At the end of the day, it is not much better than any other school. Plenty of dirty politics observed. Students also complain that teachers often scream in the classroom at the kids on a regular basis. Maybe they find it necessary, but how about leading by example? Academics are good, and the school has plenty of resources at its disposal. There are a few stellar staff members and teachers. Overall, their reputation is over hyped.
I agree with a lot of the reviews that the secretary at PS 158 is unbelievably obnoxious. To be frank, I don't know why she still has a job given the number of parents who share that opinion! I'm assuming that it's some union rule. It'd be silly to judge a school based on just its secretary though. Our daughter is in Kindergarten and we love PS 158! Her teacher is excellent. The other kids in the class are all well-mannered and intelligent. All the parents are warm & friendly. Our daughter is progressing very rapidly in reading, writing & mathematics and she is very happy. In the end, that's all that really matters - not how rude the secretary is, but how your child is progressing and if she's happy. 4 stars for PS 158 (minus 1 star for the terrible secretary who always seems to be yelling at everyone!)
If you have to have your kid in this school BE AWARE you will be dealing with one of the rudest and most disrespectful school secretary in the school district. Several parents would confirmed she likes to talk down to people, her mercenary tone of voice and unhelpful behaviors will prove this fact.
The staff IS rude and mean to the children. The Principal does not make herself available and she does not interact with families. The teaching staff is strong but young and inexperienced. The general environment of the school is cold, unfriendly. The grown-ups in the school don't seem to like children. Since my child has been there she has developed the I-don't-like-school attitude and this is a really smart kid who used to love school. They've taken all the wonder and joy out of learning in favor of drilling students for test scores. Overall, we've been very disappointed.
Ughhh. Great scores. Some very talented teachers. But a nasty, rude staff. Most of whom act as if they secretly wish they worked in a private Catholic school in the 50's where they could yell at children and whack them with a ruler for bad behavior. It's utterly bewildering that these people have opted for a job or profession working with children when they appear to hate them so much and have no tolerance for kids acting like kids. The front office is run by a woman who yells at parents and kids. The after school is run by a woman who yells at parents and children. The lunch staff screams if kids are too noisy but ignores bullying by older kids and aggressive physical behavior by the younger kids in the playground. The principal puts up with this and in fact models it. Rude, entitled and judgmental staff. Talented teachers and amazing parents compensate for such a poorly run and uncaring administration.
If you want a competitive environment that is as good as a Private school if not better, then PS 158 is your School. The Principal is great,however, she does not suffer fools, so don't expect hugs over nonsense, the staff is amazing but also will not coddle you.From the guard that greets you in the morning to the teachers, PS 158 is formidable.They are kind and attentive to each student, they mix discipline and love in a way that conveys more a vocation rather than a job in Education.If you are lucky enough to have your child attend the Pre-k there, they will be reading and writing by the time they graduate and go to Kindergarden.Very grateful to have such a wonderful school. The PA is fantastic as well.
If you want your child to be bullied and made to feel insecure in a learning environment, then this is the place for you. The principal is a bully, the teachers are bullies and the children are too. Parents bully each other and even other children. It all starts from the top and trickles down. The principal only cares about state test scores. She doesn't care about children or creating a loving, nurturing, comfortable learning environment for them. The principal, teachers and office staff create a hostile and uncomfortable learning environment. I'm sure some of the teachers are very good but they can't perform to their full potential because they are bullied by the principal and feel threatened that if they don't follow her rules they will be fired. From day one of the academic year it has been nothing but TEST PREP. My child has learned nothing all year but 'how to take a state test'. The Parent Association is involved and they raise a lot of money for the school. There needs to be a complete re-haul of this school before any more tax-payer's money is wasted. I'm very disappointed in our experience at PS 158.
Fantastic school. My child is very happy in PS158 and is thriving. I am impressed with the quality of education, and leadership. Anyone desiring more cultural experiences for their children and exercise should take them to the museums and parks after school, on weekends and holidays. That doesn't make or break the school. There are many extra curricular activities already offered.
Great school. Our daughter has been attending PS 158 for 2 years now and we could not be happier. The education is excellent, much better than some private schools when comparing skills of same-age children, the communication is very good and the PA very active. The school environment is very pleasant and the staff is very friendly when you are polite with them, which may not be the case of some parents. We feel the kids are safe and respected. And I agree with the previous review: it is the role of the parents to take their kids to the museums, parks and other cultural activities during the weekends and holidays. The school should not be blamed for that.
Can a young boy or girl have a good education and a so-so 'childhood' experience? Are they mutually exclusive? That is the challenge at PS 158 and, if you are willing to risk your kid's experience as a child, then go right ahead to PS 158. Speak to the children and you will learn many of them could not tell you where the Met or the Guggenheim are located. Ask them if they can run in the play yard. Ask them how often they go on a 'class trip' 1/2 block away to John Jay park or to Central Park? Sadly, tragically, some of them do not even know these are choices and are important to experience. Parents, these things are important for kids to experience. And please stop being an apologist by stating that geez, there are 700 kids and grades are good so they must be doing a good job. It is a false choice. There are many shades of gray and a good, thoughtful leader (principal) always strives to maintain a balance between extremes. Is Zero tolerance sound in practice? Read, and you will learn it fails. Congratulations to the school for its good scores but, at what cost. Keep in mind, it is the UES with high parent involvement and low poverty so, keep the scores in context.