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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Applying for Elementary School: Chapter 2, How Can We Rank If We Don't Know What to Look for?

Applying for Elementary School: Chapter 2, How Can We Rank If We Don't Know What to Look for?

First, watch InsideSchools wonderful 5 min. video a couple of times (and send this amazing 'not for profit' a check for the invaluable work they do before the end of the year - you are going to need them for years to come).

Next, ask yourself this question: If I am attracted to schools that are focused on real learning instead of test prep and opting out of the test is something that I could see myself doing (to protect my child from the stress or as a political act), how much importance do I place on the test scores at any school I am considering? Just asking.

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high school fair report

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:

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getting a school tour from a student

You must watch this video before you tour. That is your homework.

Once you have an idea about what you might want to be looking for you can contact the school; call the school's parent coordinator or front office, or check their website for a tour date. Take notes in the introductory talk about the school's programs, partnerships, educational focus, afterschool etc. Then you will all probably break up into groups to travel around the building and peek into the classrooms. Usually there will be a school administrator or parent who is leading the tours and sometime if you are lucky there will be a collection of 5th graders who will be there to answer questions as well.

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specialized high school open houses snowed out

rIn anticipation of inclement weather conditions, the New York City Department of Education has postponed the Specialized High School Open Houses scheduled for Wednesday, February 10, 2010.  These open houses have been rescheduled for Monday, February 22, 2010 and will take place at the same times and in the same locations as originally scheduled.

The open houses that have been postponed from Wednesday, February 10, 2010 to Monday, February 22, 2010 are as follows:

The Brooklyn Latin School – 325 Bushwick Avenue, Brooklyn: 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Brooklyn Technical High School – 29 Fort Greene Place, Brooklyn: 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Staten Island Technical High School – 485 Clawson Street, Staten Island:  Session I (for students with last names A-L):  6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Staten Island Technical High School – 485 Clawson Street, Staten Island:  Session II (for students with last names M-Z):  7:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Stuyvesant High School – 345 Chambers Street, Manhattan:  5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
The Specialized High School Open Houses on February 9 (Bronx Science; Math, Science and Engineering at City College; Queens HS for the Sciences at York and American Studies at Lehman) and February 11 (LaGuardia) will be held as scheduled.

Students are encouraged to attend the Open House at any specialized school to which they have received an offer. 

For a list of all Specialized High School open houses, please see the DOE website. If you have any questions, you may contact the Office of Student Enrollment at HS_Enrollment@schools.nyc.gov or (718) 935-2399.


sign up for kindergarten and prek tours

Some schools have begun their tours and a few January tours are already full but you still have plenty of time to see as many schools as you wish before you need to register for the prek lottery or pre-apply to kindergarten.

First, find out if there is a school website for the school that you are interested in. Often tours are listed on the websites with links to RSVP. If the school doesn't have a website or the tour dates are not listed you should call the school. Ask for the Parent Coordinator to get the information and register for the tour. Schools that are highly sought after often have limits on how many parents can tour at a time, because it can be distruptive for the classrooms. Not all schools require this and if you have trouble reaching the PC ask the school secretary that answers the phone. She may say, "they are held every week (on such and such a day) at 9am. Just show up."

I will talk in the next couple of weeks about what to look for on a tour. Watch this space! I am also giving my "Intro to Public School: PreK and Kindergarten" talks at the end of the month. Click here for info and to sign up online.

More Middle School Information

Bay Academy has closed admissions to students outside of District 21 for 2009.
Mark Twain is still open to students from all over Brooklyn.

There were rumors about MS 447, The Math and Science Exploratory School in District 15. Everything is the same there. If you live in District 15 you may apply. If you attend a District 15 elementary and live outside of the District, you are entitled to an application (in District 15 or your home District, but not both) If you attend private school and live in District 15 you may apply.
They are having their first open house on Sat. Nov. 8 at 9am. Daytime tour schedules will be announced later.

There is also the new 6-12 Brooklyn Prospect Charter School that is open to 88 students who reside in District 15 only.

Newsletter #1, Sept. 2, 2008

To sign up for the newsletter: joyce@nycschoolhelp.com
This newsletter is meant to be a tool to supplement your school search. All dates, deadlines, times and places need to be confirmed with the sponsoring organization or school. From time to time, human error does occur despite my best efforts. If you are interested in a particular school, contact them. You don’t need to wait for me to announce them. Happy Hunting.

NYC School Help
Register for the Public High School Search Workshop. Joyce@nycschoolhelp.com
$120 for Adults 3-sessions. $60 for Students 3-sessions.
The Park Slope Workshop will be held at Sweet Melissa’s on 7th Ave. between 1st/2nd St.
Can’t make it on my dates? Gather some friends who want to join you- call me and we will set up your own private workshop.

Private or Group Consultations to help with the school search Nursery through High School, Private and Public
Call Joyce Szuflita 718-781-1928

Public School Calendar for Sept:
2-Tues.: school begins; early dismissal for non-district 75 kindergarten only
3-Wed.: early dismissal for non-district 75 kindergarten only
30 and Oct. 1-Tues./Wed.: Rosh Hashanah, no school

Parents - Elementary to HS Students:
Citywide Education Hotline: 212-669-7250 (sponsored by Public Advocate, Betsy Gotbaum)
Education Expo: Info about after school programs, arts enrichment, charter schools, tutoring and other programs.
FREE, Sat. Sept. 27, noon-4pm; NYU Kimmel Center, Rosenthal Pavilion 60 Washington Sq. South, 10th Floor; RSVP@linkeducation.org or www.linkeducation.org
The 11th Annual Citywide Parent Conference: Strengthening the Home-School Partnership
FREE, Sat. Nov. 8, 2008; 8am -2:30pm; Hilton New York
For more info: 212-598-9205 or www.uft.org/parentconf.pdf

I have heard about a free website (although I haven’t tried it yet) to coordinate volunteers for field trips, book fair etc.

New School Alert:
Green Hill School (Ft. Greene/Clinton Hill) is an independent school accepting applications for kindergarten in the 2008 school year
The Brooklyn Brownstone School (Bed-Stuy) opens in District 16 this fall with 80 kindergarten and first grade students. It is a public school open to all NYC residents. They are looking for low bookshelves, gently used early childhood books and volunteers to help decorate the school for the fall. Contact them 718-573-2307, infoTBBS@gmail.com

Nursery School Information:
Beansprouts tour schedule is online
Berkeley Carroll is taking reservations for morning open houses
718-789-6060 ext. 6608 for Pre-K
718-789-6060 ext. 6527 for middle school
718-789-6060 ext. 6527 for upper school
Call for reservations.
Brooklyn Free Space may have a spot for a Fall 2008 spot for a girl or boy aged 4-4.8 as of Sept. 2008. Contact newmembers2008@brooklynfreespace.org
Brooklyn Friends is taking reservations for a few morning tour dates in the fall
Pre-K: 718-852-1029 ext. 213
Lower, Middle, and Upper School: 718-852-1029 ext. 232
RSVP necessary, check dates online
Brooklyn Heights Montessori morning tour dates for parents only, are posted
RSVP is required 718-858-5100 ext. 120
International School of Brooklyn evening and Sat. parents only tours are posted
RSVP necessary 718-369-3023 Linden Tree Preschool has spaces available for fall 2008 for the Threes: 2-days/half day,
And Fours: 5day/pm; call 718-624-0083
Packer Collegiate Institute open house dates are posted, check the schedule online
RSVP to Yvonne Menard 718-250-0254
Poly Prep open house dates are available, check dates online
RSVP 718-663-6003

Elementary School:
To find out what school District, and within that, what elementary school you are zoned for:
Call 311 and give them your address.

Tours: Many Elementary Schools hold them throughout the year, starting in the fall. Call your school’s Parent Coordinator for more information. You can find their number on the school’s page on www.insideschools.org

Public High School Information:
Okay 8th graders, it is time to get out your DOE High School Guide and start figuring out which schools you want to tour.

For those of you interested in the Specialized High School Test (SHSAT) and want to brush up on your test taking ability. Consider Princeton Review's Intensive Fall Prep Course, or tutoring.
718 375-5591 or info.brooklyn@review.com

You might also want to contact a private tutor. There are many in the neighborhood. One to consider is Sarah Marcus sarahlaurenmarcus@gmail.com

Citywide High School Fair: 9/20 and 9/21 from 10am-3pm
at Brooklyn Tech HS, 29 Fort Greene Place
You will make the most out of this event if you have visited www.insideschools.org and know which schools you really want to talk to. This is a great opportunity to talk to principals, administrators and students from the schools. There should also be a Borough-wide HS Fair. The schools traditionally post their tours after the first HS Fair, but if you are interested in a popular school, I recommend that you monitor their website.

Thanks for reading! If you have an event to add or school info for parents (or you see an error, please be kind) and write to me at joyce@nycschoolhelp.com