff. My son has been attending this school since Kindergarten. He is now in the 3rd Grade. His teachers have always been attentive, informative and extremely kind and patient. Mr. Bender is the best! I remember this school when I was a child (I never attended) and it wasn't the best learning environment. Mr. Bender changed all that dramatically! There are no lingering traces of what it used to be. This school has a pretty good emphasis on the creative arts, which I adore. Just yesterday my kids class were able to see plays they wrote re-enacted by actual actors in a theater on Broadway! My son and I are lucky to be a part of this school.
P.S.11 William T. Harris is a vibrant, culturally enriched school. My daughter is attending kindergarten G&T and it's very challenging for her. Her teacher is concerned about her progress and responds quickly to our emails and any concerns we have. The arts there are incredible and really sophisticated. The parents are fabulous. The toughest part is the long school bus commute from the upper east side which really takes a toll on my daughter. She's often too tired to do her homework (of which there is too much). Fortunately her teacher is understanding and has helped us figure out ways to adapt. I'm also glad to see there are a lot of kids coming from our neighborhood to P.S. 11 so we have plenty of friends in the neighborhood. Her teachers are on top of my daughter's progress, but I still wish she received more attention. All the families in the class are so fabulous, bright, interesting, and unpretentious. I love the fact that there is space and light at the school, much more than the other G&T programs we considered (NEST, Anderson, Lower Lab). Just wish there was more science for kindergarteners and there's no foreign language program.
The school is great! Like anything in life it is what you make of it that counts. My daughter enjoys going to PS11. The teaching staff is good. They use Columbia University Teachers College methods in reading, in which my daughter has responded very well to. She is learning time management and is transitioning better to changes that occur during the day. My daughter is learning to be a good person here.