Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Poll for a New Private School by a Local Dad

At the top of this blog's right hand side bar is a poll requested by a local Roosevelt Island father who wants a local alternative to PS 217 and is willing to go as far as paying a private school if one were to open up on the island. This blog is running the post as an opportunity for parents and others to discuss their thoughts about the public and private education alternatives available to children living here on Roosevelt Island.

For purposes of full disclosure, as I have stated in the past, my own kids go to public school off the island. My older child started pre-school at an off island District 2 school before we moved to Roosevelt Island and that child continued there. My younger child followed into that program.

It is unclear to me what research this father has undertaken about either PS 217 or other schools but again I offer this post and the side bar poll as an opportunity to discuss the issue.

Currently the Roosevelt Islander blog (right hand side bar - about 1/3 to 1/2 way down) has an ongoing poll asking whether a Gifted and Talented program shoudl be established at PS 217. With eight days left in that poll 98 individuals have voted "yes" and 20 votes have been cast for "no".

This current poll asks whether you would send your child to a private school if one were to open on Roosevelt Island. The bottom three answers were not requested by the local father but added by me as I thought the poll needed to include these answers. Hopefully they do not dilute the father's polling intent.


  1. Instead of paying ungodly sums of money to a private school (something I will never understand for elementary school) how about enrolling your children in PS 217 and use that money to support the PTA and the administration there?

  2. For the person interested in private schools or gifted schooling for their children - online education is an option. The following are online accredited schools that have gifted programs I think. The students at these schools reportedly do very well.

    Laurel Springs Academy for the Gifted and Talented
    1-800-377-5890 ext 114

    Stanford University EPGY High School Online

    Connections Academy - free tuition the website said

    Article about the Stanford University online school for the gifted

    Article about online education

  3. NewParentOnRooseveltIslandFebruary 5, 2009 at 7:01 PM

    On Roosevelt Island, no one thinks more than the next 5 minutes. 'Anonymous' asks for a contribution to PS217 (an obvious PTA member). 'EK', very kindly, suggests distant learning. Roosevelt Island. The problem is not for 1 or 2 children. We have 500 kids going to a 'C' grade school full of discipline problems. So getting a PTA contribution and sending a talented kid to Hopkins online wont solve the problems.

    As parents, we need a school which isn't an storage tank for low-expectation kids. PS217 cannot bridge the gap between keeping control of low performing students and delivering advanced learning. If anyone cares about education they move their children off island. So the result is the poor and ignorant get caught up in the system, while the clever folk find better alternatives.

    Any lightly concerned person would say "They don't want to do anything about it, so why should I?" Unless at least 50 people are willing to spend time getting a new school, it wont happen. And no, improving PS217 after 30 years is not going to work, or it would have already.

  4. So, you don't think that gathering a critical mass of families who care about education and sending their kids to 217 together with the potential of middle class/upper middle class donations to the PTA can turn the school around?

    This is not about the next 5 minutes. Money rules. Get the donations together. Get assistants into the classrooms, get the infrastructure straight, make the school more attractive. Get the parents involved. Let them make a stink and force the principal to get her act together.

  5. To 7:21 - New Parent on Roosevelt Island: If you are indeed new to the Island, then I understand why you have such a skewed view of the school and its history. Trust me, this school in the past had an outstanding reputation and was considered one of the best in the City. That changed over time due to many things - including poor administration in the 90's, corresponding to both the move from the mini-schools into the current facility, and an increase in student population with the building of Manhattan Park. However, the current administration is working hard to improve the school & bring it back to its former standing. Yes - work needs to be done. However, nothing will improve as long as all parents who would otherwise be active and involved in the school community send their children elsewhere. I care very deeply about my child's education. But I also refuse to give up on the school, as improving it would serve EVERYONE on the Island, including our own children.

  6. would someone please tell me about the quality of the G&T program at 217?

  7. 3:23am poster: it is a brand-new program. The general ed program is so-so, if judged by the number of families who rather send their children off-island. The middle school is a little rodwy according to some feedback I got from students there. Time will tell how the G&T program is going to work out.

  8. i am moving out of roosevelt landings i am moving to mann. part the rent is lower and you get much more for your money. roosevelt landing is a dump. anyone thinking of moving here i am telling you noe .dont do it .