I had 2 elementary age children enrolled here for three years, during that time they had wonderful teachers and an excellent education. Despite the fact that some of the classes were bridge classes (combined grades) to compensate for overcrowding, I feel that my children received a great education and experiences. The PTA works hard to keep the art, music and other programs funded. There is a free afterschool program which also offers soccer and baseball to community kids. As a stay at home mom, I didn't need to send my kids to after school care, however they loved going during the long winter. Beacon after school provided lots of activities(art, languages, dance, and now musical theater and more). There are lots of wonderful families that attend the elementary school, however it seems that they move to other schools by middle school. The elementary school has been great and I am so glad we had it during on time on the family friendly Roosevelt island!
PS Is 217 is trying. I agree that it does have much potential, and our son's first year at the school was positive following the G&T program. The teachers are supportive and skilled - they deserve much credit to the joy of learning. I was also wary of this school because of its low letter grade, but I understand that due to the transient atmosphere (there are a lot of transfers on this island and sometimes these students only stay for a year) this school will always be challenged to stay consistent in the testings. My disappointments come from the school's leadership as a whole. The principal does not have much respect from the other administration and it's hard for her to lead them. I am looking forward to the new leadership of the PTA this year to see if participation improves. Last year, there was a valiant effort, but again, since some of these families have no real stake in the community, the contributions are low.
This school is lead by very weak administration, who are unwilling to listen or encourage the PTA, but at the same time, the admin beg the PTA for funds for any kind of enrichment, or school supply. The teachers are by and large fantastic, but without support from the lackluster admin, their hands are tied. I wish this school well, but I had to pull my child out after 3rd grade.
Improve with the teaching and develop teachers skills so they can be stronger. Some teachers lack the necessary skills in middle school. After third grade get your child out.
My child is in the G&T program here. I think this is an extremely good school with the potential to be a truly excellent school. The facilities are beautiful and modern, and I have been really impressed by the teachers. My child takes gym, music, art, and Spanish, in addition to her "regular" class. I have been really impressed with the principal and the parent coordinator. I was initially wary of this school because of its low letter grade, but going there has shown me that the letter grades are completely bogus (as I suspected). I agree with another reviewer. If the PTA can just get more and new volunteers, this school could easily rival some of the best schools in District 2. (The middle school is also less than ideal, but I see a lot of work happening there.)
I love this school all the teachers put the children's needs into proper perspective. Throughout the school all the children learn about respect for one another and reponsablity toward there community. My daughter has been attending PS IS 217 since Pre-K. Her love of learning has been greatly rewarded by a staff that engages children and I feel that prepares them for the real world by rewarding the children for there hard work and respect with coupons to be cashed in for small toys and school supplies.
My child is now in his third year at this school. I see lots of exciting things happening here. The administration is always available, I see my child's teacher as much as needed and have her contact information for questions or concerns, the school is well kept, the art and music program is a definite plus and my child loves the school which is most important to me!
My daughter attended the school since 1st grade and I had consistent problems with the staff minus her 3rd grade teacher. In fourth grade I finally had enough and moved her after she told her teacher she was leaving the school the teacher packed her up and sent her home with all her belongings including good bye notes. Not one staff member contacted me to confirm this ! I feel like they wait until a child has completely failed to address any concerns.
PS 217 has been a wonderful place for my son and for me as a parent. The school building is well maintained, bright and cheerful. The principal and administration are easy to deal with and committed to quality education. Best of all my son is thriving in the Kindergarten G&T class. He loves his teacher and classmates. His days are filled with wonderful activities - computers, science, music, art, Spanish, and of course reading and writing. Plus, the school and the PTA have organized fantastic field trips. We could not be happier!
PS 217 has surpassed my expectations. My son has been thoroughly supported by his teacher and all the staff. They are always available to chat if there is a problem (or if there isn't one). I highly recommend this school.
PS/IS 217 suffers because of its negative reputation lingering from years ago. Sadly, people who repeat the stereotypes have not even seen the school. My children go there every day and I can't think of a safer and more nurturing place for them to study. Last year (2008/09) PS/IS 217 was only 2 points away from grade 'A' from the NYC Department of Education. Math program is particularly rigorous, the test scores improved every year, and are now well above the state average. English language scores are somewhat lower, because the school has so many UN workers' children (ESL students). The teachers are excellent, and the Principal is terrific! Always accessible. And the PTA (http://ps217pta.org) has been doing so many amazing things for the school.
Our daughter went to PS/IS 217 for preK & now goes to K. The school has great facilities. The staff is highly qualified. The class sizes are smaller than in most other public schools. The school offers in-class music and arts program, and many after school clubs. Among the cons, the G&T program at PS/IS 217 is new. The school is very international. Students come from 60 countries, and many of them are children of United Nations employees, who learn English as a 2nd language = lower average academic scores. These families can move to another country at any time, so the classes are not as uniform or as stable as some people may like. Location is not ideal for Manhattan families. People complain about the PTA, but from my perspective it is very active this year. Major improvement from what we saw before.
My son went there for pre k and kindergaden. Ms Haya was the pre k teacher she showed that she loved the children but at times it was apparent that there was pressure that took away from he focus on the children. His kindergarten teacher was awesome. Stayed in control of the class and made learning unique, all the while indulging in questions and being in control. The office staff was attentive all concerns brought to the office were addressed. The biggest let down would be the parents, the lack of support made it hard for the pta as well as administration to be the most effective.
The school has changed over the years. I have seen several principals come and go. The current leadership are young and innovative. My son's musical talents were nurtured well enough to get him admitted into a the specialized music high school. The new guidance counselor is tops. he responds well to the issues facing the students. many students lack manners or empathy... not the schools fault. Most of the teachers do a very good job and the environment is generally safe. one weakness is the lack of the presence of teachers of color.
The is doing well, with wonderful teachers like Ms mcguinness. I believe the new programs introduced by the new Principal will further help the student.
The School has a great team with good teachers and kind and ready-to-help professionals at its office. Since the first day I felt welcome. They are very well coordinated with the After School program (Beacon), what makes all easy for parents who must be full time at work. For my family the English as Second Language program was the most important. Mr. Hirsh and Ms D. did a great job with my two children and in two months only they are able to communicate very well. Thank everybody!
This is good elementary school. It has very good teachers. Ms Stern(the first grade teacher is just wonderful). My daughter's 4-grade teacher-Ms Winik was remarkable. The school has very good parent coordinator who is always accessible. The school's building is the best.
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