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Melinda Hyer

P.S. 88 S. Silverstein Little Sparrow School

1340 Sheridan Avenue
Bronx NY 10456

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S. Anonymous

Lies in observation reports. Writes teachers up for ridiculous reasons such as taking a day for bereavement. Constantly needs to hire new teachers every year because of the toxic environment she’s created in the school building.

Teacher with Nightmares

Yes! Nightmares is what most of her staff experience. She has ran through several teachers throughout the years. Each year it gets worst. Even her veteran teachers that you would think would stick it out decided to retire or leave. Has had several first year teachers and instead of providing support and guidance she made them rethink their entire career. Gives all her staff poor evaluations so that she could justify everything going on in the school. Parents aren’t allowed in the building unless they are the very few that she likes and/or are part of the PTA. Teachers have gotten written up for talking to parents. Has written up teachers for stupidity like accidentally opening the emergency exit door which teachers usually use to exit the building for the day and dismiss students. Her AP is somewhat decent but is used to do her dirty work. The instructional coach will throw you under the bus and twist what ever you say you to her to make admin hate you even more she’s here spy. Don’t trust that bitch! The list goes on and on like I stated before just nightmares after nightmares. They will literally have you questioning your sanity.

Mother

I totally agree with all the comments. She creates the most disrespectful, toxic and punitive environment. She disrespects literacy coaches, teachers, parents and students. She does not belong in a school environment.

Anonymous

She is unfair and straight up rude to teachers and students. The culture in the building is toxic and designed to make teachers fail. Little support is provided so teachers can be blamed for the failures in the school. There has been an almost completely new staff for the last few years; new teachers have quit by December because of what goes on in this school building. In a k-3 school you would expect to hear laughter and joy and see different types of projects around the halls; not here. It was SILENT and bland.

Stay Away

The most toxic work environment I have been in and it’s very sad. It is a shame that for a K-3 school there is NO recess, NO true gym (PE teacher has to do gym in classrooms the entire year b/c she doesn’t like him and refuses to let him use his room), NO art, NO laughter, NO joy the children are not permitted to socialize during lunch, many cry and have stomach aches not wanting to go into the Cafetorium. The children have to sit on red chairs after lunch (one seat in between) and get yelled at for moving or talking. The school is incredibly rigid, incredibly reflective Hyer herself who is also cold, rigid, manipulative and incredibly rude towards staff, children and parents. Hyer sees herself as superior to everyone around her. Admin yell at children’s faces and make disparaging remarks to/about the children, they are also incredibly sarcastic and make disparaging remarks against staff. Hyer and her sidekicks bully staff while trying to portray otherwise, UFT, district people “know about that school” yet nothing is done. The school does not provide bi-lingual education in a Bronx District 9 school, no ELL and they do not honor IEP’s or testing mandates. They refuse to provide anything (report cards, IEP’s etc) in a language other than English. Hyer has no clue what the neighborhood is about, who the people are and what the needs are. She’s on a power trip collecting a hefty paycheck while she runs from her car to the building and from the building to the car, she even avoids parents and sends her sidekicks out to deal while she hides from parents and staff. She lies on observations and reviews of others and writes whatever fits the narrative she is trying to portray wether is accurate or not. She makes incredibly racially biased remarks about staff and children. She does not belong in a elementary school and it is a huge disservice to the community to have the likes of her in a leadership position at a school. She put one of her sidekicks as UFT chapter leader (instructional coach) and they just do whatever she wants, it’s like having no UFT CL in the building at all, she is also rude and lies. The school needs an overhaul. Parents in the community know about this school – this is why enrollment is so low, under 100 children. If you have a choice DO NOT come to this school.

SAVE YOUR CHILD

If ever there was a school that should be cited for educational neglect and closed permanently, it’s this one!! This principal is a cold calculating unfeeling person. She seeks to bully and intimidate ALL staff she deems to be a problem or not on board with running a school like a prison. She, the AP and the instructional coach, isolate and intimidate the students . Imagine a Kindergartener goes into the hallway to use the bathroom then comes running back inside the room too scared to go pee because the AP is in the hallway and will yell at him. Imagine the staff begging for instructional materials for their literacy program that they are being held accountable to implement and their emails are ignored!! Imagine a school where a child making true progress in a small setting class is thrown mid year into 2nd grade gen ed class ( when he’s only reading at a kindergarten level) because they changed his IEP and the mom agrees to it because she really doesn’t understand the language but can answer yes and no and no attempt is made to have a translator at the meeting. Imagine a Kindergarten classroom where 6 out of 17 kids speak only Spanish and none I MEAN NONE! Of them get any ELL or ELA services and the teachers are still held accountable and the children are tested as though they were getting extra help!!! I could go on and on and on about the horror stories at this school. It is a toxic, depressing, dysfunctional environment, and should be closed ASAP!

Anonymous

I am not one to leave reviews but my I felt compelled to write this one because new teachers considering PS88 should know what they will be facing. By the end of my first week I knew I had a long year ahead of me. All of the stereotypes associated with BAD DOE schools are true of PS88. At the head you have a bitter, VINDICTIVE, and burned out Principal who has ZERO people skills. The first Principal that I’ve ever met that does not even have the common decency to say a simple ‘good morning’ to her staff. If she notices that you become friendly with another teacher, she’ll put a stop to that! Oh yes she will! Either by telling you point blank to stop talking to that teacher or by giving you morning assignments such as tutoring the kids during breakfast time (a uft violation). Yup, you read that right. Be prepared to start your work day while the kids are eating breakfast and you will not be compensated. Speaking of uft violations, your prep time will be consumed by the instructional coach. The reason for that is that she doesn’t get to work on time so the 8:15 time allocated for ‘collaboration’ isn’t because 8/10 she’s late. The principal doesn’t do anything against the instructional coach because they cover and do each other’s dirty work. So be very careful what you say to the instructional coach. She does NOT have your best interest at hand. Oh and did I mention that the instructional coach is also the uft rep for the school. So if you have a grievance to bring up, DO NOT go to the instructional coach/uft rep. She will go straight to the principal and your life will be HELL. There are 2 teachers not to be trusted as well. They are Hyers minions, both are inferior teachers who have very little to no experience but they walk around like they are veterans and are tenured! Nope, they are not! They are not friendly so they won’t take you under their wings but the reason why I mention them is because they are part of the SLT group and so you have to be careful what you say around them also because they will tattle to the principal. The AP is ok with staff but she has to play the game also to survive so you will definitely hear her yelling at the kids (Hyer loves that). Now the kids, those poor kids. My heart and your heart will break once you realize and see that those kids have no outlet whatsoever. They are expected to sit a certain way. If they walk in and see that the kids are not sitting a certain way you will get flagged as not having good classroom management skills. If a child dares talk back at one of them (the principal, AP, instructional coach) they are flagged as being ‘bad’, ‘fresh’, and ‘out of control’. Special Ed kids are frequently isolated from the other kids downstairs, they are not given special privileges like books or coloring if they dare step ‘out of line’. Those 3 will hold grudges against you and the kids if you dare cross them. I should also mention that the three love to ‘bomb’ teachers, that means go in and take over your lesson. Basically humiliate and undermine you in front of the kids. Hence, why PS 88 is a revolving door year after year. No one sane will want to stick around for more than a year. Not good for your soul, brain, or SANITY! Good luck surviving your first year there! You’ll need it!

Previous Teacher

One of the pivotal necessities for insuring the success of ANY SCHOOL is having it take place in a least restrictive environment-one in which play is regarded as a part of learning, one in which the individual needs of children are respected, one in which children who require regulation tools are provided with them without hesitation. One in which flexible seating is embraced. Unfortunately, none of these imperative elements match the atmosphere of PS 88. When we received our first informal observation, we received a warning that there was a lack of classroom management because not all of our children were sitting Crisscross on the floor with their hands folded, and were not sitting upright facing forward like statues at their desks. Flexible seating is essentially viewed as a reflection of poor classroom management across all classrooms and in all environments. When the children go downstairs for lunch, they are separated from students who are their friends to ensure that there is no socialization. They then are made to sit quietly without moving in rows of red chairs for the duration of the lunch period. There is a select group of children who are chosen to color downstairs with Ms. Hyer during lunch but all other children are forced to sit quietly in their chairs. Some children are separated and isolated. Many of the children in our class were afraid to go to the bathroom in the cafeteria because they are nagged and verbally harassed to “hurry up”, and as a result most of them ask to go to the bathroom when they come back upstairs. This week one of our children asked to go to the bathroom during instruction and came back quickly. When asked why, he said that “He saw The VP in the hallway and was too scared.” There is no recess, and minimal opportunity for movement, with the exception of the movement breaks we make sure to exclude throughout the day in our classroom. Physical education, despite the presence of a PE room on the lower level of the school, has taken place in the classrooms since September. There is no room for the children to move, they have to maneuver themselves between desks and furniture. This situation also makes it impossible for teachers to have their prep periods in their classrooms. With regard to special services for ELL students, our literacy coach was told that the legal weekly mandate of 80 minutes per week for push in or pull out services was facilitated by the instructional coach. This is an absolute fabrication. Not once have our ELL students been provided special services. I also wanted to give a specific anecdote which took place the first week of school, when I was first introduced to a new student. Ms. Hyer introduced him to me, and I knelt down to introduce myself to him (eye level is paramount with children, especially a child who comes from an abusive background) and before I could say hello to him Ms. Hyer firmly and promptly told me “STAND UP.” I was honestly shocked at her lack of compassion regarding the sensitivity of this fragile child. Last year a student shared with us in the morning that she was yelled at downstairs in the cafeteria in the morning for “trying to help another student.” She was understandably upset and confused. Honestly I could go on. But I know I’ve written a lot. Ultimately, it is my belief that this school is not a healthy place for any child. The experience of working here has been traumatic for most of the staff members I have spoken with. There has been frustration, there have been tears. If it was up to me, parents and prospective teachers would be well advised to seek another school where psychological well being and socio emotional learning is respected and honored, where physical movement is understood to be integral for young children, and not hurriedly enforced as a reaction to pressure being put on administrators from an outsider. Schools should be run by people who SEE children as PEOPLE and RESPECT them and see their potential. And PS 88 is no such place. Children are systematically marginalized, scrutinized and demeaned. And so are the teachers and special service providers. BEWARE.

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