If you are getting ready to apply to Private Elementary School (Independent, Parochial or Proprietary) for kindergarten this fall, you may be confused about what kind of testing your child may be doing. The answer to this is you are just going to have to read the application instructions at every school you are applying to in the fall. Each of them will be doing their own thing.
The one big thing that is changing in the HS admissions procedure for the fall 2014 admissions season is that 2%ers (students who score in the top 2% state wide on the 7th grade ELA test) will no longer be given a guaranteed entry to an Ed Opt program. In the past if you were a 2%er and you listed an Ed Opt program as your number one choice, it was a GUARANTEED entry. Sorry, no longer.
Now there are NO guarantees of any placement in the entire Doe admissions process from prek to high school. Oh well, that's life in the big city.
Last night the D15 CEC (Community Education Council) held a meeting at PS 130 in Kensington to begin the process of community education and review. The topic was possible rezoning to relieve overcrowding in the surrounding school zones (154, 130, 131 essentially) and to determine what the heck is going to happen with mystery sparkle school on E.8th between Kermit and Caton.
It was a very crowded with neighbors and parents from Windsor Terrace and Kensington. The CEC invited Carrie Marlin, Director of Planning for Brooklyn Schools, and City Council-person Brad Lander, to speak along with Anita Skop District 15 Superintendent and members of the community. Here's the deal:
I love history. As a child, I memorized the Presidents in order, forwards and backwards as I walked to school. I would leave my husband in a heartbeat if David McCullough would just gave me a chance. So I was thrilled when "Uncle Sam presents The Great American Documents Vol. 1 1620-1830" arrived in my mailbox.
I call the beautiful new school building that is going up on E.8th between Kermit and Caton in Kensington "Mystery Sparkle School" because that new construction is always so gorgeous (and they change the numbers). PS 437 is a "working title".
There are some interesting doings down there and a promising proposed plan is surfacing. This may impact (in a good way - relieving overcrowding, providing improved additional facilities and maybe more spots for prek among other interesting benefits...) the PS 130 community among others.
If you live in Kensington or Windsor Terrace, you definitely have a stake in this decision. There is going to be a meeting with the District 15 Community Education Council this coming Tues. July 15, 2014 at 6:30pm at PS 130, 70 Ocean Parkway. They will be discussing possible zoning changes as well as proposed plans for the Sparkle School.
"you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need..." I am beginning to think that is a song about parenting - I can't stop quoting it to families.
I finally met Sarah Birnbaum, NY Special Needs Support, in person this morning. If you have a child who "will do well anywhere" you can stop reading. You are good to go. This blog is for the parents of "quirky" kids, kids with learning differences, kids who require a specific environment, and for parents who need to find someone who understands and can help. Sarah is the missing link for those families. She is your translator, interface, the truth teller (whether you are ready to hear or not), and your fierce advocate.
There have been a lot of changes for Catholic schools in Brooklyn over the last couple of years. They are moving away from parish schools and becoming Catholic Academies. This is a new management structure. An Academy will have a Board of Directors made up of community members, business people and educators. The Parish priests do have a significant role, but it is not as central as before. The principal and teachers will be hired brand new and the Academy has more of an outward reach than a parish institution.
At the end of a very thoughtful article in Brooklyn Magazine about Louis C.K. as concerned elementary school parent and the problems with NYC testing culture (their site is down, I will link when it comes up), all of which I passionately agree, I read this sentence,
"Middle schools do look at report cards when evaluating fifth-graders, however, much like with the SATs, test scores are notoriously heavily weighted."
Sounds of screeching tires and broken glass.
It is just not true, at least not in my corner of the world.
"On top of all the stress of placement, isn't it hard for the kids to leave their old friends to go to a new middle school?" I get this a lot from the parents of young children, especially when those parents have loved their own experience growing up with the same people in each school. It is also often the case that their kids #1 requirement for their new middle school is that it is the one their friends are attending. What I find often is that there are unrecognized benefits to a shake up.