I am surprised by the harsh reviews of this school, it is great. The day is long and structured, however, the children learn so much they are well ahead of their peers in public school. They encourage and expect parental participation. It's very family-centered. It's a wonderful alternative to a G&T program. They offer a nice balance of academics and extra curricular programs including art, yoga, mandarin, Chinese culture, piano, dance, swimming. It is really a great value, in particular for working parents, who require after school care. They even have a Lego League for older children. Their summer program is one of the best values in the city. I look forward to my child continuing to thrive here.
As a parent, you'll find a lot of things to like about this school. The teachers are dedicated and the quality of the academic education is high. You'll probably question that balance between work and play and you won't necessarily welcome the stress of trying to get 4 and 5 year old children to do an hour of homework every night (particularly after a 9 hour day at school.) Do kids flourish under these conditions? The real problem with this school will become apparent when you have an issue which merits being raised with the principal in charge of pre-K. Parents leave her office confused and upset and feel they don't have a voice (although they will be told that they do - "my door is always open" is a typical phrase). If you find yourself in that situation, the answer is simple: stop responding to the endless fundraising requests that the school sends you. If enough people do this, then you will certainly have a voice. When the principal starts to treat parents and teachers with the respect that they deserve, then this school will really start to shine.
This school is a gem. The principal in the early childhood campus makes every child feel welcomed and special. She greets and addresses each child in the morning by their names. The elementary school is a stricter environment where children learn to be responsible and respectful. The principal in the elementary school is also very approachable. There are these parents that want to run the school because they feel that they are paying and have the right. My child is heading to second grade. His kindergarten and 1st grade teachers have prepared him well for second grade. Love this school!
I have two children who attends this school. One child struggles and the other does well academically. The support the school provide for both children is beyond excellent. The school caters to the child who struggles with immense help in order for that child to perform at the same level as his peers. The Other child who does well is constantly encouraged, motivated, and challenged to reach his highest potential. It seems that both children are getting the individualized attention they need. As a parent, I cannot ask for more.
This school provides a well rounded program and my child gets the necessary support from teachers and staff to develop. In addition to academics, my child has opportunities to grow in music, public speaking, and art. The school is able to give professional evaluation of my child's unique development. My child started as a selective mute at this school in early childhood level and then gradually received support to speak up and excel. In seven years at this school, my child found many public speaking opportunities: reading scripture at school mass, giving presentation in class, giving small talk to share reading experience with younger students at summer school, and competing at speech bee. It is a great school not just for those destined to go to specialized high school, but also for those who are motivated and those who believe they can find their strength with discipline.
The school is very strict about education. Their good academic results are due to all the additional courses their students take on weekends. Students are learning in a robotic way, there is very little room for thinking creatively. Children just need to be obedient otherwise they will try to push you out. The administration has low ethics and the principal shows poor leadership and is seen as god by parents.
I am a former student who transferred to Transfiguration from public school. The atmosphere was completely different to what I was fimiliar with, therefore I stuggled to adjust. The system is extremely strict and will not tolerate anything but perfection. However this is not the reason for the high test scores and grades. Every student goes to tutoring on the weekend and in the summer. They have an amazing sports program know as TJBA. It is a free volunteer based program run by the gym teacher Mr.Maher which takes place every sunday. It coaches all 3 popular sports, track volleyball and basketball throughout the year. Besides Mr.Maher other coaches include alumni from Transfiguration and the other participating school St.James. It's sad to say that most of the students who use the program are Transfiguration students however almost none of them come back to coach. The program is suffering due to th lack Transfiguration students who come back to volunteer. Overall the school has a great students, okay teachers and an extremely strict atmosphere.
Former student, currently studying at a graduate program at Columbia University. I graduated in 2004. I'll break it down into several parts: Academics: Definitely superior. Of course, compared to the general public schooling system in NYC, that's not saying too much. But regardless, this school is certainly above average and gave me a head start in high school. Religion: I'm personally agnostic and I appreciate the fact that this school did not shove religion down our throats. Rather, they taught religion AND science, and allowed us to come up with our own views. Compared to religious schools in other parts of the country, this is something that I truly appreciate. (Just take a look at current events, you'll see the controversial creationism-only schools). Discipline: Relatively speaking, the punishments (500-word essays) were somewhat overbearing. However, reflecting on my own life and on those of my peers, who I still keep in touch with, we are all very considerate and well-mannered individuals. And no, they don't hit you here. However, I still distinctly recall several instances where the afterschool teachers were disrespectful to students., hence the 4-star rating.