P.S. 199 Frederick Wachtel

Phone: (718) 339-1422
Admissions: neighborhood school
Neighborhood: Sheepshead Bay
District: 21
Grade range: PK thru 06
Parent coordinator: RITA VELIC

What's special:

Good test scores.

The downside:

Discipline may be too strict for some.

The InsideStats



Our review

2008 UPDATE: Rosalia Bacarella has succeeded Esther Spirgel as principal of PS 199.

2001 REVIEW: PS 199 is a strict, no-nonsense kind of place, where discipline counts for a lot. Children are scolded if they fail to follow the school dress code a white shirt and dark skirt or trousers. If they misbehave in class, they are sent to a "hot seat," a chair in the corner. It's a school that keeps its scores high by concentrating on the basics, with frequent drills for math and reading. There are no "social promotions" in which kids automatically advance to the next grade. PS 199 is one of the 209 successful schools that the chancellor exempted from the citywide unifrom curriculum. It's a traditional, highly structured school. "You don't see kids here reading on the floor," Mrs. Spirgel said. "We stress cleanliness. We say 'wash your hair before you come to school.'" The school has increasing numbers of immigrants from Mexico and Pakistan, as well as a few from Russia. There is a welcoming library, renovated with a grant from New Visions for Public Schools. (Clara Hemphill, updated 2001)

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