Blog: Archives

NYC’s school integration opportunity

Originally published in the New York Daily News. In the mostly pessimistic debate over school segregation here's a reason for optimism: For the first time in decades, we have the possibility — if not yet the reality — of integrated public schools in many neighborhoods in New York...

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Ask the College Counselor: I've been waitlisted at my dream school

Q: Help! I don't think I am going to get into my dream school. I applied early action and was waitlisted. I have sent them updates, and also filed for other schools, but I am so worried about the volume of applications. What if I don't get in anywhere? A: Not getting in anywhere is every...

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Pre-k picks: Bronx & Manhattan

Applying to Pre-K? Some popular schools have hundreds of applicants for just a few seats, but we've compiled a list of promising programs that aren't hopelessly oversubscribed. Applications are due March 30. See our Pre-K guide to learn how to apply and to search by address for all Pre-K...

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Pre-k picks: Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island

Got a 4-year-old? Applications for free pre-kindergarten are due March 30! This week, we're bringing you the best bets in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, based on our visits and intel on schools most likely to have space. See our Pre-K guide to learn how to apply and to search by address for...

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Still looking for a high school? Consider a charter school

If you're one of the 3,837 8th-graders who didn't get a high school placement this week (or if you didn't like the placement you got) you may want to consider a charter school. Most charter schools start in the elementary or middle schools grades—and don't accept students in 9th grade—but a few...

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Apply now for free and low-cost summer activities

New York City offers lots of free and low-cost summer enrichment programs for children from kindergarten through high school. Kids can learn to paint at the Brooklyn Museum, canoe on the Bronx River, or build solar-powered cars in a three-week camp called Summer Engineering Experience for Kids...

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Kids of color left behind in richest NYC schools

We’ve long known that children of color tend to fare poorly in segregated, high-poverty schools. Now, a new study by my colleague Nicole Mader shows that even some of the richest schools in the city don’t bring black and Latino kids up to the level of performance of their white and Asian...

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What our readers want the most: We asked, you answered

We asked you, our readers, what you like and what you would like us to improve. Here are our responses to the feedback you provided in our end of year survey. 1) Show the maps for school attendance zones. We’re working on a way to make the zone maps more prominent—but for now you can find...

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Advocates to city: Do more to integrate schools!

Advocates for school integration--including parents, students and City Council members—are pressing the Department of Education to take a more aggressive approach to make schools welcoming to children of different races and ethnicities. At a Dec. 7 City Council hearing, a raft of speakers said...

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Check out the country’s richest 50 PTAs (19 in New York City)

New York City has 18 of the 50 richest PTAs in the nation, according to a report by the Center for American Progress. “These (50) schools serve about one-tenth of a percent of the nationwide student population while raising around 10 percent of the estimated total $425 million raised by all PTAs...

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New report: Keeping teens out of foster care

In 2013, New York City launched an array of programs designed to keep teenagers out of the foster care system. Many teens are identified for the program after they have been truant from high school. Known collectively as “teen-specialized preventive services,” the programs represent a pivotal...

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Check out our latest school reviews

This fall InsideSchools has been busy visiting lots of middle and secondary schools. Here are links to some of our latest profiles. The Bronx: Mott Hall V is a noteworthy 6-12 school with a structured environment in a modern building. Science and Technology Academy is a Mott Hall middle...

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High school applications due Dec. 1! Is your list ready?

Have you finalized your your list of schools for your high school application yet? The Dec. 1 deadline is coming up. If you still are undecided about where to apply, or how to rank your 12 choices, we've got tips for you. First, read our InsideTool, Tips for filling out your application. Look...

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Best middle school bets in Harlem and Washington Heights

We’ve been visiting middle schools in Upper Manhattan. Here are some of our favorites. In addition to this list, be sure to see our lists of schools that accept children from anywhere in the city. Applications are due Dec. 1. Central Park East II (grades pre-K-8), East Harlem Why we picked...

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Best middle school bets in Central Brooklyn

A previous version of this story ran in November 2017. It has been updated with new information for October 2018text in italic There are some strong middle school options that admit students from a wider area than their zone or district. Here are some of our favorites. Also take a look at...

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Best middle school bets in Southeast Queens

We’ve been visiting middle schools in southeast Queens. Here are some of our favorites. Be sure to see our lists of schools that accept children from throughout the borough of Queens and those open to to children from anywhere in the city. Applications are due Dec. 1. District 27 (Far...

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Applying to middle school: There’s gotta be a better way

So far this week, I’ve found myself frenetically arguing about middle school admissions with the ref at a 12-and-under soccer game; on the subway with a mom I haven’t seen since my 10-year-old was in preschool (and didn’t much like at the time); and on the sidelines of a 5th birthday party, where...

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Applying to middle school: What to do when

Applying to middle school? Here is a month by month timeline of what to expect and what to do when. November November is the key month for 5th graders applying to middle school because you must get your application in by December 1. Review the application you get from your school's guidance...

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College counselor overwhelmed? Become your best advocate

Q:The college office at my son’s school seems overwhelmed and under-staffed. What can we do? A: This is a common problem for high school students and an issue that was widely discussed at the huge National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC) conference I attended this fall in...

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Why I chose not to have my son take the “gifted” test

I’m as obsessive as any parent faced with the ridiculously complex process of applying for public kindergarten in New York City. I visited more than 100 schools before my son turned five. But I drew the line when it came to having him take a test to see if he would qualify for a “gifted and...

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Should you prep for G&T tests? Answer differs by race, study shows

Originally posted on Chalkbeat by Christina Veiga on October 17, 2017 Is getting your child into a gifted-and-talented program a mark of good parenting? How you answer may depend largely on your race or ethnicity, according to new research. Allison Roda, an assistant professor of education...

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HS applicants with physical disabilities face uphill climb when applying

Finding and applying to high school as a student with a physical disability in New York City is not easy. There are very few fully accessible high schools in the city—only about 12 percent of high schools across all five boroughs meet the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act. While...

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Best middle school bets: Borough-wide options in Queens

Most kids in Queens go to their zoned school for grades six through eight. But if your child has a special interest or talent or you’re not happy with the school around the corner, there are other options. Here are some of our recommendations of schools that accept kids from throughout the...

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5 tips for navigating NYC middle school admissions

The fall of 5th grade is a busy time for families. For many of you, especially those who attend a zoned elementary school, middle school admissions may be your first encounter with school choice. For everyone, researching and applying to schools will take up a lot of your time, but if you’re...

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CIty proposes Lower East Side school integration plan

Some elementary schools in District 1 on the Lower East Side serve mostly low-income families while others, just a few blocks away, serve many more middle class families. Parent leaders in District 1 have long lobbied for an admissions plan to even those numbers out, so that all schools serve a...

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5 tips for navigating high school admissions

The first few months of 8th grade can be a hectic time for kids and parents, but if you’re organized, you don’t need to stress out. Here’s how InsideSchools can help you successfully navigate high school admissions. 1: Read our high school guides to find out how to apply. Review the nuts and...

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Top 5 tips for finding a good NYC middle school…even in August

If you haven’t found a middle school seat for your child at this late date or are unhappy with the one you have, don't despair. Sometimes space opens up the first week of September—as families move or change their plans. Here are some tips for landing a seat: 1: Call the schools directly. ...

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InsideSchools presents: NYC's best pre-k & elementary schools

Want to find a good pre-k or kindergarten program for your child? On October 5, 2017, Clara Hemphill, founder of InsideSchools and author of New York City’s Best Public Pre-K and Elementary Schools will lead a discussion about some of New York City's best public pre-kindergarten programs and...

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A new, hands-on way to prep for the SHSAT

Many middle school students spend tremendous amounts of time on test prep for the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT), with “drill and kill,” pencil and paper exercises, lectures and practice tests. A new test prep course run out of Brooklyn Tech High School takes a different...

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College Counselor: How to avoid going into debt

Q: Our son is about to start his senior year in high school, and of course all the kids can talk about is college. He goes to a large public school, and is a good student – not at the top of his class, but solidly good. We think he can get into a number of fine colleges, but the cost makes us...

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2017 test scores now available online

If your child took the English (ELA) and math state exams in 2017, you may now find the scores online on your personal school account at my.student.nyc. If you haven’t set up an account yet, or have forgotten how to log on, ask the parent coordinator at your school for help. Citywide, scores on...

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New York's tale of 2 childcare cities

Parents seeking subsidized child care for babies often hope for a spot at a licensed early education center. But almost inevitably, their babies instead wind up in subsidized home-based programs, known as family child care, where women get paid meager wages to look after neighborhood kids in...

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New special education resource: District 75 school profiles

Finding the right school is hard for every New York City parent, but it’s especially hard for parents of children with significant disabilities. Now, InsideSchools has made it a little easier for parents to evaluate more than 50 special schools that cater to children with autism, emotional...

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High school admissions season kicks off with workshops

Now is the time for rising 8th-graders to start focusing on their high school search. The Department of Education is kicking off high school admissions season with a series of information sessions this month in all boroughs. DOE officials will talk families through the application process and...

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Data dive shows city sets low bar in school diversity plan

Earlier this month, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) released a long-awaited plan designed to increase diversity in the city’s public schools. Noteworthy in the plan are two numeric goals the DOE proposes to use as “yardsticks” to measure their progress. Outside observers have...

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G&T offers go out; 54% snag seat for 2017

The wait is over for students who applied for a gifted and talented (G&T) seat in kindergarten – 3rd grade for 2017. More than half of those who applied—54 percent—got an offer, the city’s Department of Education reported. That’s similar to last year, when 53 percent got offers. Sixty-five...

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Take a look at the all new InsideSchools!

We’re happy to announce the launch of the all new InsideSchools website, chock-full of new features for parents of children in pre-kindergarten through high school. The site, designed and built by the Brooklyn creative agency Radish Lab, packs an astonishing amount of information into an...

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College Counselor: Decision day is nigh. Private or public?

Q: I have been going back and forth on this for weeks and making everyone around me crazy because of my indecision. Decision Day is coming up soon and I have a big choice. I am a strong student and was accepted by four colleges. Three schools rejected me, but they are Ivies, so I'm not that...

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Central Brooklyn & Bronx kids still shut out of kindergarten G&T

Nearly 30 percent of the 35,000 children who took "gifted and talented" assessments in January scored high enough to qualify for one of the city's G&T programs. But, once again, the highest percentage of eligible students come from middle class districts in Queens, brownstone Brooklyn and...

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Harlem diaspora: Few area children attend zoned schools

Stand on the corner of 116th Street and Lenox Avenue in Harlem early on a school day morning, and you'll see a steady stream of children leaving the neighborhood by bus and subway. Some parents call this daily exodus the "Harlem diaspora." They may live in the neighborhood, but they don't...

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Waitlisted? Join us for kindergarten Facebook Live!

If your child didn't get the kindergarten spot you asked for, tune in to our InsideSchools Facebook Live on Wednesday, March 29 at 12:30 pm. InsideSchools' experts Pamela Wheaton and Lydie Raschka will talk about waitlists, how they work and how to keep in touch with preferred schools. We'll...

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Top 20: Francis Lewis gets most high school applications

For the second year in a row, Francis Lewis High School in Queens, a huge, successful neighborhood high school that offers a plethora of programs for all students, got more applications from 8th-graders than any other school in the city, according to data released by the Department of Education...

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Our picks for Round 2 of high school admissions

March 8 2018 UPDATE: High school letters go out this week. Read and comment about the 2018 high school admissions results here and our best picks for Round 2 2018 here. March 2017: If you’re an 8th-grader who wasn’t matched with a high school, you’re not alone. This year roughly 4,800 (out of...

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Hang in there: High school letters arrive by March 10

*UPDATE 3/10/17: High school decisions are out! We're impressed by all the supportive words and advice our readers are sharing with each other. Join the discussion in the comments section below and also check out and comment on our annual post of Round 2 picks. The wait is almost over. High...

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How Over-incarceration of Parents Can Harm Children

By Leila Morsy and Richard Rothstein As many as one in 10 African American students has an incarcerated parent. One in four has a parent who is or has been incarcerated. The discriminatory incarceration of African American parents is an important cause of their children’s lowered performance,...

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Explore your public school options: 2 events with Clara Hemphill

Learn about your public school options from Clara Hemphill, InsideSchools founder. She is offering two free workshops in Manhattan next week and presenting her new book, NYC's Best Public Pre-K and Elementary Schools. Come to the Upper West Side on Monday, Feb. 6, at 6 pm for the workshop at...

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Suit up for summer programs this winter

Winter is the perfect time to think about summer activities for children. In fact, deadlines are coming quickly for many of the city's free programs. Summer is a great time for children to explore a new challenge or continue to sharpen their areas of strength. Not sure how to find the right...

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College Counselor: Failing grades, do I have a shot at college?

*Q: I am a high school junior, and recently failed 4 out of 7 classes I am taking. Last year, as a sophomore, I also failed English. But I got a 1270 on the PSAT, so I'm in the 90th percentile there. I wonder, conceivably, if I turn my act around, will I have a chance to get into a state school...

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Child turning 4? Apply to pre-k now!

Stay focused, parents of kids born in 2013—the pre-kindergarten application season is in full swing. You may apply between now and February 24. All applications are considered equally no matter when they are submitted, so there's no benefit in rushing it. For in-person help, join us at our free...

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