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Monday
Apr212014

disappointed!

Seems like the Kindergarten Connect notification is coming out today. This is what I expect to hear a lot of -

"I put down 15 choices! My zoned school was my last choice! I got my zoned school! "Choice" is not choice! Everybody and everything s#@*ks!"

This is exactly what I anticipated. Give yourself a moment to be disappointed, but then move on. Your hopes seemed to be dashed in an instant. What you need to understand is that this is how this system works for most people and you need to be patient for it to work for you. This is the starting pistol in a marathon. It is too early to freak. This is the baseline.

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Friday
Apr042014

g&t info arriving this weekend

check your inbox.
It seems that G&T scores are coming out shortly. If you don't get your score by April 7, contact them.

"Score reports and eligibility letters for the 2014-2015 school year were sent to families in early April. If you do not receive your child’s results by April 7th, please call 718-935-2009 for assistance."

I have reports that if you have a pin that you may be able to access the scores online. The Doe has announced the deadline to apply for a G&T seat is April 21.

Schools are listing tours for next week and beyond here and on their websites. Depending on the school, you may need to register for the tour.

Wednesday
Apr022014

"woohoo! PreK Expansion Guide"

That was a direct quote from me from 5 min. ago!
Find new seats here! woohoo!

Deadline to apply is April 23.

Apply for public prek here.

Wednesday
Apr022014

interesting new programs pop up like flowers in the spring

New magnet programs!
Parents are often confused about what "magnet" means in NYC.

Magnet programs are designed to foster racial integration. They receive federal or state funding for special programs (such as art, drama or law) to make the school attractive to children of different races who might not otherwise attend, and they admit children from outside their immediate neighborhood. - from InsideSchools.org

PS 46 Magnet Schl of Communications and Media Arts, District 13 (Fort Greene) they also have an existing DL Spanish program
PS 54, District 13
(Bed-Stuy) they also an existing have DL Spanish program
PS 307
Magnet Schl for STEM Studies, D 13 (Vinegar Hill) they also have and existing DL Mandarin program

PS 250 Magnet Schl for Communications and Media Arts, D14 (Williamsburg)
PS 257 D14 (Williamsburg)
PS 380 D14 (Williamsburg)
PS 414 Magnet Schl for Global and Ethical Studies, D14 (Williamsburg) they also have an existing DL Spanish program

PS 15 Magnet Schl for the Arts, D15 (Red Hook) they also have an existing DL Spanish program

New Dual Language programs!

Dual-language immersion programs have classes in which half the students are native speakers of English, and half speak another language (Spanish, Chinese or French, for example). Classes are taught in each language on alternative days or weeks, and the children are expected to become fluent in both. [Non English-speakers may also want to consider bilingual or English as a Second Language classes. These are designed to teach children English but do not attempt to help them perfect their native languages. - from InsideSchools.org

PS 3 in District 13 (Bed-Stuy) DL French and DL Spanish
PS 20 in D13 (Fort Greene) DL French

PS 147 in D14 (East Williamsburg) may have a DL Japanese program (talk to the school for more info)- also interesting school wide theme in "Environmental Engineering"
PS 196 in D14 (East Williamsburg) may have a DL program in 2014 (keep in contact with the school for late breaking info)

PS 124 in D15 (South Slope) DL Spanish
PS 516 Sunset Park Avenues (Sunset Park) new school, with DL Spanish

If I have missed any (I wasn't listing DL programs that are already established), please let me know!
If you are interested in any of these programs and you didn't list them on your Kindergarten Connect app, it couldn't hurt to contact the school (and stay in touch) throughout the spring. If seats are available into the summer and fall, they may be happy to hear from you.

 

Thursday
Mar202014

yes Virginia, there is a method to this ranking madness

I keep having to answer this question over and over, infinitely, every year. Please parents and principals, can you read this?

Q: I've been on tours at 2 popular schools and both warned, if you want to get into this school, you better rank it #1! So, which do i put first?

A: I am asked about this, prek through hs - the schools have NO idea how this matching process works. They are trying to be helpful and when they are very popular, they assume that you need to put their school first to be considered. They never see your application, they don't know how you have ranked them, and they have absolutely NO say in this blind process. They assume, like most people that there is some priority given to first choice over second choice. There isn't.

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Thursday
Mar062014

#1 most asked prek question

Q: if I put my zoned school at the end of my ranked prek application list, will I have less of a chance to gain entry than my neighbor, who ranks it #1?

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Thursday
Mar062014

i owe my soul to the company store (I mean College Board)

I am so glad the College Board is being forced to reconsider the SAT because they finally have some competition in the college testing market. I resent their monopoly and the fact I have paid hundreds (thousands?) of dollars to them because there was virtually no other game in town. I don't begrudge them my money for a valuable service, but when that service is warped from a helpful assessment to a huge cash cow that is leading the admissions process rather than supporting it, I object.

This is times-two for twins over a 6 year period:
I have paid them for PSATs, multiple SATs, and SAT 2 times several subjects. I am not even going to mention the books for each SAT, SAT 2, and AP class. I have paid them to send all these multiple test results to 10 schools per kid (we were conservative in the number of schools that the kids applied to - many people are now doing many more).
I have paid $86 per AP test for 5 tests times two kids (and to send all of these scores to the 10 schools each kid applied to)- which, because of top scores may have helped a tiny bit in admissions but didn't yield a single credit in their highly selective private colleges which appear never to take AP scores. I pay iDOC every year to record my tax returns to these schools so that I can apply for financial aid. I am not even adding in my time spent on traveling to the myriad of tests, scheduling and working my way through their system, or the hours and days of childhood wasted. What a racket!

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Thursday
Feb272014

the NEW!! prek directory 2014-15

Are you as excited as I am?! I am not being sarcastic - this stuff makes me Geek Out! I do love the DoE's publications and they keep giving us more and more useful information each year. Big doings this year!! They have cleaned up the priority catagories and they have given us the lowest priority catagory that was accepted into each school as a listing in the directory. This goes a long way to help moderate expectations. If you have to wait to hear about a placement until after Memorial Day, at least you aren't flying totally blind.

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Thursday
Feb202014

2014 High School Letter Day

Letter Day is fast approaching ("oh no!" and "thank God!")

High School Letter Day is scheduled for Mon. 3/10 on the DoE's calendar which is a little weird because they don't usually do placement announcements on a Mon. I have heard an unconfirmed rumor that it may actually be moved to Fri. 2/28 (don't tell your kids, just clear your schedule that afternoon, just in case). We probably won't know for sure until very shortly before the date.

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Monday
Feb032014

kindergarten connect: questions answered

#1.  How does the wait list work?

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