This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Ps Is 187 Hudson Cliffs5
Posted September 27, 2013
- a parent
We are just a few years into the elementary school and in the past 2 years we have seen tremendous improvements in communication and an open and frank policy. The teachers are top notch and there is a reason why they stay so long. The relationship between the principal and her staff is known to be excellent. She is respected and it shows. Budget cuts plague this school as well as many in the community. Parent led organizations and the PTA are huge contributors to the success of many needed and added programs. I feel very happy to have my child safely tucked away and learning. What matters the most to me at this point is that he awakes up everyday happy to go to school !!!! I plan on continuing my involvement w the school IMO this is one of the most crucial parts of any school.
Can only speak for elementary school. Overwhelming positives are the parent community and the staff and administration. The principal is adept at hiring teachers, and understands the strengths and weaknesses of each teacher. She is very purely focused on the kids, an orderly and safe building, and her staff. Only weaknesses is in communications - a weakness I at least am happy to trade for a seasoned leader. The school's weaknesses are all about funding cuts by DOE, who have cut so far into bone that even science and art are not funded and teachers are forced to focus class time almost entirely on testing related teaching. This is a school where kids are happy and parents, in the main are absolutely lovely.
I have two children at this school, one in elementary and one in middle school. They both like the school very much. They particularly like their teachers and the fact that they are known by nearly all the adults in the school. The administrators and teachers seem to know all the kids even those not in their grade. The school is very community oriented and parents are very involved. The academics are strong. The school is strict, but the strictness helps the kids learn well in large classes. I feel grateful to have such a good neighborhood school.
My child was a student in this middle school, I've heard that the K-5 grade is good. Middle school is another story is a shame that kids that needs extra help in the basic and most important subjects, math/english, are being overlooked. There are students in the so called "8A" class that dont meet the average level and this is a shame to ignore. I know for a fact that some of the teachers that belongs to those "A" classes are not giving the proper attention to students that needs extra help in order to keep at the "A" level. My child was a vivid example his math teacher was rushing to jump to a new project before making sure that the previous project was understood be the entire classroom. My child fell behind and had to attend summer school. I think that it's important to have highly qualified educator in the public school system not only by their resumes,But. Highly qualified by their human quality,dedication and cooperation w/ all types of student regardless of race,creed or social status. The I.S. administration needs a thorough change correcting this miscond when it comes to aTrue and Valuable Education for our kids.
There are lifelong teachers and newer teachers here, a diverse student body, and enthusiastic and involved parents that support an active PTA. I grew up in suburbia and this school is exactly what I had, except this is NYC. The negatives are the problems currently faced by public schools nationwide - severe budget cuts, too much testing, large class sizes. While the administration may not be warm and fuzzy they are excellent at navigating the political landscape of the NYC DOE and making smart choices with whatever it is they have to work with, as well as fighting for more resources. My children are polar opposites - one ahead of the game, one behind, and both have had excellent teachers, a great experience, and love their school. And I get to walk them there each day, what could be better than that?
We feel lucky that this is our neighborhood school. Yes, it suffers from budget cuts, same as all schools in NYC- but the community rallies to keep exciting, innovative programs happening. There absolutely is differentiated instruction- I have multiple children at this school with different strengths, they struggle with different things and for each of them I see regular evidence of the teacher supporting their individual needs. Most of the teachers at this school are passionate and phenomenal. This school has the most amazing neighborhood community full of creative generous families who brainstorm and cooperate and come together to make beautiful things happen for the children. My favorite is the Schoolapalooza Parent Talent show that happens as a fund raiser, incredible opera singers, beat-boxers ans salsa dancers, actors and poets and modern dancers and comedians and magicians and rockers and jazz musicians perform to a roaring crowd. The Christmas Tree Sale fund-raiser, and the Gala, and Jazz concerts, and the monthly family movie nights are all fun community events that really make the school part of family life that brings a romantic sense of home to reality.
We left this school after K. I think it was--and can be again in the future--a great school. But the last few years PS 187 has lost 10 to 12 teachers to budget cuts. Class size has swelled to 30 in first grade, science instruction was eliminated for K-2, and there's very little differentiation in teaching for students. I liked that the school focused on the basics. But it was clear that even that can't be done well with large classes and questionable discipline policies. What's more, the needs of many students simply aren't met. If you need lots of help, you get it. If you're average or better, you get a lot less. There are also more than a few parents who don't care. My son's K teacher said he was one of 5 or 6 kids who did the homework regularly; 7 or 8 did the homework fewer than twice a month. More than once I heard a parent tell a young child to hit or punch other kids if they did X or Y. What's more, I don't think the principal has made a real effort to correct what the school quality reviewers always notice: no differentiation in education. There are some wonderful teachers in the school and lots of potential. But there are many issues to tackle to make it great.