Published on 08 April 2009 by admin in Blog
If you have questions about NYC public schools, you may post them here and I will try to answer them.
I took my son out of private school this year. He is attending Williamsburg Prep HS in bklyn. The school receive an A for their academic. Can you explain what is a smartboard?
A Smart board is a white board that’s connected to the Internet. A teacher can write on it, as she would on a black board, but can also navigate the world wide web with her students. It’s basically an electronic blackboard.
Hello, I would just like to know when will you be coming out with the fourth edition to (best public high schools)?
Sorry, no new edition is planned. Our funding ran out!
I have an 8th grade son
I would like to know what you think of the “iSchool” High School.
I haven’t been there but hear good things about it…I like the principal, who was at Mott Hall II
We were hoping that you would comment on it based on first hand knowledge since it is an important new option for many of us. We found your guidance very helpful when choosing an elementary school. Is there any way you could make a visit in the next weeks? As you know we only have a couple of months to make this decision. You are the expert in this area and there are so few resources we can depend on!
Will do my best
How do you feel about Laguardia for a school choice for a musically talented kid but a kid that has some learning issues– ADD and dyslexia. How “kind” is the school for kids with learning issues and do you think the school would be too academically rigorous and overall too large of a school? Thank you in advance for your advice and expertise.
May not be the best choice because of its size, but perhaps you could pose the question to someone in the guidance department or the parent coordinator.
We are moving back to NYC from India. What would recommend as a great Public School in NYC ( preferably in the downtown) with ample day light for kids to enjoy. I hope to buy your book on NYC Elementary Schools once we land there…Best Regards
There are a lot of good schools downtown and some new ones opening soon. Why don’t you check out http://www.insideschools.org for some ideas? Clara
If my child is accepted to a specialized HS and I accept the school, will he still be part of the selection for the non-specialized HS choices he made before we make a FINAL DECISION?
In other words, if my son gets a seat in one of the spec HSs but really wants his first choice in the non-specialized HS choices made, can he accept the spec HS seat, wait for the regular HSs acceptance results, then pick where he wants to go??
Sounds confusing but i trust you know what i mean.
If your child is accepted at a specialized school, he will also be notified if he was accepted at his other top choice at the same time. If, say, he was accepted at Brooklyn Tech and at Eleanor Roosevelt he may choose Eleanor Roosevelt. However, it is also possible he will be accepted at Brooklyn Tech but NOT at Eleanor Roosevelt. At that point, you must either accept Brooklyn Tech, or forefeit your seat at Brooklyn Tech and put your hat back in the ring.\, hoping to get Elearnor Roosevelt in the second round. That is, you canot hold on to your specialized seat while waiting to see if you get your real first choice.
After the rezoning battle in lower Manhattan, we are now zoned for PS 276 for our daughter who will be starting kindergarten in 2012. My wife and I are debating what we want to do, but don’t have all the answers. Do we stay in the zone here and take a chance on an unproven school or bite the bullet and move to Tribeca to be in well-established 234? Are you hearing anything positive or negative about either the new PS276 or the new PS397? And between those two new schools, any major distinctions?
I haven’t visited PS 276 but I have met the principal and like her. She is in the same “network” as PS 234 which means they have the same staff development, and the two schools have similar philosophies. Small is nice. I don’t know PS 397. Why don’t you visit both of them? Clara
I am moving to NY either to Manhattan or Queens, probably Floral Park on the North Shore Towers (don’t know which section of Floral Park that is). My decision where in the city to move in, pretty much rests on which one is a good school district. I have a 4 yrs old and would like to enroll her in pre-k with the idea to also keep her in the same school district for K and on. Can you help me narrow down the SD list to the best ones in the city? Also, do you know which SD Floral Park belongs to, and if it is a good one?
Clara, I’d be most appreciative if you can answer my query. I’m very interested in your opinion based on your extensive experience.
floral Park is in District 26 which is one of the best districts in the city. Call 311 to find out exactly what school you are zoned for, and check out the Insideschools.org website. You really can’t go wrong in District 26.
I’m a middle school student that is in 7th grade at Simon Baruch middle school. I’m in the SP program and my mom just got the third edition of your best public middle schools parents guide for my little brother who will be entering middle school next fall. I read the section on Baruch, and loads of the details are wrong. For example, we don’t have a Latin teacher, the “improvisation” you mentioned when talking about the drama class was actually a project that students had rehearsed for weeks (i know because i did that project just last month), when talking about how “anyone can join the track team or play basketball or tennis” you forgot to say that they needed to tryout for it and anyone who got in could play, the 6th grade science teacher who “coaches the baseball team, runs the after school science club, and co-runs flag football intramurals” left last year. These incorrect details, among others, show misinformation. I’m not saying it’s your fault ( who knows, maybe a friend gave you the incorrect details) but I think you should take my school more seriously. Many parents rely on your books to choose schools for their sons and daughters, and if you give incorrect info, they may end up in a school they hate, all because of a few hours of laziness on your side. (I’m not saying that you are lazy, I’m just inferring things)
Emily: Thanks for the update. Why don’t you post the new information about Simon Baruch on the Insideschools website? I wrote the book a couple of years ago and obviously some things have changed.
A SMART Board is an interactive whiteboard that is connected to a computer. See http://www.smarttech.com for more.
My question: Is there an overwhelming feeling from parents that play for younger students (pre-k, K, and 1) is becoming less important as reading and math focus grows? What data is there to back that answer up? Has there ever been a formal survey to support that notion? I am a parent of a youngster and feel that play is important — as long as some academic instruction is taking place. Yet, I’d like to know what is reasonable and what is too much for a child in the extreme primary grades.
I agree! Trust your judgment about the amount of play time that your child needs
My 15 year old step son recently arrived from Russia. My wife and I were overwhelmed when it came time to find a public school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan that would address his lack of English. He is currently in his second week at The Global Learning Collaborative. We already think we made a mistake putting him in that school. We were rushed and didn’t see many alternatives. Can you recommend a good public high school for a child needing ESL?
I might also be interested in consulting with you. I’m on a Doorman’s budget and my wife attends college.
I visited Global Learning Collaborative and liked it. What are your concerns?
You might contact the Internationals network http://www.internationalsnps.org/, a group of public schools that specialize in teaching ESL.
Hello. Does my child ( will likely score low 3 ELA and low 4 or high 3 in Math) have a better chance of getting into East Side Middle, Salk, or Lab. If he remains in CTT? He could go Gen Ed, but benefits from having the extra teacher. No other issues– he keeps up academically, active in school, and well behaved child.
Your fifth grade guidance counselor should be able to help you with this. My guess, not knowing your child, is that you should keep him in CTT.
Our family will be relocating to NYC this summer andI am concerned about our ability to place our children- entering 1st and 3rd grades, into our zoned schools at this late a date. We’re looking at properties in Tribeca, but PS 234 is at 118% capacity. Does this mean that we’re out of luck right from the start and will never get in? Or do they hold some space for just such an circumstance?
I wouldn’t say you are out of luck. Even if there is a waiting list for kindergarten there may be seats in first or third grade. Call the parent coordinator at each school. In general, the school will make room for your child if you live in the zone, although there are some exceptions.
My daughter attends a private school but would really like to switch to another (public) school. Is there such thing as late(r) enrollment for these type of situations? In other words, she would start at the same pvt school then we would try to switch her somewhere else (if we could). Does it just depend on the school? Should I perhaps just wait (for next year enrollment) to apply to other schools and sit this yr out? Thank you so much for your help.
Your child is entitled to attend public school as long as you live in New York City. Depending on the luck of the draw, you may find her a seat in a good school right away or you may be better off waiting until next year. Call 311 to see if you are zoned for a middle school. If you are, you simply register for the school. If not, you go directly to the Enrollment center to see what seats are available. See Insideschools.org for details.
I’m an eighth grader starting to really get into (and get stressed about!) the high school process.
I had AMAZING grades last year (I’m not bragging at all, my average was above a 99.5) and I really really want to be able to go to one of the top schools, not just specialized but Bard, Beacon, ElRo, etc.
My grades were good enough for all of them, but I have very little community service. I do lots of extracurriculars, is that enough? Will I be able to get into those schools coming with less community service than the other applicants?
Hi Clara….I have been looking at touring schools for my daughter for public school K programs. Do you know whether the information in your book on PS77: Lower Lab on Page 88 has changed regarding the school giving tours in October? The school says they will not give a tour until next year in April. Please can you let me know as I am not sure whether I have to persist with them or whether there is now a new process in place. I thought ALL public schools offer some kind of tour to the public in the fall. Thanks much.
hi. my daughter is in 6 grade at Wagner. She is very much into academics and scored above 95% on all her CMT testing, we moved from CT since i divorced and did not have time to choose a right school for her. She is going to apply to Hunter high, but in your opinion what are other best choices we have as far as middle schools.. public. can’t afford private now.
my son in elementary, ps 183 and need to go to middle school next year as well.
I don’t believe any of the high schools care whether you do community service or not. Clara
hunter is very competitive, but certainly a top school. if she doesn’t get in there, she may want simply to stay at Wagner. as for your son, Wagner is a good choice but you may also want to consider other diestrict 2 schools. take a look at the Insideschools.org website.
Will you be publishing a new edition of your guide to public elementary school? There has been so much change in recent years that it would be extremely helpful.
So sorry, I cannot write a new edition. Take a look at Insideschools.org, where we have been updating school reviews as fast as we can.
Hello Ms.Hemhill,I hope you are doing fine today,I would like some information about the best middle schools,to send my children my zip code is 11225….
Thanking you in advance
Stuyvesant vs Townsend Harris? What are you thoughts? TH is far from us but daughter loved it and seems like a great school
Do you also work as an Educational Consultant? I saw this information somewhere out on the web. I am looking for an Ed consultant to help me find a school for my son in NYC, NOT a boarding school.
Hello. We live in California and just received a job offer in NYC. We have a five year old with a late September bday who did a Pre-k year this year. By CA law, we could have send her to K last August when she was four or could wait until thus September at five (although a CA law has already passed moving kindergarten cutoff date to Sept 1st in the next year or two). In any event, there is no such thing as people in CA sending their fall birthday kids to kindergarten! Quite frankly, most don’t send their summer bday kids. The public elementary schools don’t want those kids for kindergarten and principals come right out and tell you to wait (ours did). But NYC website says kids must start kindergarten the year they turn five! If we move there in August and try to register my five year old for kindergarten, will they refuse to take her? There is no way she could start in first grade! Some posts I have read said it may be up to the discretion of individual principals but it seems like a daunting task to move to NYC, buy a place live and then hope and pray we can convince a principal to accept our child (who will still be just five at the start of the school year) to accept her in kindergarten! Is there any kind of exception made by the DOE for kids who move to NYC from states with different kindergarten cuttoffs and policies? Any help would be most appreciated!
We just moved into New York in Aug 2012 and staying at Staten Island. My daughter took the SHSAT test hled in Aug 2012 and she got allotted to Brookly Latin School for 10th grade.Scored 486.
Is there any possibility of changing the school to SI TECH, another specilaized school in Staten Island itself, as my daughter need to trave for about 1 hours 50 mts to go to BL from SI as per the MTA website and she is totally new to NY. We would like our daughter to be in speclilszed school.
Thanks and regards
Hi Clara, How are you? I’m thrilled to see insideschools.org continues to fulfill its mission as the premiere “go-to” source for NYC public schools. Between your books and InsideSchools.org NYC families looking for public schools 2 truly invaluable sources here. My query today is to inquire if you’d be able to give a quick review of a colleague short list (excel file) and give some feedback or insight on her considerations. Her child will be entering kindergarten in 2013. They live in the Bronx and are looking in Dis 11. My email is attached. I hope you and family are well. We all are. Hope to hear from you soon. Best to all, sj
Your email didn’t come with an attachment. I’m afraid I don’t know much of anything about district 11 elementary schools. Probably better to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
When are you planning to come out with an updated edition of NYC’s Best Middle Schools and best High Schools? thanks! We love your books.
Alas, no plans for new editions of either. However, we have updated reviews on the insideschools.org website. Clara uni