P.S. 188 Michael E. Berdy

Phone: (718) 266-6380
Admissions: Neighborhood school/gifted program
Principal: Frederick M. Tudda
Neighborhood: Coney Island
District: 21
Grade range: PK thru 05
Parent coordinator: CHINIZA BATISTE

What's special:

Good teaching and lots of field trips; vision center opens in 2013

The downside:

Social studies could use more focus; there's no proper gym

The InsideStats



Our review

SEPTEMBER 2011 UPDATE: Since 2009, the Sigma gifted program has been phasing out. There have been no new students in the program since then.

2003 Review: Bright, colorful streamers are tied to the gate that surrounds PS 188, a sharp contrast to the bare, worn streets around the school. A huge percentage of PS 188's students 88%, or 13% higher than the citywide rate come from low-income homes. Some live in homeless shelters. Many enter the school with weak skills. Awaiting them at PS 188 are colorful murals, an energized atmosphere, and some enviable academic offerings.

PS 188's magnet theme is "New York City." Through the program, kids are offered regular field trips to different corners of the city, as well as to cultural spots in other states. The day of our visit, the entire fourth grade was traveling to the New York Planetarium.

PS 188 has been working to build up its science program, and its science classroom is filled with student projects. The literacy program at the school has been improving, too, according to one parent. Unfortunately, this parent said, the social studies could use more focus.

The school's large enrollment has drawbacks. Special programs, such as science, can't be offered to everyone; two classes are located in portable classrooms outside of the main building; and the first lunch period begins at 10:30 a.m. The school also lacks a proper gymnasium.

At the same time, PS 188 has a beautiful new dance studio, complete with mirrored walls and a ballet barre. Hallways are being repainted each floor a different bright color and a new computer lab is on the way. In 2013, the school will get a new vision center, and students will be able to get free glasses and eyecare.Parents, teachers, and students seem more than willing to adjust to the school's spatial and programming glitches in return for a school they consider especially strong and welcoming to kids. According to the principal, fully half of the school's fifth grade class is accepted into gifted programs for middle school. (Deborah Apsel, May 2003; updated information 2013)


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