News and views

  • Will new DOE structure mean fewer runarounds for parents?

    Written by Clara Hemphill
    Don't expect miracles anytime soon, but the new organization of schools announced by schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña on Thursday may spell the beginning of the end to one of parents' most frustrating dilemmas: what to do when you can't get a problem resolved at your school.Under Mayor Mike Bloomberg's organization of the school system, if your principal couldn't—or wouldn't—fix a problem, you were pretty much out of luck. Principals were "empowered," which means they didn't have…
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  • Don't blame the Common Core

    Written by Aimee Sabo
    If the Common Core were a person, I think we could be friends. I’d call her CeeCee and take her out for a drink. She needs it. I imagine CeeCee sobbing on my shoulder, saying something like, “I’m just trying to give all our kids a fair shot. Really I am!” Poor CeeCee. She means well and I think she got a lot more right than anyone is willing to admit, but we’re all just…
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  • New FAFSA guide for students (& adults who help them!)

    Written by Insideschools staff
    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…
  • Common Core leads to uncommon jargon in kindergarten

    Written by Lydie Raschka
    At the teacher's prompting, a kindergartner at PS 251 in Queens tries to define "text evidence" for the rest of the class. "Test ed-i-dence," says the 5-year-old, tripping over the unfamiliar words, "is something when you say the word and show the picture." "Text evidence"? What's with this incomprehensible jargon in kindergarten? This fall, I visited over a dozen elementary schools and saw firsthand how hard teachers are working to meet the new Common Core…
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  • HS Hustle: Finally, cell phone ban lifted; no more calls to "come and get it"

    Written by Liz Willen
    Now that bringing cell phones to school will soon be OK, the calls I dread are finally about to stop. "Hello, we have your son's cell phone,'' a voice from his high school says. "We had to confiscate it because he was using it. You can pick it up between 4 and 4:30 pm today." Routinely, the next call comes minutes later from my son, using a friend's cell phone. He'll be begging me to drop…
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  • College counselor: Why was my early action application deferred?

    Written by Dr. Jane S. Gabin
    Q: I applied under “early action” in November to two schools I considered my “safeties.” I wanted to know that I had at least one acceptance before filing my regular applications in January. I was pretty confident I’d get in, but both schools deferred me—so now I am in a panic. Maybe it’s true and college admission IS getting harder! If my “safeties” deferred me, what chance do I have with the others? A: Actually,…
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How to apply to elementary school

  • Getting started

    Your child is entitled to attend kindergarten the year he or she turns five. (If your child has his birthday in late September, October, November or December, he may begin school in September when he is still four.) For information on how to enroll, see… Read more and watch video
  • What to look for in a school

    You will certainly want to check out your neighborhood school before you enroll your child. You may also want to tour other schools that your child may be eligible to attend. On your visits, consider the following: Close to home or far away? Little kids… Read more and watch video