We wanted to love PS101 so much! We loved the building and the proximity to our home. However, it is not a good place for raising healthy children. A huge issue is that the children hardly get recess. Children learn through play, plus they need to let out their energy, so they can be mentally ready to learn. Instead if the day is cold they go to the auditorium and watch a tv show!!! Children will less likely to pay attention if they have not played. If your child is a more visual learner, or musical, linguistic, logical or another of the multiple intelligences described by Gardner, then this school will fail for your child. They don't want you to challenge their educational system, because they assume that everyone can learn in the same uniform way. The teachers are overwhelmed and my son tells me his teacher is always screaming. At some point children will shut down and disrespect an adult who has lost control. The current assistant principal seems to think that her 1 method works exactly the same for boys and girls. Boys learn different than girls, however they are not looking for solutions to fix problems but to score high test results. Kindergarten children are given 10-12 pages of HW that they cannot complete without parent help. It is a very disfunctional school and my son has already had 3 teachers and it will be surprising if she finishes the year. I have been living in Forest Hills for over 10 years and the reason we will move is to give our children a better education experience with teachers and principals who "understand and care" for children and not expect them to be robots and glorify them.
A parent Posted Jun 11, 2014 My child went here for 2years and loved it. We move a lot and this school is leaps and bounds better than any other school she's attended. The teacher here are inspiring and dedicated to the students. They not only teach the standard lessons, they teach them things they can use in the real world. They have unique activities the kids get to do,like ballroom dancing or field trips to Philadelphia. The staff is excellent. It has a great safe, secured environment. It's in a beautiful old school with a winding staircase inside that has classroom pictures of the original students that went there. It's in the best neighborhood in Queens. There parents at this school that can afford to send their kids to a private school but send them here instead because the school is just that good.
Stay away from PS 101 "School in the Gardens." We know families who who have moved from their homes here specifically to get out of the zoning for this school. We have been at this school for almost three years, and the academics are at a low level. Because of high class size and lack of teacher assistants, kids get almost no individual attention, and are stuck learning at the lowest common denominator. Parents in this zone have to spend a lot of money on Kumon for their children to keep pace with their peers at other schools. The school's NYC "report card" indicates that violence is a problem there, and indeed we know of serious incidents. In addition, despite trying time and again, a teacher rebuffed our requests for a meeting to address concerns. We were only able to see the teacher at the semester parent-teacher conference (6-minute limit). Certain high-level administrators are notoriously obnoxious. Children tell the parents that teachers raise their voices and engage in other inappropriate behavior. PS 303, 196 and 144 are nearby; they are rated higher in most of the NYC schools' "report card" criteria, including better student test results. Go there if you can.
My niece just started the third grade. She is a bit disappointed none of her close friends are in her class. She enjoyed and did well in the second grade due in part to a fine teacher. PS101 has an excellent after-school program and a great website with helpful links. We look forward to a prosperous year ahead. My niece sees her friends at recess, and is anxious to make a few new ones.
I have mixed feelings about this school. Our son began kindergarten late in the school year. It was his first experience in kinder and first time attending school full day. The admin/staff lacked any empathy regarding how this transition might be for my son and our family. Fortunately, our son ended up doing very well and settled in quickly. It's a very "academic" program, with no time for play/exploration. My son likes school, although, does complain about the lack of discipline, and wonders why the teacher can't get the kids to "behave." We do love the numerous field trips and special performances. Although, we have a big problem with the showing of videos during incliment weather when the kids can't go outside. We've spoken to the school and they have all the regular excuses. There are schools nearby that have come up with more appropriate solutions, so I know it's possible. Further, some of the videos they show are inappropriate, for which there is no excuse. We actually purchased some more appropriate vids for the school, only to have them show 1 just once. To me, this says much about the school leadership and general attitudes/understanding about young children.
My family of four moved to Forest Hills specifically to attend P.S. 101. We'd heard so many wonderful things; we started the school year full of enthusiasm and hope. I immediately wrote a $1000 check to the PA. I chaperoned every trip and volunteered to read to the class. Then things went drastically and dramatically downhill when our son's kindergarten teacher went absent without a return date for six weeks. Unable to hire a "permanent sub", the 24 kids were subjected to a different overwhelmed sub everyday. Standards dropped: curricula were ignored, even bathroom and snack protocols were abandoned; a culture of bullying sprang up. Human rights violations became commonplace: kids peeing in their pants, going hungry, and being pushed down stairs. We tried in vain to hire an assistant to help out, but the mere suggestion of it evoked disdain from the PA and skepticism from the new principal. We descended into a surreally hellish series of meetings that, in their exquisite illogic, don't merit description here. Finally, after much anguish, we transferred our son into a private school, obliterating, once and for all, our very reason for moving to Forest Hills at all.
This is a great school. It has both the feel of the community and that of a private school right in the middle of Queens. I bought a home in this area just so my child could attend. The principal is outstanding and the faculty is very good. Kudos! I am very pleased