9th Annual Independent School Fair and Admissions Panel Discussion

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 2020 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 2015), 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 Monday, August 19, 2019 from 6-8:30 pm we'll be hosting our 9th Annual Independent School Fair and Admissions Panel. 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:
Archdiocese of NY Catholic Schools Representing St. Ann School, St. Paul School, Corpus Christi School, Our Lady of Lourdes School, Ascension School
Blue School
Collegiate School
Garden School
Horace Mann School
Hunter College Campus Schools
International Academy of New York
Pine Street School
Riverdale Country School
Saint David's School
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 Chapin School
The Elisabeth Morrow School
The Nightingale-Bamford School
The Town School

2019 Summer Fairs

This year marks the 5thanniversary of our Summer Opportunities, Activities & Resources (SOAR) 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 multiple programs and parents all under one roof in fun, easily accessible environment. We’re your one-stop-shop for summer fun.

 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
ACT Programs at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine
Bank Street Summer Camp
Breezemont Day Camp
Brooklyn Game Lab
Camp Twelve Trails
The Cathedral School Summer STEAM Camp
Cooper Hewitt Design Camp
Columbia Little Lions
Day Camp in the Park
Deer Mountain Day Camp
The Fresh Air Fund
Gate Hill Day Camp
Harlem YMCA Summer Day Camp
HYPOTHEkids Summer STEAM
Camp Settoga + JCC Manhattan Day Camps
MakerState Summer Camp
Parkour Adventure Camp
Play On! Studios
Pocono Springs Camp
Riverside Park Conservancy Multi-Sport Summer Camp
Robofun
The Nature Place
Writopia Lab

Not all camps will be at every fair.

 

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

Getting started with 2018 Hunter & independent schools admissions

As the end of summer 2017 draws near it's time to think about school admission for the 2018 school year. In New York City, school choice programs provide alternatives to parents who do not wish to send their children to the local public schools to which they are assigned. The day after Labor day is the traditional start to admission season, the 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. If you have a four year old (born in 2013) this fall is the time to apply for kindergarten.

The independent school application process is no walk in the park. Before even 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. Then there's 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 ones that might 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 29, 2017 from 6-8:30 pm we'll be hosting our 7th Annual Independent School Admission Panel and School Fair. This is a unique opportunity to meet admission decision makers from many schools and receive tools to help you conquer the application process.

Participating Schools include:
Bank Street School for Children
Basis Independent School
The Brearley School
The Browning School
The Buckley School
The Calhoun School
The Cathedral School
The Chapin School
Collegiate School
Convent of the Sacred Heart
Corlears School
The Hewitt School
Hunter College Elementary School
Marymount School
Metropolitan Montessori School
Riverdale Country School
Spence Schooll
St. Bernard's School
St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's
The Elisabeth Morrow School
The Nightingale-Bamford School
The Town School
Trevor Day School
Trinity School

Gearing up for the new school year? August is the new September.

We’re still in the dog days of summer and summer vacation is in full swing – kids are in camp, summer hours are in effect at the office and it’s hot -- real hot. If school starts after Labor Day there is still one month left of summer for the kids. So why am I seeing first day of school photos all over my social media accounts already? It seems like school starts in August ,or even July, in many parts of the country. Here in the northeast public school starts September 8th but most charter schools kids have either started school this week or will be headed back in the next week or so.

It's back to school time for some but not for others. When it comes to independent schools most, if not all, begin after Labor Day, the official end of summer fun. For the thousands of kids in pre-k this year who’s parents are considering private school for kindergarten the time to consider applications is now.

Applying to one of these schools is a multi-step process that involves completing written or online applications, screening tests, school tours, separate parent and child in-person interviews and financial documentation (if requesting financial assistance).

Consider these facts:

  1. Most people apply to 8-10 schools
  1. Between parent tours, parent interviews and child playdates, there will be 24-30 visits to schools during a roughly three-month period
  1. Including a modest 30 minute travel time, working parents will miss 56-65 hours of work during this time (not including time to complete applications and other required paperwork)

Our annual kindergarten admissions panel & school fair is a one-stop shop where you can meet admission directors and gather all of the information you need for a successful application. Some schools stop accepting applications early once they’ve reached a maximum number so getting an early start puts you ahead of the masses. The event takes place Monday, August 29, 2016, 6pm at Ephesus Church, 101 W 123rd Street. You don't want to miss this!

List of school fair participants:

Allen-Stevenson School

Bank Street

Brearley School

Browning School

Buckley School

Calhoun School

Collegiate School

Convent of the Sacred Heart

Dalton School

Elizabeth Morrow

Harlem Academy

Hewitt School

Hunter College Elementary

Manhattan Country School

Pono

Spence School

St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's

Town School

Uptown’s premier summer camp fair is back!

small-boats-of-colourSummer camp season is here! If you’re anything like me, you are overwhelmed at 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. It’s like speed dating for summer camps.

There are certain questions you may want to ask camp directors while at the fair in order to help you to determine the proper fit for your family:
• What is your camp’s program?
• What type of child is successful at your camp?
• What are the qualifications of the camp director? Counselors?
• How are campers supervised?
• What are the safety procedures?
• What are your enrollment options?
• How does your camp handle special needs?

You can ask these questions and more at our second annual summer camp fair on Saturday, February 27, 2016 from 11am-4pm.

Participating camps:

Ascension Summer Camp

Bank Street Summer Camp

Breakaway Hoops

Camp Henry

Camp Ma-He-Tu

Camp Twelve Trails

City Sculpting

Day Camp in the Park

Gate Hill Day Camp

Harlem School of the Arts Artscape

Harlem YMCA Summer Day Camp

Hk Summer Steam

Independent Lake Camp

Kids Creative

Kids in the Game

NYC Guitar School

Oddysey Teen Camp

Play On! Studios

Pono

Super Soccer Stars

TADA! Youth Theater

The Experiment in International Living

Urban Stages Summer Theater Camp

World of Money

Pre-register here to secure your spot today.LTS 2016 Camp Flier

4th Annual Private School Admissions Panel

2014 Panel Postcard Mark your calendars to jump start your applications for kindergarten admissions to Hunter and NYC independent schools this year at our 4th Annual Private School Admissions Panel on Tuesday, August 26th @ 6:30 pm. Kindergarten is the main entry point for independent schools and the only time kids can enter Hunter Elementary School (entrance for the high school is in 7th grade.) There are many new changes to the independent school application process this year (can you say brand new AABL test?) and we will have a representative from the Electronic Records Bureau (ERB) on the panel to discuss them and answer your questions. If you have a four year old who will be attending kindergarten in 2015 this panel is for you. Admission directors will give an overview of the application process - what to do and when to do it. Be sure to register and get your tickets early!

Value-Added: Single -Sex Education for Girls

ipad photo By Kelly Bird Pierre

Kelly Bird Pierre is the former Director of Enrollment and Admissions, K–12  at The Hewitt School and current Lower School Principal at Friends' Central School She taught in co-ed lower school classrooms for 13 years before working in admissions at a single-sex school.  

What is the value-added in a girls’ school?  It is an intentional commitment to expand the range of what is possible for a girl.  The gift that a single sex school gives a girl is space; space to explore, to experiment, to speak, to believe, to strengthen and to see herself reflected in the larger world.  Our girls are prepared to do anything, but told that they need not do everything.

Our kindergarten girls walk into classrooms where each lesson and space is designed with their success in mind.  The range of possibilities for the girls is immediately greater. As a former colleague observed, “At Hewitt, the block area is always open for girls.” Although many teachers in co-ed classrooms are careful to make things equitable, there are gender differences in how children play.  The guideline that, “There must be two girls and two boys in the block area” may still not encourage girls to join because they don’t like the way the boys play with the blocks.  There is a joy in building something as big as you can and knocking it down that is fun for some boys and not fun for some girls.  Having spaces that are solely for them allows girls to move freely within their classroom and the school and to experiment more broadly within the program.

Unfortunately, we still live in a world in which voices of female leadership are scarce.  In 2012 only 14.3% of women held Executive Officer positions in Fortune 500 companies.1  In my own classroom, I observed that boys will generally raise their hand before they think of their answer and girls often  think of their answer before they raise their hand.  Inherently, this is going to lead to more boys being called on unless a teacher waits…and waits.  This only intensifies in co-ed settings as girls become more self-conscious of their changing bodies and sense of themselves, and, consequently, sometimes defer to boys even when they have the answer.  Next time you are in a classroom, I encourage you to look at whose hands are in the air and who is talking.  In a single sex school there is less competition for airspace, and quieter girls know there is room for their voices.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOf course, many of our daughters will gravitate toward pink and Barbies no matter how hard we try to fight the gender stereotypes because we are immersed in a culture where gender stereotypes still thrive.  The same is true for the subjects towards which girls and boys gravitate.  We can look at how many women are represented in the STE2M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Environmental Sustainability and Math) fields to see this is true.  Many boys expect to be good at math, which is half the battle of success.  As my own second graders matured throughout the year, the girls would watch more boys join the enrichment math work at lunchtime, and my strongest girls would start to shy away from the work time.  I worked hard to counteract girls’ too often tacit assumption that they should not be good at math.  At a girls’ school, girls are the best at everything.

The voices and roles of women are at the forefront of the experience in an all-girls school, and our students have the chance to see strong women in action today and in history.  When third graders study biographies they are asked to choose an influential woman to read about, write about and then come alive as at a Living Museum.  In high school, eleventh and twelfth graders choose from electives such as “Searching for Self” in which the girls read literature including Nadeem Aslam’s Maps for Lost Lovers and examine the unity of women in a hostile and repressive culture.  Co-ed schools examine such texts as well, but in our AP English class the girls can question and debate sexuality, sexism and repression without having to defend their feelings and experiences. We provide them with the room to make sense of the world that they are on the brink of taking on as young women.

RAMSA 1

At Hewitt, we are not only providing many opportunities for our girls to study within the STE2M subjects, but we are constantly engaged in a dialogue about how girls learn these subjects best.  80% percent of wiring in the brain in gender-specific.  And although one in five girls do not follow the research patterns, we need to acknowledge there are gender differences in the way girls and boys process information.2  Various studies, including one out of the University of Chicago, indicate differences in spatial skills, beginning as early as kindergarten.3  One of the hallmarks of our STE2M program is hands-on-learning that features these skills.  Students are constantly given opportunities to build and design in three dimensions, to use carpentry tools, and to develop mechanical sense.   And, as we move into the middle and upper school, the sophistication of these activities increases with the use of 3-D design programs, robotics, and collaborative work with experts in fields like architecture and engineering.

More importantly, girls are not just being immersed in every subject; they are working side-by-side with women in the STE2M fields.  Before building bridges in class, our students tour the George Washington Bridge towers with female engineers.  We are not just telling the girls you can do this; we are showing them they can do it.  It gives the work our students are doing value and helps each girl imagine a possible future for herself.  The assignment becomes a step toward something greater.  This type of imprint is sure to change the number of women represented in the STE2M fields.

I have been asked, often by fathers, “Isn’t a girls’ school like going to school in a bubble?” “Yes,” I respond, “It is.  It is a bubble that benefits girls tremendously.  Girls leave Hewitt to go to mostly co-ed colleges and universities, lifted by that spacious bubble and emboldened to challenge assumptions that anything is out of reach for them.”  I’ll never forget a Hewitt alumna telling me about raising her hand in a 300 freshman lecture class and a friend turning to her to say ‘How can you raise your hand?’”  Her response?  “Why wouldn’t I raise my hand?”

 

1 "Statistical Overview of Women in the Workplace." Catalyst. March 13, 2013. http://www.catalyst.org/knowledge/statistical-overview-women-workplace

2 "Understanding and Raising Girls." PBSParents. http://www.pbs.org/parents/raisinggirls/brains/nature.html

3 Harms, Bill. "Study Shows Early Sex Differences in Spatial-Learning Skills." The University of Chicago. November 18, 1999.  <http://chronicle.uchicago.edu/991118/spatial.shtml>

Jump-Starting the School Admissions Process for Your Child

DSC_0231Our 3rd Annual Admission Panel took place last Tuesday in Harlem.  Admission Directors from Hunter College Elementary School, Convent of the Sacred Heart, The Calhoun School and St. Bernard's School were on hand to answer questions and share some 'words of wisdom' on navigating the Hunter and private school admission process.  Rachel Christmas Derrick, former Director of Development Communications & Publications at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School and Senior Writer at the Rockefeller Foundation, provides a great summary of the discussion.

Jump-Starting the School Admissions Process for Your Child

by Rachel Christmas Derrick

Do stories of parents applying to seven or ten different schools keep you up at night? Does the thought of filling out all those applications make you want to pull the covers over your head each morning? Does the prospect of writing the essays and parent statements seem as daunting as applying to college or for a new job?

Take a deep breath and prepare to be pleasantly surprised:  Applying to schools for your child doesn’t have to be an ordeal.  In fact, with some planning, organization, and guidance, exploring how you and others see your child and your family can actually be big fun.

Here are some tips to help you jump-start the school admissions process:

  1. Do your homework!  School websites can give you a sense of what makes each educational environment different from the rest.
  2. Don’t apply to a school simply because everyone you know is applying or it’s on some Top Ten list.  Remember, there are lots of excellent schools out there—and you’ve never heard of many of them.
  3. See if your family’s values match those of the school. For instance, do you believe that allowing learning to be incidental to having fun can be detrimental in the long run? Or do you think that rigorously training a young child in the basics can have a negative impact?
  4. Keep an open mind.  Even if you’re positive you want a co-ed school, for example, consider single-gender schools.  If you’re convinced that a progressive education is the way to go, visit a more traditional school or two.
  5. Consider the neighborhood.  If you live in Manhattan, you can certainly send your child to that phenomenal school with the main campus in Riverdale.  However, make sure you’re comfortable with what that will mean for play dates, birthday parties, and long bus rides for your young child.
  6. Once you identify the schools that interest you, attend their tours and open houses.  Take detailed notes of your impressions of each school, including the demeanor of teachers and other staff, the classrooms, the cafeteria, gym, and auditorium, the hallway artwork, the outdoor spaces, even the bathrooms.
  7. Feel free to ask administrators and teachers questions—but not those whose answers could easily be found on their websites.
  8. As you walk through each school, can you visualize you and your child as part of this community for the next 6, 9, or 13 years?  Do teachers look happy?  Do students seem engaged?  Are children well-supervised?
  9. Remember, the “best” school is the one that feels right for your child and your family.
  10. Tailor your application essays or parent statements to each school and explain why YOUR child and YOUR family could be right for THAT particular school.  A quick way to turn off an admissions team is to submit a generic essay, one that could be written to any school about any beloved child.
  11. If you’re applying for financial aid, don’t put down “$0” when asked how much your family can contribute to tuition. Schools are drawn to families who understand that your child’s education is a partnership that both you and the school have a stake in.
  12. Apply early!  (Applications go online at the end of August or right after Labor Day.)  Schools like enthusiastic, organized families who plan ahead.  Even before you know what schools you’re applying to, get started on your basic essay.  You’ll then be ahead of the game when it’s time to adapt it to the questions asked by each school.

Rachel Christmas Derrick is a widely-published writer and editor whose Words Rule! program helps guide families through the essay-writing process for school applications.  For details, contact her at WordsRuleCommunications@gmail.com.

DSC_0324  DSC_0157 DSC_0117 DSC_0092 DSC_0055

3rd Annual Admissions Panel on August 13th

0813_letstalk_event_4x6_front

 

Our 3rd annual admissions panel is set for Tuesday, August 13th in Central Harlem.  Once again we will have admission directors from Hunter Elementary and several independent schools on hand to speak about the admission process and to answer your questions.  Flyer here

This program will inform parents applying to kindergarten at Hunter Elementary and private independent schools of the various options available and is an overview from admission directors. (Applying in September 2013 for the 2014-2015 school year.)

Program includes: 

• Summary of the complete application process

• Screening tests (ERB & Stanford Binet)

• What to look for on tours and what to expect

• Financial aid and affording an independent school education

• How admission decisions are made

Date: Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Time: 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Location: Ephesus Church, 101 W 123rd Street

Reserve your space early!  Financial aid is available.  Contact info@letstalkschools.com for details.