News and views

  • When public school falls short for special needs kids

    Written by Kate O'Donoghue
    I am the proud parent of a bright, creative, and unique daughter with learning disabilities. Like many children with high-incidence disabilities, my daughter outperforms in certain academic areas and underperforms in others. From kindergarten until 3rd grade, she relied on these skills and managed in a general education classroom with some extra services. She had caring, committed teachers, well versed in different learning styles.  By the second week of 3rd grade, however, it became clear…
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  • HS Hustle: Navigating college search, sans guidance counselors

    Written by Liz Willen
    It's the thick of college application season, and your child is diligently churning out common application essays while simultaneously studying for four or five advanced placement exams and researching scholarships, right? Well, maybe not. In households of high school seniors across New York City right now, (including my own) there's likely a good deal of procrastination—along with frustration and anxiety about the endless array of essays and electronic forms to fill out. Tasks include the…
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  • It's time to sign up for G&T testing. Our advice: Don't stress it

    Written by Aimee Sabo
    Ahh, it’s that time of year again. The pumpkins are out, and sunscreen and sandals have given way to light jackets and boots. There’s no denying it: gifted and talented testing is upon us. Two years ago, I documented my elder son’s attempt to penetrate the exciting, if somewhat notorious world of gifted and talented testing in New York City. Several Pearson debacles and rejection letters later, our son ended up happy and thriving at…
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  • Good riddance to A-F school grades!

    Written by Nicole Mader
    Say goodbye to the controversial school grading system developed under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Starting this school year, parents will no longer be able to judge schools by their A to F rankings, which were designed to be a simple way to see whether their child's school was succeeding or failing. Instead, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña wants parents to look beyond test scores to see what is actually happening inside their children's classrooms and promises…
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  • Not the usual suspects: Our middle school picks

    Written by Laura Zingmond
    Here's help for 5th-grade parents now in the throes of the hunt for middle school. Insideschools combed the city for good middle schools that are not among the usual favorites—those popular screened and highly competitive programs that everybody applies to. What we found are solid neighborhood and non-selective options in every borough. Overall, we were less concerned with a school’s test scores than with its tone and environment, and the quality of its instruction and…
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  • Looking for a middle school? Fairs, tours begin now!

    Written by Pamela Wheaton
    Middle school admissions season kicks into high gear this week for parents of 5th-graders. You can meet school representatives at evening district fairs beginning Tuesday, Sept. 30. Middle school directories for 2014-2015 are online and hard copies are available at elementary schools.Now is the time to sign up for school tours and open houses! The Department of Education website lists some open house dates here. If you don't see the school you want to visit…
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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