P.S. 87 William Sherman
Strong teachers bring the city to life with creative projects and trips
Relationship between administration and staff could be better
PS 87 has long been one of the most popular schools in District 3, known for its passionate teachers, active parents, and commitment to the arts. Parents chip in to plan fundraisers and help out on the playground, and they advocate for improving the quality of the food.
Hallways are filled with creative and inspired student work. Social studies units begin with the child and expand outward from "me" and "my family" to the neighborhood, city, state, country and world. Kids take trips to the Central Park Zoo, the botanical gardens and area museums. The school has a popular dual language Spanish-English program, designed to make children proficient speakers and writers of both languages.
Alas, the quality of teaching is uneven. Depending on the luck of the draw, your child may get a fabulous teacher—or one who is not ready for prime time. The staff is famous for its independence, or, depending on your point of view, its resistance to supervision. The school had five principals in a decade; one told us she left because some of the teachers acted as if they didn't need a principal.
Monica Berry, principal since 2010, has a rocky relationship with some the staff; according to school surveys, many teachers mistrust her.
That said, nearly all the parents who responded to the survey say they would recommend the school. "In a school this big you are bound to come across a few less-than-impressive teachers, parents, kids," a parent wrote on the InsideSchools website. "The classes are big, lunchroom is crowded, and the auditorium gets noisy—but this is a NYC public school. The experience for kids and parents, I think, mirrors real life. I highly recommend this school for families looking for a well-rounded education in life and in academics."
SPECIAL EDUCATION: SETSS (special education teacher support services) and ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes on every grade level. The school also has speech, occuptional therapy, physical therapy and counseling.
ADMISSIONS: Zoned neighborhood school. Upon intake, a note is made if you are interested in dual language, but final decisions only occur once your child has been accepted to PS 87. No kindergarten children from outside the zone except siblings have been accepted in the past several years. (Clara Hemphill, web reports and school data, September 2016)
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Manhattan NY 10024