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  1. #1

    Exclamation UES Zone school (PS 527) vs G&T (PS 33)

    hey folks, need some help here in decision making.

    We were waitlisted for G&T at PS33, just got the offer. Our kid has already started in our zoned school on UES (PS 527), it's very close to our house, and test scores are in late 80s or 90s. PS33 on the other hand seems to have a good G&T curriculum (at least that's how I understood from other threads). Issue is, it will take our kid 40-45 mins of bus ride for PS33 (vs 2 min walk to PS 527). Also PS33s overall test scores are in late 60s, granted that it contains gen classes as well, but what does it say about other half of the school? We would really like our kid to attend a G&T, but are in between on PS 33 -

    My questions are -

    1. Has anyone had experience bussing their kindergarten kid on a long bus ride? how did it fare? is it a good idea? Would it leave time for post school programs?

    2. How good a G&T program would be at PS 33, say wrt to a good zone school in UES? Test scores for G&T specific kids is not advertised; i am hoping it's high, but would a overall lower average for PS 33 gives people a pause?

    3. What other factors to consider in this decision making? Sometimes such decisions may make vision too narrow and people experienced with such can provide a good perspective, so please do. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Good schools have 3 things: better teachers, students & resources. Resources would be the same (lacking). Teachers, some are G&T credentialed, some just experienced within a G&T classroom. Parents (mostly G&T) pay for TA's shared in all classrooms. The curriculum is somewhat accelerated, but mostly just enriched. Students, the biggest difference, are on the whole smarter/more academically advanced. Naturally, or by parent intervention? Who knows. Likely just the outcome of highly motivated parents seeking accelerated education, and having prepared their child since birth.

    1. My child has a 40-min. bus ride, wishes it was 10-minutes. Most kids treat the bus like a playdate, so they don't even notice. There are several UES kids in each grade. Bus gets home late, 3:30 or so, maybe 3:45 for you.
    2. Test scores are easy to compare. Go to Great Schools, historically at PS33 the G&T/gen-ed splits by race. Note: this is changing! Due to innovative DOE policies? Ha! Nope, just old-fashioned gentrification. The nearby HPD housing is not turning over with new families, and all new housing is market rate. This year, for the 1st time, there is only one gen-ed Kindergarten class. That's ~25 gen-ed vs ~50 G&T. In a couple of years PS33 will be a ~2/3 majority G&T School with empty classrooms. What will DOE do? Who knows. As a consequence the overall test scores will climb, on par with good gen-ed. G&T scores will remain higher, low to mid 90's.
    3. Other factors: Is your child bored at school, says its too easy? Will they miss sports? PS33 has sports afterschool (Kids in the Game), but then you have to pickup. Do they like Chess? Very strong program at PS33. The building is a dump, and the neighborhood can be sketchy. Kids don't care, but is that okay with you?

  3. #3
    Thanks for the awesome reply, very helpful indeed. Good to know that 40 min commute may not be a deal breaker here which was our biggest concern.

    Just wondering though, and reason could be many, but in your opinion why would parents want to continue doing this commute for 6 years? wouldn't they move near by? Could one reason be keeping residence in a good zoned middle school (which UES has)?

    One more thing, I am hoping our option to go back to zoned school in case this commute does not work out is still open next year, right? Additionally, do you know if one can move between district G&Ts in future grades, may be something closer? I know that some moved from district to citywide. Thanks again for the help.

  4. #4
    Given uncertainty around G&T we consider other options every year, so we are not sure where to move. You cannot switch District G&T but you can always return to zoned Gen-ed. You can try to win the lottery and "upgrade" to Citywide, but good luck with that. We got a lower lottery draw last year than we had before Covid with a 99 test score. Most empty Citywide seats go to siblings and diversity initiatives.

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