Historical Articles

2010-03-02 NY Times: A New Kindergarten Doesnt Silence Old Complaints
As in many neighborhoods in the city, property values on the Upper West Side are frequently tied to the success of the neighborhood’s schools. So the mere mention of changing the zones of which blocks are assigned to which schools is enough to send shock waves through the area. Both P.S. 87 and P.S. 199, considered among the most desirable District 3 schools, are so desirable that children who live in their zones will have to enter a lottery for next year’s kindergarten classes, and many will be turned away. For families who moved between 72nd and 80th Streets, [Noah Gotbaum, the chairman of the district’s Community Education Council] said, students entering kindergarten have just a one in three chance in getting a seat at P.S. 87, their zoned school.
2009-11-30 NY Times: Class Sizes Rise, Mostly Due to Budget Cuts
At P.S. 87 on West 78th Street, for example, kindergarten enrollment has gone up by 60 percent over the past two years. The school has increased its number of kindergarten classes to nine, putting the average size at 22 students, just above the citywide average of 21.7.
2008-11-25 NY Times: He Relit Broadway: Gerald Schoenfeld Dies at 84
Gerald Schoenfeld was born in New York City on Sept. 22, 1924. His father manufactured long-haired fur coats. Mr. Schoenfeld attended local schools — including P.S. 87 on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where he once won an oratory contest for reciting the Gettysburg Address...
2008-05-15 NY Times: For Women, Memories of West 78th and Beyond
As 11- and 12-year-olds, all of them had attended the same sixth-grade class — what was known at the time as a class for “intelligently gifted children” — at Public School 87 on West 78th Street, and most of them had even been members of that same Brownie troop. Once they’d split pineapple ice cream sodas at Schrafft’s and bugged each other’s older brothers for baseball cards. But with the exception of a few pairs who’d stayed in touch, none of the women had caught up since they graduated from sixth grade in 1956.
2008-05-14: PS 87 Third Graders take Action
On May 14, 2008, PS 87 third graders made a trip to the Tweed Courthouse to deliver letters protesting school budget cuts to Chancellor Klein.
2007-04-23 NY Daily News: Teaching smallest biz folks
Fifth-graders learn to keep a business in the black, and not with crayons
2005-05-30 NPR's "This I believe": Science Nourishes the Mind and the Soul
One day when I was about 11, walking back to Public School 87 in Manhattan after our class visit to the Hayden Planetarium, I became overwhelmed by a feeling I'd never had before. I was gripped by a hollow, pit-in-the-stomach sense that my life might not matter. I'd learned that our world is a rocky planet, orbiting one star among the 100 billion others in our galaxy, which is but one of hundreds of billions of galaxies scattered throughout the universe. Science had made me feel small...
2005-03-15 NY Times: The Fine Art of Volunteering as Revised by the Principal
In the early 1980's, P.S. 87, tucked behind the Museum of Natural History, had only 350 students, and had been almost abandoned by neighborhood families. Parents reclaimed the school through sweat equity, building a school playground with their own hands, stocking supply cabinets and, in recent years, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars a year through the Parents Association. The school now has nearly 1,000 students and is one of the most sought-after public schools in the city.
2004-01-25 NY Times: CITY PEOPLE; Upper West Side Story
YOU'D see them at the Decorate-Your-Own-Cupcake table at the street fair in spring, and on the sideline of Safe Haven basketball games on wintry Saturdays. They were fixtures on the list of class parents at Public School 87 on West 78th Street, volunteering wherever parents were needed. When Sondra Segal and Roberta Sklar signed up for cupcake table duty, you knew they'd be there, dozens of cupcakes in hand -- living proof that two moms can do twice as much as one.
2004-01-18 NY Times: The West Side: Mittens On, but No Place to Play
Like most children his age, Karl Greenfield looks forward to recess, when he can go outdoors and play with his classmates. But after every snowstorm, instead of throwing snowballs or making angels, he sits indoors in an auditorium. ''You don't get to do anything,'' complained Karl, a bouncy second-grader at Public School 87, near 78th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.
2002-09-29 NY Times: Fingers Crossed
For nearly 20 years, P.S. 87 had been a vibrant, progressive school, an Upper West Side jewel beloved by teachers, parents and children. But last year, the atmosphere in the classrooms and hallways suddenly changed.
2002-07-25 NY Times: MY CITY; In Her Forebear's Footsteps
Nearly two years earlier, I had been a chaperone for a class at P.S. 87, a melting-pot school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan much celebrated for its diverse student population. But even at P.S. 87, this third-grade class was a standout. The roster was a bouquet of fabulous names: Daisuke, Naaborkai, Zoheret, Singha, Besfort, Hasan, Indigo shared books and pencils and games with Julia, Allie, Brenna, Michael. The newer arrivals among the families of these children came to this country not by boat but by plane, part of a second great wave of immigration after the United States ended the first one with quotas, and then decades later loosened restrictions. But the immediacy of their experience lent an unmatchable depth to the classroom.
2001-03-27 NY Times: Discovering the Tyranny Of 10-Year-Old Playwrights
For Alex Kehr, 10, from P.S. 87 at 160 West 78th Street, who wrote ''The Diseased Monkey,'' it was a particularly sweet triumph. He had given up, deciding that writing was boring, but his mentors got him to stay with it. Now, he said, ''almost the whole fourth grade knows about my play.''
1998-10-30 NY Times: GLENN RETURNS TO SPACE: YOUTH; In Classrooms, History Lesson Brings Cheers
It was the first taste of a voyage to space for dozens of students at Public School 87 on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where two fifth-grade classes and a first-grade class gathered in front of a television to watch John Glenn blast into space for the second time.
1996-03-10 NY Times: UPPER WEST SIDE;Reflecting on a Decision to Leave
Naomi Hill was seduced by the suburbs. In 1991, after 11 years as principal of Public School 87, which gained national prominence during her tenure, she was dazzled at the discoveries just across the Hudson, in Tenafly, N.J.
1992-02-15 NY Times: Star Principal Embraces a Congenial New System
In the vast New York City school system, Naomi Hill was a star, winning constant praise for turning Public School 87 on Manhattan's Upper West Side into a national model of diversity and academic innovation.
1989-05-29 NY Times: Race to Enter Top Public Schools Intensifies
When Donna Sands first sought her daughter Laura's admission to Public School 87 on Manhattan's Upper West Side, Ms. Sands wrote two letters of application. Then she got letters of recommendation from two college professors, four parents of children at the school, the directors of two pre-kindergartens that Laura had attended, Laura's teacher, Laura's speech therapist and ''anybody I could think of who either knew me or had met Laura.
1989-02-12 NY Times: IF YOU'RE THINKING OF LIVING IN: Upper West Side
IT is 18 months since Lichtman's bakery closed, 20 since the projector sputtered to a halt at the Thalia theater and nearly four years since the New Yorker bookshop shut down - all victims of creeping development and galloping rent rises.
1988-03-16 NY Times: Why They're Pleading to Get Into P.S. 87
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
With their own labor, using donated materials, every species of West Sider has converged on this New York corner to build a playground designed by the 900 children of Public School 87, which adjoins the park.
1976-10-19 NY Times: Kate Isn't in P.S. 87. Here's Why:
One sunny day in October 1975, my daughter Kate became thoughtful on the way to school. "It the money strike is over," she asked earnestly as she walked up the stairs to her kindergarten class at P.S. 87 in Manhattan, "can I stay in this school all the way to fifth grade? I really love it here."
1975-06-26 NY Times: P.S. 87 Gets Raves From Young Grads
The children who first came to William Tecumseh Sherman Public School 87, at West 78th Street just behind the Museum of Natural History, as kindergartners in 1969, did not know what they were getting into...
1976-03-09 NY Times: Parents Quietly Occupy P.S. 87 Offices
Protesting parents who were careful not to drop cigarette ashes on the floor or cause much disturbance yesterday occupied offices at a public school on the West Side in a vain effort to stop the Board of Education from reducing the instructional time of pupils.
1968-10-16 NY Times: Classes Improvised
Parents and teachers in many parts of the city formed special action groups yesterday in an attempt to continue instruction in spite of the strike.
1966-10-23 NY Times: Bridging The Prejudice Gap
"MISS JONES, do I have to hold hands with that black boy?"...
1966-07-23 NY Times: TASTE OF SUBURBS BEGINS AT P.S. 87
Seven-year-old Rosalina Rivera left her tenement apartment on West 77th Street yesterday morning, walked around the corner to Public School 87 and was introduced to a new life.
1964-04-30 NY Times: Puerto Rican School Custom Helps Make Money and Friends
Spanish-speaking and English-speaking mothers have been stitching together new friendship along with the colorful handicrafts that they placed on sale yesterday at the annual art show of Public School 87, at 160 West 78th Street.
1952-11-15 NY Times: TWO NEW SCHOOLS IN BUILDING PLANS; One Will Replace P. S. 87 on the West Side
Plans for two new public schools, one on the west side of Manhattan and the other in Forest Hills, Queens, have been filed by the Board of Education with the Department of Housing and Buildings. According to the article, the current PS 87's construction budget was estimated in 1952 at $1,660,000 in 1952 -- in 2007 dollars this would equate to approximately $12,835,430.
1944-11-01 NY Times: Women Go to School Again Here, But Only to Get New A 'Gas' Books
Women pushing baby carriages and leading older children by the hand were among the applicants who appeared yesterday at 110 public schools throughout the city to apply for renewals of basic A gasoline rations. In many cases the women were applying on behalf of their husbands, who were at work.
1915-01-30 Google Books: "Colored School Children in New York"
Starting at page 10 in the book (23 of the PDF), there is a discussion of the distribution of African American children in NYC Schools. While most schools participated, the book notes that the principal of PS 87 (a boys' school) did not cooperate with the investigation, even though PS 87 had a large number of black students enrolled. The book attempts to chronicle the conditions and educational opportunities afforded to African American children in New York City in 1915, first hand. The book can be downloaded in its entirety in PDF format.