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We are here to help you find a good public school for your child and to fight for good public schools for all children.
—Clara Hemphill, founder

NEWS and VIEWS

If your child’s school falls short in effectively teaching your child math and science or providing the resources necessary to engage him, there is much you can do to help. Volunteer at the school. Start a chess or robotics club after school or during lunch. Shewonia Bowman, an engineer and the mother of two girls, started an early morning math club with interactive games at PS 199 in Manhattan. Help children plant a school vegetable garden to teach them about nutrition and the environment. Chaperone or extend other help on a relevant field trip; excursions to area museums are good ways to bolster science in the school curriculum, for example. 
 “Repeat after me.” 
If your child’s school is good at teaching the concepts of math but doesn’t teach quick recall of facts, …
1. Female teachers unwittingly passed their own math anxiety onto their female students in an article based on the work of Sian L. Beilock, et.al., called: “Female Teachers’ Math Anxiety Affects Girls’ Math Achievement.” 2. When science and literacy lessons are integrated, students demonstrate grea…
Whatever your child’s grade level, look for fun-to-read books about math and science, as well as fish tanks, animals such as gerbils, live plants and tools including magnifying glasses, magnets, or electrical circuits. There is more to math and science than what you can find in a textbook. Check t…
by Alex Bryden Monday, 27 October 2014 11:26
Whatever your child’s grade level, look for fun-to-read books about math and science, as well as fish tanks, animals such as gerbils, live plants and tools including magnifying glasses, magnets, or electrical circuits. There is more to math and science than what you can find in a textbook. Check t…
by Alex Bryden Wednesday, 24 September 2014 12:06
1. Female teachers unwittingly passed their own math anxiety onto their female students in an article based on the work of Sian L. Beilock, et.al., called: “Female Teachers’ Math Anxiety Affects Girls’ Math Achievement.” 2. When science and literacy lessons are integrated, students demonstrate grea…
by Alex Bryden Wednesday, 24 September 2014 12:04
If your child’s school falls short in effectively teaching your child math and science or providing the resources necessary to engage him, there is much you can do to help. Volunteer at the school. Start a chess or robotics club after school or during lunch. Shewonia Bowman, an engineer and th…
by Alex Bryden Wednesday, 24 September 2014 11:51
Obviously, you want to ask questions as part of friendly curiosity, not grilling the teacher. Remember, you both have your children’s best interest at heart. Here are some ideas for questions: How do you challenge the best students and help struggling learners? Reaching children of different abili…
by Pamela Wheaton Tuesday, 16 September 2014 11:14
This weekend, Sept. 20 and 21, is the Department of Education's gigantic citywide high school fair from 10 am to 3 pm at Brooklyn Technical High School. Prepare for a hectic day, where you will meet teachers, students and administrators and find out about their schools. You can attend information s…
by Dr. Jane S. Gabin Thursday, 24 April 2014 12:24
Ask the College Counselor! Q: I can't decide where I should enroll in college. I was accepted by four schools, have decided against two of them, but now I can't decide between the other two. They are both great schools. I have visited them, but don't have enough time to go back for a second visit. …
by Edward Yau Friday, 21 February 2014 13:37
New York City offers children and teens a wide range of after-school and summer activities--from paid museum internships to free science research programs. The free and low cost programs listed here are a great way to explore new interests, get extra support, and supplement what is being tau…
by Chris French Thursday, 23 January 2014 17:33
Any child between the ages of 5 and 21 who has not graduated from high school is entitled to a free public education. This includes undocumented immigrants, children with disabilities, children who do not speak English, pregnant girls, homeless children, and older teenagers who may have dropped out…
by Chris French Thursday, 23 January 2014 17:33
Children who don't speak English well are entitled to special classes in English as a second language (ESL). When your child starts school, teachers will give her a test to see if she needs help improving her English. Parents who don't speak English are entitled to translations of all important docu…
by Judy Baum Friday, 20 December 2013 10:36
Holidays are upon us! If you are one of the lucky ones to have vacation days along with your kids -- or if you are a high school student used to travelling around the city on your own, here are some ways to enjoy your time.Catch up on museums! This list of free museum days [PDF] was compiled by…
by Clara Hemphill Thursday, 19 December 2013 10:33
    Did Insideschools.org help you this year? You may have attended one of our workshops, or called us for advice on how to find a good school for your child. Perhaps you read one of our hundreds of school …
by Insideschools staff Friday, 22 November 2013 11:11
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 classr…
by Pamela Wheaton Wednesday, 20 November 2013 15:39
High school applications are due on Dec. 2, the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday, for 8th graders, and 9th graders who want to go to a different school next year. Still undecided where to apply? Check out our new Insideschools mobile website on your smartphone. You can search by borough, subwa…
by Pamela Wheaton Wednesday, 20 November 2013 11:11
If your child is one of the 210,000 students in grades 3-8 who scored a Level 1 or 2 on last spring's state ELA or math exams, you should know that schools are offering families 30 minute one-on-one conferences with their child's teachers from now through January. The $5 million Department of Educa…
by Pamela Wheaton Tuesday, 19 November 2013 16:22
This information just in from our friends at Advocates for Children: "The NYC DOE's Office of Innovation is interviewing parents regarding their experience with the DOE's busing system for students receiving special education services in NYC.  The purpose of these interviews is a collaboration…
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 15 November 2013 12:22
Families will have just one month to use the new online system to apply to kindergarten for 2014, according to admissions dates posted by the Department of Education today.  Parents of children born in 2009 may apply online, on the phone to a central DOE number or in person at an enrollment off…
by Judy Baum Thursday, 07 November 2013 11:55
Dear Judy, What do you do if you don't respect your child's teacher? We're having problems with the second grade teacher.  Our son is starting to get a negative attitude about school in large part because of constant conflicts about homework – three subjects each night. The teacher is also a s…
by Abigail Kramer Monday, 04 November 2013 17:11
The New York City Board of Correction released a report last week that documents the stories of three adolescents who were sentenced to more than 200 days in isolation on Rikers Island. Each of the teens, who were 17 and 18 years old when they were interviewed by the Board, had been diagnosed with …
by Dr. Jane S. Gabin Monday, 04 November 2013 12:28
Q: My daughter is interested in graduating from her high school in 3 years rather than 4 years, but the school counselor is discouraging it. What do you think? How hard should I push the school to assist in the process? A: The school counselor is correct.Graduating early is a misguided idea. U…
by DNAinfo Friday, 27 September 2013 10:54
(This story first appeared on DNAInfo.com) Don't forget to put an extra quarter in your child's backpack starting on Monday. The price of school lunch is rising 25 cents to $1.75 — the first price increase since 2003, when the cost of lunch jumped from $1 to $1.50, according to Department of …
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 28 May 2013 10:12
My daughter is in 9th grade and while she has had some good experiences overall, she's not thriving at her large high school. We've been told that a smaller school might be a better option for her. Is it possible to transfer? We missed the window of applying through the general admissions process fo…
by Jacqueline Wayans Monday, 06 May 2013 21:58
The start of the 2013 mayoral race began in earnest in February when Christine Quinn was the first out of the gate to release her education plan at The Center for NYC Affairs.  Since then, there have been numerous forums with mayoral candidates -  separately or collectively -&nbs…
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 03 May 2013 11:48
If you are between the ages of 14 and 24, you may apply by May 10 for the New York City Summer Youth Employment program. Participants work up to 25 hours a week for seven weeks, earning $7.25 per hour. Job sites include government agencies, hospitals, summer camps, nonprofits, small businesses, and…
by Insideschools staff Monday, 25 March 2013 10:10
Parents can submit an application to serve on one of the city's 32 district community education councils or the citywide high school, special education, District 75 and English LanguageLearners councils, through March 27. Here's the information from the Department of Education. "APPLY TO SERVE ON …
by Marni Goltsman Tuesday, 19 February 2013 10:50
At 7:10 am tomorrow morning, we will be happily reunited with my son’s bus driver and matron. I know it will be exactly at 7:10 because they are never late. Sadly, Mayor Bloomberg has made certain that our reunion will not last long—in June, he will bring in a lower-cost workforce that will be more…
by Pamela Wheaton Wednesday, 13 February 2013 12:51
For four weeks now yellow school buses have not been running and parents of special education students are fed up. They are asking Chancellor Dennis Walcott to intervene and work with Mayor Bloomberg to get the buses running again. In a letter sent to the chancellor on Monday by the Citywide Counci…
by Pamela Wheaton Thursday, 20 December 2012 11:09
What to do with your children once the presents have been opened, the holidays feasts consumed and the kids -- and you -- have had enough of games and computers? How about a visit to one of New York City's "more than 500 galleries, 375 nonprofit theater companies, 330 dance companies, 150 museums, 9…
by Pamela Wheaton Tuesday, 18 December 2012 11:40
All 5th graders will turn in applications for middle school this Friday, Dec. 21. That includes students with special education needs who will fill out the same application as other children. There is often some confusion about the process, even after the roll-out of the special education reform th…
by Insideschools staff Monday, 17 December 2012 16:19
Parents Liz Rosenberg, Kemala Karmen and Dionne Grayman organized the first Parents' Charrette which was held on Dec. 8. Here's their report on how the event went, plus next steps for the group. See a slideshow of the day's events at the bottom of the post. Fran Huckaby, standing at the front of B…
by Insideschools staff Monday, 17 December 2012 14:17
All schools should offer a "safe place" for children who wish to talk about last Friday's tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary school, Chancellor Dennis Walcott wrote in a letter to school communities and families today. The letter, signed also by UFT President Michael Mulgrew and Ernest Logan, preside…
by Clara Hemphill Wednesday, 12 December 2012 16:17
Every year, lots of 5th graders apply to a handful of super-popular middle schools. Naturally not everyone gets in. This year, we decided to highlight some good schools that haven’t suffered from over-exposure. Some require applicants to have good grades, but others accept kids of all abilities. Th…
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 11 December 2012 15:57
It's holiday gift-giving time again! From mid-December on, schools are in a holiday mode. During these last days before the traditional 10-day break, there are performances, decorations and parties. Most parents and kids find it a good time to thank teachers for their hard work and maybe to ch…
by Clara Hemphill Tuesday, 04 December 2012 16:40
We're offering two free workshops in Manhattan and Brooklyn this week for parents exploring their pre-kindergarten and kindergarten options. Come and learn about neighborhood schools, charter schools, gifted and talented programs, dual language programs, unzoned schools, and services for children wi…
by Anna Schneider Tuesday, 23 October 2012 00:49
These programs were recommended by special education advocates, parents’ groups, university researchers and Insideschools staffers. We looked for schools with high academic standards (reflected by better-than-average test scores); that treat all children kindly; and that serve a substantial number o…
by Anna Schneider Monday, 22 October 2012 17:24
We picked a few schools that have long history of success with special needs students. We also highlight new schools that have a promising approach, even if they are too new to have solid results. Not every school works for every child, and finding a good high school for students with disabilities i…
by Anna Schneider Monday, 22 October 2012 17:19
These programs were recommended by special education advocates, parents’ groups, university researchers and Insideschools staffers. We looked for schools that have high academic standards (often reflected by better-than-average test scores); that treat all children kindly; and that serve a substanti…
by Insideschools staff Thursday, 23 August 2012 10:58
The Islamic Circle North America will give away 5,000 backpacks stuffed with school supplies to needy children tomorrow, August 25, in sites around the city.  The giveaway is part of a national campaign to distribute 30,000 stuffed backpacks to children in need of any religious faith. City Cou…
by Insideschools staff Thursday, 28 June 2012 07:22
The Center for New York City Affairs and Insideschools.org today will present 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 Insidesc…
by Clara Hemphill Friday, 08 June 2012 11:35
I'll be giving advice to 7th grade parents in Queens at a free workshop on "how to choose a high school" sponsored by City Councilman Mark Weprin. The date is Wednesday, June 13, from 6 to 8 p.m. The address is Middle School 74Q, 61-15 Oceania Street, Bayside. Insideschools reporters Laura Zingmond…
by Clara Hemphill Friday, 01 June 2012 12:48
I'll be one of the speakers at a workshop at New York University, Tuesday, June 5, from 12 to 1:30 p.m. to help parents figure out their elementary school options. The event at the Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, Room, 803, is designed for NYU staff, but others may come as well. Magg…
by Clara Hemphill Thursday, 03 May 2012 16:49
Audition schools are among the most popular. Auditions are held in the fall. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts, one of the specialized schools, is the most selective. Some children prepare for these auditions at the Summer Arts Institute, a free four-week program. When you t…
by Clara Hemphill Thursday, 03 May 2012 16:43
Next consider whether you want a school that is large or small. Large schools have more courses, sports, arts programs, foreign languages. But you’ll get more personal attention at a small school, where everyone knows your name. The college office may be better at a small school, because there are…
by Pamela Wheaton Wednesday, 11 April 2012 13:23
Parents have started receiving the results of the 2012 tests for entrance to elementary school gifted and talented programs.  Score reports were sent by email and regular mail on April 10, according to the Department of Education. Along with the results, families receive an application listing…
by Pamela Wheaton Thursday, 05 April 2012 11:38
Parents of children who turn four in 2012 have a few more days to apply for public school pre-kindergarten programs for next September. The Education Department extended the application deadline from April 5 to April 10. Online applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on April 10. Parents who…
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 23 March 2012 13:27
Kindergarten registration begins March 26 after families learn this week where their children got accepted. Schools sent out notification letters via email and regular mail by March 23. While the majority of public school children attend their zoned elementary schools, other families apply to schoo…
by Insideschools staff Friday, 02 March 2012 14:22
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.  Govern…
by Insideschools staff Friday, 02 March 2012 11:47
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 sch…
by Clara Hemphill Tuesday, 17 January 2012 13:20
Insideschools aims to provide up-to-date data on New York City public schools. We rely on official statistics and information from the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED), which monitor most public schools. Charter school data not included …
by Dr. Jane S. Gabin Wednesday, 19 October 2011 09:47
Q: Since my school has very few AP classes, are "College Now" courses good substitutes? A: When colleges review students' applications -- and this is especially true with selective colleges -- the transcript is the most important document they examine. They look not only for outstanding grades, but…
by Anna Schneider Thursday, 13 October 2011 11:30
Chancellor Dennis Walcott and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr will join education historian Diane Ravitch, Pedro Noguera and other education policy heavy-hitters at the first-ever Bronx Education Summit, Saturday, Oct. 15 at Lehman College. Dr. Ravitch will deliver the keynote speech, "Improv…
by Judy Baum Monday, 26 September 2011 12:49
Public libraries are letting children and teens off the hook for fines for overdue books. In a welcome-back to school outreach to city kids, the New York Public Library System, (NYPL) Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Library, decided to overlook outstanding library fines as long as borrowed mate…
by Insideschools staff Wednesday, 14 September 2011 12:51
Parents of 8th-graders: Get a jump-start on high school admissions. Come to a meeting tonight of the Citywide Council on High Schools.  Lenny Trerotola, executive director of high school admissions, and Sandy Ferguson, executive director of middle school admissions, will talk about updates to t…
by Clara Hemphill Tuesday, 06 September 2011 12:33
New York City has a complicated public school system that's not easy to navigate. It has some of the best schools in the country as well as some that struggle to provide even a basic education. Some neighborhoods have excellent zoned schools, and all you need to do to enroll your child is to show u…
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 26 August 2011 16:04
The summer exam for newcomers to New York City seeking September entrance to one of the specialized high schools will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 31 rather than on Monday, Aug. 29 as originally scheduled. The Department of Education decided to reschedule the admissions test known as SHSAT "due to Hur…
by Clara Hemphill Thursday, 25 August 2011 15:56
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 our page on New to NYC or call the Depart…
by Pamela Wheaton Thursday, 25 August 2011 13:23
Children who scored at a level 4 on both the state reading and math exams in 3rd and 4th grade last May may now apply for district gifted and talented programs, although the number of seats available is "extremely limited" according to the Department of Education. Applications are due by Aug. 31. T…
by Chris French Wednesday, 24 August 2011 14:47
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 tire easily, and a long commute to school wi…
by Chris French Wednesday, 24 August 2011 14:46
Your 5-year-old is guaranteed a seat in kindergarten whenever you register—whether months in advance, the first day of school or even after the school year has begun. However, it’s best to apply early if you hope to enroll in an overcrowded neighborhood school, or if you want to explore other option…
by Chris French Wednesday, 24 August 2011 14:43
Some public schools have pre-kindergarten classes for children who have their 4th birthday before December 31 of the year they enroll. However, your child is not guaranteed a seat. Programs are either 2½ hours or 6 hours 20 minutes a day. Parents may rank up to 12 pre-kindergarten programs on an app…
by Pamela Wheaton Wednesday, 17 August 2011 15:16
A 16-month prep course designed to help low-income middle school students prepare for the city's elite specialized high schools will be cut nearly in half from 16 months to three beginning in 2012, sources tell Insideschools. The program is falling victim to "budget constraints" which will "change t…
by Anna Schneider Wednesday, 17 August 2011 10:27
Wondering how your kid did on the state tests back in May? Individual math and English test scores for grades 3 to 8 should be available today on ARIS parent link. Summer school students will receive August promotion letters and can view test results next week, August 22, and schools will provide pr…
by Jacqueline Wayans Tuesday, 16 August 2011 18:46
Parents who are dissatisfied with their child’s school placement for this year may have a shot at a charter school. Insideschools has found a handful of charters - most of them new ones -  that still have seats available for fall 2011. Broome Street Academy: An alternative high school for at…
by Anna Schneider Monday, 15 August 2011 17:07
Sex ed in the city's schools made headlines last week when Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott announced it will be a required course for middle and high students. In a letter to principals, Walcott said he believed a policy to teach sex education was long overdue. "We have a responsibility to offer o…
by Mellen O’Keefe Wednesday, 10 August 2011 14:24
Yellow school buses will roll on September 8, the first day of school this year. If your children are among the 150,000 who ride the bus, or if you have a special needs child who is transported in a “mini-wagon,” you can expect a letter confirming the bus route and pick-up time by August 29th. That’…
by Judy Baum Wednesday, 10 August 2011 12:55
Dear Judy:   My son starts his senior year in high school this September. Now that January Regents are re-instated, he will probably have only one or two classes left to acquire enough credits to graduate I have heard that even if he does not need the credits, he must attend full time. Is…
by Anna Schneider Monday, 08 August 2011 17:37
City students’ math and reading test scores inched up slightly this year compared to 2010, when the state imposed tougher testing standards. At a press conference today, Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott announced that, despite more difficult tests this year, the city’s 3rd throu…
by Pamela Wheaton Thursday, 04 August 2011 17:01
Insideschools has a new website! We've redesigned not only to make the site visibly better and easier for our readers to use, but because the back end databases and software that fed all the different components of the site over the last decade had become outdated and unmanageable and had to be com…
by Anna Schneider Tuesday, 02 August 2011 15:16
Mayor Bloomberg declared an end to tenure as an "automatic right" for New York City teachers, when he announced last week that only 58% of over 5,000 eligible teachers were approved for tenure this year. This number represents a sharp departure from just five years ago, when 99% of eligible teachers…
by Chris French Tuesday, 02 August 2011 10:35
It is important that you carefully read and understand the terms and conditions of this Agreement. By using the Site (as defined below), you agree to be bound by the version of this Agreement then in effect. If you do not agree to these terms and conditions, please do not use the Site. La…
by Chris French Tuesday, 02 August 2011 10:35
Insideschools.org is a program of the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School ("The New School," "we," "us") that provides a variety of online services, making it easier for parents, guardians and other interested individuals and organizations to find out about New York City's pu…
by Chris French Tuesday, 02 August 2011 09:42
2014 9/24/2014 School Daze HS Application Process (BK Live) 6/27/2014 With police report requirement unclear, safety transfers hard to come by (Chalkbeat New York) 6/24/2014 Graduation rates inch up, but many kids still not making grades (New York Post) 6/11/2014 In pursuit o…
by Judy Baum Monday, 01 August 2011 17:43
New York State is changing the way it evaluates teachers and principals. Starting in the 2011-2012 school year, the state will use a new system to evaluate teacher effectiveness based on factors like classroom performance and student achievement on standardized tests. The new system will affect how …
by Dr. Jane S. Gabin Monday, 01 August 2011 15:42
Q: My daughter is heading off to college this fall, and has already "met" her roommate on Facebook and through e-mail. They have many interests in common and are really looking forward to living together on campus. Now they are starting to discuss "who will bring what?" and we are a bit unsure about…
by Chris French Wednesday, 27 July 2011 13:19
Contacting the Department of Education is hit-or-miss: some people who answer the telephones are knowledgeable and helpful while others are really not. Expect confusing and contradictory information. Our advice: pleasant persistence. Keep trying and you will eventually get the information you need. …
by Jennifer Freeman Thursday, 21 July 2011 14:58
A group of parents filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn yesterday to force the Department of Education to speed up its replacement of fluorescent lights that contain toxic PCBs. The suit, as reported in today's Times, says that the DOE's proposed time frame of  up to ten years is too long, puts childre…
by Chris French Thursday, 21 July 2011 11:05
Academic prep The Center for Leadership and College Preparation, affiliated with Bank Street College of Education, offers educational opportunities both to high-achieving students and to struggling students. The program serves kids in 5th-12th grades, giving them access to a wide range of acade…
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 19 July 2011 06:00
Dear Judy, My son's middle school handed out report cards with errors.  When the errors were pointed out they fixed them promptly.  However, the incorrect info apparently had already gone into ARIS.  The middle school also already sent over the incorrect report card to my son's new high school. I h…
by Insideschools staff Thursday, 14 July 2011 11:48
Newcomers to New York City, who are entering 9th or 10th grade in September, may register to take the summer exam for admission to one of the selective specialized high schools, and to audition for the arts school, LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and the Performing Arts. From July 11-Aug…
by Marni Goltsman Wednesday, 13 July 2011 06:36
I don't care if Brooks ever mainstreams. There. I said it. I used to care—my husband and I used to care about that more than anything else in the world. But once again, our son has forced us to look at the world in a more nuanced way. He simply cannot be the success story of the boy who overcame aut…
by Dr. Jane S. Gabin Tuesday, 12 July 2011 06:48
Q: Is there any point to visiting colleges over the summer?  Won't everything be closed? A: While it's best to visit a college while it's in full session, this is not always possible—especially if the college is far from your home. So summer is a peak time for campus visits, and colleges are w…
Ed note: After two years of blogging from the pre-K and kindergarten corners of her school in Brooklyn, Claiborne Milde will also be "stepping up" and moving on to different endeavors. Here's her wrap-up of this pre-K year and the challenges that await next year's crop of newcomers to the public sch…
by Insideschools staff Wednesday, 06 July 2011 09:09
The nearly 9,000 4-year-olds who were shut out in the first round of pre-kindergarten applications for next year will have another chance to apply beginning on July 18. The Department of Education is compiling a new directory of schools, daycare centers, and community organizations that will have s…
by Pamela Wheaton Tuesday, 05 July 2011 09:22
Brooklyn New School already has large classes but most NYC teachers will be facing crowded classrooms next fall. Now that school is out, principals are wrestling with how to slice at least 2.5% from their already thin budgets. That will probably mean larger class sizes; fewer course offerings in hi…
by Insideschools staff Tuesday, 28 June 2011 11:16
School's out! Your child should have come home with a report card, a diploma, or both.  Now it's your turn to grade the school year and the education your child received. Or better yet, ask your child to rate it in our poll. Tell us how you think the school year went and why. What worked well and wh…
by Pamela Wheaton Tuesday, 28 June 2011 11:00
School's out! Your child should have come home with a report card or a diploma or both. Now' it's your turn to grade your child's experience this year. Or better yet, ask your child to rate it. Tell us how you think the school year went and why. What worked well and what didn’t? What are you loo…
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 28 June 2011 09:04
Parents and guardians of students who live in District 3 on Manhattan's Upper West Side may apply to seven new elementary school magnet programs—if they submit applications by Friday, July 15, 2011. Magnet schools receive federal funding for three years to attract and engage students by creating sp…
by Chris French Monday, 27 June 2011 17:03
New York City offers children and teens a wide range of after-school and summer activities--from paid museum internships to free science research programs. The free and low cost programs listed here are a great way to explore new interests, get extra support, and supplement what is being tau…
by Pamela Wheaton Monday, 27 June 2011 11:28
UPDATE June 28: As expected, all the co-location proposals were ratified by PEP last night, as was the move of Khalil Gibran school to a new location, as a high school. See coverage on GothamSchools, including video of a confrontation between Hazel Dukes of the NAACP and charter school proponents. T…
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 24 June 2011 08:23
Just two days before the end of the school year, many students and their families are still waiting to find out where they will be attending school in September. High school appeal decisions are coming out today, according to the Department of Education. Eighth and 9th-grade students who were unhapp…
Liz Willen, editor of The Hechinger Report, writes High School Hustle. This is her final Middle School Muddle. While preparing for middle school graduation this week, I was reminded of my older son’s orientation five years ago. Parents and children were separated, somewhat symbolically. We sat on t…
by IS-Admin Thursday, 23 June 2011 12:07
Many schools have after-school programs to accommodate children of parents who work. Some of these programs are free, but most charge a fee. Some after-school programs are held in the school building, and others are at community organizations. Call your child's school to find out about after-school …
by Judy Baum Thursday, 23 June 2011 08:29
Summer officially started on June 21 and if your vacation plans aren’t fixed, here are some suggestions of what you can do this summer in the city. (Note that some of the sign-ups are time-sensitive!) Lots of time in the park The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation offers a range of f…
by Pamela Wheaton Wednesday, 22 June 2011 09:48
If your older teen has not been successful in a traditional high school program this year, now is the time to be thinking about whether he should transfer to another school or program next fall. The Department of Education has opened many new programs for older students and earlier this year publish…
by Pamela Wheaton Tuesday, 21 June 2011 12:28
Three days before the deadline to register for gifted and talented programs, a few parents are uncertain about where their children have been admitted.  Two parents told us they were not allowed to register at PS 748, a new school in Bath Beach, Brooklyn, even though they had received letters from…
by Dr. Jane S. Gabin Tuesday, 21 June 2011 06:08
Q:  My son’s GPA at the end of 10th grade was between a 92 and a 93.  But this year his GPA dropped to 86.5 – the problem was with an AP math class.  He got a grade of 70.  Seeing that his grade was going down, my son asked his math teacher for extra work to bring up the grade, b…
by Skip Card Monday, 20 June 2011 06:46
As the elementary school’s outdoor dance festival dissolved into a free-for-all waltz party, I hoisted my 5-year-old daughter into my arms and stumbled out a 1-2-3 cadence. It was a glorious June morning in New York, and I cherished the moment — part of that brief time when kids still want to dance …
by Pamela Wheaton Saturday, 18 June 2011 16:38

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Telephone: 212-229-5471 (NOTE: This is the Insideschools' website phone number. If you want to reach an individual school, check on the school's profile page for its' phone number.)

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by Pamela Wheaton Saturday, 18 June 2011 15:55
Who we are We are journalists, public school parents, and public school advocates dedicated to improving schools for our own children and for every child in the city. We believe that engaged, informed parents can promote racially and economically integrated schools of the highest quality. Furthermo…
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 17 June 2011 09:05
Students -- and their parents -- will have their summer vacations extended by one day this year, as Chancellor Dennis Walcott announced today that the first day of classes will be Thursday, September 8, not Wednesday, September 7, as was previously indicated. According to a letter Walcott sent to pr…
by Insideschools staff Thursday, 16 June 2011 14:15
Capping off days of protests against proposed budget cuts to the city's school system, the Alliance for Quality Education and other advocacy groups today delivered seven 50-foot petitions with more than 16,000 signatures to the mayor's office at City Hall. The petition calls for Mayor Bloomberg to r…
by Pamela Wheaton Thursday, 16 June 2011 13:36
Students at the STEM citywide G&T program at PS 85 in Queens. UPDATE JULY 17: Placement letters to eligible students will be sent by email and mail after 6 p.m. today. A breakdown on the number of matches and placement offers by district for kindergarten and 1st grade will be available on Monday…
by Mellen O’Keefe Thursday, 16 June 2011 09:14
DOE officials explain the new IEP to parents at a Manhattan info session. If you are the parent of a student with special needs you know that that everything about the IEP process is stressful and intimidating. So listen up, because the IEP …
by Pamela Wheaton Thursday, 16 June 2011 08:02
With summer vacation just days away, homework may be the last thing on families' minds....unless your child attends one of those schools that sends home assignments to do over July and August. For school administrators, however, summer is a planning time and in at least one school district in New Je…
I sat with my mouth agape as the dentist poked around and asked a question. “It appears you have been grinding your teeth,” he said. “Do you know why?” There could have been many answers (high-pressure job, deadlines, raising teenagers) but I knew at once the real reason: My teeth are likely as grou…
New York City's high school graduation rate rose from 59% in 2009 to 61% in 2010, but only 35% of the graduates were prepared for college, the state and city reported today. The 2010 graduation rate represents students who entered high school in 2006 and graduated in June of 2010 with either …
by Chris French Tuesday, 14 June 2011 13:34
Most children attend their zoned neighborhood elementary school. However, New York City has an extensive system of school choice and you may want to consider other options, including gifted programs, unzoned schools, charter schools and dual language programs. Gifted programs Children who score pa…
by Chris French Tuesday, 14 June 2011 13:04
Academic prep A Better Chance (ABC) places top middle and high school students of color in highly ranked independent day schools, boarding schools and public schools. Students with at least a B+ average who are ranked in the top 10% of their class are eligible. Candidates must apply one year in adv…
by Chris French Tuesday, 14 June 2011 12:38

Still to come

Dear Judy, Is the summer school program only for students who have not succeeded in the previous academic year? Can a student who wishes to study in advance attend summer school? I’'m a 9th grader, if I attend a 10th science/math course in summer school and complete the course, does that mean in S…
by Allison Gaines Pell Tuesday, 14 June 2011 07:39
Every year,  our 8th graders take a two-part science test that may soon become high-stakes, can you explain or link here? and we are charged with grading it. This year, as our science team endeavored to grade the test, we began to talk about what the test itself was measuring. In one part of the “…
by Pamela Wheaton Monday, 13 June 2011 14:08
More than 34,000 students in grades 3 to 8 scored so low on the 2011 standardized math and reading tests this spring that they will need to attend summer school July 5, the Department of Education reports.  The number assigned to summer school has more than tripled since 2009, largely because the st…
by Insideschools staff Monday, 13 June 2011 11:31
The Alliance for Quality Education has collected more than 16,000 signatures on a petition against education budget cuts which they willdelivered to the mayor's office on Thursday, June 16 after a press conference at 12:45 p.m. on the steps of City Hall. Organizers are hoping for at least 20,000 sig…
by Jennifer Freeman Monday, 13 June 2011 07:32
City schools were celebrated for their amazing green accomplishments, as the winners of the 2011 Golden Apple Awards, the Department of Sanitation’s annual contest of recycling and green, were announced last week. PS/IS192 The Magnet School for Math and Science Inquiry in Brooklyn won the citywide a…
by Monday, 13 June 2011 06:53
New York City public schools’ age cutoff has never made much sense to me. In the rest of the country (and at most NYC private schools) children must turn five by the fall, or even summer, to enter kindergarten. In our city, the December 31st cut-off means some kindergartners are four years old (and …
by Chris French Saturday, 11 June 2011 22:39
Gifted or selective programs Academically successful children may apply to accelerated middle school programs. Many of these offer children the chance to take high school–level math or science in the 8th grade. Some of these gifted programs are open to children from all five boroughs, while some ar…
by Chris French Saturday, 11 June 2011 18:27
If your child is having trouble in school, he may need help from a teacher with special training. This extra help is called special education. It’s free, and your child has a right to it under federal law. The public school system has a range of specialists who can work with your child, whether his…
by Chris French Saturday, 11 June 2011 18:26
All schools are supposed to offer special education services, but the reality is some schools are much more accommodating than others. If your child has special needs, you want to make sure he goes to a school that will help him succeed. Questions to ask: Does your school have team teaching (clas…
by Chris French Saturday, 11 June 2011 18:25
If you think your child may have a disability, ask your school, in writing, for an evaluation by a psychologist. A psychologist will administer a series of tests to determine what kind of extra help your child may need. You may prefer to have a private evaluation. Ask your child’s doctor for a refe…
by Chris French Saturday, 11 June 2011 18:24
Sometimes children with disabilities need inexpensive, common-sense changes in classroom routines to help them succeed in school. For example, a child with a learning disability may need extra time on tests. A child who is visually impaired may need books with large print. These simple changes are …
by Chris French Saturday, 11 June 2011 18:24
A wide range of services is available, including psychological counseling, occupational therapy (help with fine motor skills, such as holding a pencil), physical therapy (help with gross motor skills, such as walking), speech and language therapy. Your child may need help from a special education…
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 10 June 2011 14:32
In what appears to be a record year for pre-Kindergarten applications, nearly one-third of the applicants were shut out in the first round of admissions,  the Department of Education reports. Out of 28,815 applicants, 19,834 were offered seats today in public school programs but 8,981 were not. Last…
by Chris French Friday, 10 June 2011 11:18
How to transfer If you are unhappy in your high school, you may want to transfer. Unfortunately, the Department of Education doesn’t make it easy. If you are a 9th-grader, your best bet is to reapply to another school for 10th grade. After 10th grade, transfers are generally granted only in cases o…
by Chris French Friday, 10 June 2011 11:00
All students in New York state must earn 44 credits and pass five Regents exams with a score of at least 65 to graduate. Each semester-long course is worth one credit. Some specialized and alternative schools have additional requirements, as does the Advanced Regents diploma. Regents diplom…
by Chris French Thursday, 09 June 2011 21:55
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, when children bring home a 500-page…
by Chris French Thursday, 09 June 2011 14:05
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 city to attend a school they really love. But beware: if you…
by Pamela Wheaton Thursday, 09 June 2011 10:45
Public school parents are mobilizing against anticipated education budget cuts which would cause teacher layoffs, overcrowding in classrooms, and otherwise adversely affect public schools. The City Council, finished its budget hearings on Monday with an additional call for the Department of Educatio…
by Insideschools staff Wednesday, 08 June 2011 10:25
Gifted & Talented offer letters will be mailed by June 17, according to a letter sent to principals today by the Department of Education. Families who applied online will receive the letter by email; others by regular mail. Notice comes later than last year when letters were sent on June 4 and c…
by Chris French Wednesday, 08 June 2011 08:23
It's a good idea to tour a school before you apply. Some schools offer daytime tours, when you can see classes in action, while others give “open houses” in the evening. Although daytime tours are best, you can tell a lot about a school even from walking through an empty building. Safety is everyone…
by Chris French Tuesday, 07 June 2011 08:24
Every fall, the Department of Education holds a huge high school fair at Brooklyn Technical High School. You can meet teachers, students and administrators and find out about their schools. Questions you may want to ask: How much homework is typical? Is homework assigned over school vacations? A…
Schools and parents from 59th Street to the top of Manhattan Island have banded together in SUN, Schools Unite Network, to promote school safety and to reduce and prevent crime among kids.  SUN uses the internet as an interactive  tool to gather information about crime and other safety issues and al…
by Pamela Wheaton Monday, 06 June 2011 08:42
Letters to families of four-year-olds hoping to gain a slot in a public pre-Kindergarten program will be sent this Friday, June 10, two weeks later than the usual Memorial Day weekend notice, and particularly late for those whose tuition at private nursery school programs was due on June 1. Parents …
by Chris French Monday, 06 June 2011 08:27
What are the specialized high schools? More than 25,000 students take the specialized science high school entrance exam (SSHAT) to vie for 5,000 seats at the specialized high schools, also called the exam schools. The exam is given early on a Saturday morning in October. (There are nine specialized …
My sophomore came home from school the other day and declared that he was sick and tired of working on the same practice paragraphs over and over for the English Regents exam. He was bored of test prep and annoyed by constant conversation about test scores and student performance. And he decided to …
by Skip Card Monday, 06 June 2011 06:20
“Do you have a child-centered marriage?” someone asked me last week. My initial response was, “I was not aware there was any other kind.” Turns out, most therapists (at least the ones I Googled) say couples have either a child-centered marriage or a parent-centered marriage. It boils down to whether…
by Chris French Sunday, 05 June 2011 22:22
Most schools offer tours in the fall. Some districts offer middle school choice fairs in the evening or on a weekend where you can meet the principals and students of a number of schools. Here’s what to look for: Quality of teaching Try to look beyond the school's physical plant to the quality o…
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 03 June 2011 09:23
PS 290 on Manhattan's Upper East Side, has 60 families waitlisted for kindergarten next fall. Dozens of children remain on kindergarten waitlists at popular schools around the city, and last week families received letters assigning them to other schools in their districts. At the end of kinder…
by Pamela Wheaton Wednesday, 01 June 2011 14:18
The City Council "will do everything in our power to prevent teacher layoffs," Speaker Christine Quinn vowed today after the second of three education budget hearings the Council is holding this spring. She and her fellow council members have identified more than $75 million that could be cut from n…
by Chris French Tuesday, 31 May 2011 22:21
In some of the city’s 32 school districts, children are assigned to a middle school according to their home address. In others, children must apply to middle school (although they are guaranteed a seat somewhere in the district.) To find out whether your child has a zoned neighborhood school, call 3…
by Chris French Tuesday, 31 May 2011 20:10
Many parents have enormous difficulty getting the help their child needs. If you have trouble getting services, or you disagree with the Department of Education’s recommendation for your child, you may request mediation. Mediation is a meeting with a representative from the Department of Education a…
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 31 May 2011 11:54
Dear Judy, My son has been assigned to a high school he doesn't want to attend. How does the appeals process work? Queens  Mom Dear Queens Mom, While the initial high school placements are made by computer, appeals are handled by human beings. If you have not already done so, enlist the help of …
The end of the school year is in sight, and the lingering light is already messing with my kids' bedtimes, even before the joyous anarchy of vacation has set in. These past few bright evenings, I’ve had to field protests of “but it’s not time to go to sleep–it’s still day!” And despite my strongest …
by Pamela Wheaton Thursday, 26 May 2011 10:48
The decision by the New York State's Board of Regents that teachers will no longer be able to rescore state-mandated Regents exams for students who just miss the passing grade of 65, follows the May 16 vote to discontinue offering exams in January, because of budgetary concerns. Students will only b…
by Marni Goltsman Wednesday, 25 May 2011 06:58
"Can I tell you a question?" "You mean: Can I ask you a question?" "Yeah. If someone is on second base and there's a bunt, do I throw to first base or second base?" "Who are you?" "I'm Brooks." "I know you're Brooks. What position are you playing?" "Short stop—sometimes left field—they switch it up.…
by Dr. Jane S. Gabin Tuesday, 24 May 2011 06:13
Q:  I have gone to the same summer camp upstate since I was 9 years old.  Every year, I see some of the same people, and we've become like family.  Last summer, I was a junior counselor, and this year they want me to come back as a full counselor, working as a tennis coach (I am on my school's tenni…
by Clara Hemphill Monday, 23 May 2011 08:21
Our Children, Our Choices:  An Informative Discussion on Public and Charter School Options This past weekend a panel of educators,  administrators, education advocates and activists -- from both sides of the public versus charter school debate -- convened for a lively, engaging  and  informative dis…
by Skip Card Monday, 23 May 2011 05:38
Parents of children attending New York’s public elementary schools get countless letters from the Department of Education. Below is a letter folks like us should receive but never will. Dear Parent, Please be advised that, owing to a pesky little thing we call “mismanagement,” the NYC Department of …
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 20 May 2011 13:15
Upper West Side parents learned at the District 3 Community Education Council meeting on Wednesday that PS 9 will phase out its popular gifted and talented  program and will not admit incoming G&T class of kindergartners next fall. The belated announcement by the Department of Education, coming …
by Judy Baum Thursday, 19 May 2011 08:41
Lenny Trerotola introduces the high school admissions process to families of middle school students. (Photo by Erica Baum) Next year's high school applicants will learn where they have been accepted more than a month earlier than they have in the past, according the Department of Education, which sa…
by Alec Appelbaum Thursday, 19 May 2011 08:26
Out2Play has built 118 playgrounds (some with dedicated athletic facilities, all with student input) at schools around town since 2005. (Photo courtesy of Out2Play) With layoffs looming, it'd be nice to believe that the hardworking teachers we respect will make do on shoestring budgets- like heroes …
by Judy Baum Thursday, 19 May 2011 07:17
Teens who have summer jobs, or are looking for them, should bone up on the requirements for Employment Certificates – formerly know as Working Papers - and start the process of assembling the needed documents. Proposed changes in Chancellor’s Regulation A-250 , will authorize district or Borough Fam…
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 17 May 2011 11:08
Dear Judy, I have several questions about the G&T testing process. First, the DOE lost the test taken by one of my twins and it took a long time to find it. I checked with the school where it was administered and finally got the information that led to the test being located.  Second, I thought …
The morning of Mothers’ Day, word spread quickly through the neighborhood: a blaze had been set sometime overnight on the playground of PS 29. Outside, a clump of parents and children pressed against the chain link fence, surveying the damage to the jungle gym. “Why would someone do that?” one small…
by Pamela Wheaton Thursday, 12 May 2011 14:14
The Department of Education today announced a do-over of this year's elections for community and citywide parent councils, and set a new voting schedule for both the advisory and the official "selector" vote.  Chancellor Dennis Walcott acknowledged that this year's elections were mismanaged. “We pla…
by Chris French Wednesday, 11 May 2011 17:50
Students who receive special education services and are unable to pass the Regents examination may take the Regents Competency Tests, known as the RCT (this is referred to as the "Safety Net") if they enter 9th grade in or after September 2001 and prior to September 2011. In addition, for students w…
by Insideschools staff Wednesday, 11 May 2011 14:17
This year's 5th graders will find out on Friday, May 20 where they will be going to middle school next fall. That's according to the newly updated admissions calendar on the Department of Education website. At least one school has already distributed the acceptance news to families. A parent told us…
by Insideschools staff Wednesday, 11 May 2011 07:37
The Daily News reports today that Public Advocate Bill de Blasio launched a "Save our Teachers" website designed to help parents, and concerned citizens, take action against the mayor's proposed budget cuts, which would cause the loss of 6,000 teaching jobs, including more than 4,600 teacher layoffs…
by Pamela Wheaton Tuesday, 10 May 2011 12:07
UPDATE: May 11: Advocates for Justice, a public interest law firm, issued this clarification statement today regarding the education council elections: May 12th deadline set for resolution of Parent-DOE talks May 11, 2011, New York, NY --- Advocates for Justice, a public interest law firm, repre…
by Pamela Wheaton Tuesday, 10 May 2011 10:34
May 10 is the deadline for families of nearly 8,000 students who qualified or elementary school gifted and talented programs. Some 4,000 incoming kindergartners qualified this year,  many more than last year. Five years ago the Department of Education adopted a new set of assessments, standardizing …
by Dr. Jane S. Gabin Tuesday, 10 May 2011 06:50
Q:  Our son is a junior, and his college counselor has given him a list of about 10 schools he should consider.  Some are a short drive out of NYC, while several are outside the state.  I know making campus visits is important, and it's one way for our son to show his interest.  But between our work…
Attention high school students: It's not too late to apply for a summer job or internship but deadlines are approaching, so act promptly. Here are a few suggestions. Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) is open to young people between the ages of 14 and 24. Participants work up to 25 hours a week …
by Insideschools staff Monday, 09 May 2011 08:14
More than 8,200 8th graders are still sweating out this year's high school admissions process, waiting to hear where they have been accepted for September, and it's now time for current 6th and 7th-graders to start thinking about high school admissions. Some questions for families to consider: Sho…
by Skip Card Monday, 09 May 2011 06:42
As I battle with my 5-year-old daughter over school lunches, I am reminded of something a friend once said about gardening: “Tending a garden isn’t about growing things,” she told me. “It’s about killing things.” Her point was that nurturing plants was relatively easy: soil, water and sunlight did m…
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 06 May 2011 10:04
Mayor Mike Bloomberg presented his nearly $66 billion final budget today, and confirmed he plans to eliminate 6,000 teaching  jobs -- 4,278 through layoffs and about 1500 through attrition. Bloomberg blamed the state for the fiscal woes he said are forcing him to cut the city's teaching staff.  The …
by Jennifer Freeman Thursday, 05 May 2011 08:58
It was not quite a coincidence that the Martin Luther King High School Campus, which hosted the citywide Green Schools NYC 2011 last month, also won the Green Cup Challenge energy reduction contest, lowering its energy consumption by more than 35%   during the month long quest to go greener. As a re…
by Pamela Wheaton Thursday, 05 May 2011 08:14
Families of the nearly 8,000 students who qualified for kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade gifted and talented programs for next fall are busy weighing their options and ranking their choices before applications are due on May 10. The Department of Education posted a list of open houses.  There's…
by Jennifer Freeman Thursday, 05 May 2011 07:06
It was not quite a coincidence that the Martin Luther King High School Campus, which hosted the citywide Green Schools NYC 2011 last month, also won the Green Cup Challenge energy reduction contest, lowering its energy consumption by more than 35%   during the monthlong quest to go greener. As a res…
by Alec Appelbaum Thursday, 05 May 2011 06:36
The degrees of my good luck are incalculable, in Sinagpore Math or Everyday Math or anything else. I have good health, a wonderful family, and a child who qualified, based on her pre-K test, for a range of "gifted and talented" programs. This lucky circumstance plays out in kooky paths, though, as a…
by Chris French Tuesday, 03 May 2011 15:20
If you are placed at a school that is inappropriate, ask your guidance counselor to file an appeal. While the initial placements are made by computer, human beings handle the appeals. Your guidance counselor may write a letter explaining why you need a different placement: get her on your side.…
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 03 May 2011 07:47
Dear Judy I am at sea. We just realized that finances will not allow my daughter to continue at the  private school where she is  finishing 8th grade. What can we do find a public high school at this late date?. Distressed Dear Distressed, You are entering the great New York City high school hunt a…
by Chris French Monday, 02 May 2011 15:20
Every year, thousands of children are not placed at any of their high school choices—usually through no fault of their own. There simply aren’t enough good schools for all the students who want to attend them. If you are one of the students who is not placed, enlist the help of your 8th grade guidan…
by Skip Card Monday, 02 May 2011 07:05
The man most responsible for my life in New York, and the fact that I have a kindergartner attending a New York public school, has been killed in Pakistan. Word of Osama bin Laden’s death reached me the same way as news of the Sept. 11 attacks nearly 10 years ago. Both times, the clock radio awoke m…
As the last glorious day of Spring Break washed over us in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden–a happy mess of pink petals and muddy feet–an e-mail slid silently into my in-box. At home that evening, I saw it: “your child meets the criteria for entry into a New York City Gifted & Talented program.” I gl…
by Chris French Sunday, 01 May 2011 15:20
There are hundreds of other schools in the city from which to choose. You may list up to 12 schools on your application.  Some schools, called screened schools, require high grades and good attendance records. Some accept everyone who lives in their attendance zone. Others accept students by lo…
by Pamela Wheaton Thursday, 28 April 2011 08:42
Four thousand incoming kindergartners qualified for the city's gifted and talented programs this year, the Department of Education reported today, with many more students tested this year than last. Some 14,040 four-year-olds were tested in 2011 as compared to 12,443 last year. After a steady increa…
by Pamela Wheaton Thursday, 28 April 2011 07:12
Just over 500 parents nominated themselves to fill 325 seats on district and citywide parent councils, with the citywide councils for high school and English Language Learners getting more than 70 candidates each. Several of the 32 district councils only attracted five or six candidates. Citywide an…
by Pamela Wheaton Wednesday, 27 April 2011 07:58
Score reports and applications for students who qualified for kindergarten and 1st grade gifted and talented programs were sent yesterday, April 26, by email and regular mail. There is no word yet on how many students tested and how many qualified this year. Families of eligible students must submi…
by Clara Hemphill Wednesday, 27 April 2011 07:54
We’ve been taking a camera on our school visits. Take a look at our latest reviews, and tell us what you think of our new slideshows. In Manhattan, see PS 183, PS 19, PS 33, Manhattan New School, PS 267, PS 158, PS 198, Midtown West, Harlem Success Academy 3, PS 375, The Equity Project Charter Schoo…
by Insideschools staff Tuesday, 26 April 2011 11:09
Students in grades 3-8 will take the state reading (English Language Arts) exam for three days next week: May 4, 5, and 6. The following week they face three days of math tests: May 11, 12, and 13. For years, the tests were given in January and March, but last year the state decided to give the exam…
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 22 April 2011 12:45
Monday, April 25 update: We asked the DOE for a final count of applicants but it was not available yet, according to a spokesperson. They are waiting to count mail-in applications. Tonight at midnight is the deadline for parents to submit an application to serve on district and citywide education co…
by Alec Appelbaum Thursday, 21 April 2011 09:00
Chancellor Walcott cooks waffles at PS 10 in Brooklyn. (Photo courtesy of homedecornews.com) Like Dennis Walcott, I have made good on a promise to cook waffles in a public school.  And like Walcott, I'm pretty fit. In fact, I also volunteered to teach a little yoga session in the same pre-K classroo…
by Marni Goltsman Wednesday, 20 April 2011 04:30
As Brooks continues his struggle to get to the other side of 1st grade, his dad and I are managing a major disappointment: it turns out that ASD Nest is NOT an appropriate school setting for our son. It clearly used to be, but that was before we knew he would have trouble keeping up academically. T…
Dear Judy, If I am waitlisted  at my zoned school for kindergarten, does that mean I am guaranteed to get a seat in 1st grade? That’s what my zoned school told me. Hopeful Dear Hopeful. Zoned schools are supposed to take all of the kids in their zone for 1st grade and above. BUT that has not always …
by Insideschools staff Tuesday, 19 April 2011 07:18
Want to learn more about the system of high school choice in New York City? Want to sound off on how the process has worked for your family or offer suggestions on how to improve it? The Center for New York City Affairs and Insideschools.org present a forum "High Stakes Decisions: How NYC's Student…
I finally came up with solutions to New York’s vexing problems regarding school overcrowding, pitiful educational planning, charter school "co-location" and rampant growth in residential development. It took me all afternoon, but I did it. Like most problems in New York City, these big issues boil d…
by Monday, 18 April 2011 06:33
By now, you may have heard about the case of the missing PTA dollars at PS 29 (if you haven’t, you can read about it here and here). For a school that relies on parent fundraising to offset harsh budget cuts, paying for everything from teachers' assistants to school supplies, the roughly $100,000 al…
by Pamela Wheaton Saturday, 16 April 2011 05:15
In March, Community Roots, a sought-after elementary charter school in Fort Greene, won approval to expand and start a middle school next September. On Thursday, faced with opposition to the plan from community members and parents in PS 67 with which it shares a building, the co-principals decided n…
by Allison Gaines Pell Thursday, 14 April 2011 16:04
At around 11 am on the day of the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT, I was sitting in my office writing feedback about a lesson I had just observed when my husband (an architect, not even an educator!) called and told me that Chancellor Black had resigned. Moments later, a teacher texted me asking if it was true. I …
by Jennifer Freeman Thursday, 14 April 2011 07:57
Truck Farm at Bancroft Elementary, Washington DC. Photo by Sarah Bernardi NYC public schools will be on vacation for Earth Day on April 22, but plenty of schools are organizing environmental excitement before or after the break. The teachers who run Educating Tomorrow have been doing their part, run…
by Pamela Wheaton Wednesday, 13 April 2011 11:10
Sean Keaton, former principal of PS 20 in Fort Greene, was acquitted in a Brooklyn court last week of "menacing in the third degree," a charge stemming from an altercation with a teacher in the principal's office in 2009, Department of Education officials confirmed. But the DOE would not say whether…
by Allison Gaines Pell Wednesday, 13 April 2011 06:38
At Arts & Letters, we've been asking a lot of questions about bullying. The subject came up last winter when we launched our first "Say the Right Thing" campaign to combat name-calling. We created credos and posters for our classroom doors,  spoke about how language can be hurtful, and about how…
by Matt Fleischer-Black Tuesday, 12 April 2011 10:35
State Education Commissioner David Steiner has given the Department of Education's space planners a case of the jitters. On March 31, Steiner overturned the city’s plan to move Brooklyn East Collegiate Charter School into the building of  Brooklyn's PS 9 and phasing-out MS 571 for this coming fall…
by Clara Hemphill Tuesday, 12 April 2011 09:54
When the city decides to close a low-performing high school, it is usually phased out over a period of four years. That mean no new students are admitted, but the students who are there are supposed to be able to stay until they graduate.  Now, a student advocacy group charges that the city has forc…
Q:  My son has a choice of high schools to attend.  Doesn't the reputation of a high school -- whether it's well known or not -- have an effect on college admissions? A:  True, some high schools have a stronger reputation than others, and there is indeed a certain amount of "name recognition" in adm…
by Pamela Wheaton Monday, 11 April 2011 11:54
P-Tech Principal Rashid Davis, shown speaking to prospective students at a fair in February, was at last week's supplementary round fair. If you are one of the 8,000 8th graders who were rejected at all their high school choices, here's our advice: Fill out a new application by April 15, even if…
by Abigail Kramer Monday, 11 April 2011 09:54
Some charter schools hold public lotteries. Coney Island Prep held its first lottery in 2009. Abigail Kramer is a public policy journalist at the Center for New York City Affairs and the parent of a 4-year-old in Brooklyn. I’m running up two flights of concrete stairwell, on my way to torture myse…
by Skip Card Monday, 11 April 2011 05:07
Joyous squeals mixed with heart-rending sobs March 31 as I fetched my daughter from kindergarten. Eighth-graders from a nearby middle school had just received letters informing them what New York high school they would attend, and sidewalks were jammed with clusters of anxious students ripping open …
by Jennifer Freeman Friday, 08 April 2011 08:22
The Department of Education will announce the winner of the Green Cup Challenge at Green Schools NYC 2011, a citywide fair that will take place on Saturday at the Martin Luther King high school complex at Amsterdam Avenue and 65th Street in Manhattan. The fair will also feature dozens of schools …
by Alec Appelbaum Friday, 08 April 2011 07:54
A Lehman HS student shows off what he's learned in class. (photo courtesy of The Daily News) Teachers are taking it on the chin these days. From Waiting For Superman to budget debates, the value of teachers' time is getting questioned like never before. Physical education teachers are spared thi…
by Pamela Wheaton Thursday, 07 April 2011 11:02
The tweets were flying on Thursday morning with the news that Cathie Black was out as schools chancellor. Shortly afterward, the news came that Dennis Walcott, deputy mayor for education, was Mayor Bloomberg's pick to replace the beleaguered Black. Walcott is a native New Yorker who attended public …
by Clara Hemphill Thursday, 07 April 2011 10:37
There aren’t a lot of people who can step into the job of running the country’s largest school system on a moment’s notice and, under the circumstances, Dennis Walcott is probably the best we can hope for.  Deputy mayor for education for nine years, Walcott is knowledgeable about budgets, union cont…
by Pamela Wheaton Thursday, 07 April 2011 10:24
The Department of Education is hosting meetings this week and next for families of incoming kindergartners who have been waitlisted at schools for next fall. At the meetings, to be held District 15 in Brooklyn and District 2 in Manhattan, two of the districts  with the most extensive waitlists, enro…
by Insideschools staff Thursday, 07 April 2011 07:16
Cathie Black is out as chancellor of NYC public schools and Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott will be her replacement. Grace Rauh at NY1 was the first reporter to tweet the news this morning.  There will be a press conference at City Hall at 11:30 this morning where Mayor Bloomberg will announce the chang…
by Insideschools staff Wednesday, 06 April 2011 10:31
Parents now have until April 22 to nominate themselves to serve on one of the 36 Community and Citywide Education Councils -- and they can even text to get application information, in addition to applying online or by mail. The original deadline to submit applications was April 9. Schools Chancello…
by Pamela Wheaton Wednesday, 06 April 2011 08:27
How is the special education system working in the city's public schools? Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and the ARISE Coalition of special education advocates would like to know. They have dubbed April "Students with Disabilities Month" Parents of students with special needs are encouraged to fill …
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 05 April 2011 10:37
What is two inches thick and heavy as an old telephone book, covers  the whole city and is essential to 7th, 8th,  and 9th graders?  It is the perennial summer reading favorite, the Directory of the New York City Public High Schools.  Unlike perennial flowers, this book shows up in a different guise…
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 05 April 2011 08:15
Dear Judy, I have several questions related to choosing a school for our daughter (who is currently 16 months old). We are planning to move to Manhattan in time for her to start school, so I am trying to understand our school options and make real estate decisions accordingly. I was wondering: How n…
by Pamela Wheaton Monday, 04 April 2011 13:12
Admissions, admissions, admissions..... Pre-Kindergarten applications are due on April 8. Fill out an application online. Kindergarten registration is underway. If you were waitlisted, consider applying to another school but don't despair, there will be movement on teh waitlists as families make oth…
by Matt Fleischer-Black Friday, 01 April 2011 11:19
This week PS 9 in Brooklyn became a landmark in the turf struggles over siting charter schools, when State Education Commissioner David Steiner overturned the city's plan to move Brooklyn East Collegiate Charter School into PS 9’s building this coming fall. For the second time in a year, Steiner thr…
by Insideschools staff Friday, 01 April 2011 09:50
Nearly 8,000 high school applicants were rejected at all the high schools they chose in the main round of acceptances this week. If you are one of them, don’t despair. Some good schools still have seats available in the supplementary round. And if you eventually are assigned to a school you didn’t …
by Pamela Wheaton Thursday, 31 March 2011 14:18
Which high school out of the 400-plus in the city received the most applicants this year?  Tiny Baruch College High School, with only  438 students, received 7,606 applications for about 104 seats. That's up from the 4664 applicants it got last year. Baruch is a selective school, which boasts a 100%…
by Pamela Wheaton Thursday, 31 March 2011 11:53
Fewer than half of the nearly 80,000 8th-graders who applied to up to 12 high schools last fall were matched with their first choice school, and 10 percent got no match at all, the Department of Education announced today. This year's crop of 8th-graders fared worse than than last year's when 52% of …
by Allison Gaines Pell Thursday, 31 March 2011 07:16
In late January, our teachers were required to verify the data WHAT KIND OF DATA -TEST SCORES ONLY OR SOMETHING ELSE? for their students in preparation to receive their Teacher Data Reports. They had to review four years of student data from our school and wherever else they taught, and ensure that…
by Pamela Wheaton Wednesday, 30 March 2011 11:11
More than 2,600 children are on the waiting list for kindergarten at their zoned school, with another 553 awaiting spots at an out-of-zone school their sibling attends.  A total of 3,195 children are on waitlists at 157 schools, many more than the 2,200 at 88 schools who were on waitlists this time …
by Clara Hemphill Wednesday, 30 March 2011 11:05
We have been visiting charter schools this spring and have posted 20 new profiles, just in time for the April 1 application deadline. In addition, we have posted nine previews of charter schools that are scheduled to open in the fall. You may apply directly to each school; some schools also accept …
by Pamela Wheaton Wednesday, 30 March 2011 07:20
For thousands of 8th-graders the waiting, and nail-biting, will be over this week. High school admissions letters will be distributed to 8th-graders --  and 9th-graders who applied for a different high school -- on Thursday, March 31. This is the second round of high school acceptances for some stu…
by Insideschools staff Tuesday, 29 March 2011 10:38
Parents and community members concerned about Governor Cuomo's budget, which slashes aid to city schools, can get on a bus to Albany tomorrow, March 30, at 10 a.m. to protest the cuts. The trip is organized by advocacy groups including the Alliance for Quality Education., with the main buses leaving…
by Dr. Jane S. Gabin Tuesday, 29 March 2011 05:29
Q: I applied to five colleges, but now I'm thinking I ought to have applied to more.  I was rejected by my reach school -- but it was a real reach, so I was not shocked.  I got into my safety, which is a branch of SUNY.  But the other three schools all wait-listed me!  I thought for sure that I woul…
by Pamela Wheaton Monday, 28 March 2011 10:41
Nominations are open for parents who want to serve for the next two years on Citywide or District Community Education Councils, advisory boards which advocate  on zoning, how school buildings are used, and how DOE policies affect schools in each district.  If you'd like to serve on a council, you ca…
by Insideschools staff Monday, 28 March 2011 09:05
Parents for Inclusive Education and the NYC Division of Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners are inviting students to enter a 2011 - Inclusion Contest answering this question: "How does Inclusive Education make my school great?" Students from kindergarten to 12th grade may submit…
by Skip Card Monday, 28 March 2011 05:14
After dropping off my kindergartner one rainy morning, I found myself exiting the schoolyard behind a father who worked at one of those knuckle-busting jobs where a man gets intimately acquainted with dirt, steel and sweat. He wore an oil-stained cap, dust-covered boots and a quilt-lined Carhartt ja…
by Valerie Watnick Friday, 25 March 2011 06:17
Valerie Watnick is a professor at Baruch College, teaching environmental and business law, and is a past Co-PTA President of PS 199 in Manhattan. She has written about the dangers of PCBs. This is her third update for Insideschools.org about the efforts to rid New York City schools of PCBs and other…
by Alec Appelbaum Thursday, 24 March 2011 05:57
At MS 210, an overcrowded school in Ozone Park where 81 percent of the 2,070 students get free lunch, Principal Rosalyn Allman-Manning has gone outside the Department of Education to add to her phys-ed menu. She's one of four principals this year to pilot a partnership between the DOE and Row New Yo…
by Pamela Wheaton Tuesday, 22 March 2011 13:10
March 30 UPDATE: The Department of Education press office says that a rundown of schools with waitlists for kindergarten will be out later today. We'll post it and link when we get it. Rezoning and the opening of new schools hasn't solve the problem of overcrowding at some popular Manhattan elementa…
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 22 March 2011 11:40
Dear Judy, I  have a wonderful and very respectful daughter who suffers  from anxiety and ADHD. She has never had a fight or behavioral problems. I am concerned with the change of school because this year she will be going to middle school and I am hoping you could help me with some tips on what to …
by Monday, 21 March 2011 06:12
The other day, I was on the phone with my daughters’ pediatrician. I had called with concerns about my 6-year-old, Night Owl, who has learning disabilities and motor delays, and in her most reassuring voice the doctor said: “You know, we live in a highly competitive place. A lot of the kids at your …
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 18 March 2011 07:51
A handful of new middle schools will be opening next fall as extensions of existing elementary schools, or to replace low-performing schools that are phasing out. Interested students entering 6th grade in September must apply to these schools by March 23. Applications are available from elementary s…
by Pamela Wheaton Wednesday, 16 March 2011 09:44
Photo by Sean Dreilinger/Flickr CC. Elementary and high school parent-teacher conferences are taking place this week. District 75 conferences are coming up next week. Parents of younger students may find the system easier to navigate with just one teacher (and classroom) to visit, and enough time to…
by Jacqueline Wayans Wednesday, 16 March 2011 07:28
This month the Department of Education is calling for public school parents to run for a seat on the citywide and community district parent councils. Applications will be available on March 23, according to the Office of Family Information and Action (OFIA). In 2009 I answered such a call and served…
by Clara Hemphill Wednesday, 16 March 2011 06:16
Parents interested in charter schools should fill out applications before April 1. We have posted more than a dozen new reviews of charter schools and will post more this spring. You may apply directly to the school. In addition, you may apply to some of the schools via a common application on The N…
by Dr. Jane S. Gabin Tuesday, 15 March 2011 05:18
Q:  Have you thanked your allies today? A:  Usually the College Counselor answers a question here, but today she is asking one.  At this point, many seniors have already received some college acceptance letters, and, I hope, more acceptances will be on their way to you soon.  You have worked hard fo…
by Skip Card Monday, 14 March 2011 05:32
AQE Lobby Day in Albany (Photo Courtesy of Alliance for Quality Education) Last week, activists hoping to avert budget cuts in New York public education — cuts that will have a direct and lasting impact on my child’s future — asked parents like me to join a pro-schools rally on the steps of City Hal…
by Jennifer Freeman Friday, 11 March 2011 05:51
A hundred public schools around the city are setting off on a monthlong challenge to reduce their energy consumption. For the next four weeks, schools participating in the Green Cup Challenge will read their electric meters each Friday, and try to reduce energy use at school during the week. A list …
by Insideschools staff Thursday, 10 March 2011 05:26
UPDATE 3 p.m.: See a press release issued after the rally here. Note there is a  citywide schools meeting at 6 pm this evening  (March 10) at The High School of Fashion Industries (225 West 24th Street) to continue the discussion about education budget cuts and determine next action steps for parent…
by Alec Appelbaum Wednesday, 09 March 2011 03:45
Students enjoying- see?- the NYC FITNESSGRAM test (Courtesy DOE) Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he needs to trim fat from public budgets. Here's an unbeatable move: cut test-prep time in half and staff up physical education. The numbers prove that athletic testing creates confidence, while academic testing …
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 08 March 2011 06:27
Dear Judy, What suggestions do you have for summer jobs for high school kids? I know the recession has limited jobs so if my teenagers can't get work, what else can they do? Mother of teens Dear Mother of Teens: There are good sources for teen summer jobs and even more for free or very low cost prog…
by Monday, 07 March 2011 05:53
Now is the time of year when  parents of 3 and 4-year-olds fill out applications, take deep breaths, and then…wait. The pre-K application period begins today, Monday March 7, but placement letters won’t go out until early June. So how’s a parent to plan ahead? For some 4-year-olds, winning a spot in…
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 04 March 2011 10:01
High school students with special needs are not getting the planning and help they need to transition into the world of work or further schooling, according to a report issued this week by the ARISE Coalition. Transition planning for special needs students is legally mandated, yet ARISE, which advoc…
by Jennifer Freeman Friday, 04 March 2011 06:22
Jon Stewart this week blasted conservative media and politicians for protecting Wall Street while calling teachers “greedy.” Last night Stewart’s guest was education historian and NYU Professor  Diane Ravitch, discussing her book The Death and Life of the Great American School System. I watched the …
by Chris French Thursday, 03 March 2011 16:02
In general, younger children (ages 5 to 10) may register directly at their neighborhood school, while older children (11 and older) must first go to an enrollment center. Call 311 (from outside New York City call (212) NEW-YORK) and give the operator your address and your child's age. The operator …
by Chris French Thursday, 03 March 2011 15:48
Any child between the ages of 5 and 21 who has not graduated from high school is entitled to a free public education. This includes undocumented immigrants, children with disabilities, children who do not speak English, pregnant girls, homeless children, and older teenagers who may have dropped out…
by Chris French Thursday, 03 March 2011 15:35
Children who don't speak English well are entitled to special classes in English as a second language (ESL). When your child starts school, teachers will give her a test to see if she needs help improving her English. Parents who don't speak English are entitled to translations of all important docu…
by Clara Hemphill Wednesday, 02 March 2011 08:06
We've just produced some more videos and want your feedback. Are these helpful? What would you like to see? Here are links to our new videos: Emma Lazarus High School for English Language Learners, Business of Sports School, Urban Assembly School for Green Careers, and Holcombe Rucker School for Com…
by Clara Hemphill Wednesday, 02 March 2011 07:43
Parents whose children will turn five this year should submit their applications for kindergarten by Friday. You may apply at your zoned neighborhood school as well as any other schools that may interest you. The good news: Overcrowding in Manhattan has eased a bit as new schools have opened. The ba…
by Judy Baum Wednesday, 02 March 2011 05:14
Is your child turning four-years-old  this year? The pre-kindergarten admissions process for next fall begins Monday, March 7 with  applications due by April 8.  All children who turn four in 2011 are eligible for public pre-K, although they are not guaranteed a seat. For newcomers to the process,…
Q:  My daughter is a junior at a high school in Queens.  She wants very badly to go away to college; however, she has a GPA of about 74 and does not do that well on standardized tests.  She is planning to take the SAT this March, but I don't believe she will score that well.  My question is:  what s…
by Skip Card Monday, 28 February 2011 05:38
If trend-watchers are correct, today’s girls will feel the cruel sting of social bullying at a younger age and with more lasting damage than girls of their mothers’ generation. I want to shield my daughter against this gathering Mean Girl storm of rejection, snarky gossip and social ostracism. So sh…
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 25 February 2011 08:16
We've published mini-profiles of the new high schools opening in September. Several look promising. Millennium Brooklyn is the only "selective" school in the bunch. Its move into the John Jay building in the heart of Park Slope sparked controversy, but  supporters point to Principal Lisa Gioe's succ…
by Judy Baum Friday, 25 February 2011 05:53
March 1 is "Lobby Day," the annual event when New York City parents, teachers, and activists travel by the hundreds to the state capitol and legislative office buildings to make their case for more funding for the city’s public schools. This year budget cuts, teachers’ jobs, and school closings are …
by Alec Appelbaum Thursday, 24 February 2011 06:21
That was then: Henry Street Settlement gym class, 1910. - via leposters.com In recent years, many schools have cut gym time in an attempt to focus more on academics. But research shows they should be doing the opposite: Better fitness means  better performance on academic tests. Studies in Califor…
by Allison Gaines Pell Thursday, 24 February 2011 05:38
In December, Arts & Letters won approval to expand our middle school downward to include elementary grades, eventually becoming a K-8 school.  And now, happily, we are engaged in the important and exciting work of recruiting children, families, and teachers to build a vibrant, meaningful educati…
by Pamela Wheaton Wednesday, 23 February 2011 08:58
The city today announced a 10-year plan to remove and replace all school lighting fixtures contaminated with PCBs, allocating $708 million in its capital budget to implement the plan which will also include an audit and recommendations by energy companies to determine  how to improve energy efficien…
by Allison Gaines Pell Wednesday, 23 February 2011 05:36
We are in an historic moment in New York City public education. The state budget looks to be taking a 9% bit out of state aid, and we are now looking at lay offs, and historic cuts. State education officials say that we should not simply "throw money" at schools "that don't work." This is indeed a b…
Dear Judy, I just got turned down by a few private schools for kindergarten. Am I too late for public school kindergarten? Scrambling for a spot Dear Scrambling, You are not too late to apply for kindergarten but you'll need to get busy. Applications are due March 4 so you only have about a week t…
by Tuesday, 22 February 2011 06:49
When I was in elementary school, I kicked off each day in the classroom by facing the flag, right hand over heart, and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. So did my husband, who was (and still is) a British citizen, recently transplanted to New York. Neither of us thought any more about this daily ch…
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 18 February 2011 07:54
The Ross Global Academy Charter School will close in June after five tumultuous years.  The school's founder, multimillionaire  Courtney Ross, made the announcement with "heavy heart," and "disappointment and anguish" in a five-page letter to parents and supporters, as reported on the nyc education …
by Insideschools staff Friday, 18 February 2011 05:13
Insideschools' Going Green contributor Jennifer Freeman alerts us that February 23 is the last day for schools to sign up for the Green Cup Challenge. Schools that join the challenge spend four weeks working to reduce electricity consumption in their buildings, tracking and comparing energy savings.…
After two New York City public high school searches in four years, I’m convinced it’s time to revamp the admissions system to make it more transparent and humane. I don’t want to overhear another conversation about who got into certain schools and who didn’t. I don’t want to listen to teenagers and …
by Pamela Wheaton Wednesday, 16 February 2011 10:41
More than 2,000 eighth-graders and their families attended a fair last weekend to learn about a dozen new high schools that will open in September. The fair came a day after the distribution of letters to some 28,000 students who learned whether or not they had been received an offer to attend one o…
by Jennifer Freeman Wednesday, 16 February 2011 06:05
What can be done in a tough economic climate to improve school food without spending any more money? That was the question that Robert Jackson, chair of the City Council’s education committee, asked at last week’s hearing on School Food. The answer was: plenty, actually. Chef Bill Telepan, co-founde…
by Insideschools staff Tuesday, 15 February 2011 09:11
With massive budget cuts to education threatened, the charter cap raised, and new school construction unable to keep pace with demand, it’s no surprise that more than half of all the city’s public schools share space with at least one other school. Peaceful co-existence is the gold standard for shar…
by Dr. Jane S. Gabin Tuesday, 15 February 2011 05:23
Q:  I applied to six colleges, regular decision.  One of the reasons I didn't apply Early Decision anywhere is because getting financial aid is important.  I really wanted to see if I got more than one acceptance and then could compare the costs before I decide which college to choose.  I like all t…
by Skip Card Monday, 14 February 2011 05:51
Confused cries of “Leave me alone!” rang down our street, and I gripped my daughter’s hand a bit tighter. Ahead, directly in our morning path, a cluster of New York police officers were carefully but firmly leading a disheveled elderly woman down the stairs of a brownstone toward a waiting ambulance…
There’s a middle school scene my youngest child will never forget. On the day when eighth-graders received decisions about who got into the city’s nine specialized high schools, the sounds of sobbing reverberated through the hallways. While plenty of students got good news, others experienced the st…
Nearly 6,000 8th-graders — 5,984 — received an offer to one of the city's nine specialized high schools. Of 28,000 applicants citywide for the eight exam schools, 5,404 were offered seats. (Last year 5,261 got offers.)  At Fiorello H. LaGaurdia High School, which bases admissions on auditions, 962…
by Alec Appelbaum Thursday, 10 February 2011 06:04
Alec Appelbaum writes about urban design and policy for the New York Times and others, focusing on ways cities can become healthier. He is a parent at PS 126 in Manhattan and enjoys exercising on his own and with his family. In "Fitness Focus," he'll be blogging about how to get physical education b…
by Insideschools staff Tuesday, 08 February 2011 07:08
Applications for pre-kindergarten will be available starting March 7 and are due by April 9, according to the Department of Education website.  Any child who turns four in 2011 may apply, but seats are not guaranteed. Programs are housed in public schools or at  community-based organizations, and …
by Insideschools staff Tuesday, 08 February 2011 07:01
A fair at the Martin Luther King, Jr. high school building on the Upper West Side this weekend will introduce the 12 new high schools that are scheduled to open in September. A handbook listing the schools will be is posted online and  available at the fair on February 12-13, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.…
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 08 February 2011 05:43
Dear Judy, I am concerned that the parents in my neighborhood are automatically bypassing the zoned school, that my children attend. My kids have had academic success and I have gained appreciation for the principal and staff. How can I convince others to give it a try? Lonely at my zoned school De…
by Jennifer Freeman Monday, 07 February 2011 08:27
Over 400 of the city's public schools burn a type of heating oil that is known to injure New Yorkers' health, according to a 2009 report by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). Though just one percent of New York City's buildings use No. 4 or 6 oil, those few buildings belch out 87 percent of the s…
On the eve of my four-year-old daughter’s date with the gifted & talented examiner, we sat down together with the Department of Education's sample test, a stack of papers I’d printed out the week before. The goal was not to drill Leia, but to familiarize her with the testing format, so she would…
by Clara Hemphill Friday, 04 February 2011 10:42
Is a picture really worth one thousand words? Insideschools is experimenting with different ways to profile schools. We've just produced two videos, one for Frank Sinatra High School and one for High School of Fashion Industries. We also posted a  slide show of Queens Collegiate, and a still photo f…
by Jennifer Freeman Friday, 04 February 2011 06:24
Many moons ago I helped find grants to build a garden at my kid’s school. Local officials and private funders were happy to help us create a beautiful green space for the children to enjoy. If you have a garden, or plans to make one, at your school, there are lots of places you can look for funding.…
by Pamela Wheaton Wednesday, 02 February 2011 09:32
Some 2000 people -- including many parents with young children in tow -- filed into the Brooklyn Tech auditorium Tuesday night for a six hour meeting, the first of two Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) sessions this week to consider the closure of low-performing schools and the opening  of new scho…
by Insideschools staff Tuesday, 01 February 2011 08:17
The  Panel for Educational Policy will hold two meetings this week to vote on whether 25 low-performing schools should be closed. Parents, students, teachers and school advocates have been protesting the closure of some of the schools -- and a few dozen protesters were even arrested after a rally at…
by Dr. Jane S. Gabin Tuesday, 01 February 2011 05:15
Q:  My first-choice college sent me a letter saying my application is "deferred" and will be looked at again in March.  Does this mean I still have a chance of getting in, or are they just going to reject me anyway? A:  Being "deferred" means that when the college admissions officers looked at their…
by Pamela Wheaton Monday, 31 January 2011 08:23
UPDATE Feb. 1: Two dozen protesters were arrested at Monday afternoon's rally, NY1 reports. Brooklyn City Council members Charles Barron and Jumaane Williams were among those carted off in paddy wagons. Tonight's PEP meeting at Brooklyn Tech High School, the first of two this week where panel member…
by Insideschools staff Monday, 31 January 2011 07:32
By MELISSA KISSOON [Melissa Kissoon is an 18-year-old graduate of Brooklyn’s Franklin K. Lane High School, which will close this year. The school began to “phase-out” to make way for new small schools while she was a junior. She is a youth leader with Future of Tomorrow and the Urban Youth Collabora…
by Skip Card Monday, 31 January 2011 05:47
On Friday, the kindergarten teacher sent home my 5-year-old daughter’s first report card, and I ripped open the sealed envelope with a tingly mix of anxiety and sorrow. The first report card marks a rite of passage in a child’s life, the start of many official judgments. The winter breeze blowing th…
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 28 January 2011 08:01
Students will attend three days of classes during the first week of school next September, not just one as they did  in 2010.  That should make the opening week schedule less controversial than the start of the 2010-2011 school year when there was only one day of classes because the Jewish holiday R…
by Insideschools staff Friday, 28 January 2011 06:46
Earlier this week parents, including our High School Hustle blogger Liz, were scratching their heads about the high school Regents Week exam schedule which meant no classes for most high school students. Thursday's snowstorm added a new level of uncertainty for some students. When school was cancele…
by Liz Willen Wednesday, 26 January 2011 08:00
I keep getting caught up and confused by high school exam schedules. Of course, I knew about final exams that took place in most New York City public high schools last week. And I vaguely recall seeing something about a reduced schedule during Regents week, which runs through Jan. 28. But I didn’t…
by Pamela Wheaton Tuesday, 25 January 2011 09:01
The special education reforms which are being piloted in 265 schools this year will be rolled out to all city schools a year later than was originally planned. In a memo to principals, Chancellor Cathie Black said delaying a full-scale launch of the reform until 2012-13 would allow time "to develop …
by Marni Goltsman Tuesday, 25 January 2011 05:01
Although much has improved since my December post, Brooks is still having a tough time in first grade. As we await the results of his annual psycho-educational evaluation, which includes an IQ test, I find myself caring less and less about the results. This will not make me popular, I know, especial…
by Insideschools staff Monday, 24 January 2011 13:24

"Struggling Schools, Hard Times: Teachers, communities and school improvement in a time of fiscal uncertainty,"  a conversation with Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers will be presented by the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">Center for New York City Affairs on Wednesday from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Theresa Lang Community & Student Center, Arnhold Hall, 55 West 13th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenues), 2nd Floor at the New School.

The conversation will center on turning around struggling public schools and boosting community collaboration. How will educators, parents and the city respond to the state fiscal crisis? And what is the future of school accountability in New York City?

WITH:
Juan Gonzalez, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">New York Daily News
Clara Hemphill, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">Insideschools.org
and
Errol Louis, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">NY 1 News

Admission is free but you must reserve a seat. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 212-229-5418.

Can't attend the event? Please send us questions in comments below and we'll be certain to share them! And watch for our video on Insideschools during the event.

On Wednesday night, there will be another opportunity to hear Mulgrew. Community Board 1 in Lower Manhattan is hosting a Town Hall with him from 6-8 p.m. at The Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place.

Testing for gifted & talented programs is now underway in NYC public schools. If you’re reading this, there’s a chance your child has already taken the test, and you’re awaiting the release of results in May. My four-year-old, Leia, received her testing date last week and will be taking the OLSA…
by Clara Hemphill Friday, 21 January 2011 12:43
The school system has lost one one of its most seasoned educators just as a chancellor with no experience in schools takes the helm. Deputy Chancellor Eric Nadelstern, the architect of a massive 2007 reorganization of the school system and one of the most influential people at the Department of Educ…
by Skip Card Thursday, 20 January 2011 08:07
Parents who want New York’s schools to help their children become bilingual can learn details about the city’s dual language programs on Saturday, Jan. 22, at a kindergarten information fair on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The 60-minute documentary Speaking in Tongues, about four students who become…
by Clara Hemphill Thursday, 20 January 2011 06:34
Chancellor Cathie Black is off to a rocky start as she struggles to win over parents and the public on her first month on the job. She was booed at her first public appearance at the Panel for Education Policy last night. She didn't seem to know the name of Manhattan's representative to the panel, c…
After too much nagging and way too much frustration, I finally realized the best way to help my high-schooler through finals this week: Leave him alone. It’s a lot easier to ignore the pile of books, index cards and dog-earned notebooks that will cover my dining room table all week from the pub arou…
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 18 January 2011 05:42
Dear Judy I noticed in the Insideschools  poll about how Cathie Black can reach out to parents, responses were all over the place, and not that many parents voted. What is the best way to assure parents that they are heard? Just wondering.... Dear Just wondering.., Perhaps the low response rate to o…
by Skip Card Monday, 17 January 2011 04:48
After the events of Jan. 12, I plan to submit the following rough outline to the Metropolitan Opera. The proposed production is titled “Snow Day: A Tragedy.” Scene 1 opens in a New York home on a winter’s evening. [Note to self: Is “Nutcracker” set still being used?] Four elementary-age children dan…
by Jennifer Freeman Friday, 14 January 2011 09:47
Pamela French, a parent and film producer, has just released a video, Green Grades: NYC Schools Recycle! about the systems schools use to put vibrant recycling systems in place. “As a green enthusiast, a producer/director and most of all, a parent, I'm very excited to be sharing this video. All of u…
by Valerie Watnick Thursday, 13 January 2011 10:34
Valerie Watnick is a professor at Baruch College, teaching environmental and business law, and is a past Co-PTA President of PS 199 in Manhattan. She has written about the dangers of PCBs. This is her second update for Insideschools.org about the efforts to rid New York City schools of PCBs and o…
by Clara Hemphill Tuesday, 11 January 2011 05:25
For discouraged students who are thinking of dropping out of school, transfer schools provide another way to graduate. And unlike most city high schools, you can enroll in the middle of the school year if there is a spot available. The Department of Education has opened several dozen of these small …
Q:  My son has to switch high schools in the middle of the school year.  His GPA is now about a 3.0, his SAT is 1610, and he has an ACT of 24.  How will changing schools affect him in terms of his applying to college?  Which school counselor should we ask for the counselor letter?  And what are the …
by Allison Gaines Pell Tuesday, 11 January 2011 01:13
I am pleased to announce that we have been approved to expand into a K-8 school. In an era of accountability,  where the news is about testing, budgets, and the very concrete aspects of public education, it is easy to forget that schools are supposed to be places that fulfill the hopes and dreams of…
by Skip Card Monday, 10 January 2011 10:58
To New York’s Department of Education, the kindergarten sign-up period that begins today is “intake,” a time to discover which public schools will be filled beyond capacity come September, and which will have room to spare. But to parents who have staked their children’s  future on NYC’s public scho…
by Monday, 10 January 2011 05:50
Not too long ago, the very phrase Gifted & Talented made me cringe, with its aura of specialness and superiority. When my older daughter, Night Owl (now 6) was in pre-K, the option wasn’t even on our radar; we were too busy trying to figure out a few kinks with her that, as it turned out, added …
by Pamela Wheaton Thursday, 06 January 2011 10:36
School Chancellor Cathie Black says reaching out to parents is at the top of her "to do" list. She told a student at Democracy Prep that her first task will be meeting parents.  And in her first weekly letter to principals, she wrote that she wants to "reach out more to families to involve them mean…
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 04 January 2011 07:13
Dear Judy, Please help. My daughter’s kindergarten is harmful. Kids are not allowed to play, except for a structured "choice time" at their desks, with a toy the group chooses.  They get little to no recess time - less than 20 minutes. Sitting at desks for three and half to four hours per day is co…
by Skip Card Monday, 03 January 2011 05:31
I vividly recall sitting in a waiting room, thinking my daughter’s future was being determined 15 feet away. There, behind closed doors, a child psychologist was administering the Stanford-Binet IQ test designed to detect early signs of genius. If my daughter aced the exam, she might gain entry into…
by Insideschools staff Friday, 24 December 2010 04:11
Insideschools.org and the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School are taking a holiday break, along with the city's public school teachers and students. We'll be back in January -- ready for the challenges that the new year, and the new administration at the Department of Education, will …
by Dr. Jane S. Gabin Tuesday, 21 December 2010 05:25
Q:  I'm a high school sophomore from the Bronx.  It has always been my dream to attend Columbia University.  However, I doubt I will ever have a chance for admission.  My cumulative average from freshman year was a 90, and now I have about an 85.  I'm on the football team, student council, NYC Cares…
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 21 December 2010 05:23
Dear Judy: I know it's late, but what should I do about a holiday gift for my child’s teacher? Should my son  choose something on his own or should I make cookies?  Or something else? I am a busy mom and do not remember getting any notice about this. Busy mom Dear Busy Mom, Schools enter a sort o…
by Insideschools staff Monday, 20 December 2010 11:08
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer is asking parents, guardians, students, and others concerned about the New York City public schools to give some advice to the new leadership at the Department of Education. For the next three weeks you can join a virtual Town Hall to weigh in on what you t…
by Monday, 20 December 2010 09:58
Do you feel stressed by the demands of your child's school?  Has volunteering come to feel like a fulltime job? This dilemma was the subject of a top-emailed New York Times article a few weeks back: "Frazzled Moms Push Back Against Volunteering" in which many of the subjects described feeling resent…
by Liz Willen Friday, 17 December 2010 06:13
The interviews, tryouts, and discussions about which high schools to rank in what order are all over in our household, so I’ve been wondering lately why my 13-year-old continues to nervously tug on his hair and why his friends avoid all conversations about high school. I blame post traumatic stress,…
by Marni Goltsman Wednesday, 15 December 2010 05:42
One extra click is all it takes this holiday season to support your favorite charity (and if that's Insideschools.org, so much the better!). Here's how easy it is:  go to ShopForCharityNow.com first and then click through to your choice of more than fifty online stores.  This particular website is m…
by Pamela Wheaton Monday, 13 December 2010 07:42
With middle school applications due on Friday, Dec. 17,  and the kindergarten admissions season beginning in January, the Department of Education is proposing changes in location or grade level at several high profile schools around the city. Among the schools affected are PS 151 on the Upper East S…
by Skip Card Monday, 13 December 2010 05:19
“Are we Jewish or are we Christian?” my kindergartner asked the other day. The question was sparked by classroom discussion about the various holidays celebrated in our Upper West Side neighborhood. Hanukkah was getting a lot of attention, Jewish kids were talking about eight nights of presents, and…
by Clara Hemphill Wednesday, 08 December 2010 08:12
The new chancellor-designate, Cathie Black has emerged from seclusion to offer clues of what the priorities of her administration might be: taking aim at teacher tenure, and getting teachers off the city payroll who don't have regular classroom assignments. After keeping quiet for a few weeks after …
by Clara Hemphill Wednesday, 08 December 2010 07:41
Middle school applications are due Dec. 17, and we’ve posted some new school reviews to help you rank your choices. Most of these schools are new and noteworthy (and may have empty seats to fill), while some are established schools that have moved to a new building. Others are simply schools that we…
by Marni Goltsman Wednesday, 08 December 2010 04:52
Although Brooks is an only child, I sometimes feel as if I'm raising two separate boys: the happy-go-lucky one on the right who exudes charm and intelligence, and the anxious, uncertain one on the left who is doggedly pursued by the  challenges of autism. For better or worse, my obsessive worrier is…
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 07 December 2010 10:23
Dear Judy, I am a District 2 parent. I keep reading about the need to rank the schools on the application.  The problem is that many schools won't consider you unless you rank them first.  How does one get around this?   So confusing! Dear District 2 parent: Applying to middle school is confusing. T…
by Liz Willen Monday, 06 December 2010 08:42
“Are we late?’ my 13-year-old asked again and again, as we headed first to an interview and then an audition, all within a three hour time span at an ungodly hour on Sunday. We were not, but plenty of frantic parents and kids were, and just as many appeared to be lost on their way to some of New Yor…
by Monday, 06 December 2010 06:34
When my daughter Night Owl was two weeks into pre-kindergarten, we received an e-mail from the teacher: “Due to a nut allergy, our classroom will be strictly nut-free” Since pre-K children eat lunch in their classrooms, this meant Night Owl would have to forgo her preferred lunch of almond butter sa…
by Jennifer Freeman Thursday, 02 December 2010 04:27
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn released a report called FoodWorks, featuring 59 proposals for improving health and sustainability throughout the food chain and throughout the city. The report was released last week to a packed auditorium in Food and Finance High School Quinn was introduced by …
by Allison Gaines Pell Wednesday, 01 December 2010 06:26
Every morning we have a moment of solitude and reflection in our school. We try to get so still and quiet that we can hear the hum of the lights, or the rain outside the windows. And we do. During these moments of silence, I have the pleasure of looking at the faces of 300 young adolescents. I l…
by Clara Hemphill Tuesday, 30 November 2010 07:49
The two new people tapped to lead Tweed make an odd couple, but maybe their skills will complement one another.  The state's granting of  a waiver to publishing executive Cathie Black, Mayor Mike Bloomberg's choice for schools chancellor, came with the stipulation that she work with a "chief academi…
by Dr. Jane S. Gabin Tuesday, 30 November 2010 05:49
Q:  My daughter is in the middle of applying to colleges, and she worked very hard on her essay.  Her English teacher looked at it and thought it was good, too.  But we are hearing about more and more students using "essay tutors" and "writing consultants" who charge a lot of money to help students …
by Clara Hemphill Monday, 29 November 2010 06:52
I've been poring over Cathie Black's best-selling book, Basic Black, for clues as to how Mayor Mike Bloomberg's choice for chancellor might run the city's school system. Based on Black's decades of experience selling advertising and launching magazines such as CosmoGirl and O, The Oprah Magazine, t…
by Skip Card Monday, 29 November 2010 05:46
The Scholastic Book Fair held this month at my daughter’s elementary created a fun bookstore environment that promoted reading and learning — all while raising thousands of dollars for the school. So why did it leave me fuming? Because my kindergartner purchased, from among the hundreds of discounte…
by Clara Hemphill Wednesday, 24 November 2010 08:32
It looks as thought Mayor Mike Bloomberg will get his choice for schools chancellor after all. The Associated Press reports that the state education commissioner of education, David Steiner, will approve the waiver for Cathie Black, even though she doesn't have any education experience. In a letter …
by Clara Hemphill Tuesday, 23 November 2010 07:21
Eighth graders and their families have spent the fall touring schools. So have Insideschools reporters! We visited several dozen schools -- many of them new - - and have posted new reviews to help you rank your choices on applications, due next week. Here's what we found: For very strong students, B…
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 23 November 2010 06:58
Dear Judy, My son’s teacher told me that his grades were lowered for bad behavior. Is this allowed? What can I do about it? Upset Mom Dear Upset Mom, Any time a child is signaled out for bad behavior, there is a reason to be concerned: Is the teacher picking on him?  Is the teacher’s standard imp…
by Laura Zingmond Tuesday, 23 November 2010 06:20
For eighth-graders and their families who are logging hours pouring over the high school directory, reading school profiles, following the High School Hustle, and trekking all over the city to attend open houses and tours, decision time is here. High school applications are due on Dec. 3 -- and some…
During a much anticipated tour of a highly selective and extremely appealing high school last week, I fell sound asleep.  It happened in a hot and crowded auditorium, somewhere between the guidance counselor talking about the roughly 5,000 applicants for 150 spots and the principal touting the wonde…
by Insideschools staff Monday, 22 November 2010 08:56
Lori Podvesker is the Public Advocate's representative on the Citywide Council on Special Education and the parent of an eight-year-old son with special needs. Below is her summary of the highlight's of last week's meeting about busing. Parents and educators of students with disabilities  -- and eve…
by Monday, 22 November 2010 06:48
What exactly is occupational therapy (OT)? If you had asked me a year ago, I would have had little to say on the subject, but now that we have entered the realm of special education via my six-year-old, Night Owl, I’m well acquainted with this term, along with others such as IEP, CSE, and RSA (that’…
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 19 November 2010 13:14
A blog in Brooklyn reported that a school modeled after Millennium High School in Manhattan will open in Park Slope next fall, offering a new option for Brooklyn parents who complain that there are too few schools for high-achieving students in the borough. In addition the new school plans to offer …
by Jennifer Freeman Thursday, 18 November 2010 09:38
I was going to give a Green Schools presentation last night at a meeting of the Community Education Council of District 3; I planned to encourage all schools in the district to establish strong recycling programs, identified by the Department of Sanitation as one of the best ways for a school to cut…
by Allison Gaines Pell Thursday, 18 November 2010 06:43
STILL WORKING ON THIS Dear Ms. Black, Let's assume that you are appointed as our next Chancellor. Here is my advice for you: 1) Spend your first few weeks in schools, talking with teachers, students, parents and school leaders. Ask them questions about their successes and their greatest challenges.…
by Marni Goltsman Wednesday, 17 November 2010 06:22
Brooks rode a yellow school bus for two years when he was in Pre-kindergarten, and I can still vividly recall the bureaucracy. Summoning the same kind of energy required for fighting insurance claims and misappropriated bank fees, my husband and I spent hours on the phone trying to have rational con…
by Insideschools staff Tuesday, 16 November 2010 10:06
A week after Mayor Bloomberg's surprise announcement naming publishing executive Cathie Black as the new schools' chancellor, some people are questioning whether the state should approve her appointment. Because Black lacks education experience, State Education Commissioner David Steiner must grant …
by Pamela Wheaton Monday, 15 November 2010 12:15
If you have a child who is turning five years old in 2011, now's the time to start thinking about kindergarten. Requests for testing for gifted and talented programs are due Nov. 17, while orientations for parents of children with special needs are being held in November and December. Children are n…
by Skip Card Monday, 15 November 2010 08:11
This week we welcome a new blogger, Skip Card, to Insideschools.org.  Skip is a newspaper reporter and editor, most recently for the New York Post. He's also a native of the Pacific Northwest, an avid outsdoorsman, and the author of  "Take a Hike: New York City." Skip lives with his wife and kinderg…
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 12 November 2010 09:18
Want to get a jumpstart on finding a summer camp for your child? New York Family, along with the American Camping Association - NY, is hosting free camp fairs this weekend in Manhattan. There will be representatives from 40-50 day camp and sleep-away camps in the Northeast. Check out the possibiliti…
by Jennifer Freeman Thursday, 11 November 2010 11:21
Without fanfare or hoopla, the push to reduce schools' energy use is moving forward.  “With the new Energy Star efficiency data, I can go into a school and have a much better conversation with a custodian,” says Joe Lazarus, Deputy Director of Facilities at the DOE's Division of School Facilities. T…
College bound high school seniors through out the U.S. are struggling to put the finishing touches on college essays, those pesky assignments aimed at giving admissions officers a bit more personal information about an applicant --  and at the very least some insight into their writing. Now eighth g…
by Clara Hemphill Tuesday, 09 November 2010 13:53
It’s not a big surprise that Schools Chancellor Joel Klein is stepping down. Eight years in city government is a long time for anyone, particularly in a job as difficult as his. But Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s choice to replace Klein, announced at a City Hall press conference, has left people scratching …
My son is in 6th grade this fall. Is it too early to be thinking about high school admissions? What can I do to get prepared? Anxious dad. Dear Anxious Dad: It's never too soon for a middle school family to start thinking about high school, however, 6th grade is a big transition year for kids – t…
by Monday, 08 November 2010 08:51
When Leia was a baby we affectionately called her Koala Bear, for the way she held tightly around my neck and never let go. Now, at 4 ½, when she clasps herself around my legs to block my exit from the classroom, she’s simply Barnacle. A mixture of sadness, guilt, and irritation bubbles up in me as …
by Pamela Wheaton Monday, 08 November 2010 06:36
It just got easier to find transfer schools and programs for older teens who have been unsuccessful at regular high schools. The Department of Education has been opening programs for struggling older students at a faster pace over the past few years, and now it has produced a directory listing 43 tr…
by Pamela Wheaton Wednesday, 03 November 2010 11:02
New, small high schools fared the best in the annual release today of the Department of Education's Progress Reports which grade the city's schools according to progress students make toward passing state exams, or meeting graduation targets. Four of the five The five top-ranked schools - Theatre A…
by Dr. Jane S. Gabin Wednesday, 03 November 2010 07:26
Q:  I have been taking AP courses since my sophomore year at a competitive high school.  All of them have been hard. I am averaging around a B/B- with occasional C’s and some A’s.  My SAT score is 1950 (out of 2400) and I am now a junior.  I have many awards in science and math competitions and over…
It’s hard to overlook the amenities – or the lack of them – when searching for a New York City Public high school.  Who wouldn’t be wowed by Stuyvesant’s swimming pool, Frank Sinatra’s rooftop garden or The Harbor School’s fish tanks and stunning campus? At the same time, some of the best and most c…
by Pamela Wheaton Monday, 01 November 2010 05:00
After eight years at Advocates for Children of New York, Insideschools.org is moving to a new home at the Center for New York City Affairs at The New School. The November 1 move, made possible by a generous grant from The Sloan Foundation, reunites the original staff of Insidechools. Pamela Wheaton …
by Insideschools staff Friday, 29 October 2010 12:14
We're in the process of upgrading Insideschools.org, and making changes to the InsideSCOOP and the comments sections for the blog and school profile pages. Our goal is to improve communication between users -- you will now be able to reply directly to other posters, for example, and school comments …
by Admin Friday, 29 October 2010 12:07
We are  making many improvements to the site, looking for ways to make the site more accessible to new visitors and also easier to use for our faithful members. I took a good look at our comments system, for school profile pages and for The InsideSCOOP. We wanted to find a solution that would allow …
by Jennifer Freeman Friday, 29 October 2010 06:41
The lunch at the School Food Rocks conference last weekend featured the healthiest, greenest recipes that School Food can make. Vegetable stir-fries, Pasta Bolognese, a salad bar with sesame noodles served in the Department of Education's more environmentally friendly new “trayless” paper boats, and…
by Laura Zingmond Thursday, 28 October 2010 10:47
Without the option of a local diploma many students won't graduate at all, according to a report released today by Advocates for Children (AFC).  More than a Statistic: Faces of the Local Diploma, chronicles nine high school graduates' pathways to college and careers taken after earning a local …
by Pamela Wheaton Thursday, 28 October 2010 08:46
There are still 850 teacher vacancies across the city's nearly 1700 public schools.  If they aren't filled by October 29, schools may lose the money budgeted for those positions . That's according to the Chancellor Klein's weekly memo to principals, which also advised that most vacancies must be fi…
by Laura Zingmond Wednesday, 27 October 2010 13:05
The New York City Department of Education backtracked on a new policy that would have charged schools for using their facilities after 6 p.m.  Principals were told of the policy in their weekly newsletter from Chancellor Klein. "Effective now, schools are not financially responsible for the extended…
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 26 October 2010 06:31
Dear  Judy - Recently, my 8th-grade son was scheduled for a dentist appointment first thing in the morning, followed by a medical appointment. He was very late to school  and when  he got there, despite notes  from the doctors he saw, he was marked late. When I asked why, I was told that medical ap…
by Pamela Wheaton Tuesday, 26 October 2010 06:23
Last chance to register for a public pre-kindergarten program for the 2010-2011 school year! The Department of Education has sent out another reminder that there are still slots available in  pre-kindergarten programs for children turning four this year. Parents should apply by Friday, October 29. T…
by Liz Willen Monday, 25 October 2010 06:55
It’s hard to imagine that after all the tests, the tryouts, the rankings and the pressure to get into one of New York City’s best public high schools that it sometimes doesn’t work out as planned. Not everyone will get their first, second or even their third choice by the time the matches are made i…
by Monday, 25 October 2010 06:20
The Scholastic book fair just wrapped at Leia’s school, and as a result our bookshelf is a little more crowded than it was before. The annual sale is a significant fundraiser for PS 29, so I always indulge my daughters when it comes to picking out a few books that strike their fancy–along with letti…
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 22 October 2010 10:58
How do you get your kid to break the chips and fries lunch habit and eat more lettuce or apples at school? Check out Friday's editorial page in The New York Times (preferably the print version which shows a chart).  Two Cornell professors, along with an illustrator, have diagrammed what they say is …
by Insideschools staff Thursday, 21 October 2010 08:21
When it comes to evaluating schools, a simple letter grade won't do.  At least that's what many of  our poll-takers think.  In our last poll we asked if you agree with your school's 2010 Progress Report grade. The results were mixed but most commenters nixed them.  A District 15 parent writes: "The …
by Wednesday, 20 October 2010 10:11
Charter schools are independent public schools. Each functions as its own school district with a non-profit Board of Directors that performs the duties of a Board of Education. The board is responsible for the operations of the school and its compliance with the law. (See our primer on charter schoo…
by Allison Gaines Pell Wednesday, 20 October 2010 08:31
The documentary "Waiting for Superman" makes a powerful argument that that many of our schools are not working, and that something must be done. It is thought (and emotion)-provoking, and my feeling is that people should see it and join the conversation. Many schools are failing our children and edu…
by Allison Gaines Pell Tuesday, 19 October 2010 16:19
I am in the very happy position to say that at Arts & Letters, we are at the beginning of an exciting new chapter. We are moving forward to propose an elementary, district, public school, as an expansion of our already successful middle grades school that we have spent the past five years buildi…
If making decisions about New York City public schools was anything like looking for real estate, I’d be ready to buy into the New York Harbor School right now, before the crowds arrive. (Come to think of it, I wish they were actually selling houses or apartments on Governors Island with those stunn…
by Insideschools staff Thursday, 14 October 2010 17:11
Joyce Szuflita, of NYSChoolHelp.com, attended the Meet and Greet with Chancellor Klein sponsored by the District 15 Community Education Council. Here's her recap of the evening. Last night, schools chancellor Joel I. Klein participated in a town hall style meeting sponsored by District 15’s Communi…
by Jennifer Freeman Thursday, 14 October 2010 12:34
Author's note: The title of this column is borrowed from a new cookbook by environmental activist Laurie David: The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time. According to the 2008 book, The School Food Revolution the New York City Department of Education (DOE)  is the …
by Insideschools staff Wednesday, 13 October 2010 06:51
Got a child applying to kindergarten, middle school, or high school for next fall? Here's what's happening this week, and month. Kindergarten & elementary grade Gifted & Talented programs Handbooks with information and applications for testing for the city's elementary school G&T program…
by Marni Goltsman Wednesday, 13 October 2010 06:21
This past weekend, I "spring-cleaned" my son's bedroom. As every New York City parent knows, in addition to reducing apartment clutter, these kinds of transitions encourage second looks at the things that you could never bring yourself to give away even if your child has long outgrown them. For ou…
by Allison Gaines Pell Monday, 11 October 2010 07:54
Fall is one of my favorite times of the year, not only because of the leaves, but also because of our weekly tours. Each week, 35 or so people come for our weekly tour, and I get to talk about my school! I have to admit, I'm so proud of what we have accomplished in our school, and since education is…
by Allison Gaines Pell Sunday, 10 October 2010 19:17
I have learned in my job as principal to be humble about the things I think I know for sure, but I am pretty sure about one thing:  It will not be the hedge fund managers or the politicians who improve American education. It will be the teachers. Lest we forget: they are the ones teaching the childr…
by Judy Baum Thursday, 07 October 2010 09:58
Dear Judy, Our high school is overcrowded by the capacity standards in the DOE Blue Book. Our school has corrected the DOE calculation of space twice and our submittal has gone unacknowledged. Meanwhile, our3800  students fill a school with a capacity of 2100. What can be done to have the legal capa…
by Insideschools staff Thursday, 07 October 2010 08:37
Frustrated about test scores or your school's Progress Report? Do you wish your child's class was smaller? Parent activists and education advocacy organizations are organizing for change this fall. The "Save our Schools Coalition", led by the Coalition for Educational Justice and other advocacy grou…
I waited patiently outside an auditorium door for my turn, then bravely took the stage to work on the song I’d been practicing for months, “My Favorite Things,’’ from the Sound of Music. Three judges stared silently at me, looking bored and unimpressed, their arms folded neatly in front of them. …
by Pamela Wheaton Tuesday, 05 October 2010 08:12
A few thousand seats are still available in pre-kindergarten programs even after the second round of admissions, according to the Department of Education. If you have a child turning four years old by December 31 and you are still looking for a pre-K program at a public school or community organiza…
by Laura Zingmond Tuesday, 05 October 2010 08:12
Eighth graders applying to high schools aren't the only ones who should be mindful of the admissions calendar.  Important dates are looming for students applying to middle schools and G&T programs for the 2011-12 school year.  Here's the rundown for what you'll need to know for the upcoming wee…
by Insideschools staff Monday, 04 October 2010 07:57
With the release of the 2010 Progress Reports for elementary and middle schools, more than 700 schools (out of roughly 1100), including many charters, had lower letter grades. This is a dramatic change from 2009, where nearly 1000 schools saw their grades improve or remain the same from 2008.   All …
by Laura Zingmond Monday, 04 October 2010 07:57
With all the recent news coverage on Progress Reports, which rely heavily on test scores,  it's easy to lose sight of  everything that goes into the making of a successful school, and how budget cuts could be affecting this year's students. In our last poll we asked what area needs the MOST improvem…
by Monday, 04 October 2010 06:15
It’s a familiar scene by now. Leia, age 4, catches sight of me at pre-K pick-up and shouts “Mommeeeee!” as she bounds toward the doorway where I’m standing. She almost knocks me over with her flying hug, and we make our cheery exit from the building. But then at some point during the next 15 minutes…
by Liz Willen Friday, 01 October 2010 06:56
Upcoming tours, fairs, tests, tryouts and the whole demanding New York City high school search process is upon us, ready or not.  With it comes a particularly frustrating finding: Your strong likes, opinions and dislikes as a parent no longer rule the day. Your 12 or 13-year-old children most likely…
by Clara Hemphill Thursday, 30 September 2010 10:01
The city released its 2010 Progress Reports for elementary and middle schools, giving each school a grade of “A” to “F,” based mostly on how children did on standardized tests compared to schools with similar demographics. The city has a tougher grading system than last year, and more than 700 schoo…
by Judy Baum Thursday, 30 September 2010 09:02
Dear Judy: I have an 8th-grader preparing for high school. I just received her citywide test scores for ELA and math. I understand the grading/scoring scale has changed -- her scores fell by 100 points. I wonder if this is something other families are noticing and how it will affect the admissions p…
by Pamela Wheaton Wednesday, 29 September 2010 09:06
A popular Brooklyn middle school, IS 234, made the news last week when it sent a few dozen newly-enrolled students to another school because of overcrowding. IS 234, the Arthur W. Cunningham school, isn't the only school turning away zoned students who are registering this fall. As of September 22, …
by Marni Goltsman Wednesday, 29 September 2010 05:01
When the school nurse calls me at work, the first thing I need to know—and I need to know it immediately—is that Brooks isn't seriously hurt. Once that's been established, as it was last week when a lousy cold sapped all my son's energy, I can then begin to traverse the logistics of how I get him ho…
by Laura Zingmond Monday, 27 September 2010 13:17
If you're not already in the throes of a high school search for your 8th-grader, now is the time to kick into high gear. The Department of Education Enrollment Office is hosting two parent workshops about specialized high schools admissions this week:  tonight, September 27 at Sunset Park High Schoo…
by Pamela Wheaton Thursday, 23 September 2010 14:42
Half of the nearly 23,000 students sent to summer school because of low marks on state exams in grades 3-8 were not promoted to the next grade, according to Department of Education statistics released Thursday. In fact, more students were forced to repeat a grade -- 11,481 -- than were allowed to mo…
by Catherine Man Thursday, 23 September 2010 08:06
Catherine Man, formerly a school reporter at Insideschools.org, is a graduate student at Teachers College, studying instructional technology and games in education. Ever watch a kid at a video game, playing a level for hundredth time until they finally beat it? In that child, there's a belief that …
by Laura Zingmond Wednesday, 22 September 2010 09:45
Ojeda Hall (pronounced “O zsey da”) took office as director of the Department of Education’s Office of Family Engagement and Advocacy on August 2, replacing Martine Guerrier, who left to become a senior policy advisory in the mayor’s office. Born in Baltimore, Hall moved to Fort Greene, Brooklyn at …
by Liz Willen Wednesday, 22 September 2010 08:50
I’m getting close to asking Mayor Michael Bloomberg, or even Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, to sign a letter to employers around New York City, asking them to grant parents in the midst of choosing middle schools and especially high schools some flexibility – and some time off. The business of findi…
by Laura Zingmond Tuesday, 21 September 2010 13:26
The Center for Arts Education (CAE) is enlisting parent leaders to join a team of advocates dedicated to restoring arts education to New York City public schools.   A recent study published by the CAE found that over the three year period from 2006 to 2009, support for arts education in the city's s…
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 21 September 2010 08:20
Dear Judy, I'm a currently a freshman and I hate my high school. I really want to transfer out. I want to talk to my guidance counselor about transferring but I have a few questions: 1. Can I get the transferring papers now or do I have to wait for the rest of the year to get it? 2. Can I only apply…
by Insideschools staff Monday, 20 September 2010 08:32
With the first full week of classes behind them, families and schools are settling into their routines. Most new students have registered, PTA meetings have been scheduled, some out-of-work teachers have returned to the classroom, and public hearings are underway to decide how C4E money from the st…
by Insideschools staff Monday, 20 September 2010 08:31
It seems that most parents are embracing the new school year, with a similar attitude to the one they had at the end of 2009-10 -- optimistic. In our last poll we asked our readers to share their forecast for the new school year.  Among the nearly 500 who weighed in, roughly two-thirds are looking o…
by Monday, 20 September 2010 06:15
After what seemed like a false start that first Wednesday, the school year has finally lurched into gear, to the relief of most parents (some I know opted to extend summer until the 13th) and even a few kids–- my daughters couldn’t wait for a return to the classroom and more structured days. And, pe…
by Matt Fleischer-Black Friday, 17 September 2010 11:07
Parents of disabled children are fearful that the city’s ambitious new plan to integrate special need students in regular classes will result in ever more confusion – and may not offer them better opportunities. That’s the message from some 50 people -- including a girl in a wheelchair -- at a meeti…
by Valerie Watnick Thursday, 16 September 2010 07:10
Valerie Watnick is a professor at Baruch College, teaching environmental and business law, and is a past Co-PTA President of PS 199 in Manhattan. She has written about the dangers of PCBs and will be contributing  updates to Insideschools.org about the efforts to rid New York City schools of PCBs an…
by Laura Zingmond Wednesday, 15 September 2010 08:31
Last February the Department of Education offered the city's 65,000 11th graders free access to an online SAT prep course through College Board.  The goal was to stem the tide of declining scores since 2002 by offering students the free course in time to prepare for the March, June, or October 2010 …
by Laura Zingmond Wednesday, 15 September 2010 08:27
New York City students posted gains on the SATs in 2010 from the previous year, in contrast to statewide scores, which dropped slightly from 2009 to 2010.  While the city's overall SAT scores inched up only a few points in math and English over 2009, the slight jump reversed a four-year downward  tr…
by Allison Gaines Pell Wednesday, 15 September 2010 06:04
A large part of the job of principal -- and indeed of all leaders --  is figuring out what to pay attention to, what to delegate, and what to put on the back burner. (Unfortunately, as a principal, you can't ignore much.) With many questions and issues competing for our time and attention at the beg…
by Dr. Jane S. Gabin Tuesday, 14 September 2010 09:57
Q:   My son's high school offers very few Advanced Placement courses but does let qualifying students take actual college courses at nearby colleges.  Are the in-school APs weighted the same as taking college classes at a a college (even if it is not a very rigorous college)?  Or are the college cla…
by Liz Willen Monday, 13 September 2010 10:33
On their first day back at middle school last week, my eighth-grade son and his classmates heard three words many have been dreading all summer: high school admissions. “Can you believe they made us talk about it on the first day?’’ he said glumly afterward, unwilling to concede summer’s end so quic…
by Laura Zingmond Monday, 13 September 2010 05:01
The Department of Education will be holding public hearings in every school district on this year's round of funding from Contracts for Excellence (C4E), the state legislation passed in 2007 to distribute the settlement proceeds from the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit. Contracts for Excellence f…
by Insideschools staff Thursday, 09 September 2010 07:15
The Coalition for the Homeless launched a back to school project to collect school supplies for an estimated 15,000 homeless kids who attend New York City public schools. Until September 17, the Coalition will be accepting school supplies at locations around the city. Choose from a Wish List of item…
by Jennifer Freeman Thursday, 09 September 2010 06:15
Experts say that learning during the summer is important for sustained achievement. One thing I learned this summer is that marketers identify me  as LOHAS— Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability— defined as “a market segment focused on health and fitness, the environment, personal development, sus…
by Insideschools staff Wednesday, 08 September 2010 07:51
On this first day of school, Chancellor Klein is making the rounds of city schools, stopping at one in each borough. He began his morning at the perennially high-achieving Sunset Park elementary school, PS 172. GothamSchools reporters are tagging along, live-blogging the day's stops. Despite concern…
by Laura Zingmond Wednesday, 08 September 2010 06:38
One million plus public school students are expected back in school today,   though it's unclear whether attendance will be spotty given the awkward start to the 2010-11 school year.  Some families have decided to make Monday, September 13 their first day of school, choosing to squeeze in one la…
by Laura Zingmond Wednesday, 08 September 2010 06:38
When the state delayed release of the 2010 English and math until late July, it meant that families didn't find out their students'  individual scores until mid-August -- and only then if they logged on to ARIS Parent link.  Those who couldn't --  or chose not to -- access ARIS, will get their te…
by Insideschools staff Tuesday, 07 September 2010 06:34
Students, politicians, and advocates rallied Monday in front of Department of Education headquarters at Tweed urging the City Council to support the Student Safety Act. The act would require the New York Police Department and the DOE  to regularly report to the City Council on the numbers of  studen…
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 07 September 2010 06:05
Dear Judy I was wondering if you knew about the situation with some Regents exams being discontinued. I know that only a few language Regents are being kept, and the language I am taking isn't one of them. How can I get an Advanced Regents diploma? Travis As you know, in order to get an Advanced  Re…
by Insideschools staff Friday, 03 September 2010 06:57
Middle school students enrolled in K-8 schools fare better on standardized tests than those in typical middle schools, serving only grades 6-8, according to a study authored by Columbia University researchers and published this week in Education Next. Analyzing data on New York City public school st…
by Insideschools staff Thursday, 02 September 2010 14:27
Do you have questions about your child's special education placement this fall? Are you wondering whether you need to register for school at a temporary placement center, or what to do about busing? Advocates for Children this week posted a Q&A to help families of students with disabilities prep…
by Pamela Wheaton Thursday, 02 September 2010 13:20
Three weeks after the ARISE Coalition, a group of parents, educators and advocates seeking to improve special education in New York City, released a guide for parents on the latest reforms to special education, the Department of Education has posted a Q&A for parents on the website. Laura Rodr…
by Insideschools staff Wednesday, 01 September 2010 11:12
Still not registered for school for next week? Today, Sept. 1, the Department of Education opened registration centers for students who are new to New York City or otherwise don't have a school placement. The borough enrollment offices will be closed while the temporary registration centers are open…
by Marni Goltsman Wednesday, 01 September 2010 06:51
The gods of autism have smiled on us this summer:  Brooks's latest obsession is baseball. No more Phineas and Ferb or Spongebob cartoons in the morning -- only the replay of last night's Mets game will do. He knows the teams, the lineups, the batting orders, and he often paces back and forth in his …
by Pamela Wheaton Tuesday, 31 August 2010 08:27
A second August meeting of the Panel for Educational Policy was attended by angry parents last night, who challenged the Department of Education over the results of the 2010 state standardized reading and math tests.  After the state raised the passing scores this year, far fewer students achieved "…
by Insideschools staff Tuesday, 31 August 2010 07:11
Letters to families who applied in the second round of pre-kindergarten admissions for this school year will be mailed by the end of this week, according to the Department of Education. An enrollment official said that some were being mailed beginning today. Families who applied online may access th…
by Dr. Jane S. Gabin Tuesday, 31 August 2010 06:24
Q: My daughter is currently attending a private school and is beginning her junior year.  She was told that if she transfers out to a public school she will be able to take more AP and honors classes.  But, she was advised by her guidance counselor that colleges and universities will value more the …
by Pamela Wheaton Wednesday, 25 August 2010 11:00
Capping a few weeks of uncertainty and press attention, Girl's Prep Charter School has found space for its middle school students in a privately owned space, Chancellor Klein said in a statement on Tuesday. Earlier this month the Chancellor decided against invoking emergency powers to sidestep the …
by Laura Zingmond Wednesday, 25 August 2010 10:22
The Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) has scheduled two meetings in late August to address unfinished business from its August 16  meeting that was cut short in response to a  parent-led protest concerning the 2010 state test results. August 30 meeting The PEP will meet on Monday, August 30 at 6 p.…
by Laura Zingmond Wednesday, 25 August 2010 08:53

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.&utm_campaign=2010-08-19+blast" target="_blank">College Bridge,  a new program sponsored by the Department of Education, targets recent high school grads who want to attend college, but need to improve their reading, writing, and math skills before attending.

The goal is to help students prepare to take college entrance exams like the ACT and SAT, and to help them avoid having to take remedial courses in college, according to the DOE's website. College Bridge is being launched by District 79, the office in charge of alternative schools and programs.

The 13-week program set to run this fall, comes on the heels of reports in July that many high school graduates lack the skills to handle basic college-level coursework.

Who can apply?

The "ideal candidate" for College Bridge, according to the DOE's website is a recent high school graduate who:

  • graduated from high school or a GED program in 2009 or 2010
  • has a strong desire to attend college
  • needs help in reading, writing, and/or math
  • had a good attendance record at their high school or GED program.

The deadline to apply is September 15.  Classes begin in October and will run Monday to Friday from 4 to 9 p.m. College Bridge will be held at two locations:  269 West 35th Street (at 8th Avenue) in Manhattan and 67- 69 Schermerhorn Street in downtown Brooklyn.

Learn more about College Bridge This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.&utm_campaign=2010-08-19+blast" target="_blank">here, and download a student flyer here.You can print out an application here or call District 79’s Office of Student Support Services at (917)521-3639.

Submit your completed application by mailing it to Jennifer Charlot at 4360 Broadway, Suite 402, New York, New York 10033, faxing it to (917) 521-3649 or emailing it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

by Insideschools staff Tuesday, 24 August 2010 14:05
The deadline to apply for upper grade Gifted and Talented programs has been extended from August 27 to September 17, according to an update on the Department of Education's website. Acceptance into 4th and 5th grade programs is based on standardized test scores -- to be eligible, students must score…
by Insideschools staff Tuesday, 24 August 2010 08:21
New York is among ten winners in the second round of federal "Race to the Top" funding announced today. After losing out in the first round earlier this year, the state legislature voted in May to raise the cap on charter schools, to help boost New York's chances to win the federal dollars. There's …
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 24 August 2010 06:44
Dear Judy: I am wondering how we parents can help offset the impact of  budget cuts. Any suggestions as to what parents can do to keep school programs going despite the loss of staff and funding? A parent Dear Parent, With schools set to open in a few weeks, now is a good time to plan your supportiv…
by Laura Zingmond Tuesday, 24 August 2010 06:31
Since ARIS Parent Link, the Department of Education's student data portal, went live in May 2009, parents have had online access to their children's grades and test results.   No doubt lots of anxious parents found ARIS handy in mid-August, when they were able to log on to learn their children's 201…
by Laura Zingmond Tuesday, 24 August 2010 06:26
As kids across the city scurry to finish their summer assignments in time for the first day of school, we sure hope at least some of them put off their school work because they were too busy reading lots of books for fun.  Researchers say that's the best way to prevent the summer brain drain. In our…
by Laura Zingmond Thursday, 19 August 2010 05:17
Beginning September 1, the Department of Education, will open temporary student registration centers for high school students who are new to New York City, new to its public schools, or who otherwise don’t have a high school placement. The centers will operate Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. thro…
by Marni Goltsman Wednesday, 18 August 2010 05:32
Last night, Brooks sat straight up at bedtime and said to his dad "Umm...there's something I wanted to talk to you about." And then his voice began to crack as he described how a girl at camp told him to stop staring at her, how she did not say it nicely, that he was only looking at her because he w…
by Dr. Jane S. Gabin Tuesday, 17 August 2010 07:19
Q:  My son's high school only offers 5 AP courses to seniors.  Will that affect his chances of getting into a good college?  He has to get a scholarship because of our financial situation. A:  A student's chances of college acceptance have nothing to do with the actual number of AP courses offered b…
by Laura Zingmond Monday, 16 August 2010 11:03
UPDATE: A protest organized by the NYC Coalition for Educational Justice halted the Panel for Educational Policy's monthly meeting held last night, Aug. 16.  Check out the news coverage at Gothamschools, New York Times, Daily News, NY Post, WNYC, DNAinfo and NYC Public School Parents. The Panel f…
by Monday, 16 August 2010 07:23
A couple of weeks back, over ice cream cones, we told our daughter, Night Owl the news: she will be attending a new school in September. After a lot of puzzling and sleepless nights, my husband and I have concluded that right now, a private school with smaller class sizes -- and a learning approach …
by Laura Zingmond Monday, 16 August 2010 05:43
Students' individual scores on the 2010 state English and math exams are now available on ARIS Parent Link. Families who have set up an ARIS account will be able to find out their child's proficiency level (1 to 4), actual test score, and read a breakdown of their child's test performance by skill s…
by Laura Zingmond Monday, 16 August 2010 04:36
Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein may not use his emergency powers to override a state education commissioner's ruling that blocked the expansion of Girls Prep Charter School inside PS 188. Last Friday, three days before Girls Prep's middle school students were to report to school, the Department of …
by Laura Zingmond Wednesday, 11 August 2010 12:45
Manhattan's District 2 may get its first charter school in 2011-12 and some parents aren't happy about the prospect. The District 2 Community Education Council will vote on two resolutions tonight, addressing the proposed 2011 opening of KED Manhattan Charter School, founded by a Swedish school mana…
Back in November 2009, Insideschools reported on the controversy surrounding the expansion of Girls Prep Charter School to include grades 5 to 8 inside a building it shares with PS 188 and PS 94 on the Lower East Side. At the time, the Department of Education proposed three options -- one involved r…
by Insideschools staff Tuesday, 10 August 2010 13:33
Are you looking for a job working with children? The After School Corporation (TASC) today launched a website to help applicants find jobs and learn how to put together and polish their resumes. In the dogs days of August, with alarming unemployment rates, the site may come as a welcome alternative …
by Insideschools staff Tuesday, 10 August 2010 10:44
The last of a series of workshops  for middle school students and their families, introducing them to the high school admissions process, will be held tonight, Aug. 10, at Stuyvesant High School at 6:30 p.m. Led by Department of Education officials from the office of enrollment, the topic is "next s…
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 10 August 2010 07:54
Dear Judy With all the talk about professional tutoring giving the edge in admissions tests for selective schools and G&T programs, I am beginning to worry. We can’t afford much in the way of extra tutoring. Isn’t there any other way to prepare for these tests? Perturbed parents Dear Perturbed …
by Insideschools staff Tuesday, 10 August 2010 07:04
UPDATE: On August 24, the deadline to apply for upper grade Gifted and Talented programs was extended from August 27 to September 17, The Department of Education is accepting applications for upper elementary grade seats in Gifted and Talented programs through August 27.   One  hitch:  Parents can't…
by Insideschools staff Monday, 09 August 2010 11:46
An article in the Science Times last week raised the question, "Has your child cracked a book this summer?" Children's reading and spelling skills slip over the summer when too few kids pick up books to read for fun, according to the National Summer Learning Association. The article cites a three-ye…
by Insideschools staff Monday, 09 August 2010 11:45
In our last poll we asked you to grade your school's field trips.  Among the nearly 400 readers who voted, the  majority were pleased with their school's trips.  Nearly a quarter of voters had no complaints, awarding their school an "A".  Another  29% liked the trips, but wished there were more of t…
by Pamela Wheaton Thursday, 05 August 2010 11:07
A front page story in today's New York Times spotlights the practice of deciding a student's "giftedness" based on performance on just one test and points out a lack of diversity of students accepted to the city's topnotch public schools. The article focuses on Hunter College High School, a laborat…
by Allison Gaines Pell Wednesday, 04 August 2010 11:52
Last week was extremely hard for all principals and teachers, as we faced a free fall in our "proficiency" percentages on the 2010 state tests, the most important indicator of success of the city’s accountability measures. And, it will become even harder when parents and students learn of the new sc…
by Insideschools staff Wednesday, 04 August 2010 11:15
The ARISE Coalition, a group of parents, educators and advocates seeking to improve special education in New York City, this week released a guide for parents on the latest reforms to special education. The Department of Education is set to roll out the reforms in 265 schools in September; the remai…
by Dr. Jane S. Gabin Tuesday, 03 August 2010 06:41
Q:  I am an older adult considering returning to school to complete my college education. I had approximately 59 credits from Queens College at the time I withdrew in 1994.  How should I go about re-enrolling?  Will my credits apply even though it's been more than a decade?  Should I meet with a gui…
How important are your children's earliest educators in predicting their success? A New York Times article ("The Case for $320,000 Kindergarten Teachers") last week argues that kindergarten teachers matter– - a lot. The piece details the results of a recent study, in which a group of children was te…
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 30 July 2010 08:48
August 5  is the last day of summer school classes for elementary and middle school students  before they take state math exams on August 9 and  English exams the following day, to determine whether they will be promoted to the next grade. Some 1800 students are getting a reprieve fr…
by Pamela Wheaton Thursday, 29 July 2010 09:29
Applications are due Friday, July 30 for pre-kindergarten programs in city schools and community organizations. All children who were born in 2006 are eligible for public pre-K  for the 2010-2011 school year. There are 6,764 total seats available for this second round of  applications, and most of t…
by Laura Zingmond Wednesday, 28 July 2010 14:56
Far fewer students across the state achieved proficiency on the 2010 standardized English and math tests than in past years, according to results released today by the State Education Department.  Under the tougher grading standards put in place this year, only 53% of students statewide met or excee…
by Pamela Wheaton Tuesday, 27 July 2010 07:59
It took a few months but the Department of Education finally crunched the numbers.  In 2009 a grand total of 1000 children scored in the 99th percentile on the citywide assessments for kindergarten gifted and talented programs. The "99s" account for 56% of the 1788 students who qualified for citywid…
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:53
Dear Judy:  I am about to file a 2nd round application for pre-K,  but I  can’t make up my mind between a program that is in a public school and one that is located in an off-site location. What is the difference between school-based pre-K’s and others? Pre-K Dad Dear Pre-K Dad, Not every public sch…
by Laura Zingmond Monday, 26 July 2010 13:17
The Department of Education is hiring educators to fill the newly created positions of "master" and "turnaround" teachers. The new  positions were designed in conjunction with the United Federation of Teachers to allow principals in "transformation Schools", those deemed "persistently low achieving…
by Pamela Wheaton Monday, 26 July 2010 10:20
Standardized reading and math test scores for students in grades 3-8 will be released by the State Education Department to schools on Wednesday, although families won't be able to see their child's results until sometime in August. According to a city Department of Education spokesperson, "it will t…
by Insideschools staff Monday, 26 July 2010 08:06
School field trips can be an integral part of a school's curriculum -- adding first-hand experience to what students are studying in class. And,they can be a fun way to celebrate graduation or the end of a school year. Not all schools and teachers, however, value them equally -- some schedule weekly…
by Insideschools staff Monday, 26 July 2010 08:05
You know it's been a hot July when people are pinning their hopes on August for some relief.  So far in July, the thermometer hit 90 degrees 12 times and the average temperature for the month registered six degrees higher than what's typical for this time of year. In our last poll we asked readers w…
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 23 July 2010 06:33
High school admissions appeals letters were mailed to students’ homes today Friday, July 23,  according to the central enrollment office at the Department of Education. Every year 8th and 9th graders who are unhappy with their high school matches -- or whose circumstances have changed since they app…
by Judy Baum Thursday, 22 July 2010 11:04
Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio and the Alliance for Quality Education (AQE) released a joint report today evaluating how the Department of Education handles school co-locations. Its conclusion: The DOE does not adequately plan for school co-locations, does not sufficiently involve  parents in the dec…
by Laura Zingmond Wednesday, 21 July 2010 07:18
Career and Technical Education (CTE) was the topic of last night's high school workshop, the fourth in the Department of Education’s seven-part series on high school admissions. The purpose of CTE schools  -- they used to be called vocational schools -- is to connect high school students with educa…
by Dr. Jane S. Gabin Wednesday, 21 July 2010 06:33
Q:  I am a parent at my wit's end.  My son has averaged a C his entire three years in high school and now I am concerned he will not get into college.  Although his grades are average he has excellent SAT/ACT and Regents scores.  But will colleges still consider him? A:  Many colleges will see the p…
by Pamela Wheaton Tuesday, 20 July 2010 10:50
Parents of 4-year-olds still looking for a school for next fall may apply now in the second round of pre-kindergarten admissions. All children who were born in 2006 are eligible for public pre-K, although they are not guaranteed a seat. Directories listing all available schools, including the number…
by Laura Zingmond Monday, 19 July 2010 09:47
A recent study published by the Center for Arts Education (CAE) that examined funding for arts programs in New York City schools over a three-year period (2006-07, 2007-08, and 2008-09) revealed a downward trend in support for arts education.  The CAE report found "significant declines" in school bu…
by Pamela Wheaton Thursday, 15 July 2010 14:57
Earlier this month we reported that 19 schools originally slated for closure would remain open next fall and we wondered where the new schools scheduled to open in those buildings would be housed. Now we have some answers. As reported today, nine of the 16 schools will squeeze into the school buildi…
by Laura Zingmond Thursday, 15 July 2010 11:50
Parents and students turned out in impressive numbers to last night's workshop at Brooklyn Tech, the third in the Department of Education's seven-part series on high school admissions.  Last night the topic was screened and audition schools. The first speaker, DOE's Director of Enrollment, Liz Sciab…
by Marni Goltsman Wednesday, 14 July 2010 08:53
"It's too loud!" For the past few years, that has been Brooks's response to any and all Fourth of July pyrotechnics. My husband and I decided a long time ago not to take this one on even though our instincts urge us to consistently push Brooks beyond his comfort level; after all, that is how he lear…
by Laura Zingmond Tuesday, 13 July 2010 06:15
Every fall the Department of Education sends home to families a booklet containing the student Discipline Code. Many parents file it away without reading it and may not realize the serious repercussions for misbehavior.  At last month's public hearing on proposed changes to the code, testimony was h…
by Insideschools staff Monday, 12 July 2010 12:24
Summer school opened for thousands of students on July 6 -- coinciding with a record-breaking heat wave.  Unfortunately, while many schools and classrooms have air-conditioning, many others do not. Last week, some special education students who took yellow buses to summer school suffered through two…
by Pamela Wheaton Monday, 12 July 2010 12:23
It was a bumpy ride through the 2009-10 school year: Budgets were cut, brownies were banned, student MetroCards were threatened, kindergartners were waitlisted, classrooms were crowded, and teacher layoffs loomed. Yet, despite all those challenges, your children fared well this past year.  Two-thir…
School’s out, the last pile of artwork has been lugged home, and the kindergartners “stepped up” in a sweet tear-jerker of a ceremony. We have a rising first grader in our midst. So now, on to the fun part, right? Well, almost. On the last day of school Night Owl’s teacher drew me aside and advised …
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 09 July 2010 09:40
While waiting for the release of standardized state test scores, due out in August, parents may want to read a provocative piece written by conservative pundit Sol Stern in the latest edition of  City Journal. In Can New York Clean up the Testing Mess?, Stern raises questions of test score inflation…
by Laura Zingmond Thursday, 08 July 2010 13:11
New Yorkers are a hearty breed.  Despite the sweltering heat outside and the lack of air conditioning inside Brooklyn Tech's auditorium last night, an impressive crowd of parents and students attended the second installment of the Department of Education's series of high school admissions workshops.…
by Pamela Wheaton Wednesday, 07 July 2010 11:18
Tonight, July 7, is the second in the Department of Education's high school admissions workshop series for middle schools students and their families introducing them to the high school enrollment process. The topic: The eight specialized exam high schools & LaGuardia (the arts specialized high …
by Pamela Wheaton Tuesday, 06 July 2010 13:19
Ojeda Hall, a community organizer and youth minister, was named today as the director for family engagement and advocacy at the Department of Education, effective Aug. 2. She replaces Martine Guerrier who left  in June to become a senior policy advisory in the mayor's office. Hall will work with par…
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 06 July 2010 06:48
Dear Judy My older son will be attending a private Manhattan high school in September, my middle son is 11 and my daughter 9. We are currently in a Nassau County school district but are considering making a move into Manhattan. What are the top ranked public schools in NYC ?   Does moving into a spe…
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 02 July 2010 10:45
The  school year officially ended on Monday with the long term future of some city schools very much in doubt.  A state appellate court yesterday upheld a lower court's ruling that 19 schools slated for closure back in January must remain open because the Department of Education failed to give prope…
by Pamela Wheaton Wednesday, 30 June 2010 06:51
Your 12-year-old may have just completed 7th grade on Monday, but now is the time for you to start thinking about high school. Schools handed out the 535 page directory of high schools to 7th graders  last week. (Didn't get one?  Stop by the nearest enrollment office.) While it's not exactly require…
by Pamela Wheaton Wednesday, 30 June 2010 06:02
It's been a week since the the City Council Education Committee questioned Department of Education enrollment officials on admissions policies ranging from high school acceptances, to school transfers, to admissions timetables, and overcrowding in neighborhood schools. The hearing, which was held on…
by Insideschools staff Tuesday, 29 June 2010 09:19
Over the past few weeks, the Department of Education has been been honoring remarkable graduates from the class of 2010. These students overcame "violence, deaths in the family, sickness, homelessness, language barriers, and more," to stick with their studies and earn a high school diploma. Congratu…
by Dr. Jane S. Gabin Tuesday, 29 June 2010 06:14
Q:  I was wondering how colleges view AP classes.  My son will be a high school senior this fall.  In sophomore year he took one AP, junior year he took four APs, and he is registered for four more senior year.  His classwork and course load have been extremely difficult and time-consuming; however,…
by Laura Zingmond Tuesday, 29 June 2010 05:52
The Department of Education kicks off its annual free summer meals program today! All children age 18 or under can enjoy free breakfast and lunch every weekday at sites throughout the city through August 27. This year for the first time, the DOE will also deliver meals directly to select playgrounds…
by Liz Willen Monday, 28 June 2010 14:52
When I brought up the long, looming summer vacation several months ago, I had great ideas for my high school freshman son. A paying job topped the list, of course, but it’s been increasingly tough in this economy for 14-year-olds to find summer jobs. I was hoping for interest in say, a language imme…
by Laura Zingmond Monday, 28 June 2010 08:21
The Department of Education announced today that the 2010-11 school year will start as planned on Wednesday, September 8. In response to an email campaign by parents and teachers, the DOE was considering delaying the start of the school year until September 13 in exchange for students attending scho…
by Insideschools staff Monday, 28 June 2010 06:47

June 28 is report-card day at schools citywide. Now it’s your turn to grade your child’s school experience this year. Or, better yet, ask your child!

Tell us how you think the school year went and why. What worked well and what didn't? What are you looking forward to for the next school year?

by Pamela Wheaton Monday, 28 June 2010 06:43
Today is the last (half) day of school and, according to our poll-responders, most city students will be marked present. In the final tally, two-thirds of you voted yes - your kids will be there; a quarter of you said they would be "no shows," and seven percent were still undecided. Many of you c…
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 25 June 2010 08:37
An email campaign by parents and teachers, asking that the first day of school next fall be delayed until Monday, Sept. 13 has the Department of Education seriously considering a new start date for next fall. A Manhattan middle school sent emails to parents today alerting them of the possible new st…
by Jennifer Freeman Thursday, 24 June 2010 11:42
The Department of Education today announced the launch of a new website, Sustainability at DOE , to promote green practices in city schools. The parent-friendly site is meant to provide information and resources on topics from energy to recycling. “We have created a Web site that will inspire and en…
by Insideschools staff Thursday, 24 June 2010 11:21
We apologize to our users who tried to access Insideschools.org on Wednesday and got warning messages. We had a minor attack on the site by malicious software which our ever-so-able web manager Chris French was able to resolve, and the site is now running normally. No user information was compromise…
by Pamela Wheaton Tuesday, 22 June 2010 11:07
At yesterday's City Council Education Committee hearing on school admissions' policies, the city's gifted and talented programs were on the hot seat. City Council members, led by committee chair Robert Jackson, repeatedly questioned Department of Education officials about the lack of G&T program…
by Liz Willen Tuesday, 22 June 2010 05:41
It’s all so confusing. About two weeks ago, my son, a high school freshman,  announced he needed to bring in food for an end of the year party, marking the last day of school. Since I had months ago marked on my calendar the date of June 28, I wondered: How could school be over already? The party to…
A few weeks ago, the PS  29 community suffered the loss of a great friend when the school's beloved cook, Richard Worrell, died suddenly. Richard was a favorite among the kids, one of those faces kids never forget, even after graduating from the school. Likewise, he remembered everyone's name -- tho…
by Insideschools staff Monday, 21 June 2010 08:05
Got something to say about public school admissions policies? Today is the day to speak your piece. The City Council Education Committee  is calling all interested parents and advocates to testify at a hearing about Department of Education admissions procedures.  Among other things, the hearing will…
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 18 June 2010 11:06
After three years as "Chief Family Engagement Officer" for the Department of Education, Martine Guerrier is leaving to become a "Senior Policy Advisor for Community Partnership and Engagement" in Mayor Bloomberg's office, where she will work with Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott. In announcing Guerrier's…
by Pamela Wheaton Friday, 18 June 2010 10:01
Anxious 8th-graders who are still uncertain where they will be attending high school next fall because they appealed their high school matches will have to wait a bit longer. The Department of Education said that final decisions for appeals would not be ready by the end of the school year (June 28…
by Laura Zingmond Friday, 18 June 2010 09:37
The Metropolitan Transit Authority announced today that it is withdrawing its proposal to charge city students full transit fare, according to the New York Times. Late on Thursday, news first broke that state legislators were hammering out an agreement to provide $25 million to the MTA to help prese…
by Jennifer Freeman Friday, 18 June 2010 05:06
Congratulations to PS 334, the Anderson School, which won the Department of Sanitation’s citywide Golden Apple Award this year for starting a new recycling program. Parents working with the administration were able to successfully start a new recycling program even though the school lacked a perman…
by Judy Baum Thursday, 17 June 2010 11:15
Dear Judy, We are unexpectedly spending the summer in the city. Without plans, we are wondering what we can do with the kids while school is out. Hot and Bothered. Dear Hot and Bothered, No need to be flustered by the prospect of summer in the city. New York City is filled with free and fun summer a…
by Pamela Wheaton Thursday, 17 June 2010 07:53
With the June 18 registration deadline looming for the city's elementary school gifted and talented programs, PS/IS 217 on Roosevelt Island is reaching out to eligible applicants in Manhattan and Queens urging them to apply. The Department of Education last week told the school that it could not ope…
by Marni Goltsman Wednesday, 16 June 2010 07:48
An animated video has been circulating on the autism boards: Joshua Littman, a 12-year-old boy with Asperger's syndrome, interviews his mother, Sarah. Do yourself a favor and take four minutes to listen to the honest, simple and beautiful ways Sarah answers her son's challenging questions like: "Hav…
by Dr. Jane S. Gabin Tuesday, 15 June 2010 06:17
Q:  My son is going into his senior year.  This summer he is supposed to return as a counselor to the camp upstate where he has gone for several years.  However, my brother, who is a lawyer, can arrange for him to have an internship at his law firm in Manhattan.  Wouldn't that look better on his res…
by Insideschools staff Tuesday, 15 June 2010 06:10
It seems like every day there's another breaking story on education or New York City schools. With all the dire news of budget cuts, the end of student MetroCards, threatened teacher lay offs, more failures on state exams, and long waitlists for kindergarten at neighborhood schools, summer vacati…
by Laura Zingmond Monday, 14 June 2010 13:51
Parents across the city are scrambling to find creative ways to help offset the looming cuts to programs and services at their children's schools. Whether it is running auctions or bake sales (but not too many) to raise money, rallying volunteers to help out at lunchtime or recess, publishing new…
by Pamela Wheaton Monday, 14 June 2010 08:12
Update June 15: Today we received confirmation from the Department of Education that principals have until TODAY to submit appeals on behalf of their students to community school district superintendents, and not the two weeks that a DOE spokesperson originally said.   Superintendents will make thei…
by Toni Bruno Monday, 14 June 2010 07:00
Friday was a day of action for student MetroCards! At noon, an estimated 600 students walked out of school for a rally organized by the Urban Youth Collaborative, and were joined by public officials, Transportation Workers Union members, and other adults. And at 4:30 about 100 students and TWU worke…
by Liz Willen Monday, 14 June 2010 05:55
A few weeks ago, my high school freshman son came home with a story about several students caught cheating in his favorite class. The teacher is highly respected and a notoriously tough grader and she was extremely angry about what had taken place. I was relieved my son was not among those caught, b…
by Judy Baum Thursday, 10 June 2010 10:08
The Department of Education is calling on this year's high school graduates to subscribe to a website, launched today in partnership with its fund-raising arm,  The Fund for Public Schools.  In his weekly letter to principals, Chancellor Klein said the website  is a way to "help us stay in touch wit…
by Allison Gaines Pell Wednesday, 09 June 2010 05:50
Recently, it seems the only conversation about education that anyone seems to be having is whether charter schools are better or worse than "regular" public schools. For me, this discussion has grown very old, and it is entirely missing the point. In order to improve education for all schools, we n…
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 08 June 2010 12:25
Are you eagerly awaiting your child's standardized test scores? If so you'll have to wait a few more months. The New York State Board of Regents postponed the release of grades 3-8 math and reading scores until sometime in August. The delay in the release of the scores, which are generally incl…
Dear Judy, My son was told by his principal that he cannot attend his middle school graduation. Now I know that he has had problems but he has enough credits to graduate and he has a placement in a high school. So why can't he go to the graduation? Distressed mother Dear Distressed mother: The Depa…
Last week, pre-K offer letters went out, replacing parental suspense with either disappointment or delight. This year at PS 29 was unusual: for the 54 spots available, a higher number of siblings applied, leaving no room at all for neighborhood children without older sisters or brothers in the schoo…
by Laura Zingmond Friday, 04 June 2010 09:53
The wait is almost over for parents and kids who sweated out this year's round of Gifted and Talented (G&T) admissions. Placement letters are being sent out today, Department of Education spokesman Matthew Mittenthal confirmed. The registration period for anyone offered a spot in a G&T prog…
by Jennifer Freeman Thursday, 03 June 2010 07:44
In his book Last Child in the Woods, author Richard Louv laments that America’s children are suffering from “nature deficit disorder,” which deprives them of a deep source of future happiness. When the weather warms up, I think of the many places New Yorkers can go to breathe clean country air, con…
by Laura Zingmond Wednesday, 02 June 2010 09:27
Thousands of New York City teachers' jobs will be spared, but the city will eliminate pay raises for all teachers and principals for the next two years, Mayor Bloomberg announced earlier today. “Laying off thousands of teachers is simply not the answer. It would devastate the school system and erase…
by Dr. Jane S. Gabin Tuesday, 01 June 2010 13:56
 Q: My son is going into his senior year of high school and we are starting to look at different colleges. Thinking about where he can get in, academically, is just one part of the story. My son is gay. How do we figure out where he will be welcome -- where will he be safe? I don't see this issue de…
by Laura Zingmond Tuesday, 01 June 2010 11:25
Check your mail box or computer. Pre-K placement letters were sent out on Friday, May 28, according the Department of Education's Office of Student Enrollment. If you applied during Round 1 of pre-K admissions, and haven't received your letter already, it should arrive in the mail very soon.  Those …
by Laura Zingmond Friday, 28 May 2010 13:34
The state legislature has approved a bill to raise the charter cap from 200 to 460 over the next four years.  By a vote of 45 to 14, the State Senate approved the bill this afternoon.  Earlier today, the Assembly passed the bill by a margin of 91 - 43.   The bill's passage comes in the nick of time …
by Toni Bruno Friday, 28 May 2010 07:43
It's been a long battle for student MetroCards. We've been rallying and writing and signing and speaking all year long. We've even had some success: the MTA's vote, which was supposed to be held in March, was postponed to June in response to the fight that our city put up! And now the final vote is …
by Laura Zingmond Thursday, 27 May 2010 09:33
Students appealing their high school placement for next year must submit their completed High School Match Appeal Form to their guidance counselor no later than Tuesday, June 1.  Students only have three school days left -- counting today -- to consider their options and meet with their guidance cou…
by Marni Goltsman Wednesday, 26 May 2010 03:28
"Brooks says he's in an after-school concert at the Y on Wednesday?" My husband posed this question late Monday night, and neither of us could say for sure whether this event was in the myriad of paperwork that comes home with our kindergartner everyday; we both work full-time and it's not unheard o…
by Insideschools staff Tuesday, 25 May 2010 10:58
Anxiety and uncertainty continues to grow as principals grapple with the bad news that cuts to next year's school budgets are likely to be "sustantially larger" than the 4.9 percent slash in funding they absorbed this year.  The only good news in recent weeks was the DOE's decision not to charge ind…
by Insideschools staff Tuesday, 25 May 2010 10:56
Election season for Parent/Parent-Teacher Associations is underway in schools across the city.  According to Chancellor's Regulation A-660, elections for the positions of president, recording secretary and treasurer must be held between the third Wednesday in May and the third Friday in June (May 19…
by Judy Baum Tuesday, 25 May 2010 10:45
Dear Judy: I'm trying to understand what is different or special about the G&T curriculum.  Is it a certain approach? A special methodology or philosophy? Or,  is it the same old material taught to kids who tested higher? There doesn't seem to be any information on the DOE website about the subs…
by Monday, 24 May 2010 09:33
Last week was an exciting one at PS29, as Mayor Bloomberg and Rachael Ray visited the schoolyard to hold a press conference announcing greater support for school gardens and school nutrition in New York City. Ray's Yum-o! organization addresses problems of childhood obesity and other diet-related il…
by Laura Zingmond Friday, 21 May 2010 19:16
The Department of Education announced today that 980 rising kindergartners who are waitlisted at their zoned schools are getting alternate placements for kindergarten in September.   "Every child on a waitlist now has a guaranteed seat for the fall and can also remain on the waitlist of their zoned …
by Laura Zingmond Friday, 21 May 2010 11:07
The wait is almost over for students applying to middle school. On Monday, May 24, decision letters will be available for schools to pick up and distribute, according to an email sent to principals this week. The Department of Education's admissions calendar designates the "week of May, 24" for dist…
by Jennifer Freeman Thursday, 20 May 2010 07:05
I interviewed Professor Richard Somerville, one of the world's leading climate scientists, whose beautiful, readable summary of climate science, called the Copenhagen Diagnosis, shows why the science says we have to start acting now. At the end of the report is a graph that shows if we begin to act…
by Pamela Wheaton Wednesday, 19 May 2010 05:47
There's more bad news in store for the city's principals. Nearly 500 schools will have their 2010-2011 budgets docked the amount of money owed by families for unpaid school lunches. Principals of schools with outstanding lunch fees first learned of the measure in a May 13 letter from Kathleen Grimm…
by Allison Gaines Pell Wednesday, 19 May 2010 05:36
I am sure I was not the only principal huddled around a computer, trying to listen "between the lines" during the Chancellor's address about the budget last week. Unfortunately, there was no more clarity about what to expect in the loss of funds, but it was extremely clear that we are facing incred…
by Laura Zingmond Tuesday, 18 May 2010 12:50
Sixty-five families whose children were waitlisted for kindergarten slots next fall at two popular District 3 schools, PS 87 and PS 199, got unexpected and ultimately inaccurate news about their kindergarten placement this week. The families received letters postmarked May 15 offering them spot…
by Dr. Jane S. Gabin Tuesday, 18 May 2010 07:44
Q:  My son's high school college counselor was very negative about his chances of acceptance into college. He is a junior, and has an average in the low to mid 80's. He doesn't test well so his SATs aren't that strong either, but he is a good writer and very articulate. The counselor told him to app…
by Laura Zingmond Monday, 17 May 2010 18:56
The proposed relocation of Clinton School for Artists and Writers into the American Sign Language and Dual Language Secondary School building will not be voted on by the Panel for Educational Policy at its monthly meeting on May 18, as originally scheduled.   In an email obtained by Insideschools th…
by Laura Zingmond Monday, 17 May 2010 12:30
The Panel for Educational Policy is scheduled to vote on several school co-locations at its monthly meeting tomorrow, May 18. Also on the agenda for the May meeting are a slew of Department of Education (DOE) contracts, including one for new teacher recruitment at the cost of nearly 5 million dollar…