leaving your old friends at middle school

"On top of all the stress of placement, isn't it hard for the kids to leave their old friends to go to a new middle school?" I get this a lot from the parents of young children, especially when those parents have loved their own experience growing up with the same people in each school. It is also often the case that their kids #1 requirement for their new middle school is that it is the one their friends are attending. What I find often is that there are unrecognized benefits to a shake up.

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kindergarten connect numbers

We may have lots of numbers later (we hope), but this is what is out there so far from the DoE:

  • 47,725 students (71 percent) received an offer to their first choice
  • 8,601 students (12.8 percent) received an offer to one of their second or third choices
  • 3,670 students (5.5 percent) received an offer to a school not listed among their top three

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what "school choice" really means for kindergarten

School choice means that you get to express your wishes. It doesn't mean that you get what you want (at least in April).
Lets get some things down:

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Seems like the Kindergarten Connect notification is coming out today. This is what I expect to hear a lot of -

"I put down 15 choices! My zoned school was my last choice! I got my zoned school! "Choice" is not choice! Everybody and everything s#@*ks!"

This is exactly what I anticipated. Give yourself a moment to be disappointed, but then move on. Your hopes seemed to be dashed in an instant. What you need to understand is that this is how this system works for most people and you need to be patient for it to work for you. This is the starting pistol in a marathon. It is too early to freak. This is the baseline.

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g&t info arriving this weekend

check your inbox.
It seems that G&T scores are coming out shortly. If you don't get your score by April 7, contact them.

"Score reports and eligibility letters for the 2014-2015 school year were sent to families in early April. If you do not receive your child’s results by April 7th, please call 718-935-2009 for assistance."

I have reports that if you have a pin that you may be able to access the scores online. The Doe has announced the deadline to apply for a G&T seat is April 21.

Schools are listing tours for next week and beyond here and on their websites. Depending on the school, you may need to register for the tour.


"woohoo! PreK Expansion Guide"

That was a direct quote from me from 5 min. ago!
Find new seats here! woohoo!

Deadline to apply is April 23.

Apply for public prek here.


interesting new programs pop up like flowers in the spring

New magnet programs!
Parents are often confused about what "magnet" means in NYC.

Magnet programs are designed to foster racial integration. They receive federal or state funding for special programs (such as art, drama or law) to make the school attractive to children of different races who might not otherwise attend, and they admit children from outside their immediate neighborhood. - from

PS 46 Magnet Schl of Communications and Media Arts, District 13 (Fort Greene) they also have an existing DL Spanish program
PS 54, District 13
(Bed-Stuy) they also an existing have DL Spanish program
PS 307
Magnet Schl for STEM Studies, D 13 (Vinegar Hill) they also have and existing DL Mandarin program

PS 250 Magnet Schl for Communications and Media Arts, D14 (Williamsburg)
PS 257 D14 (Williamsburg)
PS 380 D14 (Williamsburg)
PS 414 Magnet Schl for Global and Ethical Studies, D14 (Williamsburg) they also have an existing DL Spanish program

PS 15 Magnet Schl for the Arts, D15 (Red Hook) they also have an existing DL Spanish program

New Dual Language programs!

Dual-language immersion programs have classes in which half the students are native speakers of English, and half speak another language (Spanish, Chinese or French, for example). Classes are taught in each language on alternative days or weeks, and the children are expected to become fluent in both. [Non English-speakers may also want to consider bilingual or English as a Second Language classes. These are designed to teach children English but do not attempt to help them perfect their native languages. - from

PS 3 in District 13 (Bed-Stuy) DL French and DL Spanish
PS 20 in D13 (Fort Greene) DL French

PS 147 in D14 (East Williamsburg) may have a DL Japanese program (talk to the school for more info)- also interesting school wide theme in "Environmental Engineering"
PS 196 in D14 (East Williamsburg) may have a DL program in 2014 (keep in contact with the school for late breaking info)

PS 124 in D15 (South Slope) DL Spanish
PS 516 Sunset Park Avenues (Sunset Park) new school, with DL Spanish

If I have missed any (I wasn't listing DL programs that are already established), please let me know!
If you are interested in any of these programs and you didn't list them on your Kindergarten Connect app, it couldn't hurt to contact the school (and stay in touch) throughout the spring. If seats are available into the summer and fall, they may be happy to hear from you.



yes Virginia, there is a method to this ranking madness

I keep having to answer this question over and over, infinitely, every year. Please parents and principals, can you read this?

Q: I've been on tours at 2 popular schools and both warned, if you want to get into this school, you better rank it #1! So, which do i put first?

A: I am asked about this, prek through hs - the schools have NO idea how this matching process works. They are trying to be helpful and when they are very popular, they assume that you need to put their school first to be considered. They never see your application, they don't know how you have ranked them, and they have absolutely NO say in this blind process. They assume, like most people that there is some priority given to first choice over second choice. There isn't.

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#1 most asked prek question

Q: if I put my zoned school at the end of my ranked prek application list, will I have less of a chance to gain entry than my neighbor, who ranks it #1?

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i owe my soul to the company store (I mean College Board)

I am so glad the College Board is being forced to reconsider the SAT because they finally have some competition in the college testing market. I resent their monopoly and the fact I have paid hundreds (thousands?) of dollars to them because there was virtually no other game in town. I don't begrudge them my money for a valuable service, but when that service is warped from a helpful assessment to a huge cash cow that is leading the admissions process rather than supporting it, I object.

This is times-two for twins over a 6 year period:
I have paid them for PSATs, multiple SATs, and SAT 2 times several subjects. I am not even going to mention the books for each SAT, SAT 2, and AP class. I have paid them to send all these multiple test results to 10 schools per kid (we were conservative in the number of schools that the kids applied to - many people are now doing many more).
I have paid $86 per AP test for 5 tests times two kids (and to send all of these scores to the 10 schools each kid applied to)- which, because of top scores may have helped a tiny bit in admissions but didn't yield a single credit in their highly selective private colleges which appear never to take AP scores. I pay iDOC every year to record my tax returns to these schools so that I can apply for financial aid. I am not even adding in my time spent on traveling to the myriad of tests, scheduling and working my way through their system, or the hours and days of childhood wasted. What a racket!

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