This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Ps 234 Independence School5
Posted April 07, 2014
- a parent
My daughter transferred into 234 because of a move. I chose 234 over citywide G&T and I do not regret it. While my daughter is extremely bright, she is not bored or under-stimulated. I am thrilled with her teacher and class. The community is extremely welcoming and Lisa is just about the most real and effective principal possible. I am thrilled with our choice.
PS 234 is getting weaker by the day. The teachers leave each year in droves and the curriculum is so "progressive" that they don't give meaningful homework or periodic assessments. Not the school it used to be!
Our experience up until the beginning of third grade has been very positive. Great teachers, small class sizes compared to other downtown publics, supportive PTA. Somewhat agree with other reviews that achievement bar could be a little higher.
PS 234 is like no other! the principal and vice principal are strong, compassionate, amazing leaders. the teachers are smart, kind and engaging -- really the best around. academically the school is strong but they also have a wonderful social and emotional component that really makes the kids happy, confident and curious learners.
As a parent of two children at this school, I am happy with the quality of the education they are receiving. I believe all schools have challenges, yet this school has both the support of the administration led by a powerhouse principal, Lisa R., and an active and wonderful PTA. The staff is approachable and open to discussing all types of issues from academic progress, classroom dynamics, as well as social/family issues. I look forward to seeing how the school rises to the challenge of the more difficult state test to further solidify this school as an outstanding neighborhood school.
The school fails to challenge advanced learners leaving them bored, overconfident, and prone to mischief. Most parents who expect their kids to move on to competitive middle schools hire tutors well in advance of the 4th grade state exams. This is a safe but over-rated choice for elementary years.
We have 2 children in the school and a third who has already graduated and I couldn't be happier about the whole package. We have had consistently passionate, articulate, engaged teachers who approach the evolving curriculum with thoughtfulness and creativity. It's not about rote learning or test prep -- they teach the kids how to be thinkers and keen observers. Looping enables the teachers to really get to know each child and the dynamic of the class. The PTA is unbelievably organized and effective with an incredibly dedicated and involved community. And Lisa is totally approachable and super smart. She and Elizabeth (the asst. principal) know and greet every child every morning so that even though its a big public school, it feels warm and welcoming.
PS 234 is a great community, but the achievement bar is disappointedly low when considering the potential of the student body, the families' focus on education & the quality of the teachers. I am the parent of a 5th grader who has been under-challenged for the past 5 years. The school is doing a fine job of helping students who struggle & keeping average students happy enough. However, it does NOTHING for its most gifted students. At times, it feels like it is almost in bad taste (& definitely politically incorrect) to even raise their special needs. In fact, I don't think there is any awareness that gifted students have special needs. Instead, the school seems to function on the pervasive but erroneous notion, 'S/he will be fine; S/he is so smart anyway.' Addressing the distinct academic needs of this population would be a worthwhile challenge/goal for the Principal.