Three days before the deadline to register for gifted and talented programs, a few parents are uncertain about where their children have been admitted. Two parents told us they were not allowed to register at PS 748, a new school in Bath Beach, Brooklyn, even though they had received letters from the Department of Education saying their children had been admitted to the 1st grade in the gifted program there. The school told parents there were only nine available seats in the 1st grade class while the DOE had sent letters to 37 families offering their children admission. Later, parents were given the go-ahead to register, one mom said, but the school was still waiting to hear whether a new class would be added.
Other families were surprised to receive offers to schools they hadn't listed on their applications -- and that they didn't know were options. According to Robin Aronow, of SchoolSearchNYC.com, some 1st-grade applicants were assigned to PS 165, despite it not being listed as an option on their application.
Data released today by the Department of Education shows that of the 4,027 kindergartners who qualified for a gifted and talented program, 3,149 actually submitted applications, and 87% of them got offers to either a citywide or district seat. That's slightly less than last year when 88% of applicants got offers. Nearly 13% of the eligible kindergartners qualified for five citywide programs, which require a higher test score, but the DOE has not said how many gained a citywide seat.
Eighty-two percent of the 1,363 1st-graders who applied received offers.
Students in kindergarten-3rd grade qualify for gifted programs based on their scores on two assessments. Kindergartners and 1st-graders are guaranteed a slot in a district program provided they score above the 9oth percentile and list every program on their application. There are far fewer spots for 2nd and 3rd-graders, no guarantee of placement, and fewer than half of the eligible applicants received an offer this year.
The number of kindergarten applicants who did not get an offer rose from 344 last year to 402 this year, mainly because the families didn't list every available option, the DOE said. Over the past few years, the city has closed G&T programs at some of the most sought-after, and crowded, schools, and opened new ones in schools that may not be convenient or desirable to parents. Many parents choose to stay in their neighborhood schools. Some decide on private schools; still others others have no intention of sending their children to public G&T programs, they just want them to have the experience of taking the test.
For the second year in a row, there will be no incoming kindergarten G&T class at five districts in the Bronx and Brooklyn because too few students qualified. Those are districts 7 and 9 in the South Bronx, 12 in Central Bronx, and districts 16 in Bedford-Stuyvesant and 23 in East New York. In District 7, only 5% of the test-takers qualified for a slot as compared to 44% in District 2.
Offer letters to the roughly 5,900 applicants were sent by email or regular mail on Friday, June 17. Families have until this Friday, June 24, to register at the schools.