Due to popular demand, I have developed a new middle school talk to be given on Wed. June 3 at 7pm at Hootenanny Art House in the south slope. It is not location specific, so whether you are in D15 or any of the surrounding districts you will take away valuable information about how the process works and how to think about the middle years in general. My goal is to untangle the spaghetti of information and see the glass half full (which it is) instead of being fearful and anxiety ridden, which never ever helped anyone get a middle school placement.
There are a lot of freaked out 11 year olds out there. This middle school 'choice process' is not kind. The kids that got their heart's desire are relieved, but it is hard to be happy when your friends are not. There are some kids who got great placements but it was not the one they wanted or where their friends are going and there are kids who are headed into the unknown (or even worse - the unpopular known) and that is scarey for everyone. I know that you all feel at the mercy of this process and that your children are being tortured by an unfeeling algorithm. You have a case.
I do think that there is a very significant thing that we, as parents, can do.Read More
The unofficial word is that fewer zoned schools than last year have in-zone wait lists. We are waiting to hear who they are. If you were not placed in your zoned school (and you wanted to be), let me know.Read More
You have until Fri. April 24 to apply for Universal Prek.
You can apply online here or at a Family Welcome Center or by phone 718-935-2067
You can find the Prek Directories here but there are also Updated Directories with many new seats available.
I have listed some notable changes below. This is not a comprehensive guide. You need to scour the lists for yourself.
Thank you to the PTA of PS 124 for this notice!
As many of you know, Governor Cuomo has proposed major changes to teacher evaluations in New York State. We want to make sure to inform you as to the changes this law could bring to your local school – and to your teachers – if it passes.
This blog was specifically written in response to families asking me about prek and k admissions which have a geographic priority that factors into placement.
Your chances of getting into a school are NOT tied to how you rank them. RANK THE SCHOOLS IN THE ORDER THAT YOU LIKE THEM. You will not be disadvantaged by putting a long shot first or by putting your favored zoned school last.Read More
New school alert. We knew it was coming- the beautiful new building on E. 8th St. between Kermit and Caton is almost done. PS 130 has been rezoned and "split-sited" and will be occupying part of the building. MS 839, a small school (300 students when they are at capacity in 3 years) will be opening in the fall. If you are interested, sign up for email alerts on their website. All District 15 5th graders can apply by asking for a "New School Application form" from your school. That application is separate from your main application. If you receive an offer to MS 839, you will still have your main round middle school offer and you choose between the two. A little more school information here. Can't wait to learn more!Read More
The dates and new procedures have been announced for the public prek process. Submit one application for prek in public schools as well as Community Based Early Childhood Centers (CBECC) between March 16 -April 24.Read More
- DoE programs (zoned, un-zoned, out of zone)
- Charter schools
- Gifted and Talented programs
You will be applying to these programs in 3 different ways.
My daughter, Libby, is graduating from Bowdoin College with a coordinate major in Environmental Studies and Sociology. She has a passion for maps, geography and urban planning and she likes a challenge. It is her dream to bike across the US this summer. As her parents, we are so proud of her and scared out of our gourds (trucks, cliffs, bad brakes). But as a former hobos and enthusiastic world travelers we have to put all that aside and support her fantastic adventure.
She has found a wonderful group, Bike the US for MS. She is taking the North tier from Bar Harbor, across New England through the Midwest to Montana and Seattle. She is an experienced treker and has done the NYC to Montreal, Albany to Cape Cod and Pittsburgh to DC trails. Bike the US for MS organizes cross country bike trips that raise awareness for multiple sclerosis, research & volunteer for patients. Many cyclists come to this program for the ride but become passionately involved with the cause. To participate she needs to raise $1 per mile - that is $4295 before the early spring.
Since we are in the midst of final (double) college payments and the fundraising is as much of a challenge as the continental divide, we are hoping to assist in her crowd sourcing.
If you can support this amazing cause and dream
Donations (which can be anonymous) can be made online here (please make sure to donate in Libby Szuflita's name)
I have heard too much distress from parents in the wind and now I just have to weigh in. It seems like so many people are unhappy about the fact that there are too few "good middle school options".
I have to ask. Do you mean schools with high test scores?
If you are clinging to the safety of high test scores, then you are empowering the tests and you will be supporting that culture; the stress, the prep, the high stakes and anxiety. Live by the sword, die by the sword.
If it is not high test scores, what makes a good school?
It was business as usual at Brooklyn Tech today; crowded, noisy and hot hot hot! It was also awesome. Thanks SO much to the wonderful educators, students, school security officers and DoE Enrollment officials (and my husband who is a school search widower)! I know a lot of you are now freaked out and just plain tired, but I feel very optimistic and energized!
Here are some take-aways:
If you don't live in Williamsburg/Greenpoint you may not know about Town Square (don't stop reading if you live in another neighborhood!!), but I wish every neighborhood had an organization like them! Civic minded, community building, information AND pure fun creators.
There are two events that you NEED to know about no matter where you live:
I asked newsletter readers to send me their favorite nonfiction history book suggestions and I would pick my favorite to add to my night stand pile. They would receive a copy of Uncle Sam Presents: The Great American Documents Vol. 1
Here is a list of suggestions from my readers:
- Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350-550 AD by Peter Brown (fascinating look at the dichotomy between the wealth of the church that espouses virtues of poverty)
- To Be a Slave by Julius Lester (a riveting book for teens)
- River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey by Candice Millard (Teddy Roosevelt should win the prize as not only our most interesting President, but our nation's most energetic and compelling citizen)
Thanks to all who entered! I think that I am going with "Through the Eye of the Needle". We were in Rome last fall and this is a compelling subject that I have never read about before.