View Full Version : Queens Q300 G&T Queens (30th Avenue School)

06-02-2015, 11:19 AM
Can anyone share their experience with Q300 for families who were given offers? There is not a lot of info on the web about it since it is relatively new.

06-02-2015, 07:54 PM
We switched our child over from a traditional district G&T program for kindergarten to Q300 for 1st grade and have been very happy with the move. We have been lucky with a great teacher this year. She touches base with us on a regular basis and let's us know what our child needs help with. So even though the homework is not mandatory we will do work in subjects where improvement is needed. The PTA has worked very hard to raise money to get assistant teachers for the kindergarten classes so there should be extra support for kindergarteners next year. They also raised enough money to get a few extra enrichment programs in the school. Parents can volunteer to help during lunch and recess so I have had the opportunity to spend some time in the school. The staff is very friendly and the principal, Matt, is quick to return a call or an email. I like the fact that the school focuses on social emotion as well as academics. During morning meeting the children discuss topics like empathy and always trying your best. Overall, a progressive school is just a better fit for our child.

06-03-2015, 08:52 AM
Thank you so much for that response. My wife and I were not familiar with the concept of "progressive" education before, and so the school is kind of a leap of faith for us ignoramuses. The BSI tour, which took place before Q300's, was a bit of a shock to me (again, I plead ignorance, at the time, of this philosophy of education), but I know from their test results that the kids are achieving what the state formally wants them to achieve. Not everyone cares about Common Core results, of course, but I think that it's useful for gauging whether a progressive school is getting its kids ready for the time that test results really do matter (i.e., applications to Hunter, SAT, whatever). BSI said it took them a few years to get to the point where their test scores were respectable, and I assume there will be a learning curve at Q300 as well. The school is a significant bus ride from where we live, and we are next door to a fairly good neighborhood school where we know precisely what we would be getting in terms of the educational product.

Again, thank you for the info. If anyone else out there has an opinion to share, it would be hugely appreciated!

06-03-2015, 12:14 PM
We preregistered yesterday for K. We would be commuting (a long way) from Brooklyn.

You may want to check out the PTA newsletters which provide a lot of detail about what is going on in the classroom: http://www.q300pta.org/pta-home/newsletters/.

A few things we thought were interesting about the school:
-Hands-on, inquiry-based approach with lots of group learning (similar to BSI)
-Science/technology focus. Kindergarteners have computer programming several times per week and engineering starts in second grade.
-Dedicated blocks room/period
-Spanish class starts in K
-Strong focus on social/emotional development, conflict resolution, community service, etc.

The principal also highlighted the uniqueness of their reading program. Kids are initially assessed and then broken into ability groupings across elementary grades with different teachers. So if I understood correctly, a first grader may learn reading from a second grade teacher in a grouping together with younger and older kids. And the school reassesses in six week cycles and regroups as necessary so the kids are continually challenged. I thought this was impressive.

Generally we found the principal to be very inspiring -- bright, enthusiastic, and open to feedback and change as the school evolves. If you have questions you may want to reach out to him directly. He is very accessible.

Good luck with the choice!

04-16-2016, 08:58 AM
Do any Q300 parents live in Manhattan? Is there bus service from Lower Manhattan to the school? How long does the ride take / how early does the child need to leave?


04-17-2016, 04:55 PM
I know of two families from Manhattan. One family drops off via public transportation- I believe they live along the N line, so it's a straight shot for that family to the 30th Avenue stop. The second family takes the private charter bus- but since bus schedules are changed to better align with the families that have signed up, the private bus experiences of this year might not be the same next year.

If you plan on commuting from Manhattan, students should arrive to school no later that 8:20 a.m. and students are dismissed at 2:40 p.m. The commute time will depend on where in Manhattan you're coming in from. Feel free to email info@q300pta.org if you have questions. They can help with any specific questions you have.

04-05-2018, 07:42 AM
Q300 does have a pretty active parent body, passionate about the wellbeing of our children. (spoken honestly from parents you'll find on this forum!) That is never a bad thing, and here's hoping we can all work better together!

Just wanted to share some context-

Founding Philosophy
Q300 was founded on a more progressive philosophy. This was the spirit of the founding Principal. You'll find some of the earlier comparisons between NEST/Anderson/Tag and BSI/Q300. This was no secret, and this is just how Q300 was started.

Website Redesign, and reversion back to the original
The founding Principal and the SLT (School Leadership Team) signed off on the original website, exemplifying what the ideals were at its inception. It was part of the CEP - Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP). The issue is that the new Principal changed it without the consult of the SLT and seemed to conflict with the CEP. For reference, the previous CEPs are here:

"One of the primary responsibilities of the school leadership team is to develop and review the Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP) which is a tool for continuous school improvement planning. Each school’s SLT and principal must produce a CEP document that includes action plans for each Framework for Great Schools element as well as a school-based staffing plan. The design and content of the CEP must be developed by agreement rather than majority rule of the members of the SLT. "

Teacher Turnover
There has been turnover, and that might be expected with new leadership. Without the appropriate teachers in place, there has been a lot of shuffling about this year, which has resulted in some classes getting poor "emergency" hires, and good teachers covering for other areas. Our first few years were great when the school's staffing plan was more stable. I would compare various year's school surveys. You'll find them for the past 3 years. (this year isn't out yet)


Future of Q300
I don't know what the future holds for Q300- only that it's not fair to complain that the school isn't a NEST/Anderson/Tag when it wasn't started out to be. That's not saying that it can't change to become more traditional. It's like going to an Italian restaurant, and complaining that it's not Spanish food. Regardless, we have great ingredients- we just have to agree on what to do with them! Oversimplified metaphor, but you get the point.

My thoughts
I would recommend that you attend the open houses of BOTH schools, and find out the philosophies of the schools. Commute- the kids will adapt- Bus time is fun time for the kids.

Who I am
I'm a founding parent and former PTA- and I hope I'm not viewed as an idealogue. I have two kids (2nd and 3rd). Hubby and I are NYC public school kids (Bronx Science and Stuy Grads- so we know traditional schools too). My mother in law was former vice principal for Mark Twain, and is very traditional! I'm always open to trying to bridge the divide for the improvement of our children. Feel free to reach out if you're interested in discussing more.

04-05-2018, 08:21 AM
Following this from the contentious "transportation" thread. Most of the posters seem to be parents of elementary school kids. I have a 4th grader and am interested in opinions about the middle school, particularly in light of the prior discussion. Thoughts? TIA.

04-05-2018, 10:21 AM
I appreciate comments on elementary school as well. My daughter is going to be at the kindergarten level.

Thanks in advance

04-05-2018, 12:52 PM
Middle School

General Comment
Every school will have their share of colorful personalities. I would recommend researching and critically analyzing feedback you receive from all sources. Every school has their own goals and specific set of circumstances that are unique to themselves. You might not hear critical feedback on a school because there is a high degree of apathy. You might hear a lot of critical feedback because there are a lot of parents who care. Perhaps one school has "better kids" because it's easier for them to "kick out the bad ones." Some schools are more inclusive in that they try to work with the families for a little while longer. Some schools are hyper competitive to keep their G&T seats. (I heard that there's a G&T that students have to qualify every year, and so families don't help each other for fear that they're risking their own seat... of course that school has very strong test scores, but not a strong sense of social responsibility) Some schools give lots of homework in K-2 to prepare them. Some schools focus on non-academic behaviors in K-2. Some schools raise a few thousand dollars a year from their PTA. Some raise six-plus figures regularly.

At the end of the day, your child will be fine in whatever school they choose. Please, stay active in making your school a better place for its students- no matter where you end up.

Cultural Conflict?
Q300, if you read your research on this discussion board, was founded on a more progressive bent. It hired their founding teachers based on that philosophy. Great teachers were hired that were aligned with the philosophy of enrichment over acceleration, learning through inquiry
and considering the WHOLE student in learning. We still have amazing teachers. You can probably read the CEPs of previous years to get an idea of its foundations. At all the Open Houses, we all discussed the overall wellbeing of the student. Many parents volunteered to be at new family registration to answer questions. You'll find many questions answered here as well. The philosophies of the school seemed to be consistent.

The reality, is that with a citywide G&T school, folks sometimes just pick the G&T schools based on their prestige of a citywide G&T. They're surprised to find out that homework from K-2 is optional. (But if you WANT homework, teachers are happy to give it to your student). Some parents freak out that our students don't do piles of homework. (bear in mind, our students also commute about an hour each way). Sometimes speed (Kumon style quick arithmetic) is faced with a challenge when students now have to show their work conceptually. We're finding that the conflict between the "founding parents" and the "new parents" could be explained this way- and hence the perceived dividing line.

Parent Engagement
Q300 is constantly working on increasing parent engagement- from all parents. PTA Meetings, parents surveys, etc. With every school- if you have a concern, reach out to help get it addressed. Maybe through the PTA, maybe through your teacher, maybe through a parent coordinator. Our Parent body is sharing their concerns, and we are working through the system to ensure that they are heard.

04-05-2018, 03:23 PM
I heard that there's a G&T that students have to qualify every year, and so families don't help each other for fear that they're risking their own seat...
which school is that? I thought admissions to G&T programs were guided by the DOE and the process was the same acress the board?

04-05-2018, 04:45 PM
which school is that? I thought admissions to G&T programs were guided by the DOE and the process was the same acress the board?

There is no such school. The prior poster was misinformed.

04-05-2018, 05:23 PM
which school is that? I thought admissions to G&T programs were guided by the DOE and the process was the same acress the board?

I misspoke that it was a NYC G&T, but a D26’s version of a gifted class- the "homogenous" class.


04-09-2018, 10:45 PM
I initiated this thread back in 2015. Having been at Q300 now for a cumulative four years between my son and daughter, I'm now in a position to answer the question I originally posed, and that answer is that Q300 is a wonderful place.

"Progressive" is a very fluid concept at Q300. At the school, it means (I think) that in order to enhance the love of learning, some things that traditionally turned kids off about school could be eliminated, or de-emphasized. People have different ideas about the specifics, but I think that we are lucky that Q300 is a place where that debate happens.

For instance, a "progressive" idea I see at the school is that they cultivate knowledge not just from the top down, but also from the bottom up. That means that a class follows, to some extent, the interests expressed by the children. It's a good motivator.

In terms of the debate above about the families who started the school and their progressive vision (not that it is too homogenous), those parents have been amazing. Some of them are so dedicated that it is almost as if their service to the school is a full-time job. They deserve everyone's gratitude. There would be no Q300 without them.

Anyway, the school is a very diverse place, and the idea of inclusion is part of the school's motto ("Inclusion, Inquiry, and Responsibility"). Everyone's ideas for the future of the school are heard and respected.

04-16-2018, 08:44 AM
Hi I heard Q300 is using another school building. Do the kids at Q300 mix with other kids in the building? or the kids at Q300 just get restricted to one floor? thanks!

04-16-2018, 09:32 AM
Hi I heard Q300 is using another school building. Do the kids at Q300 mix with other kids in the building? or the kids at Q300 just get restricted to one floor? thanks!

No. They are not mixed. Q300 occupied the whole 4th floor and PS 17 have first - third floor. Both schools share the gym, auditorium, and cafeteria but they use them separately.