Dyanthe Spielberg is a principal who possesses the rare combination of reason, compassion, and drive that distinguishes great leaders. She makes students the priority, while always being there to hear parents' concerns, and without ever losing site of her role as an advocate for her stellar teachers. This balancing act is in many ways a reflection of the respectful and holistic approach of the school as a whole.
I was skeptical at first about mixed aged groupings, especially considering I have a late December boy. The idea of that wide of an age range in one classroom concerned me, but after 2 years at TNS, I can honestly say I was proven wrong and both me and my child couldn't be more happy! The educators at TNS are EXCELLENT! Their curriculum is rich and the children respond well to the project based learning format. I would encourage all families to expore what TNS has to offer, I'm super excited for my second child to have this experience from Pre-K forward.
I have one daughter who graduated from TNS and another who will at the end of this year. We love it for many reasons: The community is warm and welcoming, making kids excited to be a part of it, which studies show enhances learning. The curriculum is creative and fun and at the same time rigorous, so kids actually and enjoy learning; expectations are high. They don't teach to the test. The teachers are really committed and engaged and really get to know each child's strengths and weaknesses and teach them accordingly. The student body is diverse ethnically and socio-economically, so kids are used to being around different kinds of people without a thought of "us" and "them." If I had it to do over again, I would definitely still choose TNS!
when you read about the best/most highly reviewed Private Schools in the city, you find certain common traits - mixed-age classrooms, progressive education, strong social studies curriculum focused on teaching to the whole child. this school has ALL of that and it's public school! The students, parents and teachers/staff view education as a partnership between all parties involved and act accordingly to deliver on that. It's amazing that such a school can even exist in such odd political times for public schools in NYC.
Many schools claim to be "good schools" but what parents need to understand is their definition of "good" and what the term is representative of. Neighborhood is not a good, school, it is a GREAT one. What makes it great is the commitment the teachers, administrators and parents put into building a community, recognizing that a child is more than a test score and creating an environment that appreciates what it means to learn and what the joy of teaching to children is all about. If you're looking for a school that measures success and progress in an authentic way and believes in the fundamentals of education, then consider "TNS". At TNS, teachers see themselves as partners in their kids' learning and this is evident by the rich curriculum they develop and the myriad of ways they integrate the curriculum into everyday learning. While basics like reading, writing and math align to Common Core, the material is presented in a rich and engaging way so that children feel invested in the subject matter ,genuinely excited about learning and develop not just Common Core aligned knowledge, but the tools to be critical thinkers and social citizens of their community. Of note, TNS kids go on to very sought-after middle schools and do very well academically. What they learn in their early years are tools for academic and social-emotional well being that stay with them. From 'Blackboard Award' winning teachers, to unique and enriching after-school programming offerings, this school is truly special and as a parent, I feel so lucky to be sending my kids here.
I am the parent of a 1st grade student at The Neighborhood School, and I could not be more impressed. TNS is a very special place. My son loves going to school and has grown academically and socially. The progressive model means that he learns while doing, and that has been wonderful to see. While his class has intensively studied architecture for the past two months, for example, he has learned new vocabulary, practiced spelling and writing, used math and early engineering skills, written stories, created artwork, read many books on the topic, and taken field trips to multiple famous landmark buildings. He is engaged and excited about learning. I am thrilled that TNS also offers a solid curriculum for reading, writing, and math. Plenty of physical activity is incorporated in to each school day. My son also goes outside of his classroom multiple times weekly for spanish instruction, science, art studio, library, and gym with specialized teachers. Every teacher at TNS is warm, engaging, and dedicated. The principal is smart, approachable, and clearly respected by both the parents and teachers. We are thrilled with our experience at TNS thus far, and we are looking forward to many more happy years at this school.
We are so grateful to have found The Neighborhood School, as our family has benefited tremendously from the collective wisdom of the adults there. Both of our children have had committed teachers who have created rich, challenging and engaging curricula. Given the singularity of the DOE's focus--test, test, test--this commitment on the part of the teachers and leadership at TNS is particularly admirable. The social studies curriculum is the focus of learning each year, and has totally engaged my kids (and impressed their parents). The literacy curriculum at TNS is rich and involves reading and discussing novels, poems, and non-fiction. The math curriculum has shifted to align with Common Core and the teachers are working hard to adapt it to improve its delivery. The "special" teachers in science, Spanish, and gym, and our librarian and art teachers also deserve special mention for their all-round excellence. I wholeheartedly recommend this school for families who are looking for a creative, rich and child-centered approach to education.
Such an amazing school with so many unique offerings. New principal who communicates well, is open to ideas and is looking to bring more technology into the grades, Spanish 3 days a week/ starting in pre K, gym 3 days a week/ starting in pre K, a belief that children learn from recess and field trips! The school was recently named a PROSE school by the DOE because of the way they evaluate student and teacher work. Parent community is diverse and is welcome to give as much time an energy as they can. In this day and age of test test test, it's refreshing to see a school focus on teaching children good values, good citizenship, provide an emphasis on arts in education in a community-oriented environment. There are creative ways to learn, to foster a sense of learning, to provide a warm welcoming environment and non-competitive education, and present an alternative method of learning that merely drums facts into kids' heads. A true model of progressive education, which is focused on teaching to the whole child, and not the trained monkey approach.
The Neighborhood School is a dream elementary school experience. The community and culture is warm and focused on the children above all else. There is equal emphasis on academics as there is on raising socially aware and concientious human beings. I wish there was more music and art focus but Spanish is a huge plus and the all-school/family Sing! every month is a wonderful experience.