In New York City, most students attend either their zoned middle school or one within their school district. For those looking for other options, consider applying to a citywide school.


IS 239, Mark Twain, Coney Island (grades 6-8)

High performing school with talent programs and demanding academics
Who gets in: Test and audition

Brooklyn School of Inquiry, Gravesend (grades K-8)

Challenging academics with a progressive bent and an emphasis on the arts.
Who gets in: Very difficult exam (few spots open for middle school)


NEST+m, Lower East Side (grades K-12)

Fast-paced instruction for advanced students.
Who gets in: Ultra selective. Admission based on attendance, grades test scores and entrance exam

Institute for Collaborative Education (ICE), Gramercy Park (grades 6-12)

Promotes love of learning--not test prep
Who gets in: Children must submit a writing sample to the school. The school also looks at the 4th grade report card and invites a limited number of students for an interview. Fifth-graders should rank the school on the middle school application.

TAG (Talented and Gifted) Young Scholars, East Harlem (grades K-8)

Engaging classes in citywide program for gifted children
Who gets in: Very selective. Admission based on attendance, grades test scores and teacher recommendation (few spots open for middle school)

Hunter College High School, Upper East Side (grades 7-12)

Topnotch academics; teachers do a great job of keeping girls interested in science and math
Who gets in: Very difficult exam, citywide admissions. Seventh grade is the only entry point for the middle and high school grades.

The Anderson School, Upper West Side (grades K-8)

Faced-paced academics and engaging instruction
Who gets in: Ultra selective. Admission based on attendance, grades test scores, entrance exam and interview. (few spots open for middle school)

Ella Baker, Upper East Side (grades pre-K-8)

A joyful, informal school open to children from across the city
Who gets in: Priority to families who travel to the area for work or school (few spots open for middle school)

Professional Performing Arts High School (PPAS), Hell’s Kitchen (grades 6-12)

First rate instruction in drama, dance and voice along with solid academics.
Who gets in: Attendance, audition, grades and NYS test scores. (over 1,600 applications for 24 seats)

Ballet Tech, Gramercy Park (grades 4-8)

First-rate pre-professional ballet training with solid academics
Who gets in: Audition. Formal ballet training not required for admission in 4th grade.

Special Music School, Upper West Side (grades K-12)

Rigorous musical training and strong academics
Who gets in: Audition, grades, NYS test scores


The 30th Avenue school, Astoria (grades K-8)

Strong emphasis on pre-engineering, exploration and discovery
Who gets in: Based on grades, NYS test scores and attendance.