The Anderson School

An Insideschools pick
100 WEST 77 STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10024 Map
Phone: (212) 595-7193
Website: Click here
Admissions: Citywide
Principal: JODI HYDE
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
District:3
Grade range: K-8
Parent Coordinator: MARCIE SHAW
Unzoned
Gifted and Talented
Screened
Citywide

What's special:

Super-bright kids and fast-paced academics.

The downside:

Far more applicants than seats available

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Exceptionally smart kids lucky enough to earn a seat in The Anderson School will find a challenging, fast-paced academic environment that prepares them for New York’s most sought-after high schools. The school accepts children from all five boroughs.

Accelerated learning begins early. On our visit, kindergartners were learning chess. First-graders were drawing Doric, Ionic and Corinthian columns. Second-graders reading My Name Is Maria Isabel had written supportive letters to the fictional girl. Third-graders were adding chapters to their humorous autobiographies titled Diary of a Funny Kid.

Fifth-graders wrote essays discussing whether author John Christopher plagiarized War of the Worlds in his 1967 novel The White Mountains. Sixth-graders walk the neighborhood seeking grammatical errors on signs, and administrators admit they carefully proofread school memos because even tiny mistakes will be caught. “It’s cool to be intellectual and to be curious here,” said Aimee Terosky, the assistant principal. “There’s this energy.”

The difficult part is getting in: In 2010, Anderson typically admitted only those kindergartners who scored in the 99th percentile on gifted and talented tests, and yet the school still had roughly 600 qualified applicants for just two kindergarten classes. This means many parents of exceptionally bright 4- and 5-year-olds who aced the OLSAT and have their hearts set on Anderson will be disappointed.

The math program is particularly strong, with students working a year above their grade level. Jodi Hyde, who became Anderson’s principal in 2009 after serving as assistant principal of NEST+M, has created a math curriculum that combines the progressive Everyday Math (used by most of the city’s schools) with the traditional Singapore Math (used by NEST) and other methods.

Hyde said she hopes to enrich Anderson’s arts programs, which lack a strong drama component. The school has three music teachers, and students typically begin learning to play instruments by fourth grade. Students also begin learning Spanish in kindergarten, and nearly 30 percent pass the Regents Spanish test by eighth grade. Anderson’s middle-schoolers participate in 17 sports.

Anderson’s small size sets it apart from larger citywide G&T schools such as NEST+M. The school admitted three classes of kindergartners in 2008 and 2009, but in 2010 went back to two classes, and that’s likely where future enrollment will remain. The school is small enough that the arrival of a few new faces causes a stir. “I know every single person in this grade and the grade below me,” said one sixth-grade girl. Such intimacy can breed not-so-friendly rivalries, so Anderson’s K-5 curriculum has what Hyde called a “social-emotional” component designed to foster empathy. When we visited, a fifth-grade class was having “compliments time,” in which students took turns praising each other.

Some Anderson sixth-graders we spoke to had few complaints. Teachers assigned lots of homework, they said, but rarely an overwhelming amount, and extra help was readily available if they found themselves struggling. Other kids in their classes were smart, they said, but the atmosphere wasn’t overly competitive. Most said they felt comfortable at the close-knit school.

In 2009, Anderson moved from PS 9 to the William O’Shea Middle School campus, an undistinguished, utilitarian building. Anderson’s classrooms for kindergarten through 4th grade are on the first floor, while grades 5 through 8 are on the ground floor. Sharing the O’Shea building with Anderson is the new and growing K-5 elementary PS 452 (which opened in 2010 with three kindergarten classes) and two middle schools: the Computer School (MS 245) and West Prep Academy (MS 421).

The shared building creates minor drawbacks: Toilets and sinks built for middle-schoolers can be too tall for younger students, and impressionable ears sometimes overhear rough language spoken by adolescents. More ominous is the uncertainty (and potential acrimony) created as PS 452 grows and looks to take over more rooms. Hyde said she is confident the schools’ administrators will solve space issues. Still, the crunch dims hopes that Anderson might expand as it briefly did in 2008 and 2009 – and some Anderson parents worry their school could be forced to pack up and move in the foreseeable future.

Anderson parents have a reputation for being passionately involved in the school. “We get a lot of opinions here,” Hyde said diplomatically. “We welcome them.” Some are put off by the Type A crowd, but many appreciate such intense participation. Parents quickly rushed in to remove piles of garbage from the building’s unused basement before Anderson’s arrival in 2009, and Hyde praises parents for donating close to 10,000 books for the school’s new library (set to open in 2011).

Special education: Very few Anderson students have IEPs. Extra help such as specialized tutoring is often available to students upon request.

Admissions: Anderson accepts two kindergarten classes, plus students in grades 1 through 3 as space permits (a rare event). Students apply to Anderson after scoring high marks on the Department of Education’s gifted and talented tests. Officially, students need to score at least in the 97th percentile on the G&T tests to qualify for Anderson and other citywide G&T schools, but in 2010 students needed a 99. Younger siblings of Anderson students can qualify with a 97.) Anderson typically has 20 additional openings for sixth grade. DOE controls admissions. Tours are offered in the fall. Spring tours, conducted after G&T results are announced, can be crowded, hectic and (some parents say) rather off-putting. In accordance with DOE transportation policy, bus service is available for Manhattan students living within five miles of campus. Students outside Manhattan arrange their own transportation. (Skip Card, November 2010)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the former IS 44 building

Number of Students 576

Average Daily Attendance 97%

Students at this school

Asian

  
29%

Black

  
6%

Hispanic

  
9%

White

  
55%

Free Lunch

  
9%

Special ed

  
3%

English Language Learners

  
0%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

8% 20% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?

96% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

NA 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

NA 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average middle school english class

32 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

100% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

100% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

2% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

How many teachers say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep students engaged?

100% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching social-emotional skills?

94% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching organizational and study skills?

94% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam

98% 30% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ela exam

95% 26% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 science exam

100% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 science exam

NA 60% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 8th grades pass high school regents exams?

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass the algebra regents:

53% 15% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass a science regents:

100% 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the 2013 school survey?

83% 61% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say they attended at least one pta meeting in the 2012-2013 school year?

69% 70% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Does the school encourage family involvement?

How many parents say they were invited to an event at the school at least 3 times in the 2012-2013 school year?

86% 70% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Do parents like the school?

How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?

99% 92% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam:

NA 3% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

NA 1% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam:

NA 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

NA 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam:

NA 10% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

NA 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say students with disabilities are included in all activities?

43% 74% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with special needs are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate?

100% 91% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents of students with ieps say this school offers a wide enough variety of services and activities for their children’s needs?

67% 87% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

NA 18% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school ensures that ells receive the same curriculum as non-ells with appropriate suppports?

100% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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