The Speyer Legacy School

The Speyer Legacy School is New York City's only non-profit, K-8 independent school Gifted and Talented (G&T) program, designed to support the needs and encourage the passions of advanced learners.  Connie Williams Coulianos, Speyer's head of school, is a well know and respected educator in field, leading The Hollingworth Preschool for years before leaving to head up Speyer in 2009.

Speyer is now accepting applications for Kindergarten, 4th, 5th and 6thgrades. A limited number of spaces will also be open for 1st grade applicants.  Tuition assistance is available to make the program accessible to children from a wide range of circumstances.

Open Houses for the Lower School (Grades K – 5) are scheduled for October 2nd, October 17th, October 25th, November 8th and November 14th from 6:30 to 8:00pm at 15 West 86th Street.

Open Houses for families interested in applying to 6th Grade are scheduled for October 10th, October 29th and November 19th from 6:30 to 8:00pm at 15 West 86th Street.

To register for an Open House please visit, submit an inquiry, and then call the admissions number, 212.581.4000, or email to reserve a date.

Hunter College Elementary School Application Available

The Application for 2013 kindergarten admission to Hunter College Elementary School (HCES) is available today.  For the first time HCES is using an online only application.

A lot of people are curious about this school so we got a Hunter parent to weigh in.


Hunter College Elementary School is a public elementary school

Despite being a publicly funded, tuition free school HCES is NOT part of the NYC Department of Education and is therefore not subject to DOE rules. Like all public schools, HCES does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, or disability.  Admission is for students who reside in Manhattan only.

HCES is for gifted students

HCES is a coed laboratory school that serves children in grades K through 6 who have been identified as intellectually gifted by Hunter's admission process.

Admission is based on a test

There are actually 2 rounds of assessment for admission to Hunter.  In the first round students are administered a modified version of the Stanford-Binet exam by one of Hunter's approved testers.  Round 1 starts after parents submit an online application, available today.  Test scores are sent to parents and to the school.  In December the eligibility score for Round 2 is determined.  Children who score at or above this score will be invited to the Round 2 on-site assessment.  Please see the HCES admissions website for detailed information about the process.


HCES is basically a free private school

No, it's not.  HCES is publicly funded, chartered by the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York and administered by Hunter College.  Some of the extra trappings parents might expect at private schools are not at Hunter.  What the school offers is a challenging, innovative curriculum that emphasizes critical and creative thinking for students who are self-motivated, independent and inventive learners.

Students are subjected to standardized tests like all other public schools

Standardized tests are a fact of life at Hunter just like other public schools.  However, the test students take, the CTP, is used to guide instruction and not to rate teachers and/or the school itself.  Hunter is not a part of the DOE so it does not administer NY State standardized tests and is not subject to ‘No Child Left Behind’ or any other NY state education mandates.


Many people enter the Hunter application process thinking they don’t stand a chance and are pleasantly surprised when their child is offered a spot.  If you are a Manhattan resident and think this school might be a good fit for your child I urge you to go through the application process but be prepared for any outcome.

Applications for 2013 are available today.   Hey, you never know.


NYS 2012 ELA & Math Test Results Released Today

The NYC Public Schools 2012 test scores for ELA & Math in Grades 3-8 were released today.  The complete data available here

Summary by school district and individual school results here
For Harlem and Upper Manhattan:
District 3 pgs 751-757
District 4 pgs 758-783
District 5 pgs 784-801
District 6 pgs 802-816

Updated NYC Elementary School Zone Maps Produced by NYC Parent

NYC School Maps is a new service providing up-to-date and comprehensive NYC elementary school zone maps, created by New York City parent, Kristi Barlow.  Their school zone maps include all public elementary school zones, all unzoned elementary public schools, all elementary charter schools, and all districts--all color coded for easy reading.  The available Manhattan map, 36" high, covers everything south of 126th Street.  They have plans to cover upper Manhattan in the future (you can help make that happen by going to the site and requesting it on the "Future Maps" page).
Digital maps are $8, printed maps $20.  Both come with ongoing digital updates (so you will always have up to date information) and an information packet that includes comprehensive lists of the schools with contact info and links.
The Manhattan map will be on display at our upcoming event, "How to Research and Choose a School For Your Child - A Conversation with Peg Tyre" on Tuesday, May 22nd at Kidberry.
See NY Times story here.
So what do you think?  Will you be purchasing one of these maps?  Please leave your comments below.

How to Research and Choose a School For Your Child – A Conversation With Peg Tyre

In just one week we will be hosting Peg Tyre at Kidberry.  The topic of the night is one that we are all talking about now, “How to Research and Choose a School For Your Child.”

The quality of education in our neighbourhood schools can be shockingly inadequate and recent school reforms are missing the mark.  Our system of school choice in New York can be confusing for even the most informed and organized parents.  How can we tell the difference between a good school and a substandard one?  You need more than just test scores to get the whole story.

Peg Tyre, award winning journalist and author of, “The Good School – How Smart Parents Get Their Kids the Education They Deserve,” will discuss ways for parents to constructively engage teachers and administrators and make critical judgments about their children’s education.  Whether you're enrolling for the first time or you are at a school that may not be the right fit, you can gain from this discussion.

Please join us.

Date:  Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Time:  6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Location:  Kidberry – 2046 7th Avenue (Between 122nd & 123rd Street)

Tickets:  $25/person (Limited financial aid available.  Contact for details)

Open to the public.  Registration is required at

5.20.2012  Just added - NYC public school parent Kristi Barlow, of NYC Elementary School Maps, will have her Manhattan map on display and available for purchase at the event.

Understanding Speech and Language Development and When You Should Seek Help For Your Child

bigstock-Child-speaking-and-alphabet-le-18001274In this 1st of a 2 part series on speech and language development, Speech Language Pathologist Timberly Leite of  Innovative Therapy Solutions, a full-service pediatric speech and occupational therapy facility in Harlem, gives an in-depth review of speech and language development and the age which most monolingual speaking children with accomplish speaking and hearing milestones.  Part 2 will follow next week with details of the procedure for obtaining early intervention for your children. Continue reading "Understanding Speech and Language Development and When You Should Seek Help For Your Child"

NYC 2012 Pre-Kindergarten Admissions Period Begins

Application season for the 2012/2013 school year is in full swing.  Kindergarten admission ended on Friday, and today, the month-long pre-kindergarten session begins.

The NYC Department of Education offers Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) programs for eligible 4 year olds who reside in New York City.  UPK programs

provide a nurturing environment where children’s natural curiosity is used as a springboard to learn skills that are necessary for success in school.  In pre-kindergarten, children learn how to share, take turns and work in groups.  They also develop the skills that form the foundation for reading, writing, and mathematics.

All UPK programs are free of charge.  Programs can be half-day or full-day; half-day programs may take place in the morning or afternoon.  Programs are available at select public schools and at many community-based organizations (CBOs).  CBOs are independent groups that contract with the Department of Education to provide pre-kindergarten programs and other services to families. 

Starting today, March 5, you can submit a pre-k application in person at an Enrollment Office or online.  Applications  deadline for public school programs is Thursday, April 5.  The Pre-Kindergarten Directory is available at your local borough enrollment office and at the DOE  pre-k webpage.

Before you begin the application, review the Pre-K directory  and brochure and become familiar with the Universal Pre-Kindergarten programs in your community.  Take time to gather as much information as possible; visit schools and attend open house events or tours.

New York's Universal Pre-K program facts:

- All universal pre-k programs are free of charge for children born in 2008 who reside in New York City

- Even though all 4 year olds are eligible, a seat in a public universal pre-k program is not guaranteed

- Programs can be half day (two and a half hours, AM/morning or PM/afternoon) or full day (six hours and twenty minutes)

- Programs are housed in public schools or in community based organizations, and each has their own separate application process.  You can find the CBO application directory online here.  To apply, contact each site directly to obtain specific information.

- Admissions are NOT first come first serve.  Placement offers are made based on standardized admission priorities.

- Public school spots are given by lottery.  First preference is given to Zoned students with a verified sibling who will be in grades K-5 in the school in September 2012.  Additional admission priorities are detailed in the Pre-K Brochure.

- Applications available online or at a borough enrollment office only.  Do not apply by mail.  You may apply for a number of schools in one submission and rank those schools by order of preference.

There are information sessions in each borough starting next week.  Representatives from the Office of Student Enrollment and the Office of Early Childhood Education will be available at the sessions to answer your questions.  The sessions are often crowded so be sure to arrive early.

Pre-Kindergarten Information Sessions

All sessions will be held from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.



March 12, 2012

Sunset Park High School

153 35th Street



March 15, 2012

The High School of Fashion Industries

225 West 24th Street



March 19, 2012

Flushing High School

35-01 Union Street



March 20, 2012

P.S. 121 Throop

2750 Throop Avenue


Staten Island

March 22, 2012

P.S. 69 Daniel D. Tompkins

144 Keating Place

Once your application is complete the waiting begins.  Notifications are not sent out until early June.

Kindergarten Applications are Due Today

Today is the last day to submit an application for a spot in a kindergarten class for the 2012-2013 school year in New York City. All students entering kindergarten in September 2012 must submit an application. Applications are not considered complete without 2 original documents that verify your address such as a utility bill, rent or mortgage statement.

To apply, visit your zoned school or any other school(s) you are interested in and eligible to apply to. Bring your child's birth certificate or passport and 2 documents which provide proof of residence.

Test Resource 4

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