Demystifying the SHSAT

The Specialized High School Admission Test (SHSAT) has been all over the news of late. What is this magical, mystical SHSAT test that evokes such strong emotions? Bring your questions and queries to PASSNYC's community information event on Monday, September 24 from 6-8 pm where there will be experts who can share information about the SHSAT and Columbia Secondary School testing for parents.

There will also be information on FREE Online Test Prep Services for students. Best of all, light refreshments will be served!

Please register and let us know if you'll be coming. This is an invaluable event that shouldn't be missed.

The 2019 Admissions Season Begins

A unique opportunity to meet directors from top New York schools. Reserve your spot now!

Summer is drawing to a close so it's time to think about school admissions for the 2019 school year. In New York City, school choice programs provide alternatives to parents who want to opt out of sending their children to the local  schools to which they are assigned. The day after Labor day is the traditional start to admission season, that time of year when parents exercise their school choice rights in a chaotic ritual of applications, school tours, open houses and interviews.

For families considering independent schools (those that independently set their own missions and curriculum), kindergarten is the largest entry point and one of only two times that kids can enter Hunter College Elementary School, the other being 7th grade.  If you have a four year old (born in 2014), this fall is the time to apply for kindergarten. For those entering 6th grade in the fall, this is the ONLY year you'll be eligible to take the test for entrance to Hunter High School.

The independent school application process is complicated. Before getting started with an application to any individual school there are many factors to consider - school type (co-ed, single sex), location, size, educational philosophy, community, faculty, facilities - to name a few. There is also the multi-step application process which involves tours, financial forms (if requesting tuition assistance), testing and meetings for both parents and children.

Summer is a great time to review and research school websites to determine what may be a good fit for your family. The Independent Schools Admissions Association of Greater New York (ISAAGNY) is a terrific resource for learning about independent schools and their application process. On Tuesday, August 21, 2018 from 6-8:30 pm we'll be hosting our 8th Annual Independent School Admissions Panel and School Fair. This is a unique opportunity to meet admission decision makers from Hunter and many private schools and to receive tools to help you conquer the application process.

Participating Schools:
Bank Street School for Children
Collegiate School
Harlem Academy
Hunter College Campus Schools
International Academy of New York
Riverdale Country School
Convent of the Sacred Heart
Speyer School
St. Bernard's School
St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's
The Allen-Stevenson School
The Brearley School
The Buckley School
The Calhoun School
The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine
The Dalton School
The Hewitt School
The Nightingale-Bamford School
The Town School
The Workshop School

2018 Summer Opportunities, Activities and Resources (SOAR) Fairs

Summer Fairs Featuring Camps and Programs for Kids & Teens

Our popular summer fairs are back with a new name, Summer Opportunities, Activities & Resources (SOAR) but the same quality events you've grown to love. This is our 4th year hosting fairs featuring summer camps and programs for families with kids in pre-k through 12th grade.

Sure, you can look for summer programs online but nothing beats a face-to-face conversation directly with camp directors who want nothing more than to answer your questions and provide information about their programs. SOAR fairs bring together programs and parents, add a sprinkle of giveaway goodies, and a raffle. For free!! What are you waiting for?? Register now to attend our Upper West Side or Harlem fair. If you're a vendor interested in participating, register here

Attending camps include:
92Y Camps
Bank Street Summer Camp
Brooklyn Game Lab
Camp Twelve Trails
The Cathedral School Summer STEAM Camp
Challenge Camp
Cooper Hewitt Design Camp
City Sail Summer Camp
Columbia Little Lions
Cooper Union Summer Art Intensive
Corbin Crusaders Day Camp
Day Camp in the Park
Deer Mountain Day Camp
The Fresh Air Fund
Gate Hill Day Camp
Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program
Harlem YMCA Summer Day Camp
Hk Summer Steam
Kids in the Game
iD Tech Camp
Independent Lake Camp
Camp Settoga + JCC Manhattan Day Camps
Ma He Tu
MakerState Summer Camp
Play On! Studios
Pocono Springs Camp
Pono
Riverside Park Conservancy Multi-Sport Summer Camp
Robofun
Steve & Kate's Camp
Summer at Speyer
Summerscape at The CENTER
Tech Kids Unlimited
The Experiment in International Living
The Nature Place Day Camp
Valley Hill Summer Camp
Writopia Lab

Not all camps will be at every fair.

 

2017 Summer Camp Fairs Coming to UWS & Harlem


The best summer camp fair uptown is back! This year, in cooperation with the Bank Street School for Children, we have expanded and will be hosting camp fairs in two locations:

Upper West Side - Sunday, February 12, 2017, 12-3pm
The Bank Street School for Children
610 W 112th Street

Central Harlem - Sunday, March 19, 2017, 12-3pm
Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist Church
101 W 123rd Street
Register to attend Central Harlem Summer Camp Fair

If you’re anything like me, you are overwhelmed with all of the camp options available and unsure about what program will be a good fit for your child. Camp fairs bring camps straight to parents allowing them to have face-to-face conversations with many camp directors in one place, within a short period of time.

If you'd like to register your camp to participate in the fair you can do so here.

Hear what neighborhood parents have to say about our camp fairs
Let's Talk Schools Camp Fair video

Confirmed attendees include:
92nd Street Y Camp Yomi
HSA ARTScape Summer Camp
Bank Street Summer Camp
BEE in the City
Breakaway Hoops
Calhoun Summer Camps
Camp Dunnabeck at Kildonan
Camp Intrepid
Camp Kinderland
Camp MSM (Manhattan School of Music)
Camp Northwood
Camp Twelve Trails
Columbia University Little Lions Camp
Corbin's Crusaders
Day Camp in the Park
Deer Mountain Day Camp
Fresh Air Fund
Frost Valley YMCA
Gate Hill Day Camp
Girl Scouts Urban Day Camp
Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program
Harlem YMCA
HypotheKids
Hollingworth Science Camp
HudsonWay Immersion School Summer Camp
JCC Manhattan Summer Camps
Kids in the Game
Camp Ma He Tu
Play On Studios
Pocono Springs Camp
Pouncing Tigers Summer Programs
Project Performing Arts
Spring Lake Day Camp
Tech Kids Unlimited
The Fresh Air Fund
The Nature Place Day Camp
Wildlife Conservation Society Zoos and Aquarium
Woodmont Day Camp

Not all camps listed above will be at every fair. More to come. Stay tuned!

Chloe The Yogi Brings Children’s Yoga To E-Books

screen480x480Yoga is a language spoken all over the world and means many things to different people and cultures.  It even has it's own carousel of yoga languages - Ashtanga, Vinyassa, Jivamukti, Kundalini - different ways to yoga, but all have the same positive benefits for your health.

For my son and his friends, yoga has helped to develop their motor skills, calm and center them, help them to be aware of their bodies and improve their confidence.  Lara Land of Harlem's Land Yoga has developed an ebook app, Chloe the Yogi:  The Amusement Park, the first in a series of five, that mirror the experience of a children's yoga class.  The story, featuring and animated character named Chloe, helps kids to learn yoga poses and reinforces the emotional support that children get through stretching, breathing, and role playing.

The app launches today, September 7th, with a special reading by Lara Land to the Harlem Community as part of the Harlem 4 Kids Saturday story time series at the Harlem Center PAL Building, 441 Manhattan Avenue.  Event begins at 11am.

Namaste.

 

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 info@letstalkschools.com for details)

Open to the public.  Registration is required at http://howtochoosebestschool.eventbrite.com

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.

NYC District 3 Magnet School Program Parent Workshop

SCHOOL CHOICE:  CHOOSING THE RIGHT PUBLIC SCHOOL FOR YOUR CHILD

 

The NYC District 3 Magnet School Program is having the first of a series of parent workshops this evening to help demystify the public school choice process.

These workshop aim to help local families understand all of the public school options available to them and teach them how to go about finding the right schools for their children.

In addition, they will help parents understand what Magnet Schools are, how the enrollment process works, and how they can apply.

DATES AND LOCATIONS

February 6, 2012 and March 5, 2012

115th Street Library, 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

203 West 115th Street, NY, NY 10026

 

February 13, 2012 and April 3, 2012

District 3 Headquarters, Joan of Arc Auditorium, 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

154 West 93rd Street, NY, NY 10025

(Between Amsterdam and Columbus)

 

NYC District 3 Magnet Schools applications are currently available at www.D3mag.net

National Catholic Schools Week – January 29-February 5 2012

The theme for Catholic Schools Week 2012 is “Catholic Schools: Faith. Academics. Service.”  The annual observance starts the last Sunday in January and runs all week, which in 2012 is January 29 to February 5. Schools typically celebrate Catholic Schools Week with Masses, open houses and special activities for students, families, parishioners and the community at large.  This week also kicks off the enrollment period for September 2012.  Information about Catholic schools from Pre-K through Grade 12 in the Archdiocese of New York can be found on the bilingual website: www.BuildBoldFutures.org, or by calling the bilingual recruitment phone 212-794-2885.

The theme for 2012 focuses on three priorities that make Catholic schools stand out from other educational institutions.  Children are taught faith – not just the basics of Christianity, but how to have a relationship with God.  Academics, which in Catholic schools are held to very high standards, and help each child reach his or her potential.  Service, the giving of one’s time and effort to help others, is taught both as an expression of faith and good citizenship.

Recap of 2011 Education Events

Happy New Year!  We are looking forward to a year full of growth and lots of relevant educations information for our fellow parents in 2012.  We've been busy working on updating the site with new features to help you with your school search that will be rolled out soon.  In the meantime, we'll continue to update our calendar events and education news.

Here is great recap of the best and worst education events of 2011 from Leonie Haimson at NYC Public School Parent.

Anything to add?  Let us know in comments below.

 

Possible DOE Immediate School Bus Strike

School Bus

The NYC Schools Chancellor, Dennis Walcott, sent a letter to parents today alerting them to the strong possibility of an immediate system-wide strike by yellow school bus drivers.  Here is the text of the letter:

November 18, 2011
Dear Parent or Guardian,
We are writing to inform you of the strong possibility of an immediate system-wide, and in our view, illegal, strike by our bus drivers' union—local 1181—that could impact yellow bus service for more than 152,000 students citywide.

The New York City Department of Education (DOE) is issuing a bid to secure new yellow bus contracts to transport special education pre-kindergarten and early intervention ( "pre-school") children to their school programs for the 2012-2013 school year. Our current contracts are set to expire at the end of June 2012 and it is imperative that we move forward now to secure a new contract.

The bus drivers' union has told us that if the bid does not include an Employee Protection Provision—a measure which guarantees their workers civil service-type seniority rights in the event that their current employers do not win the new bid—they will go on strike, system-wide. This would result in severe disruptions, or possibly complete discontinuance, of yellow bus service.

In our view, this would be an illegal strike, and it is all the more unconscionable when you consider that New York State's highest Court recently ruled that we may not include an Employee Protection Provision requirement in our bids. Because the union has told us they will strike, we are immediately filing an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board and asking that it seek an injunction in federal court as quickly as possible.

We are deeply concerned about the impact of a strike on our students and families and we want you to be prepared in the event one occurs.

Any information we have about disruptions to bus service will be posted our website at http://schools.nyc.gov. We urge parents and guardians whose children rely on yellow bus service—for pre-K or K-12 service—to regularly check the website for updates. The information will also be provided to the media and to 311.

In the event that a strike occurs, the following protocols will take effect for families of students who currently receive yellow bus service.

For all students who currently receive yellow bus service from a designated school bus stop to school, we will be issuing Metrocards. Metrocards are being made available at schools and should be requested through the school's general office. We have already informed the Transit Authority that it may need to accommodate additional riders. We also ask families to consider alternative means of transportation to school in case of a disruption.

Parents of pre-school and school-age children with IEPs requiring transportation from their home directly to their school, as well as parents of children in grades K-2, may request a Metrocard for the parent or guardian to act as the child's escort to school.

For pre-school and school-age children who have an IEP requiring transportation from their home directly to their school, we are offering reimbursement for actual transportation costs. Parents who drive their children to school will be reimbursed at a rate of 51 cents per mile. Parents who use a taxi or car service to transport their child to school will be reimbursed for the trip upon completion of reimbursement forms that include a receipt for provided services. Requests for reimbursements should be made one week at a time on forms that will be provided in schools' general offices. The forms will ask you to indicate on which school days alternative transportation was taken and whether it was taken for both the morning and afternoon commute. Reimbursement forms as well as receipts should be sent to the Transportation Reimbursement Unit at 44-36 Vernon Blvd, Long Island City, NY 11101.

Field trips using yellow bus service will be cancelled if there is a bus service disruption. After school programs will remain open, but no busing will be provided.

This is a very difficult situation for the school system and we understand that it may be very upsetting to our students and families. Every parent or guardian must evaluate the needs of his or her child in terms of making the best arrangements to transport the child to school. Students who arrive to school late because of disruptions to yellow bus service will be excused for up to 2 hours. Children who are unable to attend school because of disruptions to yellow bus service will be marked absent with an explanation code that will ensure their attendance record is not negatively impacted.

We regret the possibility of what could be a major disturbance in the lives of students and their families. We continue to hope that the bus driver and escort union will not take such unwarranted action in response to what is the proper, legal course of action for the Department of Education to take on behalf of our students and the City taxpayers.

If you have further questions about this matter, please call our Pupil Transportation Hotline at 718-392-8855 or 311.

Sincerely,

Dennis M. Walcott

Chancellor