Insideschools staff

Insideschools staff

What matters most in high school? Graduation rates and Regents test scores? College-oriented academics, supportive teachers - or after school activities?

All of these things matter to students but inside information about high schools is hard to find. There is also intense debate about makes for a "good" high school and how this can be measured.

The Center for New York City Affairs and Insideschools.org will unveil Inside Stats, a new high school scorecard designed to provide a well-rounded picture of NYC's high schools using available data. But, are there better ways to measure our schools?

Clara Hemphill, senior editor at Insideschools will moderate a June 28 morning panel discussion by experts on high schools: Beyond Test Scores: Imagining New Ways to Measure NYC's High Schools. The panel will include: Robert Hughes, president, New Visions for Public Schools; Martin Kurzwell, senior executive, director for research, accountability and data, NYC Department of Education and Jacqueline Wayans, Bronx parent and parent information specialist at Insideschools.org.

Admission is free but seating is limited and you must reserve a spot. RSVP by email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Thursday, 03 May 2012 10:38

High school round 2 results & appeals

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.

In the first round of admissions, about 10 percent of 8th graders applying for 9th grade got no match, forcing them into a second round. Other students chose to re-apply to new or different schools.

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.

Wednesday, 02 May 2012 12:09

New book by Insideschools staffer

Jacqueline Wayans, assignment editor for Insideschools.org and a co-author of New York City's Best Public School Guides, has a new book out -- this one for children.

If you were bright, talented and adored, would you trade it all in for the chance to be greater?

That is the question posed in Ambrose, a fantasy story of the snake in the Garden of Eden The book is designed to help young people understand that they are born with wonderful talents and abilities - but they must value these qualities or risk losing them.

The book that will appeal to many audiences: from parents who can read it to their pre-schoolers  to middle-schoolers who can think – and write about – the questions and quandaries it poses.

Published by Tate Publishing, Ambrose is available on wayanswork.com. You can like it on Facebook, too!

Jacqueline Wayans, assignment editor for Insideschools.org and a co-author of New York City's Best Public School Guides, has a new book out -- this one for children.

If you were bright, talented and adored, would you trade it all in for the chance to be greater? 

That is the question posed in Ambrose, a fantasy story of the snake in the Garden of Eden The book is designed to help young people understand that they are born with wonderful talents and abilities  -  but they must value these attributes or risk losing them.

This is a book that will appeal to parents who can read it to their pre-schoolers, as well as to middle-schoolers who can think – and write about – the questions it poses.

Ambrose is available on  www.wayanswork.com. You can like it on Facebook, too!

The city has released details of its plan to build new juvenile justice facilities, which will allow New York City kids convicted of breaking the law to stay closer to their homes and families, rather than being sent to lockups run by the state.

One of the criticisms of the current system is that city kids don't get credit for the schoolwork they do while serving time in state facilities, since the schools aren't accredited by the Department of Education. Many students find it very hard to re-enter schools upon their return to the city and opening centers locally would offer continuity to their education. The city plans to operate new schools for kids in the city-controlled lockups, starting in September of this year.

Read Abigail Kramer's story about the plan on the new Child Welfare Watch news blog at the Center for New York City Affairs.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012 14:52

Using exams to judge teachers, schools

Sparks flew at the Brooklyn Secondary School for Collaborative Studies on Monday night as the chief academic officer defended the city's heavy reliance on standardized exams to judge schools, principals and teachers.

Deputy Chancellor Shael Polakow-Suransky was under fire all night from the crowd in the packed school auditorium in Carroll Gardens. The two principals on the panel who said they believed the testing regime had damaged education in city schools.

The former head of the Office of Accountability kept his cool and acknowledged that the current state exams did not do a good job at measuring "critical thinking," but he denied that the exams were overly influential and said  that better tests were coming. Why, then, has the Bloomberg administration made such a public spectacle of the A through F grading system, which is mostly based on student progress on the exams, if they aren't very good? Polakow-Suransky never answered that question.

You can read more about the event, which was moderated by Insideschools reporter Meredith Kolodner, on  GothamSchools and SchoolBook. Watch a video clip of the meeting from the Grassroots Education Movement:

Some Manhattan parents are scrambling to stop a plan to move 150 Harlem Success Academy 5th-graders into a building on the Upper West Side. Critics fear the plan could make the Success Academy students, most of whom live in Central and East Harlem, eligible to attend Upper West Side middle schools once they reach 6th grade. Others say the move may jeopardize federal magnet programs at two of the small elementary schools in the building.

E-mail alerts about the proposal went out Thursday to many parents of students in District 3, which spans Manhattan’s west side from 59th to 122nd streets.  The e-mails urged parents to attend a March 15 public hearing and speak out in opposition to the plan.

According to one e-mail, the Harlem Success Academy students are largely from Districts 4 and 5, but the plan would transfer them into District 3 during 5th grade. “Once they are housed in a D3 building, they become eligible for D3 middle schools,” read the e-mail. “Our strong D3 middle schools could become an appealing option for these out-of-district families at a time when we are already facing a serious middle school seat crunch.”

Monday, 12 March 2012 17:03

School starts on September 6 in 2012

The first day of school for students next fall will be Thursday, Sept. 6, according to the Department of Education calendar now online. Classroom teachers begin two days early, on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Pre-K and kindergarten students begin with shortened school days. The first full day for kindergarten students is Friday, Sept. 7; for pre-K, it is Monday, Sept. 10.

The school year will end with a half-day on Wednesday, June 26.

The calendar lists dates for all school holidays as well as professional development dates for teachers when students will not attend. The 3rd-8th grade math and reading test dates are not including. They come out on a different calendar.

At the March 3-4 Round 2 high school fair we collected information about open houses and auditions for some schools that still have space.  This is an incomplete list. Best to contact the schools' parent coordinators or website to confirm and find out about others.

If you have information about a school we have missed, please add it in comments.

Bronx

Bronx High School Fair: Multiple schools including the new School for Tourism and Hospitality March 7, 5:30 - 7:30 Alfred Smith HS Campus

ROADS Charter High Schools (for older students)  Family Information Session: March 5, 6–7 p.m. PS 214, 1970 West Farms Roads

Brooklyn

Brooklyn Institute for Liberal Arts info session at Washington Irving High School (School to be located at 600 Kingston Avenue), March 8, 5:30 p.m.

Fort Hamilton vocal and music program. To schedule an audition, call 718-748-1537, ext 1121.

Park Slope Collegiate, Open House, Wednesday, March 14 7-8:30 p.m. 237 7th Ave., 4th floor. RSVP to Angela at 718-832-4319.

ROADS Charter High Schools (for older students)  Family Information Session, March 7, 6-7 p.m., 1495 Herkimer 

Manhattan

Academy for Software Engineering, Info session @ Washington Irving High School, 40 Irving Place, March 8, 5:30 p.m. March 6, 6-8 p.m. at Google 76, 9th Avenue; March 10, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at NYU, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, 251 Mercer Street, Room 102; March 13 , 6-8 p.m.  at NYU, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, 251 Mercer Street, Room 102

Esperanza Preparatory Academy info session @ Washington Irving High School,  40 Irving Place (School located at 240 East 109th Street), March 8 5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 10, 9:30 a.m.

Harvest Collegiate High School, info session @ Washington Irving High School, 40 Irving Place (School to be located at 34 West 14 Street) March 8, 5:30 p.m.

High School for Excellence and Innovation, Open House, March 6,7,8, 12 & 13, 3:30 - 6:30 p.m.

High School of Art and Design: Audition date: March 17, 8:30 a.m. Architectural Design and Film/Video Production Bring your portfolio, latest report card, letters of recommendation, sharpened pencils, an eraser and "a winning attitude."

The High School of Fashion Industries: Audition online or on these dates: March 9, Open House 4-5 p.m., auditions at 5 p.m.; Monday, March 12, Open House, 4-5 p.m., auditions begin at 5 p.m. Audition online at www.fashionhighschool.net.

NEST+M Upper school entrance exam dates for incoming 9th and 10th grades: Thursday, March 8 (4:30-6 p.m.) or Monday, March 12 (4:30-6 p.m.) To register, email student's name, parent/guardian name, address, phone number, email address, exam date and indicate if student has testing accommodations.

Union Square High School for Health Services info session @ Washington Irving High School, 40 Irving Place, March 8, 5:30 p.m.

Queens

Bayside High School Music Performance and Production Program: Auditions, Sunday, March 11, 2:30-5:30. Questions? Email Music Program Director William Gagstetter at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (No openings in zoned program.)

Hillside Arts and Letters Academy: Open House March 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Jamaica campus.


Our friends and colleagues at Advocates for Children are putting out a call to action to protect early intervention programs for young children. Early Intervention provides evaluations and services to infants and toddler who have developmental delays or disabilities and their families. 

Governor Cuomo's 2012-2013 Executive budget proposal would restructure Early Intervention, linking those services to health insurance coverage. In a statement, Advocates says:"While we support the goal of requiring private health insurance comopanies to contribute to the cost of EI, we are concerned about parts of the proposal."

Among other things, the proposal calls for a representative from an insurance company to be on the team that develops a child's Individualized Family Service Plan. It would also require the child to be evaluated and served by evaluators and service providers within the child's insurance network. 

Advocates for Children is calling on concerned parents to call or e-mail their state legislators to express their concerns that these changes would would make it harder to access high-quality EI services.

See the Advocates for Children website for more information. A sample email letter is after the jump.

Wondering what to do if you, or your 8th-grader, did not get assigned a high school in the first round? Want to find out your options? Need suggestions for a great high school that has room?

Join Insideschools.org’s Clara Hemphill, Jacqueline Wayans and Pamela Wheaton for a Twitter chat on high school admissions on Tuesday, March 6, from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM. We welcome guidance counselors and principals to chime in with suggestions too.

Using our @Insideschools Twitter account, we’ll field admissions questions and share advice with 8th and 9th graders, parents, teachers and parent coordinators. We encourage you to share your experiences and to help identify high schools that may be overlooked. We'll provide tips for navigating the second round of high school admissions.