"april is the cruellest month" (testing, kindergarten placement, g&t scores...) 4/2/14

All dates, deadlines, times and places need to be confirmed with the sponsoring organization or school. This newsletter is a listing of interesting sounding programs that come across my desk, it is not necessarily an endorsement of the programs. All listings are unpaid.

I have been blogging

woohoo! prek expansion guide
interesting new programs pop up like flowers in the spring
i owe my soul to the company store (i mean the college board)
#1 most asked prek question
yes virginia, there is a method to this ranking madness

what have I been doing?

Spring break for my college students has come and gone, leaving me wondering "what just blew through here?!". The tears and fears of scheduling their summers are resolved, so I can get back to business.

I have a couple talks coming up:
May 14 Intro to Public School at Open House Nursery School
May 22 Intro to Nursery School at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, $25 for individuals, $40 for a family

and Public High School Choice: Calm and Clear all at Hootenanny at 7pm $30. Ticket here:
Mon. 6/16
Thurs. 6/19
Mon. 8/11
Mon. 9/8

Private Preschool (and Elementary) Seats and Open Houses

I told you there would be spots. The preschool wait lists move. If you are wait listed, check out these choices and/or stay in touch with the school that you love. Hang tight- seats do become available during the spring and summer.

Basis Independent School this interesting STEM program in Red Hook is taking applications for grades K-10. Their building will be modular construction - you just may see something new down by Ikea when the Food Trucks return. If you haven't been to an info session yet, there is one in Park Slope this Sat. 4/5 at 1pm, register here

Brooklyn Free School is accepting applications for all grades, beginning with prek and continuing through high school

Brooklyn Treehouse Preschool in the south Slope is now accepting applications for 2s, 3s and 4 year olds.
Contact Info@brooklyntreehousepreschool.com

Brooklyn Waldorf is doing an adults only open house on 4/7

Building Bridges Preschool in Brooklyn Heights is holding an info session on April 9 at 6:30

Greene Hill School is doing lower and middle school spring tours

Little Brooklyn Playschool has one full time seat for a 3/4 yr old for fall of 2014. contact kate@littlebrooklynplayschool.com

Little Nest Learning Center in Clinton Hill has a couple spots available for fours.
check out the above link for more information

Little Nest Preschool in Kensington has a dozen seats available for boys and girls for the fall in their 2/3's class; 16 seats available for boys and girls in their 4/5's class. Also mini camps, summer camps, birthday party venue and Music for Aardvarks. Contact the school for more info

Little Thinkers Montessori in Ft. Greene is offering a mixed-age preschool summer program for children ages 2-5. They will be hosting an open house Saturday April 13th from 2-5 pm. RSVP for pricing, exact address and to request an application at admissions@littlethinkersmontessori.com

Mozarts & Einsteins 2 and 5 day programs for children born 1/1/11 – 9/1/12 email Admissions@mozartsandeinsteins.com They are also enrolling for Musical Theatre Summer Camp

Old First in Park Slope has fours seats available

Park Slope Coop School may have seats for fours.

Park Slope Schoolhouse has seats in their 1's and 3's programs (Sept. 1 age cut off!) Contact Director Ashley Davis for info adavis@parkslopeschoolhouse.org

Science, Language & Arts International School in Ft. Greene currently has one Kindergarten opening and will have spots in 1st, 3rd, and 4th grades, with rolling admissions. Apply online at slaschool.org or send an e-mail to admissions@slaschool.org. Scholarships available for children 3rd-5th grade.

St. Francis Xavier has seats for all grades, threes and up - small class sizes in grades K - 6 (average size 13 students)
for more info (718) 857-2559

St. Joseph the Worker in Windsor Terrace welcomes curious families to investigate their threes yrs through 8th grade programs 718-768-7629

St. Stanislaus Koskta Catholic Academy School in Greenpoint
please schedule a personalized tour at your convenience with our Principal,
please call the office to schedule 718-383-1970 or email principal Christina Cieloszczyk ccieloszczyk@ststansacademy.org

Trilok School in Ft. Greene
is currently giving tours Tues. & Thurs. @ 10. They are expanding to 3-4th grade next fall.
There are seats available for 4-10 yr olds. They are accepting applications for summer camp for 2-10 yr olds. Info at that website.

If you are a preschool or elementary school director, and want me to list open seats in your program for fall 2013. Please send a note to joyce@nycschoolhelp.com

Public Prek

Deadline to submit application 4/23
Decision Letters sent early June (on Memorial Day weekend, they can't hear you scream)
Pre-registration June 9-20

What you have all been waiting for!! Prek Expansion Guide these are the schools that are getting additional seats

The 2014-15 "old" Directories are also available now online

Our state legislators in Albany have approved $300 million in funding for universal pre-K programs in their final budget. Keep up with the news.

Public Elementary Schools

Placement Offers for families who have applied to public k through Kindergarten Connect will distributed in early April. Sadly the lovely calendar for April Kindergarten admissions is still totally blank.
Pre-Registration will be mid to late April
Families who have not yet registered can go to an Enrollment Office or call 718-935-2009 to apply (they will get placements in May)

Not included in Kindergarten Connect:

Charter Schools do their lotteries in early April
G&T placement process will be later in the spring, after test scores come in (possibly very soon)

If you want email updates from the DoE about Kindergarten admissions, PreK admissions, G&T, Charter Schools, late breaking news, subscribe to the DoE's email alerts here.

Watch this video from Inside Schools about what to look for on a kindergarten tour.

You can find 2014-15 Elementary School Directories here. Be skeptical of the status bar at the top of each school's page ("last year this school only admitted zoned students"). If you want to know the whether the school you are interested in takes out of zone students in your grade, talk to their parent coordinator. Principals: if you would like me to tell parents that you are happy to have them from outside of zone - Let me know.

Gifted and Talented for Kindergarten (to 3rd Grade) Admissions

Access the current handbooks (and practice tests) here.

The G&T calendar is online here.
Early April score reports and applications sent to eligible students
April 21 application deadline
Week of May 26 decision letters (where you were placed) mailed to families
Week of June 9 deadline for families to pre-register for placement (if you get a placement, it is your choice about whether to attend or not)

Families sometimes call me for short 15 or 30 min. phone consults around making G&T decisions

Public Elementary Tours

You must confirm these dates before you go: I am typing very fast, dates change and sometimes the schools want an RSVP. If you don't see your school here and you want to list your dates- please email me, I would love to include them!

Check the school's calendars if they don't have a "visit the school" tab.
Sometimes schools don't set up regular tours and they are happy to show you around as an individual (don't expect this from one of the highly sought after programs). If you want to visit one of these "under the radar schools", call the parent coordinator or the secretary and ask if they are setting any up.

Watch this video from the awesome Inside School before you tour.

The DoE is also listing open houses on their website (scroll down the page)

District 13

Confirm that these dates are still current with the schools!

PS 9 Tours 4/11 @ 9am register online

PS 11

PS 20

PS 46 in Ft. Greene, has a NEW MAGNET GRANT (Communications and Media Arts through Applied Training)!
They also have a Dual Language Spanish program for PreK-5th grade. For more information contact Ms. Lopez or Mr. Johnson at 718-834-7694, or by e-mail at jjohnso19@schools.nyc.gov.

PS 133 Tours 4/3, 4/9 @ 9am. Registration is required. Register here.

PS 282 Tours 4/9, 4/23 (@9am). Meet in the lobby @ 8:45. Registration is recommended. Register here.

PS 307 NEW MAGNET GRANT: Magnet School for STEM Studies They have online learning, foreign lang. MANDARIN!, Social/Emotional learning and much more
for questions call Servena Narine 718-834-4748

District 14

Confirm that these dates are still current with the schools!

PS 31 Tours 4/24 @ 9am. No RSVP necessary.

PS 34 Tours 4/9, 5/17 @ 9am. No RSVP necessary

PS 84

PS 110 Tours 4/7 @ 9:15am

The Ethical Community Charter School Tours 4/9 @ 4:30pm

District 15

Confirm that these dates are still current!

PS 10 Tours 4/10, 5/6 @ 9am. Sign up remember that PS 10 doesn't have a prek class

PS 15 open houses generally offered every Thurs. morning. RSVP to Parent Coordinator, Judith Reis 347-563-5380

PS 32

PS 124 4/4 at 9:30

PS 130

PS 146, Brooklyn New School

PS 261 Open House 5/7, 5/20 @ 9am. No need to register

PS 295

PS 372 The Children's School Contact Parent Coordinator Yvette Agas-Bautz for tour information at 718-624-5271, ext. 1111.

District 17

PS 705 Tours 4/11 @ 9am. RSVP to brooklynartselementary@gmail.com

PS 770 - The New American Academy Tours 4/8 @ 10am, 4/10 @ 5:30pm. Contact jsaratovsky@thenewamericanacademy.org with any questions.

Middle & High School

Parents of NY Teens wants your high school reviews! Submit them here

High School placement numbers for 2014 from WNYC

...and who is the most popular? from InsideSchools

I am giving my HS Choice: Calm and Clear talk about public high school choice on Mon. 6/16, Thurs. 6/19, Mon. 8/11 and Mon. 9/8 at Hootenanny Art House in the south slope
Tickets are $30 and the links to buy tickets for each date are here.

HS Directory Cover Competition vote for you favorite designs April 7-14

Check out these new and growing public & private programs

Basis Independent Brooklyn is a K-12th grade program. They are interested in talking to parents of middle and high school students. They will have all grades through 10th grade starting this fall. Contact them for information about admissions.

Blue School is growing to Middle School beginning in the fall of 2015 with 6th grade. Contact Dawn Williams for more information.

Brooklyn Free School High School program tour 4/3

Brooklyn Heights Montessori School
while I am at it, take a look at what they are doing at Middle School.

Brooklyn Lab Charter School in downtown Brooklyn. This is a new college prep charter school opening in fall of 2014 for 6th grade

Brooklyn Prospect Charter School intends to grow their downtown campus to a K-8 school.

Fusion Academy & Learning Center Information Session for the new private 6-12 grades opening April 2014.

Tutoring for PS, MS, HS Choice (or college)

I don't review tutors but the awesome Parents of NY Teens does!
Please review your fav tutors there!

to find the tutor you want, Teachigo

Advantage Essay Coach works with both private-school and public school students, 11th-graders and 12th-graders to write college admission essays. Contact Nikki Weinstein at nikki.weinstein@gmail.com.

Arc Learning Group They offer personalized tutoring and test prep to help K-12 students. Contact Sam Aurora at ask@arctolearn.com or 347-610-4184 for information.

Bee Tutored check them out for ELA/Math prep.

Brooklyn Essay Coach works with students to write college admissions essays. For information contact Shea Dean at 718-812-8940 shea@brooklynessaycoach.com.

Club Z! In home tutoring of Brooklyn works with students in all subjects, pre-k through adults, SAT & ACT. They use screened and background checked tutors. Contact Denise Harding, the director at 917-873-1461 and find more information at http://clubztutoring.com/brooklyn

Kaplan does group prep but they also do one-on-one tutoring

Praxis Tutors, helping high achieving students reach their goals, SHSAT, SAT, ACT

Themba Tutors are traveling NYC learning specialists working with students of all ages. Offering one-on-one strategy based learning support, test prep., e.g. SAT, ACT, ISEE, SSAT, etc., and offering college coaching by a guidance counselor. For more information contact them at (917) 382-8641 or info@thembatutors.com

For Parents and Students of All Ages

ConstructionKids has begun summer day camp registration. They give children 4 to 12 a safe, fun introduction to the use of real hand tools through projects that use real construction materials. From small scale projects made of wood to large group projects, children learn by doing. We now have locations at Building 92 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Industry City in Sunset Park, and New York University in Manhattan. Go to http://constructionkids.com for more information.

all things testing

see what Liz Phillips, Principal of 321 thinks about last year's tests

and here along with other great speakers on
Teachers Talk Testing

The Defiant Parents: Testing's Discontents - The New Yorker

Opt Out Guides by State

What Parents need to know about opting out of state tests

Children should not be a number

Diane Ravitch's blog

From the new State budget:
"prohibits the administration of traditional standardized tests in pre-kindergarten programs and in grades kindergarten through second grade (Subpart A); provides that standardized test scores shall not be included on a student's permanent record; provides for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof (Subpart B); provides that no school shall make promotion or placement decisions based solely or primarily on standardized test scores"

They will still be used in teacher evaluation and school closure decisions. Keep up the fight!

Websites and articles

Read The Electic Dad:
* Guardians of the Galaxy and the Future of Comic Book Movies
* Books to help you and your child deal with bullying
* The Hobbit Book Review
* 5 Grown-up Kids Songs

and if you want more on community building

Low Income Students at Elite Schools

Girls Go for Computers at Harvey Mudd College

Let teenagers sleep late. Does this surprise anyone?

How we can learn from Phillip Seymour Hoffman's will. This cuts too close. I don't have a 35mil estate or kids not listed in the will, but I am glad that I finished my kids final financial aid paperwork, because they NEVER could have reproduced it themselves from scratch. Don't put stuff off.


Brooklyn Preschool Map

This two sided, folded map lists over 200 preschools in northwest Brooklyn; twos, threes and fours/Prek programs in private and independent schools and community based organizations. You can also find this map for sale on my website and I will be offering it for sale at the Intro to Nursery School talks and as part of the package that I offer to private clients who meet with me for an hour or more.

Get the Preschool Map here for $10, plus shipping and handling

Brooklyn Elementary Zone Map

This two sided, folded map covers full districts 13, 14, 15 (new zone lines), 17 and the northern part of district 22. It shows locations, phone numbers, zone and district boundaries for local zoned elementaries, charter and unzoned programs.

I am only offering this map for sale through this newsletter, at the Intro to Public School talks and as part of the package I provide to private clients who meet me for an hour or more.

Get the Elementary Zone Map here for $10, plus shipping and handling

Get Both Maps

Buy both maps here for $15, plus shipping and handling.
I will only be offering both maps for sale through this newsletter, my talks and as part of the package that I provide to private clients who meet with me for an hour or more.

Do you need a little school help or a lot?

If you want to meet fill out my contact form. Then send me an email to give me a little more info and set up an appointment.

I am happy to talk about anything that is giving you a headache.