Our son is in 5th grade. My wife went to UC Berkeley and I went to Harvard and a NYC private school. We are tremendously impressed with MSC. The teachers are extremely talented and fully engage the children in learning. Our child was inspired to become quite the reader. He has done very well on standardized tests. I was informed by a New York Times education columnist that the program is the same as that at "gifted and talented" schools. The school fosters a caring and inclusive environment. Each year one of the three classes is a mix of typical children and children with non-cognitive special needs. Recent changes include a terrific new principal. Most students are staying on through 8th grade. Many parents donate to supplement the school budget.
I am a new parent in the school in second grade after leaving private school. So far we are thrilled! The school has been warm and welcoming, the other familes are incredibly engaged and interesting. So far the academic component has been on par with our private school experience but culturally the diversity in terms of race, class and differing physical abilities has already been a huge benefit for my son's learning experience.
Having just received the results of the state wide tests for 2013 that were the most rigorous tests to date, we were elated that our two children who have been at MSC for 5 years got very high marks. We attribute this to the excellent instruction which prepared them for the new "common core" standards. As a parent I have to say that I really appreciate the parent community which is full of worldly, creative, motivated and well rounded individuals. We feel especially fortunate to have such a nurturing and challenging environment for our children.
i have a first grader and 3rd grader at MSC and its really a great school. i have looked at a few of the negative reviews and I find them puzzling given that I have never encountered a parent that seemed anything other than thrilled with the school. Maybe they are in upper grades or just got very unlucky with a teacher. We are very discerning parents in terms of academic rigor and I would comment that its a tad lax on that front, but its nothing that you cannot make up for easily at home. Bottom line, its a happy, well-run school with great teachers. In K through 4th grade, that is really what you want, and the fact that you drop off and pick up from the classroom is so massive since the teachers interact with parents and caregivers constantly, and its easy to foster good relationships.
I recently toured this school based on a recommendation of a friend whose son goes here. Based on my tour and my friends own happiness with the school, I'm considering sending my child there for middle school. I was quite happy with the Principal and Staff who answered all my questions and those of the other parents. The tours were lead by parents whose children currently attend the school. This gave me and the other parents on the tour an opportunity to speak to a parent who currently has a child in the school. No question was off limits. I also reviewed the school's State test scores, which show that compared to other schools in the area the school does well. My advice to any parent considering this school or any other school for their child is to do a tour, speak to other parents, review the state tests and tour other schools in the district to compare. Only by doing that will you be able to make a good choice on which school is right for your child. While I did read the comments and respect people's opinion's. I don't feel that they tell the whole story about the school. Not every school is right for every child. For me this school is right for my child.
I used to attend MSC back in the 90's and It left me very unprepared for Middle school. I used to attend it back when the location was on 110th St. We used to knit, sit on rugs and have no strong academic challenges. I was very unprepared after i left the school, Hopefully now it has changed.
Manhattan School for Children (M.S.C.) was an overly laidback school, to the point that it was ridiculous. I don't think that we began doing decimals until around fifth grade, when the normal beginning for this is in third grade. We had no strong or consistent math system until around third grade, which meant that the adjustment to this system threw me, and others of my classmates off. I don't think I ever saw the principal while I was at school there, which was from kindergarden until fifth grade, and yet she resisted and crushed all the attempts that my mother among other parents attempted to make the school another place. Another reviewer compared her to "Mussolini" and this comparison is not inaccurate. She is not all involved in any of the activites of the school. If the school manages to be successful, this is entirely because of the magnificent teachers, although not all of them qualify as such, and the permitted parental efforts. M.S.C. left me ill-prepared for middle school. Thanks. I would like to grant the school negative stars.
I left MSC with an amazing feel of accomplishment after being there from kindergarten through fifth grade,in the class of 2010-2011. I left prepared for starting the DELTA program at BTW middle school. EVERY teacher, and faculty member of their staff does a superb job at helping all students. Teachers recommend books based on the students interest in the reading material type and reading level. Teachers help every student, and teach in an amazing way. Recess has various activities in progress, such as kickball, basketball, jumprope, mini ball games, and just friends hanging with each other. I never had more than forty five minutes of homework, if that. All teachers I've had thoroughly prepare us for any upcoming tests, months in advance. There have been VERY FEW incidents with bad monitors, who's behavior quickly improved after the principal was alerted. Special subject teachers are amazing at what they teach including art, dance, drama,sometimes music, storytelling, etc,and a brand new technology advanced greenhouse. Students in the elementary school are escorted by their classroom teacher to specials, and back again, with their teachers for usual subjects. This is an A+ school!!!
This school has the reputation it has because the parents are so involved. The principal runs the school like Mussolini and if you are not in lock-step with her craziness, good luck. The teachers live in fear of her, the board of ed can't control her, the parents know if you are not on the bus, you are off. The curriculum is a big fail, but sadly, it's the best of the worst in the area. MSC is a great example of how the NYC school system just doesn't work, no matter how much effort is put in. I've been there 3 years, and I feel forced to move out of the city.