Brooklyn Heights Parents Open Thread 8/16/14

Live in Brooklyn Heights? Have kids? Here’s a place to ask questions, talk about fun things to do in the area, new discoveries and general parenting “stuff”.

(Note: This is NOT the place to bring up “bad nannies“, “rude mothers”, “entitled parents“, “double wide strollers” etc. The place to talk about those topics is EVERYWHERE ELSE ON THIS SITE. Thanks!)

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  • Remsen St Strollin

    I am the father of a two yr old daughter and just thinking early about schools. I see that the 2013-2014 test scores just came out and again PS 8 was sort of middling, well behind other area schools like PS 29, PS 58, and PS 321. Parents with kids in PS 8, how satisfied are you and what do you make of the only “okay” state test scores? Thanks!

  • Doug Biviano

    @ Remsen St Strollin — With PS8’s emphasis on the Arts, my daughter, among many from her class, will be starting LaGuardia this fall. My middle son will be attending another outstanding school but we also had the great option of MS8. Despite a very stressful and time consuming process of applying to both middle school (not so important now with MS8) and high school, the PS8 children we know have done extraordinarily well, placing in some of NYC’s finest public and private secondary schools including those with intense technical programs not just the arts. The superior leadership, faculty and parent engagement at PS8 far outweigh test scores in my estimation. In the past, Principal Seth Phillips has talked about this issue in terms of what the Dept. of Ed. values as opposed to what makes best sense for students. I encourage you to tour the school and ask him personally.

    I do have some concern about density growth issues in competing for a fixed number of “good” seats going forward. Test scores could come into play here as our educational application process for upper schools resembles a competition. Another area of concern, again with density growth impact from development, is the loss of our PreK program and soon a vital educational resource — our wonderful Children’s Library. Thus, the political piece to this problem that is puzzling to me is why our elected officials, Levin and Squadron or the other candidates for Millman’s seat, won’t take a strong position against the closing of the library for another Hi-Rise Condo that will further strain density issues related to PS8. They’re certainly not educating the community about the issue. We talk about this problem at

  • miriamcb

    Has anyone gone to the sprinklers on top of the AMNH with their kids?

    My sister happened upon the sprinkler “park” existence this past week and we were thinking of heading over there.

  • District 13 parent

    You might like to know that PS 8 graduates are attending–or are about to start at–some of the top high schools in the city, including Beacon, Brooklyn Tech, the h.s. of Dual Language and Asian Studies, Millennium (both Brooklyn and Manhattan), ICE, Stuyvesant, NEST+M, Midwood, iSchool, and Laguardia. One of the things we treasured during our time at PS 8 was the lack of high-pressure academics and the emphasis on the arts. It’s not that the academics weren’t there–they were–but it was a school where children of all abilities and backgrounds could learn and grow.

  • Lady in the Heights

    A word of advice for a mom of two PS8 grads, do not base your assumptions about public schools on test scores. They are meaningless. They do not measure what the teachers are teaching. They measure a for profit company’s test. The teachers literally stop teaching their curriculum and work on test prep for a month prior. Once the tests are complete, they go back to what they are teaching.

    PS8 is a wonderful school filled with incredible, teachers. The only unfortunate issue is the size, and that it is only going to get bigger with all of the development in the neighborhood.

  • Heightsman


  • miriamcb

    American Museum of Natural History

  • Heightsman

    I am a PS 8 parent of two and can tell you the teachers are dedicated and hard working. In my opinion the tests do not correlate to anything meaningful related to how your child is progressing (or not).

  • Monty

    My kids are in PS8 and I agree that it’s a very good school and there is a general notion that while they need to prep students for the tests, it can’t be the focus. There is a lot of enrichment activities for the kids and the school itself is run very well. Not perfect, but good.

  • Heightsman


  • miriamcb

    Sure! We’re headed over there this week, so I guess we’ll post back if it was fun (for all ages – 2 year old, 4 year old and 8 year old) :)

  • A PS 8 Parent

    A link to InsideSchools and their review of PS 8. In need of a few updates as the school is now K-8.

  • chickee

    Have you been to the LeFrak splash pad in Prospect Park yet? It’s fantastic. Lots of amenities – bathrooms, cafe, gelato stand, tables/chairs/picnic tables, shade umbrellas. And roller skating! Easy to get to – Q station (Parkside Ave) a very short walk from the entrance. I wish we had “found” it earlier in the summer. Closes Labor Day.

  • miriamcb

    Nice tip. I’ll keep that in my back pocket for next summer!

  • geegee

    Are any of the heights kids going to LaGuardia this fall ? How are they getting to school ? alone via subway ? We saw quite a few PS 8 kids at the Open house back in March. My daughter has never travelled alone via public transportation, and though she wants to, I am a little anxious.