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 New York Catholic School Back-to-School Guide

New York Catholic schools are all privately managed by the Archdiocese of New York (ADNY), the Diocese of Brooklyn or the Diocese of Rockville Centre. The Diocese of Brooklyn oversees Catholic schools in Brooklyn and Queens, The Diocese of Rockville Center oversees Long Island schools, and the New York Archdiocese oversees Catholic schools in the rest of New York and surrounding regions.  

Read the ADNY schools reopening plans for this fall and the Brooklyn Diocese COVID-19 safety protocols.    

Registration for the 2021 Test for Admission into Catholic High Schools (TACHS) for 2022 is now open. Students in the eighth grade during the 2021-2022 school year who wish to apply for fall 2022 admission into Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of New York, Brooklyn/Queens and Rockville Centre are eligible. This year, the TACHS exam will be administered as an online, remote, at-home test.

New York Public Schools 2021 Back to School Guide

Let's talk back-to-school! The following is a summary of important updates pertaining to NYC public schools for the upcoming school year. For all official information related to NYC public schools please consult the Department of Education’s website

This past May, at the end of the 2020-2021 school year, Mayor DeBlasio and Chancellor Porter announced that, after a school year where more than 60% of NYC students learned remotely, schools would return to in-person learning for all students in September with no remote option.

The Mayor’s announcement was short on details of how the transition back to full-time, in-person learning will happen but he soon announced a new program, Summer Rising, for all kids (K-12) who want to participate. Summer Rising aims to help remediate some of the learning loss that happened throughout the school year and to prepare students for their return to in-school learning in the fall.

3-K results for children born in 2018 were released in June. All offers, including waitlists offers, need to be accepted by July 30th. Learn about 3-K admissions and sign up for a summer information session here.

Families with children born in 2016, 2017, and 2018 who need a 3-K, Pre-K or kindergarten program are invited to join virtual information sessions happening throughout the summer to learn about applicable programs.

Read Chancellor Porter’s letter to families about the academic recovery plan NYC public schools.

Despite changes to CDC mask guidelines, NYC is sticking to a universal mask mandate in all schools.

When schools reopen in September, NYC public school teachers will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested weekly.

The deadline to register for the summer SHSAT and LaGuardia High School audition is August 6th. This year’s test is open to both newcomers to the the city and to rising 9th and 10th-graders who were unable to take the exam and/or audition during the school year because of COVID-19. See Inside School’s SHSAT guide for full details.

Hunter College High School will send admission decisions for this year's entering 7th grade class starting Friday, July 30th and throughout the following week.

NYC mandates COVID vaccines for "high risk" sports. Vaccinations will be required for high school athletes and their coaches in football, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, wrestling, competitive cheerleading, and rugby. Vaccination will also be required for bowling, since it takes place indoors.

NYC will require the COVID-19 vaccine for all DOE employees with no testing option.

School officials announced a COVID safety plan for NYC Schools detailing protocols for testing, quarantining, masking, and vaccines.

Applications for admission to Hunter College Elementary School for kindergarten in September 2022 are available as of Tuesday, September 14, 2021. Kindergarten is the only entry point to Hunter Elementary School and, this year, applications are available to families in all 5 boroughs for the first time. Application deadline is November 2nd.

New York City will eliminate it's Gifted and Talented test in kindergarten and phase out the program starting this fall.

2021 Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) is open. NYC 8th and 9th graders who wish to attend a Specialized High School must register to take the SHSAT, for entry to 9th and 10th grade in the 2022-2023 school year by Monday, November 15, 2021. The test will be administered in December 2021

The DOE will host online virtual high school and specialized high school admission information sessions this fall. A recording of the session is available, in case you are not able to attend.

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.

 

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.

 

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Test Resource 3

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Test Resource 2

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Test Resource 1

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