This can be a wonderful school for your child but it really depends on the teacher. My child is advanced in science and math and struggles with writing. There is little support to excel his skills and little to support his difficulties in writing. Unless your child is truly failing, nothing will happen.
I am a former student who loved everything about the school. It was a loving and accepting community with a fun curriculum and an opportunity for elementary schoolers to find their interests. The class size was about 25, and most teachers were good. The principal was good at keeping discipline, and the curriculum was actually quite rigorous in the early years. The school, however, started to go downhill because of the overcrowding and the switch in principals. Since the class sizes were getting bigger each year, the curriculum was becoming more and more generalized to fit the average student, with no individual attention whatsoever. Also, the new principal was more lenient, therefore more kids were disruptive. Now that I have graduated and the school is at its maximum capacity I do not recommend it. Instead, try to enroll in P.S. 452 (if possible) because a great former teacher who was at 199 is now in charge of this school, and it is not overcrowding!
I have an entering 3rd grader and an incoming kindergartener here. We came from a private school overseas so we were nervous about the transition. Let me say that for the child who is anything but exceptional (and I'm talking gifted, not merely very bright), this school deserves perfect marks. The principal, Katy, is fair and very involved in every aspect of the school. She is down to earth and knows every single child by name. The activities and special programs in the arts are unparalleled for a public school. The PTA is dedicated and hard working, ensuring the school is socially and financially supported by the parent body. Generally, the parents are highly educated and welcoming. The only reason it does not rate perfect is that if you do have that over the top intelligent child, you are completely at the mercy of your teacher as to whether they are kept interested. But even in a private or selective school, no education is 100% perfect for your individual child and as parents we have to be proactive in seeking other avenues of supporting their needs. Until NYC supports ALL public schools in providing gifted education, this is the BEST on offer in Manhattan - hands down!
We were very disappointed with the school and found that children who are advanced learners get no support, no enrichment and no opportunity to express or enhance their abilities. The school provides a 'bare bones' education and we are completely baffled by all of the positive hype. It is truly undeserved.
We came here from a private school because of a change in finances, so i entered ps 199 hesitant, wary and kicking and screaming my way in. It turns out, we couldn't have been happier. My daughters received individual attention despite the large class numbers and i felt that each child was very well known and attended to. The large class size allows cooperative work which on paper is not ideal but allows for wonderful training for the real world. My daughters were happy and very well educated-- they both are going to be going to very good middle schools as a result.