« Back to compare
/ School Profile
PK-5
Public
New York, NY
Students enrolled: 636

Contact this school

163 West 97th Street
New York, NY 10025

(212) 678-2854
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Ps 163 Alfred E Smith address.

Profile Completeness

INTERMEDIATE

Want to improve this school’s profile? You can!

All schools on GreatSchools begin with BASIC completeness, which includes important information like contact details and test scores. It’s up to the school community to take the next steps. As a parent or community member, you can share what you know with other families by writing a review or answering a few questions about what the school offers. As a school leader, you can upload photos, describe school programs, and more with an Official school profile.

The completeness meter moves to INTERMEDIATE, then ADVANCED, and finally HONOR ROLL as you complete the following: 10 or more reviews, at least 1 photo, and 9 program questions parents find helpful.

Want to improve this school's profile?
for Parents
for Schools
 
November 05, 2014
This is my 9th year as a parent at 163. My 4th child is in 1st grade. My two older kids, who are now at PPAS & Beacon, went through the G&T DL. When the principal, now retired, decided to get rid of the G&T part of the DL, I was very supportive. My two younger kids are in that program now. I love our DL. We have a very active parent body who work closely with the principal and other district leaders. All of my kids speak Spanish and are culturally literate. We have what must be some of the very best teachers in the district (I don't know since we've never been anywhere else). Our school has had its ups and downs, but we always seem to work our way through it. We are one of the most diverse schools in D3 and wrestle with the issues inherent in that. But we address them and deal with them as a community. My two older kids received a unique education and reaped the benefits of it (yes, including easy As in Spanish through middle school). The same will be true for my two younger kids.

- submitted by a parent
November 04, 2014
PS 163 is not only an excellent school for it's top-notch teachers, but for the tremendous diversity of its student body, which is unto itself an invaluable education. It is also the only school in the district and perhaps the borough with long-standing and successful tracks in both dual language and g&t. The Dual Language Spanish program has long been among the strongest in the borough, and is now effectively aligning to the Common Core, with Principal Lopez rising swiftly to the challenge. It will return to two classes per grade and welcome students from outside the zone, starting with the incoming kindergarten class in 2015/16. This will further enhance both the DL program and the whole school on many levels. Interested families should contact the Parent Coordinator, and apply early (in January).

- submitted by a parent
May 15, 2014
The school is truly an amazing experience for students, thanks to the diversity of population, the evidence of collaboration among teachers, and the staff in general that make this experience for students as rich and unique. Yes, there is a new principal and everyone is learning to adapt and communicate. The building next door won't take forever, and parents and staff are fighting to make sure there is little disturbance in the children's life. The diversity of programs allow students to be open-minded towards other cultures. Teachers and staff in general work harder than anyone I know. Students have access to clubs, which open new interests into their life and enable them to work collaboratively with students from other programs. The teachers are truly amazing. They care for the students as they care for their own children. There is a sense of community, and openness between teachers and parents that allow activities and fun celebrations to happen on a regular basis. Parents come voluntarily to help with the library, helping teachers, going on field trips, contributing to the arts and dance programs. Come and visit the school, you will be convinced that it is a unique place.

- submitted by a teacher
May 07, 2014
We've been very disappointed by this school. It seems to be going through some major changes, not for the better. The morale seems to have plummeted around the school this year among both parents and teachers. The new principal has made some changes that the teachers aren't happy about (many of the tenured teachers filed official grievances with their union). And many parents feel that the testing has become too important and that the teachers are just teaching to the test. The dual language program was fine up until the testing grades (3-5). From then on, the focus from the first day of school is on the state tests and as I was reminded each time I complained about the diminishing Spanish instruction time, "The tests are in English." Also, they've switched to a new curriculum this year which is not available in Spanish so even after testing was over for the year and I asked our teacher if she'd be getting back to 50/50 English/Spanish instruction she told me that was impossible since she didn't have enough Spanish materials. Also, beware, a 20-story building will be under construction right next door to the school for the next 3 years, making it a horrible learning environment.

- submitted by a parent
April 22, 2014
i love my school! it is so awesome! the kids are super nice and so are the teachers!

- submitted by a community member
October 24, 2013
I heard great things about this school. My son is going to enter in Kindergarten next year and I am soooo excited about that. Also about their dual language program... All I can say is that I have been following their improvement in different areas and they are doing better and better each year. Very committed to their children.

- submitted by a parent
November 26, 2012
I graduated from P.S. 163 two years ago. I was there since first grade, and I absolutely loved the school. I was in the gifted and talented dual language program. I loved all my teachers, they were extremely hepful, fun and energetic. The school is so diverse, I had friends of all different ethnicities.I really wish I was still there. I honestly cannot think of anything I didn't like about the school

- submitted by a community member
November 09, 2011
I'm a parent of a gifted and non-gifted child who both attend P.S. 163. The school is made up of parents of many backgrounds (Black, White, Asian and Spanish). The staff there is extremely helpful. The Parent Coordinator is a gem. When I was unhappy with my oldest child's school she guided me through the process to get my oldest into P.S. 163. The Co-President of the PTA took a call from me at 9pm when I was unhappy about some school photographs that came out bad. I was able to have my child re-take the shots with no extra cost to me. My 2nd grader is in the gifted program. My 2nd grader scored high enough on the gifted tests that she could have gotten into any school that she wanted. I picked P.S. 163 because I liked the atmosphere. I especially liked the fact that there is not attitude of "we are better then you" among the students who are in gifted class against the ones who are in general education classes. I also liked that while there is a strong academic program, the children are allowed to actually have fun and be children. The school has a great afterschool program run by LEAP which is from 3-6pm.

- submitted by a parent
June 30, 2011
During the enrollment process in 2010, we were offered a G&T seat at PS 163. We did not know much about the school at the time but from the moment we walked in the school doors we knew we found a D3 hidden gem of a school. The administration is available and is a constant presence in the school. The teachers are dedicated, hard working and have always been willing to give extra time to help support our child s education and development. I especially like the trailers for the kindergarten classrooms. I had neutral feelings about them going into the school year but they turned out to be ideal. The kids have their own bathroom, drop off & pick up are at the classroom door and there is a nice play yard just for the kindergartners. The school does not raise as much money as some of the other D3 schools but I feel the school and PTA have done a great job in choosing the right places to spend the money. The school community is warm and inviting. There is a great sense of pride in the school and all the programs offered in the school; Gen Ed, Dual Language & G&T, work together to make this possible.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 18, 2010
Because the teachers are amazing and work so hard despite economic challenges, the children love going to school and are so proud of their accomplishments and because it feels like home.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 18, 2010
PS163 is wonderfully diverse school with dedicated and caring teachers. our daughter just began Kindergarten, we are so happy with the time she is able to use the outdoor grounds and the science curriculum. It is easy to get involved in projects from gardening to Auction. PS163 is great!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 11, 2010
The enthusiasm of the parents and teachers and the dual language program.

- submitted by a parent
April 27, 2010
Our son is in the G&T Kindergarten class this year and we love the school. His teacher is one of the sweetest and most caring teachers I have met (and I recruit teachers for a living). The school is more diverse than any public or private school we could find in the City. As a strong supporter of school choice and charter schools in particular, I must say I am very impressed with this traditional public school. It has given me new faith that excellence is possible in an urban public school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 04, 2009
The staff is warm and caring. They are the hands,feet, and hearts that are making the bridges toward greatness for our children's emotional and educational development without chance. Only promise.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 04, 2009
Absolutely love the teachers and faculty and how I know that my child is safe, loved and cared for when I drop my child off until I pick him up.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 21, 2009
I love PS163 because it has a wonderful, diverse student body, dedicated parents, great teachers, and lots of interesting curriculum offerings like science lab, dance, chess, and quilting, in addition to all the basics.

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2009
We have smart students, a professional and collaborative faculty, a good administration, and a caring,giving,and proactive parents' association!

- submitted by a teacher
March 21, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
October 06, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
September 18, 2006
I am a parent of a special needs kindergartener, the occupational therapist (HG) is fantastic, the speech therapist I have just met but seems to care about the overall goals for my child. The school is somewhat rigid and at times can seem cold but I think the school is a comporable choice to a private school.

- submitted by a parent
December 24, 2005
I think the G/T program is worth considering and their multicultural background is impressing.

- submitted by a student
November 22, 2005
My daughter is in the English language 'Gifted + Talented' kindergarten and we are very happy with her classroom experience so far. There are only 16 children in the class and the teacher, Danielle DeSimone, is enthusiastic and talented. We are also impressed with the principal, Dr. Virginia Pepe. On the negative side: Four kindergarten and first grade classrooms (including my daughter's) are housed in 'trailers' -- temporary structures that have become permanent -- and the school is so chronically short of money that parents are asked to supply routine classroom items like graham crackers for snack time, and hand soap. Also, although the G+T program attracts many middle-class families, the General Education program does not. So while the G+T classes are ethnically mixed, the GE classes have very few whites or asians.

- submitted by a parent
August 29, 2005
The principal, assistant principal, and the K and 1st grade teachers (those I know) are fantastic, committed, and warm. They weathered the inevitable chaos of the beginning of the school year with resolve, and made the school as welcoming as possible to children and parents alike. This is not a rich school, and it is a school with a bi-modal distribution of student performance on the horrible standardized tests the students are compelled to take. In other words, there are real challenges that lower-performing students face, and it is entirely appropriate that the 'gifted and talented' programs do not get lots of special treatment. It is a testimony to the principal's vision for the school and for public education that the resources that are there are there for all.

- submitted by a parent
March 30, 2005
I love this school my son was there from k to 5th and it was a great experience for him and me. From the teachers to the PTA everything was great. The gifted and talented program was the best.

- submitted by a parent
January 13, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
February 25, 2004
Great committment to the arts. This school has a three year arts grant from the Center for Arts Education.

- submitted by a parent
February 24, 2004
This school is now under the leadership of a new principal and I believe is taking the school in a much better directions. My daughter loves this school and has had 3 wonderful teachers in the G&T Program. Overall we've been very happy.

- submitted by a parent
February 24, 2004
Although I rate the teacher quality as highest, I'm also concerned that most of the teachers don't spend valuable time w/children making sure they understanding the work being distributed.

- submitted by a parent
February 24, 2004
This is a great School! The Principal is doing her job very good. The have many options for extracurricular activities, the parent are really involved in school activities.

- submitted by a parent
Need help choosing a school? We can help »

Media Gallery

Media missing

Uh oh! No photos. This frame will look much better when you upload photos »


Nearby homes for sale

     

Last modified: December 12, 2014

Sign up for email updates

Connect with us

Translate this web page

About GreatSchools

Our mission is to help millions of parents get a great education for their kids. GreatSchools.org is an independent nonprofit and the leading national source of school information for families.


GreatSchools.org 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612

©1998-2014 GreatSchools.org All Rights Reserved. GreatSchools is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization | Ad Choices

Ps 163 Alfred E Smith
163 West 97th Street, New York, NY  10025
(212) 678-2854
Last modified Ps 163 Alfred E Smith is a Public school that serves grades PK-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 8 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Ps 163 Alfred E Smith Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 29 reviews. Top