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With middle school acceptance letters due out in mid-May, parents of 5th graders may starting to feel anxious. Middle school, which once seems so far away, is hard at your heels. Will your child get in to where he wants to go?
After say, three different tests, after the tours, after listening to the somehow not reassuring mantra of school officials - 'Most kids get their first choice!' - more than a few times, you are now going to have your answer.
As the parent of a 6th grader I went through this process just one year ago. I can recall my feelings and thoughts pretty clearly. All along I tried to remember that every parent with a child in public school has to go through this same sort of agita. But the question of when those letters where arriving roiled up all my pent-up anxiety.
Eighth and ninth graders who applied to high school last fall but were not matched to any school will learn the results of their new applications Friday, May 4, the Education Department said.
Students who are unhappy with their high school assignment, or whose circumstances have changed since they applied, may appeal their matches. Appeal forms will be available from school guidance counselors beginning May 4 and are due back a week later -- Friday, May 11.
Some highly sought after high schools won't have to enroll more special education students this fall, even as others work to boost their numbers and meet city-mandated targets.
Bard, Baruch and Eleanor Roosevelt, all in Manhattan, are among 27 high schools that are exempt from enrolling a mandated number of special needs students in their 9th grade classes this fall. City officials said the schools will be asked to meet targets in the fall of 2013.
The schools given exemptions fall into three categories: the city's 14 International schools that serve new immigrants; seven schools that require auditions; and six hyper-competitive academically screened schools. (An additional nine specialized high schools, governed by state law, are also exempt.)
I am a nervous wreck. My son is going to 8th grade in September and I feel anxious about the whole high school admission process. I know schools like it if you attend their open houses or tours, but how do I find out about them? How do I find out enough about the schools to make a choice? Is there anything we should be doing this spring?
Worried, anxious parent
Dear Worried, Anxious parent,
You are not alone. Thirteen is the age of anxiety for NYC parents and kids When kids reach that age, the prospect of high school applications looms in the not too distant future and provokes more than the usual concern over state tests and report cards.There is no getting around the challenges of high school admission, but there are ways to lessen the worry. As with most problems, being informed is the first step.
It's going to be a Wild West waiting game for anxious prospective pre-kindergarten parents this year.
Even though acceptance letters don't go out until June 11, one Brooklyn school has already created an on-line waitlist in an effort to limit the chaos.
"We have not received any guidance from the DOE," said Charmain Derrell, parent coordinator at PS 9 in Prospect Heights. "We are organizing it ourselves so we're not swamped right before school lets out."
Siblings will get preference, and then it is first-come first-serve, Derrell said. But DOE officials warned that waitlists shouldn't be in place before parents know where their children have been accepted. They promised to clarify the process this week.
A whopping 1,603 incoming kindergartners scored in the 99th percentile on this year's gifted and talented assessments. Out of 14,239 test-takers, 11 percent scored in the top one percent. You'd think this was Lake Wobegon!
The tests are supposedly designed so that one out of every hundred test-takers nationwide scores in the the 99th percentile. So either New Yorkers are 11-times smarter than people elsewhere (or only smart kids are taking the tests) or there is something wrong with the tests.
For the last two years, just over 1,000 kindergartners scored in the 99th percentile. Scoring between the 97th-99th percentile on the G&T assessments means a child is eligible for one of five citywide programs. But there are fewer than 400 seats for incoming kindergartners. And qualifying siblings of current students get first dibs at those seats. At The Anderson School, 16 of the 50 kindergarten seats will go to siblings. At NEST+M, siblings will get about 15 of the 100 seats; at Brooklyn School of Inquiry, there are 12 qualifying siblings and four at STEM in Queens.
District 20 leaders are bracing for a flood of parents at Wednesday's Community Education Council meeting who want the city to exempt IS 187 Christa McAuliffe from next year's special education requirements, which will force the school to admit more kids with special needs.
Other parents say allowing more special ed kids into the school isn't the problem. These parents want the city to re-open the application process to special needs students at the all-gifted Brooklyn middle school, since so few knew it was an option.
Many parents of special education students – including those with kids at IS 187 - say they had no idea that their beloved school was a possibility. While a small number of special education students do attend the school, it has not enrolled students who require special classes and more intensive services.
Gifted and talented results letters were sent to families last week, and since then our inbox has been full of G&T queries from parents of prospective kindergartners who must apply by April 20. Here are four questions that we answered.
- My 4-year-old is a smart guy. His teacher says he is ahead of the other kids in his pre-kindergarten class, but he got a really low score on the G&T test. He took it on a very cold day and he is rather shy. Can he retake the test? .
The short answer: not this year. There are no re-dos. If your child was ill on the test date, or if there was a problem with the administration of the exam, you had 48 hours to report the problem. He can test again next year when he is in kindergarten. Note, next year it will be it will be a different test mix. The OLSAT will be kept but the Bracken will be replaced by the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test [NNAT].
Q: My son applied to 7 colleges and was accepted at 3, waitlisted at one. He is now in a dilemma because he can't decide where to enroll, and he has to commit himself by May 1. Naturally, the school he likes best is the one where he is on the waiting list! We have visited only one of the other colleges, and he is not crazy about it. What should he do?
A: It actually sounds like your son has some good options! He has been accepted to two colleges he has not seen yet, and now is the time he ought to visit, if the distance and cost of travel are not too great.
In a bumper year for public school kindergarten applications, more than 2,400 children are on waitlists at their zoned school. That is 200 fewer than last year at this time, according to data the Education Department released on Friday afternoon.
Three schools have more than 100 zoned families waiting for a slot. Topping the list again is gigantic PS 169 in Sunset Park, with 113 waitlisted zoned kindergartners at a school with 1450 students. Last year it had 95 children waitlisted in March after the first registration period. Nearby PS 94, another large school where more than half of the students are English language Learners, has 111 students on its waitlist. PS 307 in Corona which opened in 2008, has 109 students on a waitlist.
More than 62,280 kindergarten applications were received in 2012 (as compared to 61,600 in 2011) and 125 schools have a waitlist for children living in their zone (the same number as last year.) The DOE did not release the number of out-of-zone siblings of current students who have not been given seats. (Last year there were 553.) This year schools must get permission from the enrollment office before admitting students from outside the zone.