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

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!

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?


	

Hunter College Elementary School Application Available

The Application for 2013 kindergarten admission to Hunter College Elementary School (HCES) is available today.  For the first time HCES is using an online only application.

A lot of people are curious about this school so we got a Hunter parent to weigh in.

Facts

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.

Fiction

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.


	

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!