Many of the best teachers have left in recent years. Lower pay and benefits (compares to NYC school) is turning OWNCS into a place for new teachers to gain experience, build up their resumes, and find a new job.
My son is now in 4th grade and is thriving academically and socially. The workload is heavy and expectations are high. Every teacher he has had, from grade teachers, to music, to Spanish, to art, has been amazing, dedicated, kind and caring. The school is ethnically and socio-economically diverse, and that diversity is celebrated. Mr. Ferguson is a wonderful school leader who makes the children's needs a priority. There is great communication between the administration and the Parent Teachers Organization. The PTO is very active.
This school thrives because of wonderful, motivated teachers who go the extra mile and parents who are very involved and engaged in the learning process. The workload is heavier, since the introduction of common core, but this is the case across the board these days.
We have been most impressed with this school. Some data: *Ranked #11 by The Observer for Best Middle School in New York City in 2012; *Ranked a "Notable School" by InsideSchools; *over 3 consecutive years, 90%+ of OWNCS parents reported "high satisfaction" with the school according to DOE surveys; *the majority of students go on to their first choice high school; *the school has implemented a comprehensive plan to assist special needs children; *and over four consecutive years the school has had over a 500 student waitlist. There is strong parent-teacher coordination, and real sense that this a community. The administration has a strong strategic vision that embraces diversity and demanding academics. Sports like tennis, soccer, and basketball are all offered, along with salsa and African drumming. A big league school with high expectations of its staff and students, and a record to match.
MY CHILD WENT TO THIS SCHOOL. TEACHERS SEND THEIR KIDS TO THIS SCHOOL. DEFINITELY FOR SMART KIDS. NOT GOOD IF YOUR KIDS HAVE IEPs. THE SCHOOL HAS THE WORST STAFF BUT GREAT TEACHERS. IT IS A MIRACLE THE PLACE STAYS OPEN. PHONE NEVER ANSWERED. NO CALLS/E,MAILS RETURNED UNLESS IT IS TO THEIR BENEFIT. FUN PLACE TO WORK, KIDS NOT FIRST PRORITY. PARENTS GET IN THEIR WAY. IF YOU WORK A LOT AND HAVE A SMART KID THIS IS A GREAT SCHOOL. WARNING THE BOARD IS THE PRINCIPAL'S BEST FRIENDS. AGAIN GREAT TEACHERS!!!!!
Strong leadership. ELA and Social studies curriculum outstanding. Math program has shown amazing improvement. Science curriculum is nearly non-existent with inefficient teaching.. And administration is beginning to look like nepotism central. A very good school that I still recommend to others, but it needs to expand administration to include a representative sample of the community. In this economy, it seems laughable that the ONLY people hired are relatives or friends of administration. This needs to be addressed by the boar before it affects the good reputation the school has as a diverse community.
One of the best schools in Queens. Strong leadership by the principal, diverse school, a lot of parent involvement. Strong academics , small classes and caring teachers who are determined to have the students succeed.