Administration always has an excuse for why things aren't going right, and instead of responding to parents' ideas and offers for suggestions, they keep focused on issues that should have been ironed out years ago (like an organized dismissal). Administration has poor screen time limitation policy in effect (they show movies to all the kids each day in lieu of recess EVEN IN GOOD WEATHER), and as a result, the teachers are becoming too liberal in their use of pointless cartoons and movies as a replacement for actual lessons.
Some teachers are better than others, for sure. There are too many who use TV in lieu of actually teaching our kids, and the administration doesn't care that they do! Teachers need to get more involved with PA, and need more support from administration. They have a hard job to do with limited time and resources. Parents want to support you with both time and ideas! The K and art teachers, who I had the chance to observed, try very hard to make the most of what they've been given, and are quite resourceful. K teacher was extremely organized and thorough, firm but still approachable. My kid did well in her environment. The first grade teacher is a yeller and some kids in the class do not do well in that environment; several have become reluctant to go to school daily, as a result.
I was pleased with how much work the PA does to support arts programming at this school, but the program so not benefit the K, 1st or 2nd grade levels. There are limited facilities at the school (no place to play for recess) and the screen time policy is ludicrous: every day after lunch, kids get shuttled into the auditorium to watch 30 min of cartoons or movies -- NOT educational content, but things like Elmo (for 2nd graders? ridiculous), Lalaloopsie, Bubble Guppies, Disney movies. Then we found out that their electives teachers, who have them ONCE A WEEK -- for "enrichment" subjects such as art, music, computers or library -- were ALSO just sticking them in front of TV programs for one excuse or another. Sorry, but I limit my kid's screen time vigilantly only to have the school just blows that up with over 2.5 hrs of TV each week! When this was brought to the attention of the leadership, they just shifted blame and told parents to speak with the individual teachers. Several of us want to pull our kids out but have no other options in the city's other schools. NYC DOE has failed us for a second year in a row.
We have a child currently attending one of the G&T classes at P.S. 130. We are extremely happy with the school for many different reasons, including the academic rigor as well as the values and comradery taught in the school. The academic rigor is second to none in the City and I have toured most of the most reputable Gen Eds, G&Ts, Charters and Private Schools in Manhattan. Math is taught following the Singapore method. The problems are incredibly challenging even for an adult. Exams throughout the year serve to measure the knowledge acquired. Teachers give targeted feedback.
Kids write well. Their vocabulary and spelling is remarkable. The children are challenged everyday with different topics and discussions. From fiction to non-fiction, children are capable of questioning and searching for the most appropriate answer to a particular problem.
There is an excellent collection of books in the class of levels and topics. Also, there is a bigger library at the school that the kids visit once a week.
Ethics are an important part of the children’s education. The “Golden Rule”, be kind, respectful… are present in every conversation. There is no bullying at the school. None. My kid's peers are extraordinary smart kids. All of the parents are truly engaged with their kids’ education and collaborate and support the school, working in tandem with the administration. All of the teachers are extremely responsive and hard working (responding emails at midnight on a Friday night, for example). They are eager to meet with parents and they hold an open door policy. Feedback is targeted and very complete. It includes recommendations and suggestions specific to the child. Teachers are also demanding and serious.
The school has a tremendous PTA that works really hard to raise funds. Funds are used wisely to include arts programs and enrichment. Music, gym and arts are taught every week. The PTA has created an amazing sense of community where all races and backgrounds are welcome. The new principal, Mr. Fong, has become a great leader for the school community: well respected and hard working, he continues with the work initiated by the prior principal, who is still remembered and well loved. It is not uncommon to see Mr. Fong greeting the kids at the door, shaking hands, and wearing a shirt with the logo of P.S. 130. Highly recommended school.
Homework allows parents to see what their kids are learning, as well as see if their kids can keep up and where they are excelling and where they need assistance. WIthout it, parents would not necessarily have a good gauge. Just enough homework allows the parents transparency, but doesn't weigh down the child with hours of busywork.
PS130 is an excellent school. My child transferred to PS130 from a very well regarded public school and we have been very impressed by how advanced the work my child is doing. The staff/teachers care tremendously about the students and really try to do what is best for them. Great sense of community as well. As for the PA, their aggressiveness in fundraising is actually a positive for the school. Given reduced DOE funding, donation is an important to maintain the school's programs for the kids (e.g. Arts, Dance etc.) for our kids to have a balanced education. Also, I don't think they are particularly aggressive relative to the PAs other top ranked public schools in NYC. They just have to work harder to get donations given the relative demographics at PS 130. PAs at a lot of schools suggest donation for each child of >$1,000. PS130 doesn't do that. They are very clear that all donations are great, no matter how big or how small. Ultimately, they are raising money for the benefit of our children. I would much rather have a PA that cares and is aggressive in raising money for the school, than the school not having the money to run programs for our kids.
We just registered our kid. My friends told me the principle, assistant principle and the teachers at PS130 are excellent. But they also warned about some people in the school PTA love to gossiping. I saw some PTA member stand out side of the school forced parents to buy raffle tickets and make donations. The lady even pressing new parents to buy raffle tickets inside the registration room. Just too aggressive and demanding. As a new parent to the school this just make me felt very uncomfortable.