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  1. #501
    On another note, I went to the ps 33 open house last night and I was really impressed. Parents, teachers, etc all great. Chess team seemed really cool and my kid loves chess (but doesn't take it nearly as seriously as these guys do) so that's a plus, and I love the arts enrichment focus. Curriculum did seem quite advanced. Only thing I wasn't too keen on was the actual building the school is housed in - a little dark and old. Other concern for me personally was the bus - don't know how that's going to go over in this house. Would love to hear any other parents' thoughts.

  2. #502
    Quote Originally Posted by tribeca_mom View Post
    On another note, I went to the ps 33 open house last night and I was really impressed. Parents, teachers, etc all great. Chess team seemed really cool and my kid loves chess (but doesn't take it nearly as seriously as these guys do) so that's a plus, and I love the arts enrichment focus. Curriculum did seem quite advanced. Only thing I wasn't too keen on was the actual building the school is housed in - a little dark and old. Other concern for me personally was the bus - don't know how that's going to go over in this house. Would love to hear any other parents' thoughts.
    Having transferred my kid from a more spacious-feeling, newer downtown Gen Ed school to a district program in an older, darker building, I totally relate to your concern... but 2 years in now, it really isn't something we think about (and the kids don't know the difference - the classroom walls in both schools are covered with bright, happy graphics.) The downtown kids I know all love taking the bus, and it's a great way to meet other neighborhood families... fwiw, both of my kids normally get carsick, but never had any issues at all on the school bus. The other option is to get a student metrocard (if you live 1+ miles away, you can either choose bus or metrocard, not both), and it's a very quick ride up from Tribeca/Fidi on the C, E or 1 trains. Not sure about PS33, but PS11 has an 8:50 start time, and kids can be dropped off at 8:30, which gives us time to drop them in Chelsea and then be at our offices by 9:00, without having to get up at the crack of dawn.

  3. #503
    @tribeca_mom: We were at PS 33 last night also. It's walking distance for us, so can't speak to the bus issue, but we came away with a favorable view as well, though we thought there were a few drawbacks. For us:

    Pros

    *The writing in the K classrooms was impressive -- we were on the NEST tour on Monday, and if there was a difference between the K writing we saw there and what we saw at PS 33, it was too subtle for us to notice.
    *We really appreciated all the talk about traditional rigor, etc. (though we were concerned about the actual application of that when it comes to math -- more on that later).
    *It seemed like half the questions that people in our group asked were about acceleration and differentiation (and 40% were about what test scores their kids needed to get in ), and the teachers gave about the most satisfying answers you could imagine giving under the current DOE policy (or guidance, or whatever it's called) -- both the K teacher and the 2nd grade teacher talked about "meeting the students where they are" and gave what sounded like real examples of variations in assignments targeted to kids' specific skill levels. That was reassuring, and it was good to hear the parent tour leaders say much the same thing.
    *Having TAs in the K-3 classes is a real plus.
    *The enrichments seemed both voluminous and varied, with a lot of good partnerships and some in-class enrichments (like Spanish) that are weirdly difficult to find at K-5 schools.
    *The chess program is a knockout. Simply wow.
    *A small thing, but we were very glad to see a physics unit included in the science sequence. (NEST didn't appear to have a physics unit in the sequence, though maybe that was just an oversight in their presentation.)
    *The parents of current students seemed really happy to have their kids there. I suppose no school is going to have dissatisfied parents give their tours, but this group came off as especially enthusiastic.

    Cons

    *The use of TERC/Investigations for the math curriculum. This was a disappointment. Even before Singapore Math and Math in Focus came on the scene, other math curricula were associated with significantly better outcomes than TERC/Investigations (for example, see https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20134019/pdf/20134019.pdf and https://tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1...45741003770693). It seems especially weird for a school that prides itself on its rigor and traditionalism to be using such a "fuzzy" math curriculum that researchers have repeatedly shown to be associated with worse outcomes and that's been the subject of so much public scorn.
    *As you say, the building has seen better days.
    *It was hard not to notice, in the photos on the walls, etc., the difference in the composition of the G&T and gen-ed classes, and of course that woman from the PTA made that strange comment about the nearby public housing being "a concern." (I get that she was trying to acknowledge that some parents may balk at the location, but sheesh, there are ways to do that without implicitly disparaging what must surely be the homes of many students in the school.) That divide is true of many schools, of course, and reflects system-wide disparities, but we did find ourselves wondering how it plays out in practice. A couple of people in our tour group asked the guides about it, and the guides handled the questions very well, talking about how all of the enrichments are open to everyone and describing some of the activities the school holds to bring everyone together. So maybe this isn't really a fair criticism since the school can't do much to change the underlying issues, but it does feel like something we'll be giving thought to.

    On the whole, we felt like we'd be happy to send our kid there, though we'll have a better perspective once we complete a few more tours.

  4. #504
    Anyone know how many non-sibling seats there are available at Lower Lab? Trying to calculate our odds with a 99 (same district).

    And does anyone know the integrity of the google drive spreadsheets that have been posted? Who/where is this info from, and is it to be believed?

    It’s so hard to go through this whole rigamarole and see that chances at the two or three schools you’re interested in are so slim, even with a 99!

  5. #505
    Quote Originally Posted by toomanykids View Post
    Anyone know how many non-sibling seats there are available at Lower Lab? Trying to calculate our odds with a 99 (same district).

    And does anyone know the integrity of the google drive spreadsheets that have been posted? Who/where is this info from, and is it to be believed?

    It’s so hard to go through this whole rigamarole and see that chances at the two or three schools you’re interested in are so slim, even with a 99!
    Also, does anyone know how many non-sibling seats there are at the 3 citywide schools in Manhattan (Anderson/TAG/NEST)? Did they mention at the open houses / tours?

  6. #506
    Active Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Queens, NY
    Posts
    153
    Anderson has this info on their website: http://www.ps334school.org/admissions/open-house-nights

    k: 50 seats/13 siblings
    1st grade: 8 seats/2 siblings
    2d: 1 seat/2 siblings
    3d: 1 seat/0 siblings

  7. #507
    Quote Originally Posted by toomanykids View Post
    Anyone know how many non-sibling seats there are available at Lower Lab? Trying to calculate our odds with a 99 (same district).

    And does anyone know the integrity of the google drive spreadsheets that have been posted? Who/where is this info from, and is it to be believed?

    It’s so hard to go through this whole rigamarole and see that chances at the two or three schools you’re interested in are so slim, even with a 99!
    My son was in ps77 waiting list last year and abled to get in. My advice to all parents, dont worry too much about the chances, just apply the school you want your child to go and rank it with your priority.

  8. #508
    I am curious.....Does anyone have year 2018 or 2017 or 2016 "Summary of Testers by Grade, District, and Eligibility"? It seems like DOE is not transparent in posting these data points on their website. Or maybe I am looking in the wrong places on their website.

  9. #509
    Quote Originally Posted by thewildrobot View Post
    @tribeca_mom: We were at PS 33 last night also. It's walking distance for us, so can't speak to the bus issue, but we came away with a favorable view as well, though we thought there were a few drawbacks. For us:

    Pros

    *The writing in the K classrooms was impressive -- we were on the NEST tour on Monday, and if there was a difference between the K writing we saw there and what we saw at PS 33, it was too subtle for us to notice.
    *We really appreciated all the talk about traditional rigor, etc. (though we were concerned about the actual application of that when it comes to math -- more on that later).
    *It seemed like half the questions that people in our group asked were about acceleration and differentiation (and 40% were about what test scores their kids needed to get in ), and the teachers gave about the most satisfying answers you could imagine giving under the current DOE policy (or guidance, or whatever it's called) -- both the K teacher and the 2nd grade teacher talked about "meeting the students where they are" and gave what sounded like real examples of variations in assignments targeted to kids' specific skill levels. That was reassuring, and it was good to hear the parent tour leaders say much the same thing.
    *Having TAs in the K-3 classes is a real plus.
    *The enrichments seemed both voluminous and varied, with a lot of good partnerships and some in-class enrichments (like Spanish) that are weirdly difficult to find at K-5 schools.
    *The chess program is a knockout. Simply wow.
    *A small thing, but we were very glad to see a physics unit included in the science sequence. (NEST didn't appear to have a physics unit in the sequence, though maybe that was just an oversight in their presentation.)
    *The parents of current students seemed really happy to have their kids there. I suppose no school is going to have dissatisfied parents give their tours, but this group came off as especially enthusiastic.

    Cons

    *The use of TERC/Investigations for the math curriculum. This was a disappointment. Even before Singapore Math and Math in Focus came on the scene, other math curricula were associated with significantly better outcomes than TERC/Investigations (for example, see https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20134019/pdf/20134019.pdf and https://tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1...45741003770693). It seems especially weird for a school that prides itself on its rigor and traditionalism to be using such a "fuzzy" math curriculum that researchers have repeatedly shown to be associated with worse outcomes and that's been the subject of so much public scorn.
    *As you say, the building has seen better days.
    *It was hard not to notice, in the photos on the walls, etc., the difference in the composition of the G&T and gen-ed classes, and of course that woman from the PTA made that strange comment about the nearby public housing being "a concern." (I get that she was trying to acknowledge that some parents may balk at the location, but sheesh, there are ways to do that without implicitly disparaging what must surely be the homes of many students in the school.) That divide is true of many schools, of course, and reflects system-wide disparities, but we did find ourselves wondering how it plays out in practice. A couple of people in our tour group asked the guides about it, and the guides handled the questions very well, talking about how all of the enrichments are open to everyone and describing some of the activities the school holds to bring everyone together. So maybe this isn't really a fair criticism since the school can't do much to change the underlying issues, but it does feel like something we'll be giving thought to.

    On the whole, we felt like we'd be happy to send our kid there, though we'll have a better perspective once we complete a few more tours.
    @thewildrobot: First of all, just wanted to thank you for posting some very thoughtful messages here. (I didn't realize you were in the mix as a "parent of applicant" this year. I was at the PS33 tour as well and I would swear I was there when the parent made that less-than-PC comment you noted -- was this outside in the playground area towards the end?)

    Whatever PS33 is doing with Math or otherwise, they seemed to have pretty strong exmissions. You saw that slide, right? So I have to think something's working there, at least if you want to go by the stats. Of course, could've just been a particularly strong crew of kids this year.

    Did you go to PS11 today? I'd be curious what your take was. On the TA point (related to one of the PS33 "pros" you note): the PS11 principal said they don't have TA's but the research says TA's don't matter. But they get specialists as teachers ask for them on subject matters when needed. I don't know, I'd still think having another person around to help mind the kids would help. He seemed to be suggesting it gives teachers the added work of managing the TA. You seem fairly data driven so I thought you might have done digging of your own.

    Also -- how confident are you in the G&T results data on that google drive site, especially the ones broken down by score/district? I cannot find that data on the NYC DOE G&T website anywhere! It seems so strange. Am I missing something?

  10. #510
    Quote Originally Posted by BKLYN_HOKIE View Post
    I am curious.....Does anyone have year 2018 or 2017 or 2016 "Summary of Testers by Grade, District, and Eligibility"? It seems like DOE is not transparent in posting these data points on their website. Or maybe I am looking in the wrong places on their website.
    They took it offline. Look here:
    2013-2016
    https://web.archive.org/web/20160419...es/default.htm
    2017
    https://web.archive.org/web/20170616...es/default.htm
    2018
    https://web.archive.org/web/20180630...es/default.htm

    So we have this all in one post. Here's 2019:
    https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...psMztK8-NUh6Gt
    Last edited by astoriadad; 05-04-2019 at 05:12 AM. Reason: Correction

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