disambiguate: my new favorite word 5/5/14

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

what "school choice" really means for kindergarten
kindergarten connect numbers
leaving your old friends at middle school
alligators in the sewer and middle school admissions

what have I been doing?

talking about g&t, talking about kindergarten, and talking to the Wall Street Journal

Two late spring talks scheduled. Get ticktet here:
May 14 Intro to Public School - curious about what all the hubub is about? This is your one stop shop for all public kindergarten information at Open House Nursery School, $25 for individuals, $40 for a family

May 22 Intro to Nursery School - if you are applying in the fall, it wouldn't be a bad idea to get this info under your belt. I will probably not do this talk again until late summer (when you may be out of town)
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. These are the only 4 talks. I will not be adding more. Ticket here:
Mon. 6/16
Thurs. 6/19
Mon. 8/11
Mon. 9/8

Private Preschool (and Elementary) Seats and Open Houses

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.

Brainy Academy in Park Slope has several Montessori programs 2-4yr including a new 3's class in the fall. Go to the website or give them a call 347-560-3252

Butler Street Co-Op in Cobble Hill is expanding to include a 4s program for fall 2014, and has several seats available. Go to butlerstreetcoop.com for more information and the application.

Congregation Beth Elohim has a few old threes - old fours seats available, with various schedules for fall 2014. Contact Director, Jaci Israel for more information jisrael@cbebk.org

Explorers Academy Preschool in downtown Brooklyn has spots for the fall 2014. They are holding a tour on Thursday, May 8th. Sign up for the tour here. They are also holding a Summer program.

Giocare Playschool in Greenwood Heights has spots available in their 2s, 3s and 4 year old classes. Contact Ellen Cerniglia for more information.

Kings Bay Y at North Williamsburg Preschool has openings for 2-3's and 3-4's for next year.

Lango, in Boerum Hill, an immersion Spanish and Mandarin preschool is holding tours every Wednesday and Friday until June. You can sign up for a tour by filling out the form here.

Lefferts Gardens Montessori preschool is expanding to an elementary program in the fall for more information check the website http://www.mylgm.com/

Little Nest Learning Center in Clinton Hill has 4's spots for Pre-Kindergarten. Interested families may visit the school's website for information and application

Mozarts & Einsteins in Park Slope has 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. There is an Open House and Scholastic Book Fair on Monday, May 5th from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM at 910 Union Street in Park Slope.

The Olive Treehouse Group has openings for 2s, 3s and 4s for the fall. The schools include: Hudson's House (Carroll Gardens- Smith St), Hudson's off Henry (Carroll Gardens- Woodhull St) and Rory's Room (Windsor Terrace). Contact Stephanie Kirby Anderson for tours and information at stephanie@parkersplacebrooklyn.com.

Rivendell has openings in their afternoon class for children ages 2.6-4.0 for fall of 2014. Contact Shelly Wolf Scott for more information.

Trilok School in Ft. Greene is currently giving tours Tues. & Thurs. @ 10. There are seats available for 1st - 4th grade. They are accepting applications for summer camp for 2-10 yr olds. Info at that website.

Williamsburg Neighborhood Nursery School may have spots open for next year. Contact Dana Stewart or Jennifer Manon at 718-782-4181 for more information.

Who's on First in Carroll Gardens is holding an 8 week summer program. Each family has the option of registering for a M-F, MWF or TTh schedule. Classes are 9-11:45am. Families choose the weeks they are interested in. From 1 week to all 8, there is no minimum requirement or registration fee. Look on their website for more information http://whosonfirstkids.com/

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

Decision Letters sent early June (on Memorial Day weekend, they can't hear you scream)
Pre-registration June 9-20

Public Elementary Schools

2014-2015 Public School Calendar has been released.

kindergarten Pre-Registration deadline May 23 (follow the instructions that the school gives you
G&T placement will come the week of May 26, and registration deadline week of June 2

I am here if you need me to hash through your choices.

What to do if your child is waitlisted for Kindergarten. from DNA info and Inside Schools

Q&A for Prospective Parents at PS 133. Tues. May 6, 6-7pm in the library. Adults only

New York Speaks Italian is a group gathering information. about interested in an Italian Public School Dual Language Program for District 13, 14 or 15, visit the blog.

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.

Middle & High School

Middle School Placements should be coming out shortly.

High School Choice: Calm and Clear Talk

This talk translates the DOE's "script" describing how the process actually works, talking about the data available and how to manage and organize it. Also, you get my list of approx. 70 programs that are interesting possibilities for college bound kids from Brooklyn and Manhattan. It will prepare you for the NY High School Fair, tours and choices in the fall. This talk is for both public and private school families. I will do my best to help you laugh in the face of adversity.

These are the only dates, I will not add more:
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 winners!

Check out these new and growing (and one closing) public & private programs

Bishop Ford High School will close in June.

BUGS: Brooklyn Urban Garden Charter School has a long term lease in the Bishop Ford building and is not affected by the school closing. Their lottery was held last week and results should come out shortly. Contact them to get on the end of the wait list.

Read this NY Mag article about Park Slope Collegiate and developing middle school programs

Basis Independent Brooklyn is a K-10th grade program (growing to 12th grade). 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.

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

Greene Hill School has openings in the 6th grade class for next year. Contact Laurie Baum, Middle School Director for more information.

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!

Kaplan Test Prep has one-on-one tutoring and private group tutoring programs. They are running two events this month: May 10: 5 Borough SHSAT Practice Test day. This is a free SHSAT practice test for 7th grade students applying to specialized high schools. For more information, contact Jean Cataldi, Brooklyn Program Manager at 347-925-0598 or at jean.cataldi@kaplan.com

Eric Schlosser is holding an free SHSAT practice test at the Park Slope library, May 24th from 10am to 1:30, email info@praxistutors.com to register

Uber Academic Tutoring & Test Prep is offering a full day summer camp program called "Exploring Africa Through the Lens of New York." More information can be found at http://www.uberacademic.com/uber-camp-14.html

When my kids needed help with their college search, I called two people:
Deena Maerowitz you name it she can help you with it. If you have a junior, the summer is a good time to tour and write your essays.
Sandra Clifton they loved working with Sandra on their essays.

For Parents and Students of All Ages

District 15 Community Education Council is holding a Town Hall Meeting with Chancellor Farina. Tuesday, May 6th, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. held at P.S. 172 @ 825 4th Avenue, at 43rd Street-Brooklyn, NY 10032

Sign the petition to Save St. Luke's Academy Preschool in Clinton Hill

Sara Birnbaum of New York Special Needs Support is holding a free seminar for parents of children with special needs child who are entering Kindergarten in the fall.
Kindergarten: The Great Beyond; Or, "You Mean I'm Not Done Yet?"
Date: Wednesday, May 14, 6:00-8:00pm
Location: Bankstreet College of Education
610 West 112th Street, main floor auditorium
RSVP: nuberto@bankstreet.edu

Support the PS 282 Mural Project: come every SAT. 4/26-6/14 from 9am. Check the website for more information. You don't need to have special skills or a child in the school. Their chess champions are also headed to nationals this spring - Congratulations!

GO GREEN! Greenpoint Festival, Sat. June 7 McCarren Park

If anyone in your house is really interested in words, you MUST listen to this podcast: A Way With Words

A new toy to introduce your child to the world of robotics.

New Ebook illustrated Melanie Hope Greenberg, "It's My Earth, Too"

Some great participatory funding projects were approved. Thanks Brad Lander and all who voted!
Two education projects: Laptops at PS 130, 230 & 321 for student and adult learners and an outdoor plaza for the John Jay Campus. Beautify the front of this 5-building high school campus, at the heart of Park Slope’s 7th Avenue, with benches and plantings, making the sidewalk more welcoming for students, families, and our whole community.

Websites and articles

Read The Electic Dad:

Spy: The Secret World of Espionage
Normandy 1944 3D IMAX Review
Top 5 Graphic Novels for Kids
Island of Lemurs: Madagascar IMAX 3D

Free Range Kids from Lenore Skanezy. How to raise self reliant kids without going nuts with worry.

G&T: Fewer qualify; rich-poor gap persists

Liz Phillips, PS 321, speaks out about the Common Core

Louis C.K. vs the Common Core in the New Yorker

BeBlasio's Innovation Schools

Making it Stick, an interesting book on the distinction between memorizing and learning.

When you want to know what a good progressive kindergarten class looks like, read Renee Dinnerstein:
Investigating Choice Time: I Spy
Camping Out in the classroom

LaGuardia High School: Tests over Talent

Is Pearson Education (the company that wrote "the tests" in Financial Trouble?


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.