What to look for in a school

News and views on special ed

  • Our guide to pre-kindergarten

    Written by Clara Hemphill
    Mayor Bill de Blasio announced earlier this month that the city will add more than 4,200 new full-day pre-k seats at 140 public schools in September. The staff of Insideschools has developed this guide to help you find a high-quality pre-kindergarten program for your child. We created an interactive map that illustrates where the pre-k programs are located around the city. It shows how many seats are available this year, and how many applicants each school…
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  • Our pre-k picks: Queens & Staten Island

    Written by Lydie Raschka
    Queens will have more than 1,500 new pre-k seats this fall. Unfortunately, most are clustered in the southeast and other areas of Queens where there’s little demand-– rather than in the very overcrowded northeast section.  QUEENS Corona, Glendale and Elmhurst There are 90 new full-day pre-k seats opening up in District 24, a densely populated section of Queens that is home to many immigrants, but it won’t be enough to satisfy demand. Overcrowding persists despite…
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  • Our pre-k picks: Manhattan & the Bronx

    Written by Lydie Raschka
    Here are our recommendations for pre-kindergarten in the Bronx and Manhattan public schools, based on our school visits and the results of the city’s parent and teacher surveys. We didn’t include some very popular schools that receive hundreds of applications for a handful of seats. Instead, we tried to find some good schools that aren’t hopelessly oversubscribed. MANHATTAN Lower East Side If you live on the Lower East Side, you’re in luck. Every school in…
  • Our pre-k picks for Brooklyn

    Written by Pamela Wheaton
    Brooklyn is the city's largest borough and the one with most schools. Pre-kindergarten choices are as varied as the borough. In some areas of brownstone Brooklyn, pre-k programs don't meet the demand. Even parents who list 12 schools on their application will be disappointed. In other areas–such as Fort Greene or Bedford Stuyvesant--parents have more options. Don't be afraid to look at historically low-performing schools: in some cases pre-kindergarten programs are excellent and expanding, even…
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  • Child born in 2010? Apply to pre-k by April 23

    Written by Anna Schneider
    If your child turns four this year, it's time to apply to pre-kindergarten. If you're interested in a program that's part of a regular public school, you should should submit your application, either online or in person at a borough enrollment office, by April 23 for your best chance of a getting a good seat. (If you are interested in applying to a pre-kindergarten program that's housed at a community based organization, you should apply…
  • City takes high stakes out of testing

    Written by Pamela Wheaton
    The city has taken a big step to scale back on anxiety over state tests. A new promotion policy takes the high-stakes out of testing for grades 3-8, at least when it comes to determining who gets promoted to the next grade and who must attend summer school. The Department of Education announced the new policy today, which, if approved by the Panel for Educational Policy in May, will mean that a student cannot be…
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About Special Education

  • What is special education?

    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… Read more and watch video
  • Noteworthy special education: elementary schools

    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 of special needs students. This list… Read more
  • Noteworthy special education: middle schools

    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 substantial number of special needs students.… Read more
  • Noteworthy special education: high schools

    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… Read more

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