News and views

  • Free lunch for grades 6-8, but you must fill out forms

    Written by Chalkbeat
    Originally posted on Chalkbeat by Patrick Wall on August 20, 2014 Every year, teachers must cajole students into submitting family-income forms, which entitles needy students to subsidized lunches and many schools to federal funds. This fall, that annual rite could become much harder for some schools. Because the city will for the first time offer free lunch to all middle-school students, the children will receive meals regardless of whether they turn in the forms—but schools…
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  • Pre-k expansion may suck life out of EarlyLearn

    Written by Abigail Kramer
    It's crunch time for pre-kindergarten. In just a couple of weeks, the city will open 2,000 new, full-day classrooms in schools and community centers across the five boroughs. If the city gets it right, the pre-k expansion could set a national standard for universal, high-quality instruction for 4-year-olds. Unfortunately, it could also be the cause of death for programs serving those 4-year-olds' younger siblings.Though it has stood alone in the political spotlight this year, universal pre-k…
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  • De Blasio sees city on path to higher test scores

    Written by Gail Robinson
    Bill de Blasio had been mayor for less than four months when the city's elementary and middle school students took standardized tests this past April. And, according to numbers released on Thursday, more than 68 percent of students who took the tests this year failed to meet state standards in English; 64 percent fell short in math. Still, the scores are somewhat higher than they were when de Blasio's predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, announced test results…
  • Scores on state tests inch up slightly; 29% pass ELA exam

    Written by Gail Robinson
    New York City students did slightly better on state standardized test this spring than they did in 2013, but about two-thirds of test-takers in grades 3–8 still failed to meet state standards on either the English language arts (ELA) or math tests, according to figures released by the state education department today. In New York City, 34.5 percent of students met or exceeded state standards as measured by the math test, up from 30.1 percent…
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  • Newcomers sign up for summer SHSAT, audition by Aug. 19

    Written by Pamela Wheaton
    Newcomers to New York City, who are entering 9th or 10th grade in September, must register by Tuesday, August 19, if they want to take the summer exam for admission to one of the selective specialized high schools, or to audition for the arts school, LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and the Performing Arts. Families may register and pick up an admissions ticket for the test and audition at any Department of Education Enrollment Office.…
  • Pre-k sign-up & info sessions happening now

    Written by Pamela Wheaton
    If you're still uncertain what to do with your 4-year-old in September, you're in luck. There's still space available in many of the city's pre-kindergartens in schools and community organizations. To be eligible, your child must turn 4 by Dec. 31, 2014. On Tuesdays in August, beginning today in Brooklyn, parents can meet with officials from the Department of Education's enrollment office at Brooklyn Borough Hall to find out how to enroll their 4-year-old in…
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How to apply to middle school

  • What to look for on a school tour.

    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… Read more and watch video
  • Zoned schools and middle school choice

    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… Read more and watch video