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If your child turns 4 this year, he or she is eligible for free pre-kindergarten, either in a public school or at a site run by a community organization. You may apply between March 16-April 24. The de Blasio administration gets an A for effort in its rapid expansion of pre-kindergarten, with more than 30,000 new seats last fall and another 20,000 planned for this coming fall. But what is the quality of these new programs?
Even though the city is rapidly expanding free all-day pre-k programs, demand still outstrips supply in many neighborhoods. The staff of Insideschools and a panel of experts will tell you how to find a good program for your child and to navigate the application process. Josh Wallack, chief strategy officer of the Department of Education and an expert in early childhood, will be joining the panel.
Filling out the FAFSA form is the first step for most students seeking financial support to go to college. But the form can be complicated and intimidating, particularly for students who are new to the country or the first in their family to go to college. To help, the Center for New York City Affairs, home of Insideschools.org, has released a third edition of its popular book: FAFSA: The How-To Guide for High School Students (And the Adults Who Help Them).
The guide is easy to read and answers many common questions from students and families. It is a great teaching tool for guidance counsellors, college access professionals and anyone seeking to help students and families fill out the often confusing and complicated FAFSA form. The guide also contains helpful tips on working with college financial aid offices and comparing aid packages. New this year: updated information for undocumented students.
To download or share, please go to the Center's website at www.understandingFAFSA.org.
To order free print copies of the guide for students, families or colleagues, please click here.
On Feb. 2 the Center, along with the city's Department of Education, is sponsoring a free day-long free conference, "FAFSA, Financial Aid & Funding Your Students' College Education." Click here for more details.
Clara Hemphill, Insideschools staff and a panel of experts discussed common mistakes that students and parents make when applying to high school and provide tips on how to make better choices. Watch the live-stream here.
Figuring Out Financial Aid? Updated Guide Offers NYC Students Help with the FAFSA and Comparing Financial Aid Packages
The Center for New York City Affairs, home to Insideschools, has published a second edition of its popular guide for high school students who are applying to college and beginning their all-important quest for financial aid: FAFSA: The How-To Guide for High School Students (And the Adults Who Help Them).
We hope this guide will be useful to students, families and the many caring adults in New York City public schools and communities who help families navigate the U.S. Department of Education's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
This year's guide has been updated with the latest information and a new section on what students need to do after they file the FAFSA. It includes an update on FAFSA verification demands and a new section on how to compare college financial aid offers.
Read more on CenterNYC.org.
Download FAFSA: The How-To Guide here. New this year: a Spanish language version of the guide!
Watch Thursday's policy forum on Financial Aid at The New School
FAFSA: The How-To Guide for High School Students was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Capital One Foundation. This guide is part of the foundation's efforts to empower students and provide them with resources to help plan for their academic futures.
Taking the Fear Out of Financial Aid: Making Higher Education Easier to Achieve for NYC Students
This event, presented by the Center for New York City Affairs at The New School, home of Insideschools.org, is still happening tomorrow (Thursday) morning! Flooding at the university has not affected our event space.
Securing college financial aid can be intimidating for NYC students. Aid is crucial for low-income and first generation college students—but they need help, particularly navigating the government's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), finding grants and loans and working with college aid offices. Experts say the system is needlessly complicated and should be reformed. Join the Center for New York City Affairs for the release of its latest "FAFSA: How-To Guide for High School Students" and a discussion about what needs to happen nationally and locally to ensure that the next generation of college students can afford to matriculate.
Judy Baum, who toiled for nearly 40 years to help every New York City child receive a good public education, died Friday, December 20, at the end of another day of doing the work she loved.
In what turned out to be her final blog post for Insideschools, she encouraged students and parents to visit museums, libraries and parks over the holiday break, providing a helpful link to free activities.
Only hours after the post appeared online Friday, she died of a heart attack. She was 77.
"She really was a model New York citizen—always guided by the belief that she had a perpetual stake in the success of public education," said Laura Zingmond, a friend and colleague at Insideschools. "She wanted every kid to have a safe and nurturing place to go to school."
New York City’s Education Funders Research Initiative asked our parent organization, the Center for New York City Affairs at The New School, to identify key priorities for education reform under Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio. On Thursday, the Center for New York City Affairs released the results: a new report called "Building Blocks for Better Schools: How the Next Mayor can Prepare New York's Students for College and Careers," co-authored by Insideschools founder Clara Hemphill. The paper analyzes the successes and failures of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s education initiatives—and proposes six key areas on which the next administration should focus attention and resources.
A top priority: Make sure young children can read. This is a first, crucial building block for school reform efforts.
Other priorities include:
- Use the Common Core to build a true, skills-based college preparatory curriculum.
- Revise the accountability system to use a wider range of measures, and to be more responsive to schools and families.
- Keep principals' control of hiring, budgets and curriculum—but provide them greater supervision and support.
- Strengthen neighborhood schools and create new structures to connect all schools—neighborhood, magnet and charters alike—within given geographic areas.
- Build early and ongoing support for college and career guidance.
Teachers, students and parents are invited to a free screening of "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" hosted by the American Federation of Teachers and The Weinstein Company.
Screenings will take place in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan starting at 4pm on Monday, Nov. 25.
Groups, individuals and classrooms are invited to attend!
RSVP to Brandon.Piper@cegny.com or call (646) 254-6718, indicating which screening you'd like to attend.
The film also has a free educators guide if teachers wish to engage students in activities or discussions around the film.
The film is screening at:
UA Court Street 12
106 Court St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
UA Kaufman Astoria Cinemas 14
35-30 38th St.
Astoria, NY 11101
AMC Loews Lincoln Square
New York, NY 10023
High school graduation rates are higher than ever before but college completion remains frustratingly elusive for New York City's public high school graduates.
Barely half of students who enroll in CUNY schools graduate with a Bachelor's degree in six years; fewer than one in five of the students who enrolled in city community colleges in 2009 earned a two-year Associate's degree by 2012. Many city high school grads begin college at a disadvantage: not even a third of New York City's class of 2012 earned high enough test scores to avoid remedial courses at CUNY, which has been nicknamed the "13th grade."
A new report from the Center for New York City Affairs (Insideschools' parent organization), Creating College Ready Communities: Preparing NYC's Precarious New Generation of College Students, explores why so many New York City high school grads struggle to earn college degrees. It gives recommendations on how the city's Department of Education and schools could improve college preparation in K-12 enabling students to have a better chance of success. The report follows four years of research by the Center in 14 low-income city schools which were working to improve their college numbers.
Confused about high school admissions? Have questions you need answered about particular schools, or how to fill out the 12-school application?
Insideschools.org can help! We are offering a free workshop for parents on Oct. 9: High School Hustle: How to apply.
Leading the discussion will be Clara Hemphill, founding editor of Insideschools and author of New York City's Best Public High Schools. Joining her are other experts on high school admissions, including Jacquie Wayans, Insideschools assignment editor and Bronx parent of three public school students.
We'll present Insidestats, a new way to judge high schools, explain what to look for in a high school, talk about the various types of high schools and provide plenty of time for Q&A.
The event is sponsored by the Center for NYC Affairs at the New School. It will take place at the Theresa Lang Community & Student Center, Arnhold Hall, 2nd floor, 55 West 13th Street, from 6-8 pm on Wednesday, Oct. 9. It is free, but you must RSVP to EventBrite.
See you there! (Let us know in comments below what questions you'd like to see answered.)