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421 West 219th Street
New York, NY 10034

School website
(212) 942-3440
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Map of Paula Hedbavny School address.

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May 02, 2014
When we first started thinking about schools several years ago we didn't even know 278 existed. But here was this rising, well-respected school right in our area, and we chose it over several other options. We've been very happy with our experience so far. The school is now quite popular (one of the only schools in all of Upper Manhattan to have a waitlist) and for good reason. Wonderful teachers, attentive administration, art and music.... The shared cafeteria and gym with PS 18 do present some challenges but the combination of the two schools also works positively for things like menu and the unusually good auditorium. If you are considering attending and want to learn more than you've seen on the tour, don't sit on 220th St and focus on the industrial surroundings or plain schoolyard. (The outside of the school is admittedly less attractive than many.) You won't see any of the kids on those blocks outside of school hours. The actual heart of the school on evenings and weekends is Isham Park, in the middle of the school's zone and where many of the students play off-hours. And of course the spacious and well maintained inside of the school is very much up to par.

- submitted by a parent
April 14, 2014
My son is in Kindergarten with Ms. Paynter. We could not be happier with our choice of school or teacher than we are right now. Ms Paynter manages all of the distinct personalities of the kids with a cheerful and sunny demeanor. The children are engaged and excited about learning. Parents have seemingly unlimited opportunities to participate actively i the curriculum. She provides frequent updates via email and a photo website so we always know what the kids are working on. The school itself is about as close to a parochial school style as a public school can get. In a neighborhood with a wide range of income levels I appreciate the uniform policy. The principal, Mrs. Guido, is a very "firm but fair" type and the kids seem to thrive in the structured environment. The PTA is extremely strong and provides parents with one more way to participate in the education process. The school offers music, dance, arts and other creative outlets in world class fashion. The lunch menu has me jealous of my son's choices. I wish they had more opportunity for physical play, but this seems to be a universal component of schools under pressure to improve test scores. Overall, we love PS/MS 278.

- submitted by a parent
April 02, 2014
My school PSMS 278 is a strongly community oriented. The arts, dance and music classes are strong part of the curriculum. Parents and students are actively involved in the school life and future. Teachers, principal and vice principal are extremely responsive to students' needs.

- submitted by a parent
February 12, 2014
So far so good! My daughter is in Kindergarten with Ms. Paynter....amazing teacher! I wish all teachers can be like her. My daughter is enjoying her Kindergarten experience which includes art, music, and dance. So far, I'm happy! I will review again at the end of the year. Thank you Ms. Paynter !!!! :)

- submitted by a parent
December 05, 2013
A three star rating is a generous one. My son has been in here for several years and we have had our share of problems and some positive moments too. Kinder and first are definitely the strongest grades, and others need serious attention. The teachers are not engaged with the parents, and do not provide any updates of student progress other than the couple of parent teacher conferences. The school does have strong extracurricular and arts, which helps and the principal does seem to fight for as much funding as she can. There is a band of PTA parents who discredit any parents who voice concern. I have seen and heard it first hand. This school would do a lot better if the PTA and principal were more open to hearing feedback and address those concerns, rather than ignore them. They should also encourage the teachers to provide more updates to parents on student progress.

- submitted by a community member
October 01, 2013
I agree. I am a parent of a second grader at the school and, while, academically things were not that bad, the teachers were not responsive and able to catch students' attention. Third grade is fun again. Hang in there.

- submitted by a parent
September 08, 2013
is the best school in the area. However i will like to receive more individual information about child progress. i love the extracurricular activities dance , art, theater , book fair, bake sale family dinner walkathons many things. the only ASPECT FOR IMPROVEMENT i have about this is that sometimes teachers are not as motivated as kids k-5 need teachers to be. The only teacher i can vouch for is Ms. Painter 1st year in the school and she is awesome.... i wish she was my teacher when i was in school i wish is was the teacher for all my kids. but unfortunately my daughter is above K already. The old teachers should teach older kids... And brand new teachers that haven't been bit down by system should teach younger kids. Lets face it... if the first experience of a child is great at least the first years he will continue to be motivated. the school is clean organize , they really know how to set parents straight - if your kid is miss behaving - hey i don't mind who you know he is miss behaving and that needs to be addressed. I like discipline and in this school the security guard is sweet but he even disciplines me. is great ... :D

- submitted by a parent
September 04, 2013
We love PS/MS 278! I never thought my kids could get such a well rounded education from a NYC public school. But 278 has it all, strong focus on academics in addition to music, art, dance and opportunities for hands-on experiential learning. Thanks 278.

- submitted by a parent
June 13, 2013
This is a school where the Principal really cares about the school, teachers and students!

- submitted by a teacher
June 06, 2013
This is one of the most improved schools in the city and the principal is extremely pro-active and very involved in the school. We have our oldest son in Kinder this year and his teacher Ms Paynter is phenomenal. We get great communication from the teacher and the school frequently. The extra curriculum (Music, art and dance) is wonderful especially with all the cuts in public school. The school got an A from the NY board of education for two years in a row and the student's ethnicity is a great mixture. The school deserve a 9 at least and this website need to update it's information by pulling the test results from the NY department of education. Great school!

- submitted by a parent
June 06, 2013
PS/ MS 278 ROCKS! The students are great and very respectful. The parents are very supportive. And the staff is amazing and dedicated!

- submitted by a teacher
June 06, 2013
Great teachers. Super elementary school program. Strong community and neighborhood support. What a great surprise in upper Manhattan.

- submitted by a parent
June 06, 2013
My son is in kindergarten this year and I just love this school. He has a speech problem, so when he enter the school he wasn't talking much. He now practically can have a conversation with any body and is always looking forward to go to school. I love how the staff all know the kids and are always helpful. His teacher is the best and I couldn't have asked for a better teacher for him. She always communicates with us threw email and always has us involved in any activity that she does with the kids.

- submitted by a parent
March 30, 2012
I am very happy with PS 278, my son is in II grade and doing excellent! The school has a rich curriculum, an art and music program and a warm environment. As a parent, I believe success in your children education is a 50/50 effort and I found in PS 278 the tools I need to provide a safe and stimulating environment for my son. I am mostly grateful for the tireless effort of the parents involved in the school and Ms Guido whom I think is a wonderful and dedicated Principal. PS 278 is a real gem in our neighborhood.

- submitted by a parent
March 30, 2012
We have two children attending PS 278 and are very happy with the school. There was a time when we weren t sure about raising our children in the city when they reached school age , but due to the wonderful experience we've had at 278, we have stayed. In the 278 School Community, our children see dedicated Moms and Dads from all walks of life working at the Bake Sale, Book Fair, Cancer Walk etc. and they see first hand what it means to be part of a community. They see the staff and families not only in school, but at the playground, in the grocery store, at functions outside the school, and it strengthens their feelings of belonging. To me that is such an important lesson. Even in this big, loud, sometimes tough as nails city, we have carved out a little slice of small town life. On top of all that, they are challenged academically and exposed to so many incredible programs Music, Art, Theatre, Dance. In the same month one of our children attended a concert with Natalie Merchant at the 92nd St. Y, the other a concert at Carnegie Hall - not too shabby! I think with every school, there will be bumps along the way, but for us, 278 has been a terrific experience. C. Leonardo

- submitted by a parent
March 29, 2012
Kindergarten can be a very tough transition for a child and for their parent. However, as adults, we should be mature and realize it is wrong to generalize a whole school by one's own experience. To say that "People are being pushed out of Inwood because of this particular school" is a ridiculous comment! There are so many schools in Inwood to choose from - try another school if you want. Maybe if people have had issues with the local daycare and now the school they need to take a look at what the continual issue is. I for one am extremely pleased with 278. My teacher is warm, kind and comunicative. I get calls from the school about events and notices sent home. No school is perfect. I have friends with children at Muscota, Amistad, 178, Washington Heights Academy and even Anderson - all have things they love and things they do not like and would change - but they don't disparage the entire school. At 278 there are a lot of wonderful dedicated families committed so please don't speak for everyone when many wonderful families ARE staying. We love the music program, the dance program, the 92nd street Y relationship, the SEM prgram, etc.

- submitted by a parent
March 29, 2012
I completely disagree with your review of the school. The school goes above and beyond what it needs to do to communicate to all of the families. Unfortunately, this is NYC and their are lots of different kids with lots of different issues. You seem to have your facts quite wrong. My child, Patrick is a 1st grader and has had a wonderful learning growth curve at this school. Not to say that the road hasn't been bumpy but I am not under a cloud of delusion. I am also proud to post my name to this because being passive aggressive is a trait I am not fond of. Marcee Deegan

- submitted by a parent
March 29, 2012
Bearing in mind that this is a NYC Public School, we have been happy with the experience thus far. Anyone who would think they would be going into this experience not expecting bumps in the road is delusional. Communication - anytime we have needed response from the teachers, we have received it. If I have called the school, I receive a call back the same day or next. A request for a conversation or meeting has always been accommodated. We have received consistent communication as well from the school & PTA. Email we are a title 1 school, there are a great number of families who are not able to use email which means we would be excluding them from communication. That is not fair to them, is it? As long as I get a response, I do not care if it is via email or on a piece of paper. In 1st grade (remember, KG IS optional) the reading criteria is tough! The DOE this year has even increased the year end goals. I will not discredit the entire institution for occasional unsatisfactory things that are happening in his class alone. Dealing with difficult children and their families is the way this goes. Understandably, not everyone is up for that challenge. Danielle Floyd

- submitted by a parent
March 29, 2012
I would like to address some key points that have been criticized: 1) We have ALWAYS received response back from the teacher/school so your attempt to apply this to the school as a whole is inaccurate. 2) Every time we have had issues the school has dismissed the child early and attempted to notify the parent. What are you expecting them to do? Welcome to NYC public school! 3) As the parent of a kindergartner you clearly have NO concept of how intense the reading is for the DOE curriculum. KG is OPTIONAL and the core curriculum does not enter the picture until 1st GRADE! 4) We are in CONSTANT communication with our teachers and ALWAYS receive communication back from them. The school still has a majority of families that are on or below poverty level and DO NOT HAVE ACCESS to email. Who cares if the response comes back on paper as long as there IS a response! 5) As for the statement of the school itself driving families out of the neighborhood that is just a futile attempt to smear this school s reputation and is just plain ignorant. Everyone knows there are multiple public school options as well as parochial. Glad you are moving on.

- submitted by a parent
March 29, 2012
The opposite is true regarding driving parents out of the school and neighborhood. PS/MS 278 is continually adding children from other local schools into grades 1-8. I do not know any parents at any of the other area schools who have children that left 278 dissatisfied. Have people left the neighborhood who have left the school? - Of course they have. Is the school perfect and right for every child and parent? Of course it's not, but bad mouthing the school, out of spite, here or anywhere else in social media or cyberspace is in poor taste. Matt O'Shea

- submitted by a parent
March 29, 2012
We have been delighted with our experience at PS/MS 278 and will have a second child enrolling in the school next fall. This year's lengthy waiting list is testament to the growing demand resulting from the school's excellent reputation in the neighborhood. The school balances a sense of structure and rigorous academics with a rich curriculum including music, art, dance, drama, gym, several project-based enrichment programs and the involvement of numerous cultural organizations from outside the school including Carnegie Hall and the 92nd Street Y. (This is no small feat in this fiscal climate!) The principal, faculty and staff are dedicated and skillful in their service to a school population with a very wide range of academic, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. We are proud to be part of such a diverse community that also boasts an extremely warm and committed group of parent volunteers. With all that one hears about the NYC public school system, friends and family outside the city are continually impressed (and a bit jealous!) to hear about the experience our son is having and the educational standards he is held to in our neighborhood "little red schoolhouse."

- submitted by a parent
March 28, 2012
My son is a Kindergartener at PS278 this year, and we will not be returning next year. I would not recommend this school to other parents based on my own experience and observations. We have been very disappointed with this school on many levels including: 1) responsiveness to parent concerns, 2) responding to physically aggressive children in the class who are disruptive, 3) the reading curriculum and 4) communication. There are countless behavioral issues, including violence toward the teachers and other students, in class that the school has not addressed appropriately, and the school does not seem to be concerned that the learning process is disrupted on a daily basis. Beyond behavioral issues and lack of responsiveness, there are also major issues with communication from the school. They refuse to communicate by email and they do not update parents on the progress of learning in the class, or on an individual basis (except for parent teacher conferences). The school is driving many families out of this wonderful neighborhood who are searching for a safe school environment that provides quality education for their children.

- submitted by a parent
February 24, 2012
I LOVE THIS SCHOOL!!! Its my daughter's first year. She's in first grade. The teachers and wonderful. The music program is wonderful. It has so many programs and activies. The principal is so involved as well as the parents. My daughter is learning things that other schools are teaching in second grade. Her grades are amazing. I would definetly recommend this school.

- submitted by a parent
December 01, 2011
PSMS 278 is a fantastic school. Our son has been enrolled for 3 years and is thriving both academically and socially. The teachers are wonderful, innovative and make learning fun. The staff and administrators are such nice people - always there to help and listen. The Principal is a true leader. We could not be happier with this school. see www.psms278.org for the website and details on our state scores. 278 is an A!

- submitted by a parent
no rating March 25, 2010
I'm a former parent of PS/IS 278. My son was there for the middle school. The school is great, has great programs and most important, teachers care for the student and their education.. mr.myint one of the best teacher!!

- submitted by a parent
January 08, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
November 01, 2009
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- submitted by a student
October 31, 2009
I love this school it has nice teachers and it has good extracuricullar activities... (mr.myint is the best)

- submitted by a student
September 09, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
July 15, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
February 21, 2009
This School Has A Lot Of Extra Activities And It Rocks Because It Has Nice Teachers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- submitted by a student
November 13, 2008
I love the schools nice organized environment and the teachers show support for all students

- submitted by a student
October 28, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
October 27, 2008
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- submitted by a student
September 05, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
February 02, 2008
This is the most serious and determened school I've ever had my child in. there is nothing this school cant handle.

- submitted by a parent
December 19, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
June 18, 2007
my child is in the 4th grade going on to the 5th grade and i am more then pleased with the education my son is getting in this school. so far his last year teacher mrs. lambert and this year teacher mrs. saracino are great. if my child needs extra help the school provides after school tutoring.

- submitted by a parent
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Paula Hedbavny School
421 West 219th Street, New York, NY  10034
(212) 942-3440
Last modified Paula Hedbavny School is a Public school that serves grades K-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 6 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Paula Hedbavny School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 38 reviews. Top