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

An Insideschools pick
349 CABRINI BOULEVARD
MANHATTAN NY 10040 Map
Phone: (212) 927-8218
Website: Click here
Admissions: Neighborhood school
Principal: Cynthia Chory
Neighborhood: Washington Heights
District: 6
Grade range: K-8
Parent Coordinator: DENISE ROSA
Zoned

What's special:

Strong parent involvement; calm, cheery school

The downside:

Overcrowding

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The school is also overcrowded. It hasn’t been able to accommodate pre-k classes in several years, and class sizes can run as high as 32.

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

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

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

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

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

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

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Number of Students 802

Average Daily Attendance 95%

Students at this school

Asian

  
2%

Black

  
3%

Hispanic

  
58%

White

  
34%

Free Lunch

  
50%

Special ed

  
16%

English Language Learners

  
7%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?

96% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average middle school english class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

70% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

10% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

How many teachers say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep students engaged?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching social-emotional skills?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching organizational and study skills?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam

52% 40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam

52% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 8th grades pass high school regents exams?

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass the algebra regents:

23% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass a science regents:

0% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

44% 59% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say they attended at least one pta meeting in the last school year?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Does the school encourage family involvement?

How many parents say they were invited to an event at the school at least 3 times in the last school year?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Do parents like the school?

How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

6% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

8% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

4% 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

25% 15% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

21% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say students with disabilities are included in all activities?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with special needs are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate?

91% 91% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents of students with ieps say this school offers a wide enough variety of services and activities for their children’s needs?

95% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

13% 3% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

35% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school ensures that ells receive the same curriculum as non-ells with appropriate suppports?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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