With all of the hoopla that accompanies G&T testing for rising kindergartners every spring, it’s easy to forget that there are opportunities for older elementary school students too. If you have a rising 4th- or 5th-grader who is ready for more of an academic challenge, this Friday, May 22 is the last day to apply for a gifted and talented program for fall 2015.

Unlike applications for the younger grades, the RFP (request for placement) for 4th- and 5th-graders must be made in person at a Family Welcome Center. There is no special test; instead a student’s eligibility is based on three main factors, all weighed equally:

1.         The 2015 NYS English language arts and math exam scores

2.         2015 report card grades

3.         A form, "Descriptors of Exceptional Characteristics,” filled out by the child’s teacher

After you submit an RFP for your child, the Department of Education will collect all the information including test scores, grades and teacher recommendations and will notify families of their child’s eligibility in late summer. Student’s who qualify will receive an application to submit, along with a list of all G&T programs with seats available for 4th- and 5th-graders. 

If your child is not currently a public school student, the DOE will still collect report cards and teacher recommendations, but may request that your child take other math and ELA assessments. (You will also have to submit two forms of proof of NYC residency when you submit your RFP.)

It's helpful to understand that there are two types of gifted and talented programs in New York City: district programs, located within district elementary schools; and citywide programs that enroll students from all five boroughs. Priority for district programs will go to siblings first and then to district students by lottery. For citywide programs, siblings will be placed first, followed by a lottery of eligible students citywide. Remember that seats for all these programs are very limited and the DOE will not place a student in the terminal grade of a program. Even if your child does well on all three factors, there is no guarantee that a seat will be available, and, unfortunately, there is no appeals process.

G&T placement for older students is certainly a waiting game, but at the end the process moves fast. The DOE will notify families by mail of placements the first week of September , just before school starts. 

And, for all those parents of rising kindergartners (and 1st–3rd-graders for that matter) who are on the edge of their seats, the DOE will notify families of G&T placements starting next week on May 25, and you’ll have until June to pre-register.

If you still have questions about the G&T process, call the Department of Education’s enrollment office at 718-935-2009 or e-mail [email protected]