2021 New York Independent Schools Back-to-School Guide

Independent Schools are private schools each having an ‘independent’ philosophy and unique mission that are managed by a board of governors or trustees. They can be co-ed or single-sex, day schools or boarding schools, religious or not religiously affiliated.

Each school has it’s own COVID-19 safety and vaccination policy so be sure to check what your specific schools policy is.

Many New York independent schools are members of The Independent Schools Admissions Association of Greater New York (ISAAGNY), a not-for-profit organization whose members agree to adhere to it’s admissions practices and procedures.

Not all independent schools are ISAAGNY members so be sure to check each school’s affiliation when applying. Applying to an independent school is a multi-step process that involves completing written or online applications, screening tests, school tours, parent and/or child meetings/interviews and financial documentation (if requesting financial assistance). For safety reasons, most schools have instituted a virtual application process during the pandemic.

Refer to the ISAAGNY website for their Principles of Good Practice that all member schools abide by and notification and reply dates of applications for 2022/2023 school year.

Let’s Talk School is hosting our 11th Annual Virtual Independent School Kindergarten Admissions Panel and School Fair on Monday & Tuesday, August 30-31. You’ll be able to meet and engage directly with school admission directors who’ll provide information about their schools and this fall’s application process.

To learn about boarding schools, consult The Association of Boarding Schools.

2021 Private School Kindergarten Admissions Panel and School Fair

After a tumultuous 2020 school year, we are looking forward to our kids going back to in-person school this fall. However, the COVID-19 delta variant is making that prospect more uncertain. Families are worried about the safety of their children in school buildings, about their students' mental health and what changes are being made to procedures at schools that will keep children learning throughout the year.

For over a decade, at the end of summer, we have gathered a diverse group of independent schools to talk about their plans and admissions process for the coming year. This enables families to get a head start on their applications. Kindergarten is the largest entry point for private schools and one of only two times students can gain admission to Hunter. 

This year, we’ll be hosting a virtual version of our kindergarten admissions panel and school fair on Monday & Tuesday, August 30-31. The schools below will be participating, with new schools signing up each day. The fair is free for families to attend. Register today!

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.