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.

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!

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.

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

NYC Students Must Attend Kindergarten The Year They Turn Five

The NYC DOE has a new regulation that states students must attend kindergarten in the year they turn five by December 31st, according to NY1.  This seems to contradict a new law enacted in 2012 that set the cut-off date for kindergarten in New York City at December 1st.  According to this law it would seem that kids who are five years old by December 1st attend kindergarten in the year they turn five.  Others would wait until the following year.  But a key word in the law is "authorize".  The law states:

The board of education of the Syracuse city school district AND THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK [is] ARE hereby authorized to require minors who are five years of age on or before December first to attend kindergarten instruction.

Authorizing the DOE to make a change to a rule is not the same as requiring it to do so and it seems that the DOE has chosen not to change the cut off date from December 31st to December 1st.

What this means is, of course, that there will be some kids who start kindergarten in September who are just 4 years old but will turn 5 by the end of the year as is currently the case.  Currently, parents could opt to not send their children to school that early and have them start kindergarten the following year when they were 5 in September.  It's not easy to find a public school in New York City that does this, but they do exist.  Starting this year that will no longer be an option.  If parents want their child to attend Kindergarten they must do so in the year they turn 5.  No exceptions.  If they opt not to send them to kindergarten then then must start in 1st grade the following year.

Starting school at such an early age is not appropriate for every child, especially those that have not yet developed the impulse control to be a part of academic learning environment.

What are your thoughts?  Do you agree with the DOE?  Should kids start kindergarten at age 5?


	

Subtract vs. Minus–The Language of Math

Success!

Here's an equation:  8-2=6

Conventionally we would say, "Eight minus two equals six."

Is it incorrect to say "Eight subtract two equals six?"
My son said the latter at school, as I have done while working with him, and was told that it is incorrect by his teacher.
Is it?  Is it also wrong to say "Eight add two equals ten"?  Are the words minus/subtract or add/plus interchangeable when we read equations or is it wrong to say anything but plus or minus?
I posed that question to a math discussion group and got a range of responses.  Some people said that it's grammatically incorrect to say subtract because it's a verb and minus is not and there is already one verb, equals, in the sentence.
Others said that either is correct but subtract is more precise and that mathematical expressions don't have to conform to english grammatical structure.  It was quite a lively debate.
The clearest most concise response I received came from Alison Coates of the Middle School Mathematics Institute.  Here's what she had to say:

Perhaps this is a quibble, but math is not easily discussed in lay language properly.   That is the reason we use symbols for math: the symbols of math are the "language" of math, and our collective unwillingness in the US to prepare students for symbolic manipulation is a big reason that they have more and more errors, until their errors in reasoning swamp truth.

Without any verbalization, 8 - 2 = 6 is precise, succinct, and correct. It is distinct from 2 - 8 = -6.

It is only when we try to verbalize this that we get into trouble.

There are a couple related issues here worth teasing out:

1. We should teach children to "read" the above equation as a transliteration of the symbols, so someone on hearing the verbalization of the equation writes down the correct one.

In English, we verbalize the above as "eight minus 2 equals 6".  While we may wish to discuss or explain sums, differences, etc., in the end, a student must know how to name these symbols properly so they can write down the appropriate expression correctly without confusion.  That symbol is a minus (sign), and + is a plus (sign). We read 3 x 4 = 12 as "three times four equals 12."  This is separate from how we converse about these concepts.

2.  Precision matters.  The problem with various English expressions and their inexactness as a substitute for mathematical precision is often only seen over time, far too late to fix misconceptions.

I have met many 7th graders who do not know decimals are fractions.  They have never been told "a decimal is a fraction with a power of ten as the denominator".  They almost always, to a one, verbalize the symbol 4.56 as "four point five six".  They have no idea that .56 is the fraction fifty-six hundredths.  Being forced to say it properly until absolute demonstration of mastery of place value in decimals and of recognition of decimal as fraction is critical.

Likewise, I have met many second graders who can not solve, “Anne has two more cars than her brother Charlie.  Anne has 8.  How many does Charlie have?” because they have been taught that subtract is "take away".  But there is nothing here being taken away in their view.

I'm sure most members here have thoroughly hashed out the errors in "a fraction is a part of a whole"--and you may think this is a different kind of language error, but to most teachers, it isn't.  If you as a teacher are afraid to introduce the definitions of equality or commutative properties, you aren't going to be comfortable with a fraction defined on a number line precisely.  (For those who don't know what's wrong with "a fraction is part of a whole", incredibly short answer: it leads student to think that all fractions are less than 1.  Because how can more than a whole be part of a whole?   What's 9/8--what's the part, what's the whole?   Most students will answer "it's really 1 1/8", and they think only 1/8 is the fraction.)

My "favorite" example of how misuse of language completely ruins a child's understanding of math is of a 6 yr old girl in a (nominally?) Montessori program who was bringing home page after page of 3 digit by 3 digit vertical algorithm addition problems, and doing them correctly.  But then her mother asked her to solve (horizontally) 9 + 2 = ?

and she said (yes, direct quote): "Eleven, but the answer can't be greater than 9."

She could explain place value exchanges at "the bead store", and she could compute with carrying correctly, but when the teacher taught her about adding, the teacher failed to distinguish between *we only have 10 digits to write with" and "the total number of allowed objects can never be greater than nine".

So the girl went about adding e.g.

372

+159

correctly

and simultaneously thought 9 + 2 = 11 was illegal.

Getting these details right for a child is difficult work, but they matter very much.

 

Allison Coates

Middle School Mathematics Institute

www.msmi-mn.org

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

Hunter Announces SB5 Cut Score Today

The following message was posted on Hunter's website today:

This year's modified Stanford-Binet V testing for Kindergarten 2012 admissions has concluded. The eligibility score for progression to Round 2 (on-site assessment) has been set at a Sum of Scaled Scores (SSS) of 148.

Letters will be mailed on December 19th informing eligible families of their appointments for Round 2.

Congratulations to everyone going on to the 2nd round!

Update on School Bus Strike

© Todd Klassy

After the Mayor's press conference last Friday and Chancellor Walcott's letter home warning 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", parents are left wondering what will happen with school bus transportation.

Leonie Haimson over at NYC Public School Parents blog has an excellent article giving us some background as to how this situation came to be.

Key points:

-       at issue is inclusion of employment protection provisions (EPP) in contracts for school bus drivers

-       the Doe always maintained that contracts had to have the EPP provision which required the winning bidder to keep the drivers from the incumbent according to seniority.  The rationale was that without EPP the union would strike

-       In July, however, the city made an about-face, asking Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to veto a bill it had helped develop that would have extended the protections to bus contracts for preschool students who receive special education services

-       Mr. Cuomo did just that in September, citing a decision by the State Court of Appeals that including such protections drives up cost and drives away competition

-       The protections are part of the contracts, which expire in December 2012, that govern the transportation of about 138,000 students from kindergarten through 12th grade.  The new request for proposals that went out on Friday, after the Mayor's press conference, do not include the provision.

According to the New York Times, “Most of the students who would be affected by the strike live in Brooklyn and Queens, some of them outside the city’s public transportation grid. About 102,000 of them are in elementary school; of those, approximately 30,000 have special needs, and some of them require specific travel accommodations, limited travel time and door-to-door service.”

Parents to Improve School Transportation support an EPP in school bus contracts. In their statement, "An Employee Protection Provision is something parents support because we want trained, experienced and decently paid workers handling the youngest children with disabilities.  This EPP has been in the K-12 contracts since 1979; it didn't cover pre-K only because pre-K wasn't universal at the time.  This summer, both houses in Albany passed a bill to extend EPP to pre-Kindergarten and Early Intervention busing, but Cuomo vetoed it at Bloomberg's request."

Here is a statement from the school bus union ATU Local 1181 President Michael Cordiello.

See complete article here.