2010, 2011 & 2012 High School Reviews

These are the results of surveys sent out, asking parents for their reviews of their kids high schools ... Hopefully it helps inform you and your child's decision.


Rachel



Academy for Careers in Television and Film (2012 review)
Long Island City, Queens

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience:

This school is truly a hidden gem in the public school system. It is an extra small CTE high school with a creative bent. With under 450 students, it is a place "where everybody knows your name." Students are welcomed every morning with a handshake and greeting from various staff members.The student body is diverse and cliques don't seem to be an issue. My son went in knowing no one but attended a two day summer bridge program in August and by the 2nd week of September had met a lot of friendly kids. There are clubs based on student interest and several sports for both males and females. At least two of the girls' teams are PSAL teams. The school is working to get PSAL accreditation for the boys' teams. ACTvF is housed within a middle school and shares the gym and cafeteria with them. The high school has a brand new air conditioned workout room. The two schools operate on staggered schedules starting and ending an hour apart. ACTvF's hours are 9 am to 3:30 pm. Class periods are an hour and 15 minutes long. Academics are strong and expectations are high.Lessons seem to be very engaing. Foreign Language is taught via an online program.Administrators and teachers are enthusiastic and accessible. Most of the teachers offer tutoring sessions either before or after school on a regular basis.Freshman take a yearlong film production class and will build their technical skills each year. My son has worked on 2 short documentaries and a name of short film projects. Students collaborate on projects and personal responsibility is stressed. Each student is assigned to an advisory class who they will be with for all four years. Problems are discussed within advisory or privately with the advisor. There are two semesters per year. As of March, we have received two narratives and 1 report card. The narratives are very thorough and I feel like my son's teachers really know him. Strengths and weaknesses are mentioned and suggestions for improvement are given. My son is happy to go to school everyday and I see positive changes on a regular basis

Did your child use the school's college office? If yes, would you like to add some information about that experience? Did they help with the search? Applications? Were they helpful with parent's questions? Were they speedy in getting transcripts, recommendations, etc to the colleges?
No, he hasn't used it yet. However, in their advisory class, starting in freshman year, each student puts together a college binder with their accomplishments which they will add to each year.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Know your child and be willing to think outside the box when considering high schools.

___________





Aviation (2010 review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - A&P Mechanics
Location - Long Island City
Is this the school your child attends now?
no, he or she already graduated

Please write a review of your experience :

SKILLS OF TEACHERS - Many of them appear to be burned out, and the rest are on their way there. The problem has a few root causes: mainly it is a 90% male school. Kids do not have the chance to interact with girls as in a normal school. The military attitude of the instructors and staff do not provide any feelings of comfort or pleasure to be there at all. Most of these teachers are old school Archie Bunker mentality that should have been retired over 20 years ago, and there is no real outlet for your kid if his heart is not set on becoming an airplane mechanic.

FACILITY AND PROGRAMS - Barely the minimum in the Sciences, English and Math. Mostly shop courses that deal with mechanics. This would be a great trade school for adults who know why they are going there, but not for teens who are barely getting to know the real world around them. Lacking in variety and substance. Overcrowded and poorly managed. Teacher morale and attitude are deficient.

HOW THE SCHOOL DEALT - besides the threat of a suspension or expulsion from the A&P program - which is really a reward if you don't believe the hype of the glory of being poorly paid grease monkey - there is nothing the school offers. And unfortunately since their credits are not interchangeable after the freshman year, if your kid hates the school and you don;t take him out before the end of the freshman year, you're stuck there for the whole unpleasant ride.

FEEDBACK - In the normal academic curriculum - very good to excellent, but poor grades in the shop classes. Because of overcrowding, lack of effective control over some animals who should not have been admitted there, and the aloofness of most instructors, my kid stopped caring about his grades right after 10th grade.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Do NOT recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.

LISTEN to your kid. Encourage his/her dreams, however crazy they may be, help them explore their potential careers, and never make them think they are failures if they don;t excel at some thing they don't love.

____________


Bard High School Early College (2010 review)
Location - Lower east side Manhattan
Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

I love this school. Two of my children attend it and I always tell my oldest daughter how lucky she is to go to such an intellectually stimulating school. It is one of the gems of the NYC public school system. I wanted an academically challenging school for my children, but not one where grades and achievement are stressed over the value of education in itself. Bard has allowed my oldest child discover her love of poetry and philosophy and I am hoping that my younger child will have a similar experience.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Listen to your child. They need to choose the school that is right for them, with some guidance from the parent.

____________

Bard High School Early College (2010 review) 
Location - Manhattan
Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience :

My son, a senior, has had a wonderful experience at Bard. With almost no exceptions, he had excellent teachers every year in every subject, and a few who I believe have made a lifelong impression on him. He discovered a love of Russian culture and literature and was able to take separate courses on Tolstoy, Dostoevesky and Russian Culture. The only difficult situation we saw, involving a new math professor whose methods were unsuited to high school kids, was handled quickly and sensitively by the administration. We receive detailed progress reports and felt the teachers knew our son well and cared about his progress. There was a lot of difficult work, and his grades probably would have been better had he gone to another school, but he loved the rigor and challenge. And he made close friendships with many other intellectual and creative kids, who might have been considered uncool or nerds elsewhere.
Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend
What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Listen to your kid and keep an open mind.

__________________

Bard High School Early College Queens (2010 review)
Location - Long Island City
Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience :

Our daughter, a bookish and independent-minded child, has found a real home at this unusual school. The "professors," many of them PhDs, are mostly young (in their 20s and 30s) and just as hungry as the kids are for learning and growth. We hear about teachers who have published novels, poetry collections, and other books, and we get announcements for the music teacher's weekend concerts (she appears to specialize in Baroque and Renaissance music). My daughter's English teacher is a former staff writer for "Prairie Home Companion"... how cool is that? Class size is small (16-18), so instructors are able to be very available to both students and parents. Their comments in parent-teacher meetings and in written assessments are thorough and perceptive. The student body reflects the gorgeous diversity of Queens--another huge plus for our daughter, who was in a much more homogeneous environment before. Each one of her new friends is from a different, unfamiliar culture. Bard kids do get a lot of homework, but our daughter still gets to bed on time most nights and has plenty of time over the weekend to enjoy friends and other pursuits. We're not crazy about the industrial location of the new Bard. It's no better than the location of Bard Manhattan, which is right up against the FDR Drive. But the commute is very safe, and the interior of the school is appealing--huge, clean, and bright. This school is still new, so few clubs and sports activities are up and running. The school community is organizing around that, however, and we're hoping to see a lot more of that by the end of the year.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
This school is a great choice for inner-directed kids who want to take charge of their own learning. To thrive at Bard, a student needs to be mature--when it comes to academics, at least. He/she should also love reading
_______________


Bard H.S. Early College (2011 review)
Borough - Manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience:

So far we have been happy with my daughter's experience at Bard. She is thriving there both academically and socially. The academic level of the work is quite high and the teachers expect alot from the kids. Bard expects students to think deeply and analyze what they are learning. This has been somewhat stress inducing for my daughter but not overwhelming. Classes are relatively small - 24or 25 kids - which is what we were looking for. The couple of times that I have had to reach out to one of my daughter's teachers, they have responded promptly and were open to working through the issues with me. Conferences were very short- 5 minutes with each teacher - but the written comments were accurate and insightful and the teachers seem to have a good read on my daughter. One thing that my daughter does not like (and I agree) is that 9th graders are required to take a couple of months of each of the languages offered (spanish, mandarin and latin) before selecting a language for the long term. While this may seem like a good idea in theory, in practice the teachers are less involved b/c they know that the kids may never take the language and the kids are frustrated (especially if they have already has 2 or 3 years of one of these languages in middle school). Bard is a great place for kids that are somewhat intellectual, analytical and academically oriented. We thought this school would be a good fit for our daughter and so far we have been right.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.

Bard is a great school but it is not for every child. Be realistic about your child's strengths,weaknesses and interests. Talk to a couple of kids who attend the schools you are interested in and their parents and definitely factor in the commute.


_______________


Bard High School Early College (2011 Review)
Borough - Manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience :

Bard High School Early College has above-average teachers (all PhDs) who have greater and lesser experience working with high school students. (Our daughter felt most were more comfortable teaching the school's college courses.) Yet the teachers were always available to help any child together enough to take advantage of that availability. The BHSEC program is great for kids who want to work at a high academic level but may not offer many time enough for extracurricular activities. The first two years are basically boot camp. Classes are relatively small, and the feedback was excellent. The building is funky; the school's non-DoE funding obviously goes more toward education than the facility.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Talk to students attending the schools you're interested in and their parents for a real-life assessment.
_______________


 Bard (2011 Review)
Borough - Manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

English as well as social studies professors have been strong. I have found that, at least for my child, the science teachers have been weak. The physics teacher was great for the first semester as a freshman, however the classes were reshuffled for the 2nd semester freshman year physics and the teacher was disappointing. This is also true for the first semester of sophmore chemistry teacher as well.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
If your child is a strong writer, Bard is great. They push students to revise and finesse their writing.


_______________


Bard High School Early College Queens
Borough - Queens

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience :
So far, my daughter is very happy. She went to a rigorous private middle school. So far the workload has not seemed (to me, hah, I'm not doing the work) too challenging. My daughter was a B+ English student in her old school, while at Bard so far, she gets As, so I'm worried the school standards for freshman writing are not as high as they could be. On the other had, my daughter's most challenging class has been Science ("Introduction to Science", necessary science skills, which she's taken for a semester: next semester she takes Physics). At her old school she always got As, but first quarter she got a C, through no lack of studying. The science is challenging. For Languages, Bard Queens doesn't have the students take all three languages the first semester, like they do in Bard Manhattan. The children chose Spanish, Latin or Chinese, and start right away. Even though my daughter had 3 years of Spanish in middle school, she is taking first year Spanish, as are all the kids, except for native speakers, which I think is fine, as it solidifies her knowledge and makes her feel more confident speaking the language. I'm sure the workload is going to get more intense as time progresses, though. All the teachers at parent night seemed to really understand my child. The classes seem small (maybe less than 20 per class). The commute from Brooklyn is 45 min. to an hour, depending. Long but safe and easy. The building, once inside, is new and fresh. Everyone who works their seems pleasant. My daughter has made a lot of friends quickly, and finds people much friendlier, less cliquish, and less snobby, than they were at her old school.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Go see as many schools as you can. When we visited Bard Queens, we both knew it was the one.


_______________


Bard High School Early College (2012 review)
Location - Lower East Side Manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

 Please write a review of your experience:

Many of the teachers at Bard teach at both the college and high school level so they have PhD's and experience in their fields as well as being excellent teachers. Progress reports and report cards all contain lengthy comments so you know specifically what is and is not doing to meet expectations for each class.

Did your child use the school's college office? If yes, would you like to add some information about that experience? Did they help with the search? Applications? Were they helpful with parent's questions? Were they speedy in getting transcripts, recommendations, etc to the colleges?
The College Transfer office at Bard is amazing and they have their first parent-student meeting in the middle of 9th Grade, just to get everyone acquainted with the process and what the office does to help with the application process and facilitate college admissions. They are also there to help parents start thinking about financial aid from early on.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

________________


Bard Early College High School (2012 Review)
Location - 525 E Houston St

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience:

The teachers at this school are brilliant, as are the students. If your child is not self-motivated or intensely curious, do not send him or her to this school, though. The staff is used to catering to some of the best and the brightest in the city, but the school is located in the middle of the projects. There is a mix of freedom and high expectations that can be very difficult for a ninth-grader to adjust to.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend with reservations

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Be realistic about who your child is, and don't only focus on whom you want him or her to be.

_____________

Bard Early College High School Queens (2012 Review)
Location - Long Island City

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience :

Bard Queens is a relatively small (maybe 600 students?), relatively new school (around 5-6 years) run as a partnership between the Dept. of Education and Bard College. It shares a building at LaGuardia Community College with two other small high schools, but the facilities are all separate and the students arrive/leave at staggered times, so there isn't much interaction except via some of the PSAL sports teams that include kids from all schools. My son made the basketball team and according to him there was no friction between the Bard kids and the others - everyone seemed to get along very well. Bard is a challenging school - students can't skate and expect to do well. All of the teachers at parent-teacher conferences knew exactly who my son was and had specific suggestions for what he does well and what could use improvement. Expectations are high but my son is definitely learning and I have seen progress. There is a learning center where students can go for extra help after school and during free periods. I do not get the sense from talking to our son that it is a pressure cooker environment like some other selective schools - most kids understand that they are there to work but don't obsess about it. There is a PTA and the parent coordinator will leave phone messages about upcoming meetings, but unfortunately I haven't yet had the opportunity to get very involved. Given that it is a smaller school, there aren't as many extracurriculars as there are at other larger schools. There isn't a real gym, so the basketball team practices at another school and has its home games at the Y across the street. We did visit during the Open House and asked a lot of questions. I think what you see is what you get - they are very open about the goals of the school (2 years of high school and 2 years of college), what makes them special and what the limitations are. I was a little surprised that our son made Bard his first choice but I think he found the warm atmosphere, enthusiasm of the teachers, and student diversity appealing. Bard was a great choice for our son, who is a bright kid but tends to get bored easily and needs people who won't let him get away with sloppy work.

Did your child use the school's college office? If yes, would you like to add some information about that experience? Did they help with the search? Applications? Were they helpful with parent's questions? Were they speedy in getting transcripts, recommendations, etc to the colleges?
Our son is a freshman so we haven't used the College Office. They have a special team that focuses on college applications and credit transfers.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
It is about fit - know your child's strengths and weaknesses. No one school is perfect for every student.


___________________

Beacon (2010 review) 
Location - West 61st, Manhattan
Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience :
My daughter is a freshman at Beacon. She loves it. The home work load has been heavy particularly in history and English although this may not be the case with other students in different classes with different teachers. The projects so far have been quite involved and interesting (history and English). It is difficult to comment on the teachers as one only meets with the child's advisor, but from my daughters view point she likes most of her teachers. Some seem to be "characters". We had one delicate situation which was handled carefully and diplomatically which I appreciated. I met with the advisor and my daughter in November for the first report card and had hoped to meet again after the second report card was issued but that doesn't happen. I was told to contact the advisor with any problems but i haven't needed to.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Start researching in 7th. grade or even earlier. Some schools have open houses in May or June. They are usually far less crowded and teachers are more available.

_______________

Beacon High School  (2010 review) 
Location - New York City
Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience :

Overall, happy with the school. Advisory is a big plus. Our daughter was struggling academically freshman year and her advisor was instrumental in helping her get organized, acclimate to high school and get her grades up. A couple of mediocre teachers early on but that seems to be true of any NYC school. Interesting and challenging work. Clubs are big. One issue is if your child does not get involved in community service in New Orleans things can become tough socially. Art, Drama, Photography, Sports are all available

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Ultimately I think you have to let your child make the decision as to where they want to spend the next 4 years.

___________

Beacon  (2010 review) 
Location - West 61st, Manhattan
Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience:

My daughter is a freshman at Beacon. She loves it. The home work load has been heavy particularly in history and English although this may not be the case with other students in different classes with different teachers. The projects so far have been quite involved and interesting (history and English). It is difficult to comment on the teachers as one only meets with the child's advisor, but from my daughters view point she likes most of her teachers. Some seem to be "characters". We had one delicate situation which was handled carefully and diplomatically which I appreciated. I met with the advisor and my daughter in November for the first report card and had hoped to meet again after the second report card was issued but that doesn't happen. I was told to contact the advisor with any problems but i haven't needed to.
Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend
What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Start researching in 7th. grade or even earlier. Some schools have open houses in May or June. They are usually far less crowded and teachers are more available.

____________

Beacon  (2010 review) 
Location - West 61st Street
Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience :

Beacon clearly missed the mark on orienting students and parents about the transition to high school. Within a few days of starting school, my daughter was overloaded with homework assignments that took six to eight hours to complete. Also in the first days, some of the teachers were excessive about handing out a score of zero, particularly when my daughter accidentally went to the wrong class while trying to navigate being in a new building. The bulk of the first e-mails sent to parents were only about asking for money. I later found out that the orientation program for students was cancelled due to budget cuts. Has Beacon ever heard of volunteers that could have led this new family orientation?

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend with reservations

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Do not have expectations that the school is perfect. It is just like every other school filled with a few teachers that have mental health challenges, school budget problems and a lack of concern for parents' thoughts or opinions.

________________

Beacon high school  (2010 review) 
Location - manhattan
Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

I have never seen such passion in such a large percentage of the teachers at a school before I met the ones at Beacon--- My daughter is eager to please the teachers, and doesn't mind the homework load because she is proud of the work she is doing. She started the school knowing no other students and quickly made friends. She enjoys being at school and often stays late for drama or goes early for tutoring. It is a heavy e-mail school-the teachers communicate with students and parents via email, and it is easy for a parent to know about hmwk assignments, tests, etc. It is a small, hands-on school with literally no cracks for a child to fall into.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Most important: how does your child work best? Beacon is geared more toward kids who enjoy doing class presentations and projects as opposed to standardized tests.

______________

Beacon School  (2010 review) 
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - n/a
Location - West 61st Street, New York, NY
Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience :

I have 2 daughters at Beacon -- 1 a freshman, 1 a senior. Totally different experiences (so far for the freshman), but both positive. Faculty is amazing. My older daughter had wonderful mentors and intellectual stimulation. I never heard from them; she formed her own relationships. Younger daughter struggling (Beacon is cool, but it IS rigorous), and I thanksfully heard from her teachers right away. Her math teacher called 4th day of school to talk about ways we could support her. We've been blown away. The facilty is a hair crowded, but the kids don't seem to mind. The prorams are wonderful. It's not as structured as some places, but for right kid, it's very challenging and very academically rich.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Talk to families of all kinds -- those who've been there, those who'v heard of things, those who've toured. Word on the street is most valuable of all.

______________

Beacon High School (2010 review)  
Location - New York, NY

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

Beacon is not all it is cracked up to be. The amount of challenging classes dwindle each year. There are now only 5 AP classes: Calculus, Biology Chemistry, Spanish and French The language department is only French and Spanish (Mandarin was canceled) and the advanced French is taught after school. The teachers are given a lot of independence in their the class rooms Last year a history teacher in global studies decided she didn't want to teach World War II and gave the students the choice of the Algerian war or the Cuban revolution.This choice may have been more interesting to the students but how do you "skip" teaching WWII? This year an English teacher only had the class read selections of "the Scarlet Letter" not the whole book. Condensed books for condensed minds?? The majority of teachers are great, caring and always willing to help their students. The administration leaves a lot to be desired. In many instances they are non-responsive to parents concerns. It takes hours of arguing to get them to pay attention to a problem and they are very resistant to change. Parents and teachers do not get to know each other through the school unless individuals make a concerted effort to meet. Parents meet with an "advisor" twice a year for 15 minutes to discuss problems or progress of your child. Advisors are teachers assigned to a group of students from 9th grade on who meet once a week with the group. Depending on the advisor discussions are held in a group as to matters that concern the students or the school. Advisors are supposed to be the intermediary between the student and parents and the rest of the teachers if there is a problem. Our advisor has been responsive when needed but I have heard of others who barely know the 15-20 kids in their advisory group. All this said, my son gets very good grades and is happy, which is most important, even though even he will admit he is not challenged very much.
Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend with reservations

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Speak to parents of children attending the school when you start lookling and when you make your decision Schools change a lot in a year or two


________________


Beacon (2011 Review)
Borough - Manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Start looking at schools early


________________


Beacon School (2011 Review)
Borough - Manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

2 different daughters, 2 different Beacon experiences. Daughter #1 thrived in the creative, intellectual environment and graduated Beacon last June (2010) totally prepared for the rigors of college (1st semester, all As). Daughter #2 (currently a sophomore) totally thriving in hip, diverse social atmosphere, but struggling with academics. May not have been the perfect fit (but most of these problems are hers, not Beacon's). Nevertheless, we have been impressed with how hard the teachers are working to help her and how communicative they have been with us.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Tour the school with your child and get a sense if it FEELS right as you meet the kids, teachers, administration and get a sense of the vibe of the place.


________________


Beacon School (2011 Review)
Borough - Manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience:

The best thing about Beacon that often seems to go unremarked is that it is exempt from all of the Regents' Exams except English. Instead student assessments are based on portfolios, projects, and non-standardized tests. Expectations are high, but so is the level of engagement and the freedom for kids to explore a wide variety of clubs, electives, and sports. The grading seems tough, even coming from a G&T middle school, and there is lots of homework and many projects, but the requirements are clear, and the atmosphere is nurturing and accepting. Beacon has an amazing number of sports, clubs, and electives for a small school. So it has the feeling of a small school and the choices and liberties of a larger one. Students have advisories every week with the same group of about 15 kids and adviser for all four years, so that by senior year the kids are very tight! Parents have conferences with their child and his adviser, rather than directly with teachers. Teachers are accessible through e-mail, however, and there is plenty of extra help for the students with the sometimes difficult course work. Very active parent community, and for the students: drama, sports, music, photography, debate and many other activities. Unfortunately, with budget cuts only one foreign language, Spanish, is offered this year.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Listen to your child and do your homework. Which means touring. Do not list a school you think you might not want your child to attend.


________________


Beacon High School (2011 Review)
Borough - Manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience:

The teachers are energetic and passionate about the classes they teach. The classes are mainly project based, and students present their work. If your child enjoys creative projects, public speaking in addition to lots of writing, and current event learning, Beacon should be considered. The school requires alot of time management, due to the workload (which can be overwhelming at times). Some teachers are more structured than others, but collectively communicate with their students, and are very supportive. They are available for tutoring, and welcome students during lunchtime. etc. The school seems to "get it", re: adjusting to high school, both academically, socially and emotionally. The school provides feedback mostly through the student's advisor (who stays with the student the full 4 years). Communication is very accessible. My child, a freshman absolutely loves Beacon. She is very proud to be there, although is stressed about the amount of homework. She has mentioned how much she has learned, and is interested in everything offered. She has made many new friends, and enthusiastic and determined to excel.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Try to visit schools during school hours. Get the vibe of students & teachers. Be realistic about your chances re: admission, and trust your instincts.

________________


Beacon (2012 review)
Location - Manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

For the most part the teacher seem good, a handful of excellent teachers and the rest are good. The facility seems fine although somewhat crowded Haven't had any difficult situations. We meet with the advisor at the end of

each marking period when the report is examined. I like the consistency of the advisor as the same teacher maps the child's progress throughout the full 4 years, but there is not much possibility to meet individual teachers. My

daughter has made sure I have met every teacher which makes it much easier if one needs to contact them. Several teachers have emailed me with information on the course, or if something is needed and if she has done very

well. Which is nice. I felt there was little to no guidance over the SAT's and when or what to take in terms of AP's and single subject SAT's. Most of this information I had to get from other sources.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Start early. It is much easier to see a school in May or June, (some have tours then) and teachers have more time to talk, the school is normally more relaxed.

_________________



Beacon (2012 review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - n/a
Location - Manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

My daughter's experience has been very positive. She has been involved in theater and for a non-theater school....the the theater program is phenomenal. When school stresses her out, this outlet has been amazing. She has had mostly great teachers. Her advisor has been helpful in dealing with the the one disappointment we have had in teaching in the last yer and half. Overall, Beacon has been the perfect choice for her. Quirky and laid-back  socially, challenging academically.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Size matters. Being at a school with less than 1500 students has made a huge difference in my daughter being known and taken care of...don't be sold on school names (not that Beacon doesn't have one.) You don't always get

what you need when you are fighting with 3- 4000 other students

____________


Beacon high school (2012 review)
Location - NYC

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

Skill of teachers: good. communication for the most part with teachers is very good. most will respond within 24 hours to a parent inquiry. most appear to be interested in their students . Faculity & programs offered: adequate, the student has to be interested. I believe if you have an active student, they can find a program. First choice electives are difficult to get unless the student is s junior, which is very discouraging to lower level classes. DIfficult situations: The school does what they are mandated to do. Feedback re: child's progress: most teachers are very good with communication, responding to emails within 24 hours or less. there are some deadbeats with communication, which is very frustrating. An advisor is with the student for 4 years, so if the student has a great advisor, it is very good, if not, a disaster, as the advisor is the gateway to all communication and parent teacher meetings.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend with reservations

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Be careful with the "popular" schools. Many are simply just like a suburban school.

_______________



Benjamin Banneker high School (2011 Review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Pre-med
Borough - Brooklyn

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience:

I found the teacher very skilled in what they are teaching. Along with that they give students a sense of pride which encourages them to want to achieve more. The schools was not her first choice. My daughter had great grades and wanted to go to a big school like Murrow or Midwood but didn't get in. She now really loves her school and does not want to transfer next year. The faculty and staff are very approachable and the principal does reply to emails sent. In my opinion, the parent coordinator could step up the communication and be more visible. The PTA is a nice group of parents that tries to do great activities for both parents and students. They recently put together the Mock SAT for students and got a great response (over 145 students took the test), for their small school. They school has a very high graduation rate of over 95% and the community coordinator offers lots of opportunities for students to participate in community and college programs. My daughter said she really feels that the school makes you feel like you really want to challenge yourself to do better. She also feels very safe which is very important to me. The principle is always outside at dismissal and gives daily messages of encouragement. They have many sport teams and clubs for them to join as well as national scholars and winners in academic competitions. I do wish they had a consistent online grade program like Snap Grades so you could see more of what's going on. As far as difficult situations, they have been responsive when I was concerned with my child low grade in a subject. I think they could have parents more connected to the advisers for better communications. They also does many workshops in the evenings and weekends so parents can stay involved.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Go at dismissal time and speak to students (after November), They will tell you the real deal.

______


Benjamin Banneker  HS Fall, 2011 Review
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - pre-med

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Have you reviewed this school via a previous survey to Parents of NY Teens?
yes

Please write a review of your experience in the box provided:

Skill level of teachers are pretty good. There are some hits and misses. Last year my child had an amazing history teacher where students came in on weekends if they wanted to. This year however students seem not to favor the teaching of the global history teacher. I'll have to look into that. The facilities are pretty good. It's a recycled factory so it has interesting areas like a sky light in the art room. They have all the basic program of most high schools, plus about 12 AP courses, College Now program, spanish and french, various clubs and teams. The students have strong pride and love of the school.. the graduation rate is above 95% and many student win coveted scholarships to prestigious schools. The communication and feedback aspect needs alot of work. They are currently addressing these issues since they have an upgraded phone system and reworking the website.. The current electronic grading is not schoolwide, but hopefully it will be soon. Overall, they do a good job in getting students opportunities in the community and beyond. From internships to jobs and ways to own their own business. The guidance counselors try and make sure everyone has a solid plan after graduating. it's a good school overall.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.

Find out what your child likes. (not what you like). Get middle school regents credits if you can.


________________

Berkeley Carroll School (2010 review) 
Location - Park Slope
Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience :

Berkeley Carroll has teachers who are very committed and AVAILABLE. The school also has a good peer tutoring program. For a small school, it offers a variety of classes and there is a lot of individual attention. Classes are small--never more than 16 or 17 and sometimes as little as 4 kids in a more specialized class. The school is good for hard-working, organized, bright kids. A lot is expected of the students and it is NOT the place for kids who aren't completely self-sufficient. On the whole, boys don't do nearly as well as girls here and the high school is 2/3 female. Of the boys that remain, about half are very smart and organized (oldest or only children, mostly) and the other half are struggling, getting low grades, and wrestling with self-esteem issues. The school favors the kids who have been there since kindergarten and does not do a good job of integrating new students into the high school. Many 9th graders feel unwelcome socially and it can take a long time for them to find a niche.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend with reservations

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Go with your gut feelings

___________


Bronx High School of Science (2010 review) 
 Location - North Bronx

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience:

The caliber of teachers and students is very high, although my daughter's first biology teacher left within 2 weeks and the 2nd left within 3 months. The school finally installed one of its most experienced teachers to handle the balance of the year. This is my only complaint; I feel that the coursework is appropriately demanding and my daughter loves the school. However, the really big thing for her been getting involved in the debate program - finding an extracurricular that "grabs" a student is very important; this provides a terrific experience, expands her learning, and has enabled her to travel. My daughter will probably attend debate camp this summer.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Bronx Science has 2,800 students - it's big. SO think about how well your child would fit into such a large school. It helped a lot thatmany students from my daughter's middle school attend Bronx Science, so she already knew quite a few upperclass students as well as many entering freshmen.


_________________

Bronx HS of Science (2011 Review)

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

 Please write a review of your experience:

The e-mail communication includes immediate tardy notices to your inbox as well as up to date grade information on your child. The parent teacher conferences - which I attended in the afternoon - were well run - students helping to direct parents as well as having sign up sheets outside the classroom doors. The times that I did e-mail the parent coordinator, I was e-mailed back within 24 hours. My child's first chemistry teacher left or was removed shortly into the semester being replaced by one who appears to have been on retirement leave - unable to use the snapgrade system. My child's global teacher gives an enormous amount of homework and uses negative language in front of her students.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Have your child try out not only for the specialized schools, but also the performing schools as well.
_________________


Bronxdale High School
Location - Bronx
Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience :

I feel the need to let parents know what a horrid experience my child had since September when Bronxdale High School opened as a new school for incoming freshman. The school is project based and my daughter often comes home and jokes how there is no instruction taking place and rarely has homework. The principal has been in the news which has created so much drama at the school. In December, he was found guilty of sexual harassment with female staff at the school but the DOE decided to keep him. The students and school became the laughing stock at the campus it is housed in. We had a very bad experience and I will be transfering her out at the end of this school year. I am warning parents not to send their child here. Multiple staff members have already transfered and two I spoke with are leaving. Several parents, including myself, went to the offices in the Bronx to complain and were told that he would not return in September of 2012. We do not believe them and plenty of parents are transfering their kids. It has been a nightmare and we are shocked that this school has been left to go downhill when we were promised so much.

Did your child use the school's college office?
This school has about 85 students who are all 9th graders. There is no college office.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Do NOT recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
You must talk to parents who have their children at a particular school. Do not attempt to trust that a "new" school first opening will provide a proper education, especially with a new principal lacking experience. Do not make the same mistake I did.

________________________


Brooklyn Free School (2010 review)  
Location - Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

Is this the school your child attends now?
no, he or she already graduated

Please write a review of your experience :
Brooklyn Free School is by no means a school for every family. It's small - right now about 60, and plans to grow to no more than about 70 or 75. It's also a K-12 school for 5 year olds through 19 year olds plus. There's none student there now who has Apsperger's who will probably stay through 20. We were founding parents, and find that the school has changed enormously since it started 6 years ago. Alan Berger, the director, has a tremendous learning curve, and has grown impressively in his abilities. The school just bought its own building and moved this year (January, 2010) and the new building makes a big difference to the school. There are now plenty of separate rooms for noisy/active and quiet/studious activities, classes and work. I'm an educator and familiar with democratic free schools all over the country, and as Jerry Mintz, the Director of AERO has said, Brooklyn Free School is the best free school he's ever seen. I believe him. The staff, especially the most experienced, Lily Mercogliano and David Easton are pretty fantastic, and formed wonderful relationships with our son, both inside and outside of the classroom. The twice a year descriptive reports and conferences that the school started in our son's second year are wonderful, and create a deep back and forth between the school and the family about your child's growth and development. Being parents of a Brooklyn Free School student is often more difficult for the parents than it is for the student. Most parents have to learn to trust their child's ability to heal from possibly bad previous schooling and learn to take charge of their own learning. This is something most parents have a lot of trouble doing. There are many families at the school who have enrolled their children because of their enthusiasm for the educational philosophy of the school. Then there are those families where the Brooklyn Free School is an option when so many other options didn't work for the child. So, maybe 50% of the students have had a difficult time in school previously, often because of some sort of learning or emotional special need. The school has become better at not taking in so many high-need children at once, and is integrating new students into the school community more easily than before. The school was amazing for the four years our son was there. He started out feeling like he couldn't get along with anyone his own age, that he was a loner, and that he wasn't that interested in most academic subjects . He graduated having friends of all ages, having taken many courses (Philosophy, Economics, Debate, History of Revolutions) that were on a college level and that he loved, and being passionate about learning all sorts of things that he had previously given up on. Perhaps most importantly, he also learned to respect a wide array of people who he would have hated before, and to trust the community and know that a group can work almost anything out. He was accepted into all three competitive private colleges he applied to, and is flourishing in college in every way. He sometimes comments on being sad about how so many of his classmates don't know that you can learn to like and respect anyone.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
If at all possible, visit the school when it is in session, and see how staff treat students in and outside of school, as well as who the students are and how they treat each other. Try to see the school through your child's eyes.


_____________


Brooklyn Free School  (2011 Review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - n/a
Borough - Brooklyn

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience :
It is a democratic school with each person in the community voting on many issues, including school rules. Issues regarding safety are not up for voting on. My son has been there since 5th grade and now he's in 11th. It has been very challenging because he's had to wrestle with making his dreams come true without anyone forcing or coercing him to do that. The teachers are wonderful and provide honest and inspirational feed-back and education to all the students. There is an approximate 1-10 teacher to student ratio, though that is absolutely needed in this atmosphere. If my son wants to study something that no one is knowledgeable about, they find someone who can teach it. He recently wanted to study French and an intern was identified who is now teaching him. Conflict resolution and thinking about the whole is an integral part of the school agenda, as would be necessary for any school community of this sort to work. Teachers meet with parents twice a year to provide feedback on children. They use the "descriptive review" method, which gives information and they are available to answer any questions. They are also available for talks and visits any time. Parental involvement is highly encouraged.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Look for a school that your child wants to go to. Their investment in their own future is essential for success and happiness.

_____________


Brooklyn High School of the Arts  Fall, 2011 Review
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Vocal

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Have you reviewed this school via a previous survey to Parents of NY Teens?
no

Please write a review of your experience in the box provided:

This school produces extremely, technicially talented artists. The students are sweet and get along well.They are a diverse group.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Try!!


_____________

The Brooklyn Latin School (2010 review) 
Location - 325 Bushwick Avenue, Williamsburgh
Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience :
It is very early in the year, however, I am very impressed by the Head Master, Jason Griffiths. He is very involved and actively seeking to make his school one of the best in the City. I haven't yet met the teaching staff, but I receive steady communication from one of the teachers, who is on leave from the prestigious Boston Latin School. He seems to be very involved and concerned, responsive and devoted. My child so far is doing fairly well. Hormones are in the way to some extent, but overall he is doing well. I heard of one incident with a student and that he was expelled. Have not received confirmation on it though and the student wasn't a freshman.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
We got here by happy accident so what advice can I give? Perhaps, don't judge a book by its cover. When I attended the school's orientation I was very impressed. You have to visit and not just go on rumor or perceived location. The location turned out to be just fine, although I had been worried about it. I can attend a meeting in the evening without worrying about it at all, and I like Williamsburgh enough to consider moving there.

______________


Brooklyn Latin (Fall, 2011 review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Specialized

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Have you reviewed this school via a previous survey to Parents of NY Teens?
no

Please write a review of your experience :

As an incoming freshman, our son is liking the seminars and declamations (public speaking and recitations of classic texts). It's still early in the year, but he seems to be getting a good handle on the work load (3 1/2 hours a night) and meeting deadlines. The freshman have a class called 'Skills for Success' which help them become organized and navigate the new schedule (which is what every school should have!). He is able to get help when he wants it. He is thriving at this school, which was a big switch from his large and local middle school, and is becoming more comfortable with the size, the location (which we'd had some concerns about but walked around and found it reminiscent of the East Village & Lower East Side. There were some bumps in setting up the gym program in the first weeks, but they seem to be resolving it. A main exercise is yoga. They are looking for further gym-space. Brooklyn Latin does not yet have the 'cachet' of its Manhattan peers, with gym-space, a large variety of clubs. It is still a young school, but it's strength is in its gifted teachers, a hands on Headmaster, its small size, and a strong classical curriculum.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.

Keep an open mind. Search for a school that will compliment your child's basic strengths. Don't expect a High School to fulfill all of your hopes. And realize that freshman year is a big adjustment.

__________


Brooklyn Latin High School (Fall, 2011 review)
Borough - Brooklyn

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Have you reviewed this school via a previous survey to Parents of NY Teens?
no

Please write a review of your experience in the box provided:

Teachers are some what experienced (few exceptions). Could have more after school programs such as a variety of sports. Currently only has a soccer, boys' basketball, and track team. Focuses mainly on Greek/Roman classics. No creative writing, but extensive essays due. Offers IB program only Junior and Senior year.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend with reservations

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.

It offers an IB program and is a specialized high school.


__________


The Brooklyn Latin School (2012 review)
Location - Brooklyn

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience:

My daughter is a freshman at Brooklyn Latin. She loves the school and so do I. It is an undiscovered gem! I have been very impressed by the schools administration, the caliber of its teachers, and their responsiveness. The school is very rigorous. Freshman take physics, math, global history, English, Spanish and Latin. But, teachers have office hours and enourage students to come for help. Each student has an advisory that serves as a home base, and freshman take a "skills for success" class that helps as well. In two instances when I had issues (math and Latin), teachers were very responsive. We receive progress reports/report cards fairly often (8/year), and we have two student-led parent-teacher conferences. The school--it shares the top two floors of an elementary school--is airy and bright. I was concerned about the neighborhood, but it is up and coming and the area is safe.

Brooklyn Latin was not where my daughter wanted to go, but it has exceeded our wildest dreams. The school eased her transition with a buddy day, a three-day, team building trip to Princeton Blairstown in the summer, and a sensitive orientation. this winter, the school took the freshman to Boston, where they looked at colleges and saw Boston Latin. My daughter also travelled to Peru over the break with the Spanish Department. The school also has one of the public school system's only IB programs which takes place in the Junior and Senior year. All students participate, and the curriculum in Freshman and Sophmore year prepares them for that. It is all well thought  out.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Don't be swayed by the hype around the top dozen schools. Every school has its pros and cons.

____________



The Brooklyn Latin School (2012 Review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Specialized High School
Location - Williamsburg Brooklyn

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

We are more than happy with TBLS. The teachers and entire staff are truly dedicated and professional. There are office hours twice a week for each subject offered after school with the teachers. They are supportive of not only the students but of each other as well. This truly is a special kind of school. Our child is a strong math student so this may seem an odd choice of the specialized schools out there. Not so, here they will get strong math and science and with it public speaking skills. That's a trifecta.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Make a list of pros and cons both your child's and family as whole. Don't follow the crowd.

___________


Brooklyn Latin High School (2012 review)
Location - Brooklyn

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience :

This school is great, teachers are very demanding but friendly,hard work for students .School have advisory every Tuesday and office hours to help students, also a period called " skills for success " for freshman, different after school activities and clubs .My child Loves the school and we are happy with her progress.Good communication between school and parents

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Do research, visit the school,speak with students and teachers

______________________


Brooklyn Latin School  (2012 Review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - International Baccalaureate
Location - Brooklyn, NY

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

I have found the school superb in every way imaginable. The teachers are -- across the board -- extremely intelligent, gifted, energetic, fair, and dedicated. . My daughter is in her third year at Brooklyn Latin and I couldn't be happier. The school offers a well-designed, classical education e.g. they study Latin for four years. Students participate in "Socratic Seminars," where they learn to speak well, publicly, and think on their feet. From their first summer assignment, the students are also taught how to write well, too. Like other NYC Specialized High Schools, the students travel from all five boroughs, making socializing after schools less than ideal. The work load for the International Baccalaureate diploma (starting in 11th grade) is not for the faint-hearted, which impedes socializing, but the program is amazing. That said, my daughter has participated in several after-school activities, sports, and was accepted to a very prestigious science program at the American Museum of Natural History, which she attends two days a week.

Did your child use the school's college office? If yes, would you like to add some information about that experience? Did they help with the search? Applications? Were they helpful with parent's questions? Were they speedy in getting transcripts, recommendations, etc to the colleges?
Since the school is small, both the teachers and administrators are extremely accessible. Any concern, or request, I have ever had, has been addressed without delay. People answer their phones, and emails are always answered promptly (no more than a day goes by). The school keeps parents up-to-date with weekly emails about everything that is going on school-wide. Expect the kind of attention one would imagine at a small, elite, private school.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Attend any events that would allow you to talk to the teachers, principal, students and parents. (Sometimes multiple events afford these opportunities, but they are invaluable.)

__________





Brooklyn Technical High School (2010 review) 
Location - Fort Greene, Brooklyn
Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience :
My son just started at Brooklyn Technical, in his first few months of 9th grade, so we are both still learning about the school. Some of my first impressions are below. The teachers are very good and surprisingly responsive given the size of the school. Everyone seems invested in wanting your child to succeed, although they have very set standards and basically expect your child to live up to them. The curriculum is very rigorous, in some ways more rigorous than the private school my son used to attend. Math and science were always his best loved subjects and the ones he did best in; now they are very tough with a lot of HW. It's been a transition. The humanities courses seem to cover interesting topics and he finds the teachers engaging. We've had one progress report and one teacher conference; again the teachers seemed to know my child and have constructive suggestions for improvement. Tutoring is available and there is a lot of info given out via email and robo calls believe it or not! My son was out sick and I got a call telling me he wasn't there, for instance.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Be open to the possibilities of each school and know that it might take some time to transition even if the school is a great one and/or a good fit for your child.

_________________


Brooklyn Tech HS (2011 Review)
Borough - Brooklyn

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience: 

My child came to this GIANT of a school from a small private school, so we had our concerns as to how he would acclimate to a student body of 5000 students. Well, his transition was like "BUTTAH". From the moment he arrived, he was so excited to the exposure of so many from such a diverse background. The variety of clubs and the challenge of the academics was also electrical for him. Most days, he would arrive home with different groups of friends, with a variety of backgrounds, Korean, Chinese, Pakistani, Russian, etc. All great kids, super smart, and excited to be at BTHS. Most impressive was, how personal the faculty and administration was. The PTA simply put, is amazing. The communication with parents is like non other. Mr. William the Assistant Principal calls daily with recorded updates. A visit to the website says it all! from a grateful mom

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
It is important to visit schools and to speak with teachers & principals, as well as current students and their parents.

_________________




Brooklyn Technical High School (2011 Review)
Borough - Brooklyn

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience :

For me, it's always the teachers that make or break a school. So far, I've been very impressed with the calibre of teacher at Tech. They're very smart people who really know their subject. For a bright kid, the high academic standards are welcome, not burdensome. And the academic opportunities as the students get into the higher grades are really why the kids choose to go there. Socially, there doesn't seem to be the student-to-student competition that you hear about at other schools (although my son insists everyone hates freshmen). There are so many clubs and teams - and therefore an easy way to find your "crew." On the down side, there are a lot of stairs - my son has a class on the 9th floor and another in the sub-basement, just not one right after the other. But at least I'm no longer worried about him getting exercise. ;-)

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Forget about which school is the current hot school (a designation that changes every few years anyway) and where everyone else want to go. Choose the one that feels right to you.

_________________


Brooklyn Technical High School (2011 Review)
Borough - Brooklyn

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

My son is a sophomore at Brooklyn Tech. He attended an honors program at our local zoned middle school in Queens, which gave him a decent foundation for the challenging curriculum at BTHS. He took physics and a college-level engineering course in his freshman year, and is taking another college-level electronics course this year in additional to the "regular" core courses. Students need to be very well-organized and have good study skills to keep up, which is something we're working on. Some of the teachers post homework and grades on-line, which is very helpful, and every teacher offers tutoring after school, which is also great. The school is enormous but the administration has several policies in place to try and help students find their way, including one where all freshmen are organized into clusters that take core classes such as English together. Beginning in their junior year, students' classes are organized around one of several majors (e.g. biomed, chemistry, social science research, computer science, media/graphic design). Students rank their choices for majors and placement decisions are made based on GPA, so freshman grades do count! All students are required to participate in extracurricular activities and there are dozens of clubs and teams to choose from. Since it's such a big school some of the varsity teams are very competitive, but there are also clubs that anyone can join (e.g. there's both a bowling team and a bowling club). My son joined the JV football team even though he'd never played before and that has definitely helped him find a niche. We originally thought that my son wanted a small high school. He opted for Brooklyn Tech because he felt ready to spread his wings and we've been very pleased with the opportunities there. Since it is so big sometimes you need to be a little persistent in getting through to the administration, but every time we've gone to parent-teacher conferences all the teachers have known exactly who our son is and have been able to offer specific feedback on his work. There is a lot of information available on the school's website (bths.edu) so I encourage everyone to check that out and take advantage of the Open House if you're interested in learning more.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
This is a great school for kids who are interested in science and technology and with at least some degree of self-assurance in navigating a large school. BTHS does pride itself on its identity as an engineering school and all students take at least two engineering classes, so you might want to keep that in mind as well.

_____________


Brooklyn Technical High School, Fall 2011 Review
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Law and Society

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Have you reviewed this school via a previous survey to Parents of NY Teens?
yes

Please write a review of your experience in the box provided:

I reviewed this school when my son was a Freshman and he is now a Junior. Most of what I wrote then would still be true for me, but now we have a deeper experience! Overall, I have been happy with the quality of the teachers and the quality of the education but sometimes infuriated by the lack of flexibility and strict rules. I think because it is such a large school they have strict standards that they kids must meet and sometimes the school can seem rigid and uncaring because of this. On a personal level, my son has had some great teachers and has learned a lot. Whenever I reached out to a teacher, I got a good, caring response. But I don't think my son would say that, though! In his Junior year, he got his first choice major Law and Society and now that the classes really suit him and he's liking his classwork more. He has been able to take advanced classes in math, English, Social studies and a language with no issues (although I know some schools have had to cut those classes due to budgets). Another huge plus is the wide array of after school and sports options. My son has made a lot of good friends on his sports team and that's what makes the school seem manageable. I would absolutely recommend that to new students/families.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.

Even your terrific kid may not get their first choice in schools, and you have to be open to other options. I wish the system allowed you more time to see if the school was the "right" fit. Perfect may not be possible, good enough might have to do.

_________________


Brooklyn Technical High School (2012 review)
Location - Brooklyn, NY

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

Very Good school - BIG WAREHOUSE STYLE. Challenging academic standards. Excellent, timely feedback on student progress.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
LOCATION

_____________________


 Brooklyn Tech (2012 Review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - She wants to do the Aerospace engineering but it starts in Junior year.
Location - Brooklyn

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience:

Most of the teachers are great. The least favorite is still great. All the teachers seem to really love teaching but they also believe in being very strict and give a lot of homework. On the plus side of that the home work is relevant so that while it is rigorous it is mostly interesting stuff to be learning. The school is huge and while it is easy to get lost there, there is also a place for everyone and every taste. Every kid studies technical drawing in the Freshman year, which is a great skill to build on. They have every possible club imaginable. So far the school has dealt well with every problem we have come across. Her grades have improved since she started there. She complains that it is too hard and she is having a hard time keeping up but her grades have gotten so much better this year and she is so much more engaged with her school work.

Did your child use the school's college office? If yes, would you like to add some information about that experience? Did they help with the search? Applications? Were they helpful with parent's questions? Were they speedy in getting transcripts, recommendations, etc to the colleges?
Not yet but we plan to when the time comes. They have a whole guidance office with I think I heard 5 councilors to help with college and one that focuses on scholarships.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Do the test prep. I know it is expensive but it is worth the investment.

_______________




Eleanor Roosevelt High School (2012 Review)
East 76th Street in Manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

ELRO is a small school with many excellent teachers. My daughter is challenged in school and is interested in many of her classes. She gets about 2-3 hours of homework per night. The school facility is pristine and they boast a  lot of technology including access to laptops and ipads for students. In addition to the quarterly progress reports, parents receive interim reports about how their student is doing. There are lots of opportunities for extra help before and after school. There are an array of clubs, and surprisingly, many of them are sports oriented. The students have an advisory class every day with the same students and teacher for all four years of high school. They offer an array of electives. My daughter has taken videography for both her Freshman and Sophomore year and has learned a lot in the beginning and more advanced course. It is my understanding that some of the students who take this elective go on to studying media arts in college. ELRO offers AP courses to Juniors and Seniors only and allow students to take only 2 AP courses per year, so that students are not over-burdened. Interesting, the  school has a majority of girls -- my daughter believes as many as 70% of the students are girls. In my daughter's experience, she finds the school to be a bit cliquey, and as a sophomore has still not found a niche of friends.  However, the school has been stimulating to her intellectually, and she has become a very serious and organized student since her time at ELRO.

Did your child use the school's college office? If yes, would you like to add some information about that experience? Did they help with the search? Applications? Were they helpful with parent's questions? Were they speedy in

getting transcripts, recommendations, etc to the colleges?
As a sophmore, they don't encourage the students to get involved in the colleage search process, although they have had informational sessions about what students and parents should expect as the high school years

progress. The students take the PSAT as sophmores and are given their scores which are explained to them. This score is to help them see what they should concentrate on before they take the test next year.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
This school is great for a student who prefers a small school with individualized attention. The PTA is very active and the teachers are approachable. My daugther chose this school because it felt safe, organized and intimate to

her.
__________________


√Čast Side Community High - (2011 Review)
Borough - Manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

East Side is amazing, and my daughter has thrived there. Superior teachers who are nuturing and understanding, while not sacrificing accountability . Many opportunities: clubs, sports teams etc. Very involved principal. It is truly a caring community.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Visit the school and meet the principal and teachers. If they are unwilling to do this, then something is wrong

_____________________








Fort Hamilton High School  (2011 review)
Location : Brooklyn

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more
no, he or she graduated last June, 2010

Please write a review of your experience:
HIghly competent, caring and professional staff. The principal, Mrs. Chester, is a true leader and is quite accessible. The school offers many and varied extracurricular activities which inspire a great amount of school spirit. I have one child currently enrolled and two who have graduated. My older children went off to college fully prepared for that experience on all levels. There was one incident involving another child and it was addressed quickly and appropriately by the teachers and guidance office. My child, as well as the other child, were treated with sensitivity.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Visit the school. They offer so much both academically and socially that far outweighs the large enrollment.

_____________________

Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (2010 review) 
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Drama
Location - Queens
Is this the school your child attends now?
no, he or she already graduated

Please write a review of your experience :
I found the only communication between teachers and parents was at parent/teacher conferences. Many phone calls I made to the school were not returned. None of my written communications or phone calls to the principal of the school were ever returned.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend with reservations

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Listen to what the kids who already attend the school have to say. Find kids who go to the school you are interested in and get their opinions. They have no reason to make you want to attend the schools so will be quite honest and frank with you about the experience.

_____________


Frank Sinatra School of the Arts 2012 review
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Instrumental
Location - Astoria, Queens

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience:

This school is has just celebrated its 10th anniversary and has really come into its own. It's small size (750 students) allows the teachers to know each student and the kids really bond with their class. While I can't speak to all the studios, the music program is terrific. The academics are rigorous with roughly 2-3 hours of homework and frequent testing. The teachers are mostly good though my daughter did have 1 bad apple this year. The principal is a strong leader and has little tolerance for misbehavior. The school is safe as is its environs. The kids come from all 5 boroughs, and for the most part, are very engaged with the program. My daughter has made lovely friends and is very happy to be at FSSA. Her grades are stronger than they were in middle school, and while she is working hard, she is proud to be on the honor roll. Finally, the building is beautiful and provides professional performance space for all of the many wonderful productions.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Keep an open mind when evaluating the schools. There are many terrific options, not just the small group that gets all the hype.

__________________________



Henry St School of International Studies (2010 review) 
Is this the school your child attends now?
no, he or she already graduated

Please write a review of your experience :
The only positive this I have to say about this school is that it is a small, tight-knit community. Unfortunately, with the exception of a handful of teachers, I found most of that staff to be unprofessional when dealing with parents. Information regarding programs and college info was not forthcoming. It was like pulling teeth. I loved it when my child was jumped afterschool and was told afterward that staff had knowledge of the threat but no one called to let me know.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Do NOT recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Everything looks good on paper but its best to go and tour the schools and speak to students/parents to get feedback

_______________



High School of American Studies at Lehman College (2012 Review)
Location - Bronx

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience:

Our child is ending their freshman year at HSAS and wants to leave. After being so happy to get accepted, it has not been a good fit academically or socially and that's been a major disappointment. Almost all of the teachers are very good. Being a smaller school the administration is very responsive to parents. Great college exmissions. One senior got an early acceptance to Columbia this winter with a full scholarship. The homework load is staggering. 3-4 hours every weeknight, 6-8 hours a weekend, and several hours on holidays. 16 hours homework over Thanksgiving weekend! As parents we do not agree with the school's philosophy toward homework but it is not going to change as the school is not accountable to anyone regarding the quantity they assign. HSAS is the only specialized school that gives two tests a day during finals. There is no legitimate study hall period for the student's to do their homework (unlike Stuy and Bronx Science). HSAS claims to offer a study hall during lunch but almost none of the kids use it as they'd have to eat in 5 minutes or less. Socially the school is very small with about 2/3 living in the Bronx. The kids are bright and tend to be rather 'nerdish'. Most of the boys in our child's freshman class tend to socialize with the girls from Bronx Science and LaGuardia as they find the HSAS girls 'unattractive'.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend with reservations

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.

This school only works for a certain kind of student that is HIGHLY motivated in their studies. The scholarly and academic type who has little or no interest in the arts or sports as HSAS has so little to offer in those areas. Their high school experience there will be similar to attending a commuter college. Because of the massive homework load the student will have limited or no time for extra curricular activities. The payoff in theory is the excellent college exmissions. If you have a child who at 12 or 13 years old is extremely focused on college and is willing to forgo a more typical high school experience in that pursuit then this would be a great fit for them.

__________


High School for Math, Science and Engineering (2010 review)  
Location - West Harlem, in City College
Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience:
This is a very caring community. All the teachers seem to know my daughter. The program is rigorous but fair. There is a lot of help available if needed- before school, at lunch and after school. The schedule is on A/B days, which helps with the homework load. Report cards 6 times a year, which is nice for parents. Not great extracurriculars, but it is a small school.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Look at the college acceptances of the high school.

________________



High School for Math, Science and Engineering (2011 Review)
Borough - Manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

HSMSE is a great school -- a challenging curriculum in a supportive, small school environment. It is a school where students work hard. There is a lot of homework and the standards are high. At the same time, it is a school with dedicated teachers who are approachable and available to provide extra help. Downsides: The facilities are okay -- new classrooms have been added this year, so that's good. But there's still quite a few classrooms in the basement of Baskerville. There are no lockers so students have to lug their belongings around all day. That said, the students do have use of the CCNY cafeteria and gym, which are both good. And frankly, I'd rank the quality of the education as more important than the fabulousness of the facilities any day.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Get information from multiple sources. Don't rely on any one source. Go online, ask parents, talk to teachers, try to get the big picture.




________________
Telecommunications (2010 review) 
Location - Brooklyn
Is this the school your child attends now?
no, we only toured the school and my comments are based on impressions gathered on the tour

Please write a review of your experience :
The students at Telecommunications which we encountered did not look as if they were serious about being in school. They did not obide by the "no hats" policy and were hanging out aimlessly in the halls.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Do NOT recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
How do the students look like they are functioning in class. Are they bored looking, falling asleep?

_________________

HS of Telecommunications Arts and Technology (2010 review) 
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - ISS
Location - Bay Ridge
Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience :
1. Teachers seem very caring and engaged. Some are very skilled veterans but several are very young and relatively new to teaching. The veterans are more on top of assigning and grading homework and projects. 2. The building facilities are excellent - lab, beautiful library, theater\auditorium. However, there are no creative activities offered, such as drama, music or dance. 3. The school has acted immediately in cases of bullying, although intervention has not necessarily been successful. They have called immediately when any problem or issue has arisen, which is indicative of the generally good communications between the school and parents. However, the school has been unresponsive or defensive in the case of a difficult situation with one teacher. 4. HSTAT is one of the pilot schools using PupilPath.com. It is a very valuable tool to check up on what assignments are pending, what assignments your child has (or has not) completed or handed in, and how your child is doing during the current marking period on the spectrum between passing and failing. (Posting grades will not be mandatory for all teachers until next semester but several are using it now). Teachers can also send messages to parents through the site. 5. School has reputation for integrating children with special needs into the mainstream life of the school. I have found this to be exactly the opposite. Except for gym and lunch, sped students are kept apart in the Instructional Support Dept. and rarely interact with typical students. 6. That said, it would be an excellent school for non-sped kids. The principal is lovely and he is highly engaged in the life of the school and knows the students. There is a clear emphasis on academic achievement. It is a warm environment and both parents and students love the school and are intensely loyal. The Parent Coordinator is very available and helpful.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Try to speak with parents whose child is attending or has attended the school and has similar interests or concerns as your child.

__________


HS of Telecommunications Arts and Technology (2011 Review)
Borough - Brooklyn

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:
I am very satisfied with this school The teachers go above and beyond---most are young and really engage the children in ways that makes learning fun. The PupilPath website is great as I can see progress of my child and check on any assignments and email teachers who get back to me within 24 hours. Tutoring is available Mon-Thurs. Lots of clubs and sports. This school is much smaller then neighboring public high schools which was a plus for me.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Ask lots of questions and take tours during school so you can really see the environment.


__________



Humanities Preparatory Academy (2011 Review)
Borough - Manhattan
Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience:
The teachers all seem skilled. Inquireries are responded to rapidly. The facility is limited, only 1/2 a floor in an old WPA high school building. The programs are also limited. The schools strength is the community care and feeling, absolutely no bullying. They have an "outward bound" trip every fall. It was the only trip of this sort my son agreed to attend and he loved it. The first semester I had a communication problem with the math teacher but seems to have been resolved.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend with reservations

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Research it as thoroughly has possible and start early!


__________




Hunter College High School, Fall 2011 Review
Borough - Manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Have you reviewed this school via a previous survey to Parents of NY Teens?
no

Please write a review of your experience in the box provided:

HCHS is an amazing school. My daughter has had a wonderful experience - she got a thorough grounding in the basics during her first few years, and now has the option to focus on subjects of interest to her. They offer many electives, both at HCHS itself, and at Hunter College or Columbia University for juniors and seniors.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Visit the school. You really need to visit to get a feel for the atmosphere, and whether it is right for your child. That goes for college as well.

___________


LaGuardia High School (2010 review) 
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - art
Location - Manhattan, Amsterdam & 65th
Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:
Skill of the teachers varies greatly - she has had some great teachers that have motivated her to excel - bur she has also had some really not so competent teachers also. We have not really had any difficult situations so I can;t address that. Feedback on your child progress varies by teacher also -- I often did not know of a problem until after the first marking period that being said the teacher all got back to me if called or emailed. The school is very traditional in teaching style so if your child is not used to that it is an adjustment.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Know whether you want a big school or small - my daughter likes LaGuardia and the size is no problem for her but for some kids it could be too big and impersonal

_________________
LaGuardia HS (2010 review) 
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Instrumental Music
Location - NYC
Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:
My son has had an incredibly good experience at LAG. There are many different types of students of varying ability and interest but they are all great kids. My son is a senior and has never once seen a fight in or outside of school. (This was something I worried about when looking at high schools). The kids are incredibly nice and supportive of one another which I think, in part comes from them working collaboratively in their "majors" for 3 periods a day. For the size of the school, I am constantly astounded how well the teachers know my son --my calls and emails are always answered by the following day at the latest. The curriculum is probably more "traditional" than Beacon, for example, -- there are a lot of high achievers at the school and they offer a lot of AP and Honors courses. My son has had some really great teachers and a few duds in 4 yrs. -- which I think is par for the course. I had a very different impression of the school before he went there-- I was afraid he'd be gobbled up by it -- I was very wrong.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
trust your instincts-- you know your child better than anyone else.

_________________

LaGuardia (2010 review) 
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Art
Location - 64 and 10th Ave.
Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience :
It's been fairly easy for my daughter. She likes the art program and has been able to take honors classes in her sophmore year. She likes the after school clubs and they list plenty of extracurricular and summer opportunities in a variety of subjects. Like most schools, she likes some teachers better than others, but I'm sure this is universally true. At PT conferences, all the teachers remembered her despite the size of the school. Like other large, specialized high schools, I would imagine students would be more self motivated, and my daughter doesn't need much structure or guidance to stay on track, so I can't say how this would be with other types of students.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Go to the open houses, speak to students there now as well as graduates, and look on Insideschools.com

_______________
LaGuardia (2010 review) 
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Drama
Location - Manhattan
Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience :
Since my son is new to LaGuardia, I haven't had enough experience to evaluate the school across all these elements. However, I would say that the teachers vary in quality although in his drama studio, they are excellent. The building is fairly new and therefore in much better condition than many of the other high schools we toured. They do have to travel long distances up many flights of stairs in a fairly short period of time, which is compensation for the limited amount of phys ed kids get in NYC.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Your child's happiness is an important element to keep in mind -- it doesn't always seem obvious when you are in the midst of deciding among different academic programs.

_______________

LaGuardia H.S. (2010 review) 
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - vocal music
Location - Manhattan
Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience :
Very happy with the school -- quality of instruction for students who are motivated to seek out the best and most challenging classes, the responsiveness of the teachers and administration, and the overall experience.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

_____________________


Laguardia H.S. (2011 review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - vocal music
Borough - Manhattan
Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience :
The teachers are a mixed bag, but no one COMPLETELY awful (though three come close!) or COMPLETELY terrific. It is a very standard, dull curriculum, with mostly dull assignments and lots of teaching to the endless school and standardized tests. My daughter , however, is not quite as bent out of shape about this as I am. LaGuardia very much matches her experience in middle school, so she feels comfortable. A few other things: My daughter's commute is more than an hour, and her first class starts around 8, so she leaves the house at 6:45 in the morning and some days does not get home until 5:30 -- dark commute on both ends. Her locker is on some floor where she never is and the kids have 3 minutes between classes, so she drags around her heavy pack all day; i don't think she's even SEEN her locker. Her lunch period is her last period of the day, about 7-8 hours after her breakfast, so she has taken to eating in one of her classes, and that has not much endeared her to that teacher. Also, because her friends are on different start/end schedules, she has to commute pretty much by herself (esp. in the mornings) or wait around after she's done with school in order to have company coming home. Finals are next week, and my daughter has 4 in one day, then one the next and one on the third day. the tests are long (double periods?), and there is not much time in between. When is lunchtime, you ask? Plus, for the single-test days, she'll have to commute 3 hours just for however long the test takes. another scheduling result of its being a big school. I have no idea how the school deals with difficult situations, but I do know that it is a very, very large school and very difficult to get anyone's attention. I have received no feedback about my child's progress beyond some minimal comments on papers/tests and report card grades (only some one-word comments there, if any). each teacher has a LOT of students -- a hundred or more? -- and not much time to look at anything they do. lots of grading seems to be done by fellow students, and there are few if any notes on papers the teachers review. the performances i've attended, however, have been really excellent.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend with reservations

_______________


LaGuardia (2011 Review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Art

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience :
The teachers are a mixed bag. Most are good, dedicated and available. A few seem disorganized and difficult (if not impossible) to contact. The department heads are not much help when trying to deal with a teacher who makes herself scarce. The facility is very good, and the art program is excellent. The academics are very traditional. A school like this, which attracts many creative children who might do well in a different kind of academic program, sets up a conflict for some students. They love and do well in the studio program, but have a difficult time conforming to the very traditional academic structure - there is not much creativity in the classroom. Due to budget cuts, the foreign language situation is not good, and there are ample opportunities for strong students to take AP courses but for students who are in the middle, achievement wise, elective-type courses have been cut.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Make sure they really want to do the studio program, especially if the commute will be long. The extra time spent at the school, combined with the commute, combined with a significant amount of homework, can make evenings unpleasant.
_______________


Laguardia High School (2011 review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - instrumental music

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience:

Our experience has been great! My son is thriving in his major & academically. The school is so organized & professional, communication with the school is really reliable & easy. I give it an A+!!

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Do the foot work! Go visit as many schools as you can. Take the portfolios & auditions seriously - get your letters of recommendation!

_______________


 LaGuardia High School (2011 review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Drama
Borough - Manhattan

 Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience:

Four months in, I am generally very impressed with how well teachers already know my son; how promptly administrators have gotten back to me when I had questions; and how good some of the teachers are. My son also likes his teachers and feels very comfortable. We all love the drama program, although I don't get why any school specializing in the arts would ever limit a kid's exposure to just one art. He does have some academic teachers that seem uncreative and uninspiring. For a kid who is passionate about his/her art, it is a constant source of motivation to have so much attention devoted to the arts. New librarian seems very impressive and may be a source of innovative programming.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
There is a range of academics here from very rigorous to very "lite." Find the right fit for your child.


_______________


 LaGuardia (2011 review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Drama
Borough - Manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience :

The school has been great for my son so far. The kids all feel very excited about their major--which they spend three class periods a day pursuing--and in my experience the academics are sound. He has one absolutely fabulous teacher, two good ones, and two duds--not bad, I would say. The school does a great job of communicating with parents.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Sometimes the kid doesn't know what he wants and you have to help him. My son did not want to try out for LaGuardia, but after much negotiation we convinced him, and he LOVES it.

_______________


LaGuardia HS (2011 Review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Vocal Major
Borough - Manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience :
Because of heavy major requirements, there are few electives offered at LaG. Academics can be quite good if student is motivated, however teachers are somewhat uneven. Because there are so many very talented students and the competition is stiff, the average vocalist has a better chance of a role in a musical in a school like Murrow. Many students graduate without that experience.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend with reservations



_______________


 LaGuardia High school (2011 Review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - visual art
Borough - manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience :

The day is very long, my daughter barely sees the sun, not kidding, she leaves before it rises and gets home as it sets. Most of the teachers are good, and very nice, although i believe its the kids who make the school what it is. The guidance counselors and school agents are not very helpful, the students are expected to deal with their problems on their own, which makes for a group of very smart and strong willed group of students.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
talk to the teachers, you can tell when they don't want to be there, and when they don't, the school is not very good.


______________


LaGuardia High School (2011 Review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Fine Arts
Borough - Manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience :

Much to offer: extra talent classes, Honors, AP, etc., Clubs, etc. Not much in college guidance unless you plan to major in your talent area Teachers seem competent and engaging, though I met some who should be retired: tired and forgetful VERY long day long commute

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Visit and speak to others attending or recent graduates

_______________

LaGuardia High School (Fall, 2011 review)

Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Drama

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Have you reviewed this school via a previous survey to Parents of NY Teens?
yes

Please write a review of your experience :

The drama program is wonderful, varied, engaging, fun, serious, rigorous and my son loves every minute. I am also pleasantly surprised at how well his academic teachers know him and recognize his strengths and weaknesses. As would happen anywhere, public or private, specialized or non, there are some teachers who are uninspiring. There is a group of serious students who take challenging classes and work hard and there is a group of less serious students. It is up to your child to find his/her comfort level academically and peers that can support his/her approach.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
If your child is passionate about his/her art, this is a wonderful place.

______________


 LaGuardia HS (2012 review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Vocal
Location - 66th St. & Amsterdam Ave (Lincoln Center

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience:

Took a long time (3 mths)to get a SS grade straightened out with a difficult teacher... I had to go to the SS AP, PC, & Pupil services AP to get a meeting & I was not totally satisfied with the conclusion.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend

8. What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Distance, time of first & last classes & type of scheduling, block or traditional

___________________


Name of School - LaGuardia High School - (2012 Review) 
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Fine Art
Location - Upper West Side

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

The teachers at LaG are uneven--some great ones; others not so good. But overall, my daughter, now a senior, has gotten a really good education. She has a few teachers who have really become mentors and have had a big influence on her.

Did your child use the school's college office? If yes, would you like to add some information about that experience? Did they help with the search? Applications? Were they helpful with parent's questions? Were they speedy in getting transcripts, recommendations, etc to the colleges?

The LaGuardia college office is not especially strong. My daughter's guidance counselor, who helped my daughter on many occasions, does not do college advisement, but was helpful when it came to recommendations. We really got very little guidance in the college process

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Be realistic about who your child really is--about their learning style, social preferences and academic weaknesses and strengths.

___________________




The Lowell School - High School (2011 review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Special Education
Borough - Queens

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year
Have you reviewed this school via a previous survey to Parents of NY Teens?
no

Please write a review of your experience:

The Lowell School has been a very good school for our son who struggles with dyslexia. The facility is a bit old and there is no outdoor space, but there is a park with fields nearby that they use for sports. The teachers are very good and the school is managed very well. Some teachers are better than others, but you will find that everywhere. Teacher communication is really good, and I feel linked to what is going on there, even though it is so far away from where we live. In terms of programs, I feel that the Math program is good, music program is really good, and the sports program after school is pretty good as well (basketball, track and soccer). I am not sure about the science program yet, the focus is really on the basics. I find the staff handle difficult situations well, and are very strict, which the kids respond to. Overall I find that they handle the needs of LD kids in a way that instills confidence, life skills, social appropriateness, and tolerance. The faculty tries pretty hard to teach kids to be responsible, and have very strict rules about behavior and set good boundaries, which the kids find challenging, but it's good for them. They create a nice atmosphere for the kids that encourages their success on many levels. This is our first year, but I find they seem to be on it with my son's progress and right there with feedback, better than myself actually! I have some reservations about how limited the programs are (I would love to see him exposed to more arts, and things like debate, etc), but in terms of dealing with my son's issues, they are doing a good job. My son likes school, which is key.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Know what your kids needs to succeed, what they are lacking in their progress and condense it into a couple of words for yourself. In our case it was self esteem and desire to learn. Knowing this, I found an environment that supported his self esteem and cultivated a desire to learn.


_______________


Math,Science Research & Technology (2012 Review)
Location - Cambria Heights, NY

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

Teachers are top-notch and well versed in their subjects. This is a school with 3 other schools in the building. It is not ideal, but works well enough. Teachers use an online gradebook and frequently send emails about grades and events.Teachers respond promptly to emails, though phone contact is difficult during the school day as teachers are in classes and often at meetings and are unreachable. My dealings are usually directly with teachers who are honest, yet fair in discussing tough issues about a childs learning or behavior.

Did your child use the school's college office? If yes, would you like to add some information about that experience? Did they help with the search? Applications? Were they helpful with parent's questions? Were they speedy in getting transcripts, recommendations, etc to the colleges?

The college office is run by a school aid in conjunction with the Guidance counselor, Ms. trottman and are helpful with searches and applications. My son said a student has to be willing to pursue this information as recruiters are not permitted into classes to give students information. I found this to be a poor practice implemented by the newer principal. When my first child attended MAST, he came home with a lot of information given in classes by people from colleges.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Read school surveys. Look at what students and staff have to say over what parents say. They are the ones there each day. Ask friends who have children in the school about communication and outreach not just from the teachers, but from the principal's office.

_________________




Midwood HS (2010 review) 
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Medical Science
Location - Flatbush
Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience:
The classes have been more challenging that my daughter was used to but I mean this in a very good way. There seem to be no classroom management/behaviour issues despite large class size (35 kids to a class). Her English teacher is very demanding and raised the bar as far as essay writing goes. So far the transition to this huge, crowded school has been perfectly smooth. Things have been explained well and there has been very little confusion. Parent teacher conferences were valuable, and the parent coordinator is very very helpful and personable.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Don't overlook the obvious. Don't feel that if your child is not on the train an hour each way and they didn't write an essay, twirl a baton, and sparkle at an interview that they couldn't possibly be at a good school.

____________
Midwood HS (2010 review) 
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Med/Sci Program
Location - Brooklyn
Is this the school your child attends now?
no, he or she already graduated

Please write a review of your experience:
It's a huge school. They have everything. There are some really great, world class teachers, and some mediocre ones. (My son had pretty good luck getting his schedule changed when he needed to. The counselors were pretty responsive.) The great thing about Midwood is they offer so much variety there is something for everybody. It's possible to get a truly great education there, or you can slack off and not take advantage of the opportunities offered if that's what your tendency is. If your child is self-motivated, I would say it's a great, great place. If your child needs somebody goading them all the time, maybe not. I always went to Parents' Night, and always had good interaction with the teachers. The administrators really care about the kids, and the Parent Coordinator, Carol Ardito, is the best in the business. I would definitely send my second child there if he gets in.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Know your child.

________________


Midwood High School (2011 Review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Humanities
Borough - Brooklyn

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience :

Teachers seem to very good. Lot's of outside activities. School is very big and crowded--zoned school has lots of fights, all asst principals were responsive when contacted, parent coordinator extremely helpful, pta doesn't seem so great, kids coming from schools like 321 and M.S. 51 are a bit intimidated by the diversity (both black and white diversity), some teachers have really embraced technology which is very helpful in a school of this size (engrade, blog) others have not and we don't really get much info about what is going on.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend with reservations

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Where do you believe your child will do well--take into account what your child says, but don't give them veto power.
________________


Midwood High School (2012 review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Medical/Sciences
Location - Midwood, Brooklyn

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:
My son is a sophomore. Last year as a freshman he had a handful of not great teachers, but this year his teachers seem to be good to very good for the most part. I wish the school was a little smaller and classes were smaller.

I think the school cares about the students, but there is so much they can do w/ the size. I think they view the students as needing to be responsible for themselves. This is good in theory, but I could use some more

communication when it comes to electives or programs offered to help my son choose coursework, etc. Also my son was sick for several weeks this past semester and it was difficult to impossible to get in touch w/ some of his

teachers to get his work which was frustrating. For the most part, if you try and reach a teacher, you can get a response, but they don't let you know if there's a problem generally if you don't poke around and inquire. The

guidance counselor has been responsive though. My son is on the baseball team which is important to him. He is very committed so that is good they have sports teams.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend with reservations

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Visit the schools and speak to other parents about their experiences

________________



Midwood High School (2012 review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Humanities
Location - Brooklyn

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

This is a very large school and you feel as though you have very little idea of what's going on other than P/T conference days. The principal is really not out there engaging parents so you don't know what's he's doing or much

about his initiatives. The PTA is low-key and doesn't do much. They finally started an online bulletin to let parents know what's going on at the school. Overall, this is a traditional school with two schools within that are filled

with high achieving kids. They come from diverse backgrounds and there is little spirit team building going on so there is not much after school interaction. Overall, the teachers seem good and the administration seems

responsive to overall concerns. Some of the teachers use electronic communication--most don't have any communication with parents or give much feedback to the kids at all. Honestly, I thought the school would foster much

more team spirit and provide more and better after school activities. This was my child's second choice and they are disappointed. I think educationally it's a solid choice if you go to one of the two special schools.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend with reservations

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Get an address in Manhattan East where your choices are much greater.

____________

Millenium (2010 review) 
Location - Financial District, Manhattan
Is this the school your child attends now?
no, we only toured the school and my comments are based on impressions gathered on the tour

Please write a review of your experience :
On the tour, I was impressed with how caring and thoughtful the students, teachers and principal seemed. They were also all whip-smart and serious about their work. The college office seems incredibly dedicated. I am looking to take my son out of private school and I would be very happy to see him at Millenium.

6. Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

7. What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Start early if you can. Do your research before you get the kid involved. Go easy on yourself.

__________
Millennium HS (2010 review) 
Location - Lower Manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience :
The teaching staff are all experienced, and teacher turnover is low. The facilities are very pleasant. Until they secure a real gym, students have use of a fully equipped executive gym (universal gym and running and biking machines). The school empowers and supports their students to improve their school and their world. Students are taught responsibility and consequences for their own actions in a very motivating and age appropriate way. Teachers are in regular contact with parents, either directly or via the child's designated advisor.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Seriously discuss with your child his/her aspirations and preferences. Big school vs. small, academically challenging, sports, clubs, music, drama and other arts, affiliations, etc. Remember, one student's "best fit" is not necessarily that of other children. Ask your child what he/she likes about his/her current school; also discuss what he/she would change and/or what he/she doesn't like at all. Meet regularly as a family to compare notes and listen to each other. Be aware that during the tour and application process, opinions and priorities will probably change. After talking, hug: it's hard for everyone in the family. Don't forget that you're all interested in the same thing: finding the best fit school for your child.


___________


Millennium High School (2011 Review)
Borough - Manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

 Please write a review of your experience: 

The teachers have been great so far. My son's advisor is in touch with me often and is responsive to his needs. When he was stumbling, they circled the wagons to get him on track. They have done a wonderful job in facilitating the transition into high school for the 9th graders. My son meets with his teachers after school 3x/week just to make sure is is caught up. The school has a wide variety of afterschool extracurricular activities to which my son will make himself available once his time is freed up. Mr. Rhodes, the Principal is a great role model of intelligence, savvy, caring and grace. At on of the first parent meetings, he expressed that what everyone there was working towards was making sure that our kids were happy at school-because the demands were great and he wished for them all to be able to do their best. My son is so happy at Mlennium--it is a very friendly atmosphere and condusive to learning and developing.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Visit.

____________


Millennium High School (2012 Review)
Location - Lower Manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

MHS is a small school that subscribes to student explorations (individual and small groups) as a critical aspect of learning. Students participate actively in the classroom experience, as they investigate and present small and large projects. At the same time, MHS expects students to do their best on standardized tests such as Regents Exams, SAT exams, and SAT subject tests and AP tests. MHS supports their students in this, as well. The teachers are young, but most have solid experience in their field, and many are exceptional. Sure, we've had our share of duds, and a disproportionate number of maternity leaves, but my experience is that every school has issues, especially with continuing budget cuts. I respect that MHS has worked very hard to minimize the impact of these situations on it's students. The school is perfectly suited to support kids with learning issues. There is a CTT class for grades 9&10, and many more kids with IEPs in the other classes who receive support services. The school is dedicated to supporting and accommodating students who aim high and are willing to work hard. The school is not equipped to provide remediation for students who are not ready for the challenges of a highly demanding high school experience. The administrators and teachers expect the students to behave as mature young men and women, and when difficult situations arise (and they do), I have found that the staff speaks with the students respectfully and reports to the parents promptly and professionally. The school has zero tolerance for certain disruptive, dangerous and illegal behaviors, and it reacts quickly and absolutely when situations arise. Parents receive quarterly report cards, as well as a mid-quarter report for each, giving students ample opportunity to correct their short-comings.

Did your child use the school's college office? If yes, would you like to add some information about that experience? Did they help with the search? Applications? Were they helpful with parent's questions? Were they speedy in getting transcripts, recommendations, etc to the colleges?
The school's college office is definitely overtaxed, and is significantly funded by PA fundraisers. They are efficient and helpful. Preparing for the college application process is a big part of the Advisory class curriculum in 10th and 11th grades. Students prep (a bit) for SAT exams, investigate and visit colleges, work on their apps and essays, talk about priorities, etc.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
MHS is a very supportive school with high expectations for its students. This is a good school for a student who enjoys learning, doesn't mind working hard, and wants to be an active participant in a community of learners. It's a great school for many kids, but it is overwhelming from others. Students need to appreciate what MHS is offering to them, but they also need to understand that in exchange, they are making a commitment to be an active participate in a challenging academic community.

_____________


Millennium Brooklyn High School (2012 review)
Location - 7th Ave Brooklyn NY

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience:

My personal experience as a parent of a 9th grader at MBHS has been extremely positive. We knew we wanted a small academically challenging and supportive HS for our child. We also knew that the admissions to such schools in Manhattan was extremely competitve. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to place MBHS on the HS application as a new school last year. Our hopes for what we wanted for a high school for our child have been realized. Small school - more personalized attention from teachers and administrators; small classes; "everyone knows my child's name" and learns her strengths and weaknesses; can and DO target instruction to those strengths and weaknesses -for ex. was given added assignment for essay due in Global Studies for History and Literature where strong skills and received extra tutoring for math tests where struggling; Teachers - dedicated, care about the subject they are teaching; excited about being part of a new school and interested and involved with the students; Communication - email and Pupil Path used; able to contact teachers if any issue; P and VP extrememely accessible to parents and from what I hear to students; progress reports given in between report cards (we had no surprises on grades) ; advisor assigned to your child with a group of approx 14 kids; advisor readily available to discuss child's progress and to help child with navigating HS, helps with community service requirements, research project. Academics - challenging, interesting, high expectations with support! Will not lie -there is alot of homework and projects. Love that there is Humanities (Global history and Literature) and Bio Chem. Although Biochem is tough, from what i have seen and followed in the curriculum from HW and tests, the flow of the what their learning makes sense and you can see how one topic leads into the next topic. Art is amazing because it combines art history with art concepts. For a new small school there have been an unbelievable number of opportunites to take part in - various sport clubs such as swim club, PSAL sports with Millennium Manhattan such as soccer and basketball, Art Club, Writing Club that now is meeting with a Writing Center sponsored with LIU. Facility - John Jay HS Campus, MBHS is on the first floor. The lockers are new. The classrooms are newly constructed and will expand over the first floor. Need to go through metal detectors so kids need to allot time in morning to do that but they get used to it within the first month of school. There is staggered entry and exit times for each school. We are not aware of any problems or trouble with the other students and schools. I have heard of some lingering resentment from another schools teacher but it seemed to have been based on misinformation. Hopefully any resentment will be overcome in time as the community gets to know eachother. MBHS is a welcoming diverse community that is representative of Brooklyn. We have been very happy with this as a high school choice and more importantly our daughter has been very happy there.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Look at your child's strengths and weaknesses and try to find the type of schools that fit best. Ignore the hype about any one school if it is not right for your child.

___________________


Edward R. Murrow (2010 review) 
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Drama
Location - Brooklyn
Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience :

Excellent program for a high performing student that can and wants to navigate the system and advocate for themselves. Caring teachers that want to help the student achieve anything they try for. Particularly fine science research "intel track" classes. Excellent AP classes. Very supportive, collegial group of students. Very diverse and harmonious. Excellent Parent Coordinator! The experience with the dramatic productions is wonderful, but there is plenty of "drama" around personalities between the students and Drama dept. teachers. The subjective nature of the subject and the egos involved make it a mixed experience as I believe is true in many drama programs.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Only place schools on the application that you have toured. You will know a fit when you see it.

___________


Edward R. Murrow High School (2010 review) 
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Screened Theatre
Location - Brooklyn
Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

We as a family have been impressed by the caliber of teachers at ERMHS. The school has been accommodating around our son's IEP services and helpful in insuring that his needs are met. Students receive report cards 8 times a year with 4 formal opportunities for conferences. I have not had the need to contact a teacher during times other than the conferences. The administration of the school is accessible as well.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Know your kid. Know what type of environment works best for them.

_____________

Edward R. Murrow HS (2010 review) 
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - N/A
Location - Avenue L and East 17th Street, Brooklyn, NY
Is this the school your child attends now?
no, he or she already graduated

Please write a review of your experience:

A group of highly skilled and dedicated teachers, who all seemed to enjoy working there. Murrow offers everything execpt team sports. It is very large, and offers little "hand-holding" requiring the students to take responsibility for getting to class and structuring their programs. There are many clubs and activities, and non-actors can audition and get parts in one of Murrow's famed Broadway-quality productions. Murrow is stuctured in a 4-cycle year, so there are 4 parent-teacher conferences a year, instead of the usaul two. It provides better feedback than the more traditional schools.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Know how much stucture your child needs. Murrow is far less structured than traditional high schools. Some students thrive, others get lost.

_________________________

Edward R. Murrow HS (2011 Review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Studio Theater Arts (Communication Arts)
Borough - Brooklyn

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience:
The parent teacher conference I attended was so difficult to navigate I was only able to see a few teachers and one tried to dismiss my presence. To be fair it was the end of the evening and she definitely looked spent. So difficult to determine skill of teachers from a face to face. On the other hand, my son is highly engaged in his classes and, as much as a 14-year-old can love school, he does. He also brings his class discussions to our dinner table and shows comprehension and curiosity. In this case I'd say the proof is in the pudding. Yes, good teachers. Sadly, due to budget cutbacks a lot of great programs got cut, but there still is a variety alongside the expected programs.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend with reservations.

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.

As I was told, this school is not for everyone. You do your due diligence in the school's academics, safety, etc. But then factor in your child's personality. It fits prominently into whether he or she will excel.
_________________________


E.R. Murrow Hgh School (2011 Review)
Borough - Brooklyn

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

 Please write a review of your experience:

My daughter just started this fall and is very happy there so far. She has adjusted despite the large size of the school but she did go to a fairly large middle school. She finds the classes interesting and most of the teachers skilled. She is not regretting her decision to use the 2% option rather than wait out the application process.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Look into all of the options that interest you so that when the time comes you and your child feel more comfortable with the decision.


_________________________


Edward R. Murrow High School
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - screened theater
Borough - Brooklyn

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience :
The screened theater program is very demanding of time, esp. as show dates get near. Luckily, the homework load is fairly manageable for our child. Even so, the program time is impacting her sleep time. Lunch is catch as catch can--students aren't permitted to leave the building. Combined with the after-school time, this hasn't been the greatest for her diet either. Most of the teachers are great, responsive and genuinely interested in the kids. There is one theater teacher who from what I've heard needs some kind of professional help, but by now the kids are by and large old enough not to be traumatized. Murrow has the reputation of being loosey-goosey, which to me means the kids are given enough rope to hang themselves--they get out more if they put in more. I think it's less free-form than it used to be. There is supposed to be less emphasis on grades, (no numerical grades), but the kids just find out numerical equivalents, so grade-grubbing is still possible. In general the teachers are terrific, it's a nice mix of kids, and there's a good balance between performing/liberal arts and technical/math/science. Accelerated programs in math and science (M-STAR) and AP courses are widely available (AP after the freshman year).

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend with reservations

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Try and evaluate the total work load your child will carry, and how self-motivated your child is. You want a balance between education and real life.


_________________________



Edward R. Murrow HS Fall, 2011 Review
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Communications Arts

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Have you reviewed this school via a previous survey to Parents of NY Teens?
no

Please write a review of your experience in the box provided:
Most of the teachers my daughter has had have been skilled. The school is very large, so it is hard to change a schedule once it is set. My d. seems to have learned to negotiate the size of the school without difficulty. She did attend a fairly large middle school, but this was still a big change.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
The size of the school does require some ability to navigate independently.

___________




Edward R Murrow High School, Fall 2011 Review
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Fine Arts

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Have you reviewed this school via a previous survey to Parents of NY Teens?
no

Please write a review of your experience in the box provided:

Being only two months into the freshman year, I am pleased with how things are going. My child got into Murrow using the Op-Ed option. She is also a visual arts major in the M-Star science program and is taking honors History and English classes. She is very challenged. Murrow was her first choice high school, due to the options available to the students. In this she is not disappointed. Her art teacher is wonderful. She was hoping for more than one art class a day, but budget cuts have reduced this option. The kids she is with are talented and her work is strong and has improved significantly. Good projects and lessons. Her M-Star science teacher is wonderful. When she applied for the science program, she did not realize it meant going into school and hour earlier than her peers and she was going to drop it. However, after one class, she knew she loved it and decided to stay. And she is NOT a morning person. She has a double science classes everyday, and often a lab. Instead of getting through the curriculum faster, they go into more depth --I think this is wonderful. Her history teacher is quirky, a very tough grader and expects a lot out of the kids. She is stimulated, challenged and it is her favorite class. The homework load is heavy and a problem. She can't get it all done without staying up way too late and it is causing some health issues. We are still trying to figure that one out. Socially, the school seems very safe and the kids get along and respect each other. She has not seen any gang activity or fights in the hallways. I was concerned about sending her to such a large school, but she has been able to find and make friends she really likes. I had my first parent teacher conference last week and was pleased that her teachers all seemed to know her. I was generally happy and impressed with their work and dedication. The options and choices made available in this large school are definitely a plus for her.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend.

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.

Know your kid and their learning style and needs. Let your kids lead the way, but make sure you feel OK with their choice. I felt a big school would be a risk -- I did not want her to "get lost", but it seems to be working. The specialty programs within the big school help to anchor her.


____________



Edward r Murrow High School (2012 review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Art
Location - Midwood, Brooklyn, NY

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience :

- The skill of teachers appears to be high - Range of available programs is impressive - The schools diversity is a plus - The kids feel safe even with 4000 students - With 4000 students, stuff happens - IMO great place to prep for college

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
This school is for kids who can manage time and schedules independently, and carry a fairly heavy homework schedule.
_______________


Edward R Murrow High School 2012 review
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Visual Arts
Location - Brooklyn

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience:

My daughter LOVES her freshman year at Murrow. She's been very happy with the wide array of students who attend and has found a good balance between the social life and school work; a balance that Murrow encourages students to find. I am happy with all of her teachers. She is largely in honors classes, which tend to be large (most of her classes have 34 students), but every teacher knew her name and specific strengths and weaknesses by open school night. She's reluctant to participate in class, but her teachers did a great job of encouraging her and her confidence has skyrocketed this year. The homework load is pretty significant--at least two hours every night and sometimes considerably more when there is a project or a paper due (usually there are three or four per class per semester), but I felt like she was always given enough advance notice and support to be able to complete things in a timely manner and as independently as possible. Most of her teachers use engrade or had very clear grading policies and updates, so keeping track of her scores was never particularly difficult. The only real complaint I have is how long it took to resolve programming issues. After three weeks, she still did not have a foreign language class, and then there was a problem with her program change that took five visits to the guidance office to resolve. When her father contacted the guidance office, he was directed to have her handle the issue on her own. In the end, everything was resolved, but I'm concerned going forward that the amount of time she would be out of a higher level class would represent a huge challenge for staying on track when she finally DOES get in. Overall, though, we're thrilled with the school and are happy that her younger brother is considering applying there as well.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
GO to the school and get a sense of the building. Your kid will be there every. single. day. You need to go at least once, preferably while classes are in session, so that you can see whether or not this is a good place for your kid. Trust your gut, and do NOT list a school that is not a good fit. You don't have to list 12 schools! Just list the ones you would truly be okay with your child attending...

_______________________________


Edward R. Murrow HS (2012 review)
Location - Brooklyn NY

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience:

Teachers' skill runs the gamut from involved and energetic to tired and overworked. The facility is adequate. It's a large, overcrowded school (nearly 4K students) but everything seems to work and my daughter and most other students seem to like it fine. Great arts programs, adequate AP program. We've come to feel our daughter isn't being challenged sufficiently and have been in contact with teachers, principal, parent liaison, who have responded quickly and positively to our concerns. Feedback from teachers has ranged from adequate to excellent.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Every rule has its exception and the squeaky wheel gets the grease.


____________________



NEST+m (2011 Review)
Borough - New York

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

 Please write a review of your experience :

I am extremely pleased with NEST+m. I find the line of communication is always open between myself and my child's teachers. I think the best compliment is that my son now comes home from school and actually talks about his day!

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Speak to the teachers and current students and make sure to attend the open houses.

_________________________


NYCischool (2012 review)
Location - 131 Avenue of the Americas

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience:

I love the fact that the school is so small. My daughter really needs integrated support as she has some special needs and in particular has trouble staying focused and organized. At the same time, they don't give her a pass at all. She really has to work to keep up, but they are pretty good about letting her make up work when she spaces out and misses it, loses it, or forgets to hand it in. Her grades are pretty low right now, much lower than in  middle school, but I see that she is gradually becoming more responsible and is starting to get that this is serious, and her grades are slowly edging up. I wish there were some more clubs and after school programs, but for a small school, they offer as much as they can. Some of the courses seem to me to have some very original twists on them, which I like. My daughter's thinking definitely seems to be becoming more sophisticated, and I'm often surprised by some of the things she knows. My daughter's a bit of a loner and is distrustful of new people, and she was teased and cyberbullied in middle school, but she says that none of that goes on at this school. She says that the kids are all pretty nice, and kids who are "different" are pretty much allowed to be who they are, and no one harasses them. I think part of this has to do with the number of inter-grade classes offered. Her very first trimester, my daugher was one of only two freshman in her English class. Having older, more mature kids with younger kids, I believe, eliminates a lot of the ninth-grade nonsense. The feedback about my child's progress is excellent. We get weekly updates on her grades via email, and we can go to a website on a daily basis and see what she has done, what is missing, what her individual grades are on each assignment, and even what her ranking is within the class.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Start with who your CHILD is, not what the SCHOOL is when searching for a high school. It could be the best school in the world, but it might be the worst for your child. Be realistic about who your child is.
__________________________



NYC Lab School for Collaborative Studies, Fall 2011 Review
New York, NY

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Have you reviewed this school via a previous survey to Parents of NY Teens?
no

Please write a review of your experience in the box provided:

The NYC Lab School is a wonderful place for bright kids who are thinkers and doers but not motivated by external pressure. The kids cooperate with each other, support each other, and respect intellectual prowess. The  administration is very accessible - as a parent, I always felt like they had my back. I love the JupiterGrades program they use - it encouraged dialogue with my son because I knew what he was doing and what he was supposed to do. Finally - the college counseling is extraordinary. I could not have gotten better attention if I had paid a private counselor. From reading each of my son's essays, to knowing his grades and how to "sell" him to the colleges of his dreams - they worked with us as an individual to craft a strategy that we hope works!

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.

Make sure your kids is with their intellectual and emotional peers. In high school, your influence as a parent matters less and less - so it's key to get them with kids with an ethos that you hope they will pick up. Cause they  will!

_____________


NYC Lab High School (2012 review)
Location - Chelsea

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

A fabulous school. Both nurturing and demanding. A high level of personal interaction with parents, if you wish - I have emailed my child's teachers, the principal, and the guidance staff as needed and always gotten an email back. The kids are supportive of each other - and they value smartness. I especially feel that this school is supportive of smart humanities-oriented boys (my son). Most of their teachers are great but like any public school they've got some clunkers. But the principal is on top of it, nothing gets lost.

Did your child use the school's college office? If yes, would you like to add some information about that experience? Did they help with the search? Applications? Were they helpful with parent's questions? Were they speedy in getting transcripts, recommendations, etc to the colleges?
Yes - I leaned quite heavily on the college office and they were amazing. They met officially with us once (plus my son had advisory for the second half of junior year and first half of senior year) - but the college advisor was in constant email contact with me when I needed it, suggesting additional schools, reading my son's essay(s), and even sending off his essay to a retired college admissions officer when she wasn't sure if it was on track or off target. I cannot say enough good things about this office - we wouldn't have gotten better if we'd paid someone. My son got into his first choice early decision school, and almost all the other early action schools he applied to!

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
I just faced this with my younger son - and it is to weigh apples to apples. We created a pros and cons comparison chart so that he was not making decisions based on ill-composed "gut feelings" - you don't want to rely on that as a 14-year-old! But once he put the factors down on paper, the choice was really clear.

________


Poly Prep (2010 review) 
Location - Brooklyn

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience :

I wouldn't recommend this school for everyone, but it has worked for us. For one thing, it's very expensive (about $30,000 a year for all expenses). You do get a great looking campus and wonderful faciliities. There is a football field, a great gym, ceramics kilms, new art studios, a building dedicated to science labs, and a professionally equipped theatre. Some teachers are great, with years of experience, while others are new and awful. One French teacher only lasted a year, but since she in essence stopped teaching in the middle of the year, handicapped the kids for years to come. On the other hand, one English teacher - Shawn Mullin - was inspirational to the kids in his class. The science and math teachers seem particularly dedicated. I wish the teachers were more cooperative in answering emails and phone calls, but on the other hand, they have been available for questions and tutoring for my child most of the time The school hasn't always been swift to react to discipline problems, but when they do, the act decisively. They have expelled students for theft.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend with reservations

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
If you can arrange for your child to sit in on a class, do it! While the school can put on a best face during tours and open houses, they can't hide what is going on in the classroom.


__________________

Poly Prep Country Day School (2011 Review)

Borough - Brooklyn

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

My son has been going to this school since fifth grade and will be graduating from it this upcoming May. During elementary school, he had to switch schools several times, so we hoped that we wouldn't have to do it again, and luckily it worked out at Poly. The school is a good size, small enough so that everyone knows each other, but big enough to have good facilities. While the school is known for its great sports facilities, it is also very academic. I am really impressed at the quality of work the students are expected to turn out. Like every school, it's not perfect however. Some of the teacher are unbelievably good; others unbelievably bad. Their arts program was so-so, but is improving with renovated facilities and new teachers. They have great lab facilities for science students. They have a nurse on staff and a part-time psychologist to deal with problems. In general we have found teachers willing to give extra help. Overall we are pleased with the school and recommend it, although I have to caution that every family and child is different, so what worked for us may not work for you. I think though, that the more parents are involved, the better it goes for the children.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Know who your child is and what they are capable of before beginning your search.


__________________


Queens High School for the Sciences (2011 Review)
Borough - Queens

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience:

This is an amazingly good school, however it is very challenging. The teachers are uniformly excellent and the principal is a true leader with a clear direction for the school's development. The school is a SHSAT school and provides (from what I can tell) similar course content to the other schools in this group with an emphasis on science. There are a lot of AP courses and good electives. Pro: My son encountered a physical problem at the beginning of the year. The school (from the principal on down) responded in an extremely proactive way, ensuring that he could get schoolwork done while not relaxing in any way the standards of the school. The school is small and therefore class sizes are small. In some places that could be a bad thing, but here teachers make themselves accessible for tutoring in a formal schedule, but also will respond to emails and requests for explanations. Students have a culture of collaboration and helpfulness and seem not to have the level of cut throat competition that other schools may have. Clubs are a formal part of the school with club day once a week for 45 minutes. Reflects the international mixture of families we have in Queens. Con: There aren't a lot of sports (although some) or major after school activities. Some people feel that the neighborhood is dangerous--and it is certainly diverse. It depends on your child's degree of street saviness. Not a problem with us so far.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Take the commute into account. It is a lot harder at rush hour in the morning.


________________


Scholars Academy (2010 review)  
Location - Rockaway Park, NY

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

My son is a freshman at this school. He also attended middle school here. It is a relatively new school that started out as a G&T middle school only, but now is branching out into a selective (85 + average required) high school. For that reason, the extracurriculars and advanced programs are not yet clear, although the AP courses are now beginning to appear, as is the college now program. In middle school, all students take the biology, earth science and algebra regents and there is similar acceleration in high school, so that AP and college courses can be taken. There are a number of astonishingly good teachers at this school, and, although my son has found a few not so great teachers, those have either improved or not lasted long. The orinciple is a strong, clear leader and has set a tone of collaboration with teachers and parents that is refreshing and very useful. He has open access hours each month before the PTA meeting and is available to anyone who wants to talk to him. The website and various other internet communication devices are very well used. The facilities are excellent and the principle's careful use of his funding has resulted in a technologically advanced and attractive school. The school's gimmick is collaboration, and all classes are taught in groups. Although this may be a great modality for some students, it does not work particularly well for my son, who can get quite distracted. In addition, because it is a new school, the level of  student is not yet as high as I would want--there are quite a few "slackers" at the school and they bring down the level of discussion and teaching. Nonetheless, I believe that my son, who is doing very well, is getting an excellent education.
Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Go to the school, talk to other parents, look at the type and level of leadership of the school

______________


School of the Future 2012 Review
Location - Manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

 Please write a review of your experience:

The teachers and principal are wonderful. The classes are small (usually 25 per class), which allows teachers to really get to know the students. The students are a mix of high-achieving students, those who are on grade level and some who are struggling. The teachers do a good job of differentiated teaching to the various levels, but the school somtimes seems unsure what to do with the few students who have been passed through from the middle school who aren't up to the rigorous demands of high school. The school stresses writing in all classes, and students do exhibitions, research papers that they must defend before a panel of teachers and students.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
SOF isn't a "hot" District 2 school, but it's a great place if you want your child to develop writing and critical thinking skills, in a nurturing environment with a diverse student body.


_________________________________



School for International Studies  (2012 review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - Culinary Arts
Location - Cobble Hill

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

There are some superb teachers at this school. For the most part they are skilled, interested in the students and dedicated to their work. Be aware that there are also some who are completely inexperienced and seem not to be getting the support they need to succeed as high school teachers. Be prepared for large class sizes. Not every teacher is able to control large classes and this can lead to a chaotic environment. Some kids can cope with this - others will not thrive. The culinary arts program is wonderful and staffed by capable and devoted faculty. Not happy with the administration, though. In general I felt that there is inadequate response when a parent raises an issue of concern.

7. Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend with reservations
___________




Stuyvesant (2010 review)  
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - NA
Location - Downtown Manhattan
Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience :

Everything that we heard about Stuy was true (even though we disregarded it in some cases). The teachers are a mixed bag. It appears now that my child is in an upper grade that the really fine teachers are reserved for the AP and very high level classes. We found that in general the humanities teachers have been stronger than the other subjects so far. Because of the test, Stuy attracts a very specific type of kid. They are super competitive. We thought that my child would be immune to it, but that proved not to be the case. I have hated the focus, pressure and "good natured" ridicule that has come with it. If your child doesn't want to participate in this culture, look elsewhere. I will say that the administration and some teachers have been superb in their support of my child and our family. They know that families need help and when you reach out, they give it in spades. The parent coordinator, guidance staff and AP's in charge of different academic departments are the absolute finest anywhere (public or private). My child will look back on it as a good experience overall. I am the one with the emotional scars because I encouraged my child to attend.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend with reservations

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
When your child is accepted at a specialized school, try and separate what you know about your child and the school from the glamor. If you go just with the "name" you will be disappointed. Pick the school that is right, not the school that is most famous. And sometimes the right school will be the famous one.

_______________


Stuyvesant High School (2011 Review)
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - n/a

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience:

I think Stuyvesant is a great school for a kid who is highly motivated to work hard. And it's been really good for my son. We've had some mini crises (injuries that precluded writing for a few months) that I thought the school handled very well. The communication to parents is frequent and there are lots of opportunities to get involved, if you want to. The students - needless to say - are really bright so the classes move at a pretty fast clip. There seems to be minimal discipline problems - I had to explain the concept of detention when we watched The Breakfast Club because Stuyvesant doesn't have it. The after-school opportunities are amazingly broad, and there are lots of ways to do things out of school also - my son is doing an internship at The Innocence Project that he got through school. On the down side, the quality of the teaching staff varies - some are stellar, but not all. The classwork tends to be more traditional, so if you're child loves projects, creative thinking, etc, this may not be the best match. And the other students tend to be extremely competitive - there are a group of students at Stuy who have been known to break into tears because they got a 95 on a test, and not a 99 or 100. So you hope your child is either similarly motivated, or low-key enough to handle the pressure. What I do see is that my son has really learned a lot. He is able to discuss a wide range of topics at a pretty sophisticated level. And most importantly, he is happy.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

_______________


Stuyvesant High School (2011 Review)
Borough - Manhattan
5. Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more
6. Have you reviewed this school via a previous survey to Parents of NY Teens?
no
7. Please write a review of your experience in the box provided: Try to give some specific information about the experience-- what you like and dislike (if anything) and include feedback on things such as:: ----Skill of teachers ----The facility and programs offered ----How the school dealt with difficult situations ----Feedback you received about your child's progress If you have reviewed this school before, be sure include any new information or change in opinion.
First, keep in mind that it's the students who must pass a rigorous test to get into Stuyvesant, not the teachers. In other words, while there are some inspiring, dedicated, and knowledgeable teachers, there's also your usual mix of incompetenets. (Apparently math attracts a particularly high number of crazies.) But my biggest warning is: Don't be fooled by the claim that Stuyvesant is now a general gifted-liberal arts high school. No! It is still a school that lives, breathes and favors math and science. For instance, the vast majority of electives are math/sci. The onsite SAT prep classes are math/sci. If your kid (like mine) is not particularly interested in math/sci, think twice about going here.
8. Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Recommend
9. What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
See above regarding math/sci

_______________


Stuyvesant HS (2011 review)
Borough - Manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

Please write a review of your experience :

She chose it over Bard and LaGuardia, mostly because she wanted to be ensured of rigorous academics in a large environment where she could profit from a large variety of school offerings. The school is run very efficiently -- amazingly so, for such a large school. The parent coordinator, PA and administration are all very professional and the teachers, from what we could see sitting in on class, are dedicated and skilled, with some better than others. But, as another parent who is also a teacher remarked, they really don't have to work very hard to teach this student body. The students are incredibly focused -- you could hear a pin drop in most classes -- and competitive. Some students there are extremely bright, raising their hands with the answer in math team class the moment the teacher finishes writing the problem on the board, for example. They work hard, and the homework load is heavy -- several hours a night. There are few projects, which suits my daughter fine, and the students are expected to be responsible and independent. Subjects are taught in a traditional manner, with lots of tests in each class. Our daughter has learned more of her foreign language in the first semester of school than she learned in three years in middle school, and can now converse (with effort and mistakes, of course) in second year language, one of several taught at the school. The school's focus is math/science, however our daughter loves her English class, and we've heard the humanities program is quite good if not better than the math/science. The facility is terrific: modern, brightly lit, a cafeteria overlooking the Hudson, a swimming pool (many students are required to take swim/gym), etc. The school academic offerings, especially in the upper grades, are extensive, the benefit of being a large school. The one major drawback has been the arts: while she does have band and art/music appreciation, which are great, there are no studio arts classes for underclassmen, which she misses. (Even for upperclassmen, there are few arts classes, and we've heard the principal wants to extend the computer science requirement at the expense of one of the upper level tech classes.) It's a shame that the arts are given such little value. She's found an arts-related club after school that can provide this experience to some extent (there are dozens of after school clubs, mainly run by other students, and it's quite common for students to join at least one). But it would be a huge plus to have her study art seriously with a professional teacher during the school day -- students who are strong in math/science shouldn't miss out on that opportunity. She is working very hard and enjoying learning a tremendous amount. She is very happy; we're the ones who wonder if she should be having a more relaxed experience somewhere else. But when we ask her, she is emphatic that this is where she wants to be, and we respect that it's her choice. And from what we've heard about other challenging schools, the work load there is also heavy! Seems to be the nature of the times, more than anything else. In sum: Stuyesant is a highly rigorous school for mature students who want a structured, challenging environment with lots of offerings.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
In the end, it's your child who will choose the school. Each child is different -- some want a project-oriented environment, some want or need more structure, some want more arts or more math/science. Follow their instincts, with some direction on your part.

_______________


Stuyvesant High School, Fall 2011 Review
Borough - Manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Have you reviewed this school via a previous survey to Parents of NY Teens?
no

Please write a review of your experience in the box provided:

My son is a senior at Stuyvesant this year. Overall, it has been a great experience for him. The school is certainly not for everyone. There is a LOT of work every night and every weekend. The kids also feel pressured to do more - take more classes, take multiple AP classes at the same time, etc. However, I must say that this pressure is unspoken and generally comes from the culture of the place rather than anything explicitly required. One thing I have liked about the place is that it is not competitive in the sense of students trying to outdo each other. My son frequently works together with his fellow students, they share ideas, and try to help each other do well. We have been fairly lucky with teachers. Like any place else, teachers vary and of course every kid 'clicks' with some teachers better than others. Overall, we have been quite satisfied and have found most teachers he has had to be interesting and available. I do hear about some bad experiences - we have not really had any major complaints. I have heard stories of kids who had big problems with scheduling. It is a big school and at times students can't get what they want/need because a course conflicts with something else the student has to take. This has not happened to us - but it can be difficult (sometimes impossible) to straighten out when it does. The school schedules a lot of meetings for both students and parents to help with the college process and they seem to have a system down so that the information gets to where it needs to go in a timely fashion. We got some good suggestions during our 1:1 college meeting with the head of the college office, which is funded thru a PTA initiative. The PTA also invites outside speakers. Having said that, it is a big public school and there are 3 counselors ( a fourth was just hired) for the whole class - so you don't get lots of individualized attention. In terms of the facility - it is a great building. Perfect location, lots of amenities, great labs, etc. As a big school with an academic bent, there are many choices of AP classes, language classes, electives. There also are many opportunities for extracurricular participation to suit any interest. Finally, I think the best thing about the school for my son has been the other kids. He has been able to find like minded people and has been challenged/encouraged to grow by his peers.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.

Visit the school and try to get a sense of the culture of the place. Make sure that the culture is a good match for your child. There is no 'best' school out there - it has to be the right fit for them.



_______________


Urban Academy HS (2010 review) 
Specific Program or major (if applicable) - n/a
Location - East 67th Street, btwn 1st & 2nd Ave
Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience :

Terrific school where children are allowed to think for themselves, express in a variety of ways (art, photo, drama, write, etc); Two college days a year take ALL kids out of the classroom to visit campuses and sit in on classes and meet with admission folks; Mixed age classes, small classes -none more than 15 kids - thoughtful teachers with personal relationships with the kids help them grow into young adults; A bit of a lax attitude on graduation "on time" so some kids stay longer than traditional schools ...

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
We thought we picked the right school in stuyvesant but after two years transferred out as my child was unhappy... academically and emotionally and not getting the support she needed from a huge specialized school. Even when you think you have the right fit - it's important to stay involved and aware and not worry if it's not the right fit. There is always a solution.




________________

Urban Academy Laboratory High School (2010 review) 
Location - 67 Street & 2nd Av, Manhattan, NY
Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience :
Positive: Teachers are very dedicated, smart, and involved with the students. This is a small school, 135 or so students, who mostly transfer in from other high schools where they had been floundering. My child, who had been on a consistent downward spiral since 4th grade, is now interested in school--this school--and is attending every day. While he is still not doing all the work he needs to, he looks forward to school and that is a very big step. The classes are seminar-style, and kids feel they have a voice that is respected. The teachers are accessible and their report cards are thorough, with several paragraphs written by each. Needs improvement: There needs to be tighter reins on the kids and homework, I feel, as many of these kids (judging from tonight's parent teacher meetings) are not doing their work despite their enthusiastic participation in class. Also, there are no language classes offered although children may take classes at a NYC college. There is very little physical education, and none required. I highly recommend this school if your child is under-achieving. I was at my rope's end before my son transferred here. I truly feel that Urban is a life-saver for my child.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Never put down a school that you would not willingly send your child to. Never!

___________________


Urban Academy (2011 Review)
Borough - Manhattan
Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year

 Please write a review of your experience:

Urban Academy is a small school that gives a lot of individual attention to its students. It is definitely a good school for my son who does not like school in general and has attended 3 other high schools in the past 2 years. His words: "at least the school day goes fast, compared to my other schools", which means classes/teachers keep him interested. The school does not give Regents exams which is good for students who have attended schools (either in NY or out of state) who do not have the Regents exams. Most classes are small and discussion based. The readings given in the humanity classes is challenging but the teachers seem to make it interesting enough for my son to do his reading assignment. I am not too impressed so far with the science program, which is fine, as my son does not seem too interested in sciences. The school has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere but is well organized. On the negative side, there is no sport program and it is not so easy to get into the school team (soccer and basketball).

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Know your child. One school that is great for one child is not a good match for another child, no matter how good the school is. It is important to find a school with a program that interest your child, especially if you have a child that does not like school.


___________________


Xavier High School (2010 review) 
Is this the school your child attends now?
Just started our first year
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience :

Skill of teachers: Teachers all seem to know and care for their students. The facility and programs offered: Extremely rigorous curriculum -- regents exams are therefore not required How the school dealt with difficult situations: Little to no tolerance for most infractions. Detention is swiftly given out. Expulsions are not unheard of. Feedback you received about your child's progress: Progress reports are handed out before any report card. Teachers quickly respond to phone calls/emails/notes. Parents can view hw on website.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

What is the ONE piece of advice you would give people who are looking for the right school to help them choose the one that is the best fit for them/their family.
Going for a Shadow Day is a very valuable way to get in and view the day-to-day real deal.

__________

Xavier HS (2011 review)
Borough - Manhattan

Is this the school your child attends now?
yes, now and for the last year or more

Please write a review of your experience :

Xavier is a very traditional school. It is rigorous and has a straightforward college prep curriculum.

Would you recommend this school to other parents for their children?
Highly recommend

__________