Update on Prek for fall 2016

Update on Prek for fall 2016

Public prek application season has started. Applications can be submitted online from 1/25 through 3/4 as well as in person or by phone. This is NOT a first come, first served process (it is crazy how that rumor persists). You are placed in early to mid May and then you are automatically placed on a wait list for any school that you ranked higher than the school you are placed in. There may be some new programs added during the late spring and you can apply to them in Round 2 (May2-20).

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Applying for Elementary School: Chapter 3, Rich Man - Poor Man

Applying for Elementary School: Chapter 3, Rich Man - Poor Man

I hear parents talk with great certainty about how you need to find a school with a rich PTA to get arts, staff and other untold benefits. Schools, please tell me that I am wrong, but that is not what I see on many tours. What you need is a savvy and thoughtful Principal who will attract a staff that can multi task, including grant writing to bring the programs that they need. Now this is not a blog meant to excuse gross inequities in the system and the fact that public school educators have to be superior grant writers to bring basic arts and enrichments to their schools is appalling. BUT parents who think that you can only get the 'good stuff' at a 'rich school' can be shockingly misinformed. This is a valentine to the schools serving the kids who are not coming from affluent homes, who have done amazing things.

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new middle school talk!

Due to popular demand, I have developed a new middle school talk to be given on Thurs. June 25 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.

Tickets are $30 and available here.

2015 prek round up

2015 prek round up

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.

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brooklyn arbor, ps 414 in Williamsburg

I had a great interview yesterday with Eva Irizarry, the new Principal of Brooklyn Arbor, a public school program. The school, which will be also be known as PS 414, will be opening a kindergarten, first and second grade in the PS 19 building in the fall of 2012. PS 19's upper grades will be phasing out in the next couple years and new children entering the building will be attending Brooklyn Arbor. Zoned families can all be served at the school, but the zone also contains PS 319 and some zoned families choose to begin there at K. PS 19 was in its first year of a Magnet Grant. It looks as though the Grant, whose theme is "Global and Ethical Studies" may be split between PS 19 and Brooklyn Arbor. That is being confirmed shortly. The application period for in zone families will be extended to 3/16 for kindergarten, but there are many, many seats available for families from outside of zone and when approved shortly, magnet applications will be available for those families. Those applications can be made throughout the spring. They are having their first meet and greet at the Williamsburg Library 240 Division Ave. at Marcy Ave. on Friday 3/9 at 4:30. To confirm: info@brooklynarbor.org or 718-935-3597 They will be scheduling more info sessions and are looking for interested parents and venues to spread the word.
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PS 110 in Greenpoint

PS 110 in Greenpoint is a great school.

  • an experienced and gifted principal who has been a teacher in the school for decades. She fosters collaboration with her talented staff and is very receptive to parents.
  • a beautiful new yard and computer lab
  • an energetic and creative science teacher who loves her subject and translates it to the kids. The first day they play with the materials to get familiar with them and guess what they may be about. The next day they start to work with the FOSS curriculum.
  • a long standing partnership with Mcgolrick Park where the students do planting and supplement their science curriculum.
  • music teacher who starts teaching with recorders, then the kids move to Music and the Brain on keyboards and then guitars
  • great dance program that includes ballroom dance, African dancing and drumming, Mark Morris and square dance
  • integrated art in the classrooms and a partnership with VTS (Visual Thinking Strategies) which used fine art to teach critical thinking skills
  • a new dual language French program starting in 2011 (4/29/11 - PS 110 has found a French teacher but there were not enough fluent French speakers to create a dual language classroom. They are currently working on making it a French enrichment)

What are you waiting for! There is a school tour scheduled for Mon. May 2 at 9am.

There may still be spots open for kindergarten. Head on over for pre-register before April 15, but if are interested after that, just call the school 718-383-7600 


PS 196 in East Williamsburg

Usually you look for three things in a school; a visionary principal who is also a good manager, a team of teachers who are working together, helping each other and the principal to achieve their goals, and an active parent community who can bring their sweat equity and/or fundraising to support lots of interesting programs in the school. In many schools that are doing a good job you find that two of the areas are well developed and a third could use some help. Every school has its own story, and I challenge you to have a say in this one!
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International School of Brooklyn and Dual Language at PS 84

It is a big news day for you language immersion and dual language fans!
The International School of Brooklyn which is an independent school , (currently nursery through 3rd grade) has a language immersion program in Spanish and French is moving to a big new location. They will be moving their whole school to a former Catholic School building in Carroll Gardens next year. The new location will triple their current space and allow them to launch their middle school in 2012. They anticipate almost doubling their enrollment for the 2010 school year.

Are you interested in Dual Language Spanish or Dual Language French in a public school?
Check out PS 84 in Williamsburg. Not only do they have a new principal, Jake Hobson, they have just announced that next year they will be rolling out a new dual language French program to join their Spanish program. A large number of local families have been working to organize this program over the last year.

They will have a meeting for parents on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 6pm at the school (wine and cheese courtesy of the French Embassy).

They will also be screening a French cartoon + snacks on Sat. Oct. 24 at 11am. Bring the kids and tell your friends to show local support for this great new neighborhood program. Everyone is welcome.
RSVP frenchinwillburg@gmail.com

Ethical Community Charter School

Hurray! another new school for Brooklyn! I just spoke to Dr. Susan Stengel the Director of the Ethical Community Charter School. Their location should be announced shortly, but since their lottery is coming up soon (the first week in April) you should put in your application now. Registering for their lottery doesn't keep you from any of your other choice schools, it just gives you one more choice, and who knows it may be right around the corner.

They are ultimately going to be K to 12, but next year they will be accepting 60 Kindergarteners and 60 first graders for 3 classes on a grade. Ethics, service and social justice are the principles that will inform the school life. Their educational model is progressive, inquiry and active learning, with an interdisciplinary subject matter. They are dedicated to creating a vital home and school connection with an "open door" policy for parents. Integrated arts and differentiated instruction are part of the school's vision.
Use this link for more admissions information.
Their website is www.teccs-ny.org

More about the Park Slope Schoolhouse from Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn.