News and views

  • It's elementary: School times are a-changin'

    Written by Aimee Sabo
    When I first found out in June that my son’s elementary school would be ending 30 minutes earlier this year and I would have to pick up two children at the same time, ten blocks apart, my first thought, of course, was, “Yes! Now I can harness those superpowers of time travel I always knew I possessed!” Actually, just one word came into my head, and it's unprintable here. Apparently I’m not alone. According to The…
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  • Help homeless kids get free backpacks

    Written by Aimee Sabo
    There are 22,000 kids living in homeless and domestic violence shelters in NYC, according to Volunteers for America. In addition to the trauma and chaos of a transient life, imagine the feeling of arriving for the first day of school in September, seeing all your friends toting shiny, full backpacks ready to learn, and you have ... nothing. In 2001, Volunteers of America–Greater New York launched Operation Backpack—a fundraising initiative aimed at providing our city's…
  • Free summer fun

    Written by Aimee Sabo
    Perhaps that technology camp you enrolled your nature-loving daughter in just wasn’t quite right, or maybe you’ve noticed your teenager spending too many summer days staring at the wall—or a screen. Luckily, there are still lots of free, engaging summer classes and programs in all five boroughs for kids of all ages. It’s not too late! And don't forget to check out our listing of free educational enrichment programs year-round. NYC Parks—Free Outdoor Pools Visit…
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  • Applying to high school? Info sessions begin July 15

    Written by Pamela Wheaton
    Evening workshops about the high school admissions process for 8th-graders and their families begin next week. Enrollment officials from the Department of Education wll lead information sessions and answer questions about the types of high school programs offered and how to fill out your application. All sessions run from 6:30–8 pm. Insideschools will be at some workshops too, to meet parents and present our new mobiile high school search. The first workshop is Tuesday, July…
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  • City's childcare vouchers not shared equally

    Written by Abigail Kramer
    This editorial, written by Abigail Kramer, associate editor at the Center for NYC Affairs at The New School, home of Insideschools.org, was published in the New York Daily News on June 28, 2014. When the mayor and the City Council agreed on a budget last week, they added $10 million to a voucher program that helps low-income families pay for daytime and afterschool child care.The vouchers are an invaluable resource. At a minimum, they allow…
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  • Free summer meals available now

    Written by Pamela Wheaton
    All children, ages 18 and under, may receive free breakfast and lunch every weekday from now until Aug. 29, 2014 at thousands of locations including schools, parks, pools, libraries and New York City Housing Authority complexes. Four mobile food trucks will operate seven days a week throughout the summer at popular places for families.
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How to apply to high school

  • Getting started

    New York City is blessed and cursed by the most extensive system of school choice in the country. Everyone must apply to high school. Choose carefully. Once you enroll, it’s really hard to transfer. The yearlong application process begins at the end of 7th grade,… Read more and watch video
  • Weighing your options: close or far?

    The first thing to consider is whether you want a school close to home or far away. Tip: check out the commute before you apply. Imagine what it will be like on a dark, snowy day in February. Some students happily travel halfway across the… Read more and watch video