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!
A lot of people are curious about this school so we got a Hunter parent to weigh in.
Hunter College Elementary School is a public elementary school
Despite being a publicly funded, tuition free school HCES is NOT part of the NYC Department of Education and is therefore not subject to DOE rules. Like all public schools, HCES does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, or disability. Admission is for students who reside in Manhattan only.
HCES is for gifted students
HCES is a coed laboratory school that serves children in grades K through 6 who have been identified as intellectually gifted by Hunter's admission process.
Admission is based on a test
There are actually 2 rounds of assessment for admission to Hunter. In the first round students are administered a modified version of the Stanford-Binet exam by one of Hunter's approved testers. Round 1 starts after parents submit an online application, available today. Test scores are sent to parents and to the school. In December the eligibility score for Round 2 is determined. Children who score at or above this score will be invited to the Round 2 on-site assessment. Please see the HCES admissions website for detailed information about the process.
HCES is basically a free private school
No, it's not. HCES is publicly funded, chartered by the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York and administered by Hunter College. Some of the extra trappings parents might expect at private schools are not at Hunter. What the school offers is a challenging, innovative curriculum that emphasizes critical and creative thinking for students who are self-motivated, independent and inventive learners.
Students are subjected to standardized tests like all other public schools
Standardized tests are a fact of life at Hunter just like other public schools. However, the test students take, the CTP, is used to guide instruction and not to rate teachers and/or the school itself. Hunter is not a part of the DOE so it does not administer NY State standardized tests and is not subject to ‘No Child Left Behind’ or any other NY state education mandates.
Many people enter the Hunter application process thinking they don’t stand a chance and are pleasantly surprised when their child is offered a spot. If you are a Manhattan resident and think this school might be a good fit for your child I urge you to go through the application process but be prepared for any outcome.
Applications for 2013 are available today. Hey, you never know.
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!
An email on one of my parent listserves a few weeks ago said "Help! Confused about the K admissions process." This is not uncommon feeling at this time of year as many parents are knee deep in the private school applications process. However, many are surprised to hear that, with the exception of Hunter and G&T programs, the public school application process doesn't happen until the beginning of the next year, long after the private school process has ended.
The public elementary admissions timeline for 2012 is:
|January 9, 2012 – March 2, 2012||Kindergarten Application Period|
|March 19, 2012 – March 23, 2012||Families Notified About Assignment Offers|
|March 26, 2012 – April 20, 2012||Offer Acceptance Period|
Recently, Scott Stringer, Manhattan's Borough President, has undertaken an initiative to help simplify the kindergarten admission process, something near and dear to all New York City parents. Nothing casues more anxiety to NYC parents than where to send their child(ren) to kindergarten and how to go about getting in and registering. In a letter to School Chancellor, Dennis Walcott, Mr. Stringer provides suggestions about how to simplify the process for both families and schools. These include adjusting admissions timelines to eliminate waitlists, automating admissions, standardizing applications and offering school directories tailored to each district.
Full story and copy of letter can be found at Gotham Schools, here.
We want to hear your comments. Tell us your suggestions on how to make the process better for all involved below in our comments section.
'Tis the Season...the school application season...and everyone is talking about schools -- at the playground, on anonymous online message boards, at the supermarket-- but are you talking to the right people and are you getting the right information?
- How do you know what the right school is? What do you really need to know about tours, play dates, thank you notes, lottery schools, testing, etc.?
- Financial aid for private schools – is it real?
We have done the research for you and have put together a group of parent experts from the schools that you want to attend, who are ready to share their experiences. Let’s Talk Schools is having a social mixer, to provide parents applying to schools an opportunity to connect with other parents in an informal setting to 'talk schools’ with each other.
Come mix and mingle at our School Information Speed Date Night with parents that will give you the real, unedited scoop on schools and answer your questions live, one-on- one. Our Parent Experts have knowledge of ongoing schools*, experience of successfully completing the application process and they don’t mind talking about schools all night long!
Come join our conversation.
*Schools represented include the following:-
- Fieldston Lower / Dalton / Trevor Day / Riverdale Country /
- Bank Street / Columbia Grammar & Prep / St Hilda’s and St Hughe’s / Spence
- NEST+m / PS 166 G&T / Hunter /PS 180 /Manhattan School for Children / Ascension
- New York French-American Charter School / Upper Westside Success Academy
- Weekday Preschool / Claremont (now MontClare) / Twin Parks Schools – Riverside, Central Park and Park West Montessori
HCES had originally set January 28, 29, 30, 31 as the days that parents should save for Round 2 onsite assessment. Round 2 sessions will now be held on the weekends of January 21/22 and 28/29.
If you have a child that scores high enough on the modified Stanford-Binet V test that HCES uses to screen applicants during Round 1 of the application process, (in recent years the cut off has ranged from 143 to 149) such that the child MAY be invited to Round 2, please take note of this change.
Families with an unchangeable conflict on January 21/22, including scheduled DOE Gifted and Talented (G&T) OLSAT testing, should send an email to HCESAdmit@hccs.hunter.cuny.edu noting the conflict. HCES will not take special requests for appointment times, but will ensure that all qualified children are able to attend a Round 2 assessment session.
Also note, the deadline to apply to HCES is this Friday, November 4, 2011. Hunter is accepting applications from children who are born in 2007 and reside in Manhattan only.