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.

 

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.

NYC Public High School Admissions

Can the process be any more complicated than it already is? I don't think so.

At this point in the process, depending on whether you will be entering 7th or 8th grade in the fall, we recommended:

7th Grade

  • During the summer before school starts, it's a good idea to attend the summer high school admission family workshops and start to familiarize yourself with your options. The DOE School Finder and High School Directory are both online.
  • If you're considering attending a Specialized High School, put together a plan and start studying for the Specialized High School Admission Test (SHSAT)
  • Be sure to get to school every day and don't be late! Attendance is an important part of individual school admission rubrics.
  • Practice and collect your best work from 7th grade. You'll need it to put together an art portfolio or prepare for an audition to a high school arts program.

Summer Before 8th Grade

  • Attend the summer high school admission family workshops and start to create a list of school that you think might be a good fit. The DOE School Finder and High School Directory are both online.
  • Be sure to study for the SHSAT, rehearse for your auditions and work on your art portfolio.
  • Check school websites, our events calendar or contact schools directly for school open house and tour dates. Set up a calendar to keep track of tour dates and application deadlines. You don't want to miss anything.

8th Grade

  • Attend the high school fairs in September and October. Check the DOE website or our events calendar for dates.
  • Find audition dates for specific audition programs and register. Check the school websites or contact the school directly for up-to-date information.
  • For screened programs, find out admission requirements and instructions in the High School Directory.
  • Attend open houses and tours.
  • Register for the SHSAT and/or LaGuardia High School auditions through your school counselor or at a Family Welcome Center by October 11, 2018
  • Get your SHSAT ticket and/or LaGuardia High School audition ticket
  • Take the SHSAT and/or audition for LaGuardia High School as scheduled
  • For audition programs, go to auditions and/or interviews
  • For screened programs, complete assessments and/or submit portfolios.
  • Submit your Round 1 application online, through your counselor, or at a Family Welcome Center by December 3, 2018.

Check our site for continued updates as we advance through the admission process.

 

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

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!

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

Gifted and Talented Admissions for September 2015

We're thrilled to welcome Mrs. A, an elementary school teacher teaching in NYC public schools as a contributor. This week, Mrs. A shares her thoughts on G&T program in schools in low income neighborhoods.

“Matthew, why don’t you come and join us for the nursery rhymes we’re learning.” I beckoned to my kindergartener who was lagging in his seat, rather than joining the crowd of students on the “rug”. “Boring!” whined Matthew, “I already know all those nursery rhymes, I learned them in pre-school.” It was September and I was just getting know my class, “OK” I thought, “I am going to have to challenge this little guy, he obviously knows more than the rest.” Matthew finally joined the group after much cajoling and the lesson proceeded without a hitch.

It turned out that Matthew was obviously gifted, by the end of the year in kindergarten he was reading books from the third, fourth and fifth grade libraries. His writing and math were both way above average and his language skills, that is, his speaking and vocabulary were exemplary, yet, Matthew failed the Gifted and Talented test by 4 points that year. I was sorely disappointed in this, because, Matthew, is a minority, a Latino, whose parents, though well-meaning were not at all test savvy and I feared that he would lose out and never get the education he needed.

The school that I teach in a Title I, New York City Public School in Brooklyn, 95% of the students are on Free Lunch. The school groups all classes homogeneously, there are no top classes. Currently with budget constraints there are no courses added to the curriculum. Like most city schools, the school has become focused on test scores and achievement, differentiated instruction is talked about, but time does not allow for such lofty goals when one is so focused on moving all children, even your slowest on those tests. The cluster teachers ought to be able to provide some kind of diversified relief for the brightest however, this school has the following cluster programs: Reading, Literature, Literacy, Social Studies, Computers, Art & Music. There are three cluster teachers devoted to reading instruction. For the brighter students this is clearly overkill.

So what does Matthew do now, in first grade? He can be found, often in the halls, running errands for the teacher. Last I spoke to him and asked him what he was studying in November he rolled his eyes and said, “Families” , “We are studying families, families, families.” I suppose, he helps others in the classroom who are lagging in their studies. This scenario of our brightest minorities can be seen repeated over and over again, although they don’t get into the Gifted and Talented schools, they are still untapped and unchallenged talent wasting away in a mediocre system which caters to the bottom and middle rather than the top.

These students are at risk, they are bored, tired of the same old studies and we risk losing them to more stimulating endeavors such as drugs and sex as they get older. These talented minorities, like pure gold, can be mined if the city is willing to take a good, hard look at it’s Gifted and Talented search.

Here are my suggestions:

  1. Start requiring that the students who are minorities who fail the test by say, 10 percentage points, be given special instruction in their schools.
  2. Every school should have a Gifted and Talented class for each grade.
  3. Extra-curricular activities MUST be added for the Gift and Talented class, perhaps that class could be taught by two teachers as we do with the Special Ed. Inclusion Classes.
  4. Consider having a few Gifted and Talented schools devoted JUST to minorities.

New York Gifted and Talented admissions for September 2015 begin this week on Wednesday, October 8th. Complete details and handbooks are available  online at the DOE website. In addition, G&T info session will be held in each borough. See below and our events calendar for schedule

 

BOROUGH LOCATION DATE TIME
Manhattan High School of Fashion Industries
225 West 24th Street
Tuesday, October 14 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Brooklyn Clara Barton High School
901 Classon Avenue
Wednesday, October 15 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Staten Island P.S. 69 Daniel D. Tompkins
144 Keating Place
Thursday, October 16 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Bronx Theodore Roosevelt Educational Campus
500 East Fordham Road
Tuesday, October 21 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Queens Forest Hills High School
67-01 110th Street
Wednesday, October 22 6:00 - 8:00 PM

 

 

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!

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.

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