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P.S./I.S. 187 Hudson Cliffs

Grades: Pre-K, K-8
Staff Pick
349 Cabrini Boulevard
Manhattan NY 10040
Phone: 212-927-8218

Our Insights

What’s Special

Strong parent involvement; calm, cheery school

The Downside


PS/MS 187, Hudson Cliffs, a k-8 school, is a popular choice among families in upper Washington Heights. The school hits a lot of high notessolid academics, strong parent involvement and a cheery, calm environmentthe likely reason that most students stay through the 8th grade. Its located in a quiet, family-oriented neighborhood with many playgrounds and is a short walk from beautiful Fort Tryon Park, the home of the Cloisters.

Cynthia Chory has been the schools principal since September 2006. A former teacher and assistant principal at the school, Chory grew up in the neighborhood, where she too attended 187 through the 8th grade. Roughly 20 percent of the teachers on staff are former PS 187 students, and many teachers have a long tenure there, said Chory.

In the lower grades, we saw cheerfully decorated classrooms and a lot of attention to foundation skills. We saw kindergarten students working on their writing of upper and lower case letters. In another class, they were discussing the difference between a long and short U sound.

Students in all grades read and write a lot and theres explicit instruction in grammar. Seventh-grade students were taking a pop quiz on complex sentences on the day of our visit, answering questions such as: What is an independent clause? What is the punctuation rule if the dependent clause comes first?

Older students enjoy a traditional middle school experience. Beginning in the 5th grade, students start traveling to classes for select subjects; a full middle school schedule of changing classes every period begins in the 6th grade. Students in grades 5 through 8 are assigned lockers and get to leave school for lunch. Chory said teachers and staff volunteer to patrol the streets during the middle school lunch period.

In addition to core subjects, students take art, physical education and music. Spanish instruction starts in the 5th grade.

The school is orderly and values respect when it comes to behavior. The elementary students have quiet lunches with music playing so they focus on eating (there is a nice salad bar) rather than talking, which allows them more time for outdoor play. Students enjoy the large, open play yard at recess, and there is a small climbing structure for the youngest children.

Washington Heights continues to change demographically and incoming families are increasingly middle class. Though 187 still serves plenty of low-income families, its shift in demographics resulted in the loss of Title 1 funds, federal anti-poverty money that the school used for years to support its many successful programs.

The school is also overcrowded. Class sizes can run as high as 32.

Budgets are tight, but parent involvement is strong, with many giving their time and money to support the school. In addition to PTA fundraising, a separate nonprofit group, Friends of 187 raises over $100,000 annually to support programs in art, literacy, digital media and foreign language. Parents also help out in classrooms, offering one-on-one support to struggling learners. On the day of our visit, we saw several parent volunteers working with students in the hallway and in classrooms.

New York-Presbyterian Hospital runs a free medical clinic at the school.

Students enjoy free, onsite recreational and academic activities after school run by The Community Association of Progressive Dominicans (grades k-5) and The New York Junior Tennis and Learning Aces Club (grades 6-8). There are also niche options funded by organizations such as girls-only sports and small-group piano lessons. Several fee-based programs in the neighborhood will pick up 187 students and escort them to off-site activities.

Every year some graduates move on to specialized and selective high schools such as Bronx Science, LaGuardia and Beacon; some graduates also attend Catholic and private high schools on scholarships.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school offers self-contained and ICT classes and SETSS. English language learners get extra support in their classes, on a pullout basis and after school.

ADMISSIONS: For grades k-5, the school is open only to students living in its zone. For grades 6-8, top priority goes to continuing 5th grade students, then to students living in the schools zone, and then to students and residents of District 6. Typically, the school has room for some middle school students from outside the zone. (Laura Zingmond, October 2015).

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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Is this school safe and well-run?

From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey

How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
80% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
56% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
78% Citywide Average

From the 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
1% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From the 2021-22 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
82% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
53% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
50% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
52% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
57% Citywide Average

From the 2021-22 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
39% Citywide Average

What is the Pre-K like?

From the NYC Program Assessment (CLASS and ECERS-R) Database through 2019-2020

Instruction: Teachers ask kids to explain their reasoning when they solve problems
Activities: Children explore art, music, sand/water, dramatic play and more
Language: Teachers talk and listen to kids in a supportive way
Interaction: Teachers ask kids good questions and invite back-and-forth conversation

Who does this school serve?

From the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners
Pre-K seats

From the 2021-22 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
90% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
38% Citywide Average

From the 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

How does this school serve special populations?

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
27% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
21% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
17% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
12% Citywide Average

For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Contact & Location


Washington Heights (District 6)
Trains: A Line to 190th St; 1 Line to 191st St
Buses: Bx11, Bx13, Bx3, Bx35, Bx36, Bx7, M100, M101, M3, M4, M98


Emel Topbas Mejia
Parent Coordinator
Nadiene Capellan

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?

Zone for the 2019-2020 school year. Call school to confirm.

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