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  1. #11

    PS 111 G&T Mom here

    We have been 111 from K-2nd now and the school has improved immensely (my son scored a 96). But this year when my 5 year old scored a 99, I decided to visit Anderson, TaG, and NEST+M. After visiting the other programs, I was quite surprised to discover that the academics at 111 are right in line with the work I saw at all three city-wides in the 2nd grade level. I felt that the writing of students at NEST was actually a bit below the level of work I see from the 2nd grade G&T at 111. Also, my son (because the school moved him up to 4th grade gifted math) is completing math curriculum at a level higher than what I saw at Anderson for 2nd grade. Overall, I have to admit that after visiting these city-wide programs, I actually liked 111 a lot more than I did previously. We ended up just applying to 111 and not the citywide programs.

    Here are my overall impressions:

    Anderson:
    Lots of wonderful extra programs
    Very small classrooms (half the size of those at 111 & lots of kids stuffed in the class.
    Too much clutter/ papers everywhere, hanging from the ceiling.
    Overall, classrooms feel very small and cluttered.

    TAG:
    I felt that the academics are very high here but I also got the feeling that the administration is not rum well. The office are looked disorganized. The biggest negative about this school (for us) is the lack of choice/play time for Kindergartners. It's pretty much standard that K's get one period of choice time per day, usually at the end of the day. At TaG, the only have choice time at the end of the day on Fridays. This was very concerning and heavily factored in to why we did not apply to this school. I agree with others that even in Kindergarten, the atmosphere was heads down, quiet, and busy working. I was really hoping that this school had more engagement and hands on learning activities in Kindergarten. That said, I think it's a better option for upper grade levels. The student tour guides seem very bright and well educated.

    Nest:
    This was my favorite of all three city-wides I visited. This school seems very well rounded and I would love for my child to attend this school but ultimately we decided that the commute would be far & time consuming for our 5 year old.

    PS 111:
    From K-2, I see equivalent work from 111 students in comparison to the three city-wides I visited. But, I would like to see higher quality math and science instruction at our school.
    111 has a beautiful campus, brand new school yard and playground. Spacious classrooms and smaller class sizes. Second grade G&T only has 16 students. This year, they expect Kindergarten G&T to fill (7 out of 15 students in my son's Pre-K class alone qualified for G&T). But, the rumor is that if K G&T fills/overfills this year, they will add a second G&T Kindergarten. This means that if you accept a seat here that you are likely to be in a class of less than 20 students.

    I think our school doesn't "sell" itself well at the tours. We have many great programs at the school including free after-school music instruction (wind instruments), chess, a general after-school program, studio in a school, after-school dance, Might Milers (track), Read Ahead, puppetry, in-school swimming, Eco club, there are plans to start a math club and a science club next year. I'm sure I'm also missing a bunch of programs that I didn't think of right now

    A huge plus at 111 is that they are willing to move your child up to the next grade level (by subject) if your child is exceeding standards. For example, this year my 2nd grader is in the 4th grade G&T math class.

    I also love how diverse the population is at 111!


    What I wish was better:
    We still are in great need of more parents to be active in the PTA.
    I wish that this school had a math team and took part in competitions for math, science, spelling, etc.
    We could really use a makeover of the library.
    The school has enormously improved communication this year, but they can still do better particularly when it comes to individual teachers. Some teachers provide amazing & thorough communication, while others provide very little.
    I wish we had more staff to assist the classrooms and to monitor recess (in most public schools this is paid for by the PTA)
    I also wish we had an alternative organic lunch program

    Hope this helps!

  2. #12
    MomToBoys, thank you so much for sharing your experience. I listed ps111 on our application but it was the only G & T we didn't tour (the open house school schedule was so packed). Your info is definitely more detailed than the school would have given us on a tour. I particularly like the after school activities and the in school swimming. Just curious, do they have a swimming pool in the school? It sounds like you are quite happy at ps111 and your kids are thriving there.

  3. #13
    Are there any other parents with kids currently in G & T classes at PS 130 and PS 111? Please share your experience. And PS 124 in Chinatown? Seems like there are no parents on this board with kids there.

  4. #14
    We just got an acceptance to PS 111. My daughter will be going into the 2nd grade. She is currently attending a nearby school at Midtown West. She is happy there and we are fairly happy with her current school, that is why it will be a tough decision. Can MomtoBoys or other parents in PS 111 GT program comment on the teacher for the GT program. What grade level does the GT program goes to and does the kids stay with the same teacher throughout? Thanks.

  5. #15
    We have a child in G&T at PS130 and are very happy with the program. The academics are very strong and they also have very good arts programs (they partner with Inside Broadway, National Dance Institute, young people's chorus of New York, violin program with third street school of music etc.). We transferred from a very good downtown GenEd school and the academics at PS130 are much more advanced and our child feels a lot more challenged and engaged.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by yellowtuna123 View Post
    We have a child in G&T at PS130 and are very happy with the program. The academics are very strong and they also have very good arts programs (they partner with Inside Broadway, National Dance Institute, young people's chorus of New York, violin program with third street school of music etc.). We transferred from a very good downtown GenEd school and the academics at PS130 are much more advanced and our child feels a lot more challenged and engaged.
    Thank you for joining this thread and sharing your valuable insight. We received a g & t offer at PS 130 and are leaning towards accepting. The part about your child being more engaged at this school is exactly what we are looking for. Would you say that the teacher treats each kid individually or that the kids are engaged in smaller groups? My impression is that PS 130 is a happy middle between a progressive and a traditional school. As a parent with a child there what is your take? Once again, thank you for sharing your experience.

  7. #17
    That's a very good way of describing the school - a happy middle between progressive and traditional. We found that most of the downtown schools are very progressive and we were looking for something more traditional so PS130 works better for us. The school provides structure yet it still allows kids to be very creative.

    Yes, the teachers do put kids in smaller groups based on their reading levels and math abilities (i.e. the kids may have different reading/writing partners and math partners). There's a lot of emphasis on writing and I was impressed by the quality of writing even by the kindergarteners (when I toured the school a few years ago, my jaw dropped when I saw the work at PS 130 vs the work my child did in the previous school). The school uses Singapore Math which, in my opinion, is one of the better Math programs available here.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by MomToBoys View Post
    We have been 111 from K-2nd now and the school has improved immensely.


    Thank you so much for your input. So you will have 2 children attending PS 111 next year in the GT program. I am a little surprise that you would give up the chance for your child to go into a citywide school. Every parents just make it seems like the citywide schools is the IVY league of GT schools. I would expect the citywide schools to be more establish and also better in that regard. PS 111 had only recently set up the GT program in their school.


    What I am still trying to understand is whether the GT program in a school have to meet certain higher standards and requirements for the teachers as well as their curriculum compared to the GedEd counter part. I was told that the curriculum in PS 111 GT program would be the same as the GedEd curriculum. If that is the case what would be the benefits of putting your child in a GT program. How do you see this in PS 111? Is the kids in the GT program doing the same thing as the GedEd? If that is the case what do you see as the benefits in enrolling the kids in a GT program? Is it just to be around other GT kids?


    What grade level does PS 111 GT program go up to? The GT program in the school is expected to go up to grade 5, is that correct?


    Parents of GT at PS 111 that can give more input about the GT program and their teachers would be very helpful to us to make an informative decision for our child. I would love to be able to meet some parents in the GT program as well. Please send me a message if you are able and willing. Thank you so much.

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