2014-2015 NYC School Calendar
Today, 9/18/2014
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Tomorrow, 9/19/2014
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Inside Schools

Going to the high school fair? Here's our advice - Read Full Article

Going to the high school fair? Here's our advice

This weekend, Sept. 20 and 21, is the Department of Education's gigantic citywide high school fair from 10 am to 3 pm at Brooklyn Technical High School. Prepare for a hectic day, where you will meet teachers, students and administrators and find out about their schools.

You can attend information sessions several times during the day, led by staff from the Education Department's enrollment office. This will be helpful especially if you're a newbie to the process (and it will give you a place to sit down and take a breather.)

Here's the schedule provided by the DOE:

High school admissions basics at 10:30 am and 12:30 pm 
Auditioning for arts schools and programs at 2 pm 

Most schools will have a table staffed by students, teachers, parent cordinators, guidance counselors and, sometimes the principal. Each borough has a dedicated space between the 2nd and 7th floors. The nine specialized high schools are set up in the first floor gymnasium. That's always very crowded so be prepared!

Before you go, make sure to make a list of your "must see" schools. Read the reviews on Insideschools and watch the slideshows and videos. Look at our "Insidestats" section. It'll give you a thumbnail description on a school's safety and vibe, how well it prepares kids for college, the graduation rate and much more. Read the comments on each school profile page to see what parents and students think about the school. Lots of questions are answered there by current students.

We have a new high school search feature which allows you to search for schools by subway lines, interest areas or even grade point average.

If you prefer to do your research on the go, check out Insideschools' mobile high school search on your phone.

Here are some questions you might want to ask school representatives:

Academic questions:
How much homework is typical? Is homework assigned over school vacations?
Are students allowed outside the building for lunch?
Does the school offer four years of math and four years of science? (Important for college prep)
Are Advanced Placement classes offered? What subjects? What are the requirement to take an AP class?
Besides passing required Regents exams, are there are requirements for graduation? Some schools require you to present a portfolio of your work, or perform community service.
If the school has a graduating class, which colleges did graduates attend? What percentage of grads went to college? (Check out our Insidestats for that info as well)
How does the school help students who are struggling?
How does it challenge the strongest students?

Lifestyle questions:
How does the administration handle discipline?
Are there metal detectors?
Is there a uniform?
What are the after school activities? What teams do they have? (Note that this can change from year to year and the directory might not be accurate!)
Are students allowed outside the building for lunch?

Admissions questions:
What are my chances for admission if I don't meet the specific requirements? Say if I live in Brooklyn and the school gives priority to Manhattan students? Should I apply to the school anyway?
For screened schools, now that schools can no longer admit students based on state test scores alone, what will they consider?
What are my chances for acceptance as a 10th grader?
What specific programs are available if I have an IEP?

Here are a few more pointers for the day of the fair:
Rather than carry around a hefty, heavy directory, consider ripping out the pages of schools that most interest you beforehand.
Bring a notebook and pen to write down your impressions and take notes
Collect fliers, or write down, the dates and times of school info sessions and tours - bring a tote bag or backpack to hold them. Also note that the DOE events calendar does list some school info sessions here.
If there's a sign-in sheet for a school that interests you -- sign in! That gives you a leg-up in admissions for some schools. The DOE says to sign up with your student ID number too.
Dress for summer. It gets hot and steamy inside the huge building and there is no place to stash a jacket.
Cell phones may not work so make any logistics arrangements to meet family or friends beforehand.
Wear comfortable shoes and bring water. You'll be climbing up and down stairs. There will be food and drink for sale, but still, nice to have your own supply.
Don't drive! Brooklyn Tech is close to virtually all subway lines and many bus routes. Traffic in the surrounding residential streets can be horrendous, so do yourself a favor and take public transportation.

Insideschools will be at the fair. Stop by our first floor table too and sign up for our regular email alerts.

Before you go, be sure to watch our video: Making the most of the high school fair.  We have lots of other videos as well so check out our YouTube channel.

If you don't make the big fair this weekend, there will be fairs in every borough on Oct. 18 and 19.

Insideschools is hosting our own High school choice: Busting the myths event on Sept. 23.  If you haven't RSVP'ed already, you can watch it via livestream.

Event: High school choice—busting the myths - Read Full Article

Event: High school choice—busting the myths

On Tuesday, September 23 Insideschools and the Center for NYC Affairs at The New School will co-host an event: High School Choice: Busting the Myths.

Clara Hemphill, Insideschools staff and a panel of experts will discuss common mistakes that students and parents make when applying to high school and provide tips on how to make better choices. The panel will include:

Sandy Ferguson, Department of Education Deputy CEO for High School and Middle School Enrollment

Martha Sanchez, 9th grader at NYC Museum School and 1st generation immigrant

David Weinreb, Director of High School Preparation & Enrichment at The Equity Project Charter School

Matthew Broggini, Youth Services Program Manager at Resources for Children with Special Needs

Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj, Assistant Professor and Codirector of the Center for College Readiness at Seton Hall University; author of Unaccompanied Minors: Immigrant Youth, School Choice, and the Pursuit of Equity.

The event will be take place from 6-8pm at The New School's Theresa Lang Community & Student Center, located at 55 W. 13th St., 2nd floor. Tickets are free but you must reserve a seat; RSVP here: https://highschoolchoice.eventbrite.com. Do it soon! It's a small venue and seats are going fast. If you get closed out of a seat, know that we are live-streaming the event!

High school hustle: No such thing as one stop shopping in NYC schools - Read Full Article

After all the hype and hustle of searching for and getting into a New York City public high school, it can be disheartening to find out that for some kids and parents the search continues.

Not the search for another high school, although there are some who brave the arduous process again and transfer. I’m talking about the search to supplement what is often missing in even some of the most coveted high schools—from advanced math and science classes to art or a foreign language.

Savvy parents and kids will seek out everything from individual tutoring to after school art, music and dance programs to courses at CUNY colleges or elsewhere.

Wouldn’t it be nice if one public high school could have it all?

Many city schools have never really recovered from years of budget cuts that slashed programs and courses.

In others, the schools are already so specialized on topics like art, music and theater or science and engineering that they have no extra time, money or resources to put toward other areas. And not all high schools have sports teams or a musical.

Ask parents of graduates and older students, and you will get plenty of tips and hear stories about what they did to fill in gaps. You will learn what is free and what cost money, and what they fought for.

As the parent of a rising senior and a recent high school graduate, I’ve been down this road, as my kids found themselves shut out of foreign languages, on waiting lists for AP courses, without a lunch period or out of luck when it came to taking something like painting and drawing, creative writing or conversational Italian.

In some cases, such classes either didn’t exist or weren’t available. We were also hard-pressed to find support and help getting used to very large high schools and classes; some schools simply do a better job.

I once dreamed of a fantasy high school with “plenty of guidance counselors on hand to help with the usual array of teenage crisis, plus provide practical tips and advice on college admissions.’’

In addition, “there would be many interesting electives to choose from, and a huge emphasis on learning instead of simply memorizing. There would be less testing, more writing and more discussion—of history, current events, ethics and values.’’

You may not find all of this in a New York City public high school, but that doesn’t mean your kid can’t get an excellent education and have a terrific experience. My older, recent graduate did; my youngest still is. But there was some extra homework involved on my part as a parent.

As the school year begins, Insideschools.org invites you to share tips on supplementing the high school experience—ideas for outside programs, worthwhile college courses, after school experiences and tutoring are all welcome.

If your child already attends a high school that has everything he or she needs, consider yourself amazingly lucky.


School Book

A Foreign Melody: Bel Kaufman Expounds on Pedagogical Concerns - Read Full Article

A few days after her death at age 103, listen to this interview with educator and writer Bel Kaufman where topics include her accent, poetry, and the classroom. 

"I feel like an impostor," Kaufman confesses in this talk given at the Overseas Press Club in 1966. The author of the classic book about teaching in a New York City public school, Up the Down Staircase, died on Friday at her home in Manhattan. 

She details her "outsider" status by recounting how at first she was repeatedly denied a teaching certificate because of her Russian accent. "Failed for foreign melody in your speech," was the euphemism of the day. When she finally overcame that hurdle, she was once again turned away for incorrectly interpreting a sonnet by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Kaufman, not easily discouraged, wrote to Millay, who responded with a long letter vindicating her answer. The result was a major change in the way prospective teachers were evaluated: after this, the test cited only dead poets.

Since the success of her novel about teaching in the public schools, Up the Down Staircase, Kaufman reported, she has become "the unofficial spokesman for teachers across the country," addressing large groups as well as receiving a great deal of mail.

The picture she paints of the educational system in 1966 bears striking similarities to that of the schools today. There is an ongoing tension between the desire of teachers to teach, personally, intensely, emotionally, and the countervailing urge of the administration to make the science of instruction more quantitative and uniform. The students cry out for help, even when not saying a word. Real life intrudes.

"Lady," a policeman says, entering the classroom with handcuffs already out, "that kid, I gotta have." And even back then there is the standard lament that an ill-paying profession does not always attract the best applicants. Kaufman lists three qualifications all prospective teachers should have: a sense of humor, stamina ("physical, intellectual, moral"), and "a touch of teacherly love."  

Born in Germany in 1911, Bella Kaufman was raised in Odessa and Kiev. Her earlier memories are of scenes from the Russian Revolution. She recalls:

Dead bodies were frozen in peculiar positions on the street…People ate bread made of the shells of peas because there was no flour. But a child has no basis for comparison. Doesn’t every child step over dead bodies? I didn’t know any different.

She came to the United States at age  12. Despite not initially  speaking English, she soon excelled as a student, thanks in part to the dedicated efforts of several teachers she encountered in the public school system. This, in turn, encouraged Kaufman to consider a career in education. After the travails described above,  she taught in several New York City high schools. But writing was in her family's blood. Her grandfather was the famous Yiddish humorist Sholem Aleichem. It was while publishing articles and short stories in her spare time that she adopted the less feminine pen name "Bel" so certain editors would not dismiss her work out of hand. One of these efforts was a three-and-half-page story entitled "From a Teacher's Wastebasket." A book editor contacted Kaufman with the idea of her expanding her experiences as a teacher into a novel. This became Up the Down Staircase (1965). The Jewish Woman's Archive describes the book as:

…a portrait of a young teacher who shares much of Kaufman’s iconoclastic spirit. It chronicles the career of Sylvia Barrett, a new teacher in the public school system, and offers an incisive and humorous portrait of the interaction between teachers and students in public school. It is also a satirical look at the administrative bureaucracy teachers must overcome in order to perform their jobs. The novel…spent 64 weeks as a best-seller, of which five months were spent in the number-one position. Up the Down Staircase was translated into 16 languages and has sold over 6 million copies. 

Up the Down Staircase incited a lively national discussion about the role and direction of education in the country. It was  made into a successful 1967 movie starring Sandy Dennis. 

Although Kaufman continued to write, publishing another novel, Love, etc. (1979), the main thrust of her activities  continued to be in  education. At the age of 99, she was teaching a course at Hunter College on Jewish humor. This made her the oldest hired professor in the country. (She turned 100 during the ensuing semester.) In trying to explain the position writing occupies in her life, Kaufman has described herself as a teacher first:

In fact, she has confessed, "I do not LIKE writing; in truth, I HATE writing, and would rather do anything else. But the joy comes when, almost in spite of myself, I come close to what I want to say. A sentence or an insight leaps from the page." 

The hopeful yet somewhat bittersweet tone of her grandfather can be heard in her work, as well as the humor. She ends this talk by quoting him: "That's life, but don't worry."


Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection.

June 11, 2014
District 3 Town Hall with Chancellor Carmen Fariña 
& Deputy Chancellor Kathleen Grimm


Many parents, elected officials and community members have worked hard for several years to create a new middle school/high school at the site of the former Beacon HS.   Those efforts resulted in the creation of the 6-12 West End Secondary School for Urban Studies (WESS).

CB7 Youth, Education and Libraries Committee
is excited to host Principal Jessica Jenkins
  Thursday, Sept 18th
6:30 pm
CB7 offices
250 W 87th

Principal Jenkins will share her vision and answer questions.

Please attend to learn more about this exciting new school. 
More Info

Individual School’s Score
 for 2014 ELA and Math State Test Results

 Click here

District 3 schools: Pages 321-329

New York State Department of Education
 Releases 2014 State Test Scores

Click here for more information


New Blue Book Reflects Improvements Recommended by City Agencies, Public and Charter Schools, Advocacy Organizations, and Community Councils

Families, educators and interested community members can access the new Blue Book here.


Parent-Teacher Conferences  
Below please find the dates for 4 parent teacher conferences.   













Elementary School

Sep 16

Nov 12

Nov 13

Mar 18

Mar 19

May 13

Middle School

Sep 18

Nov 19

Nov 20

Mar 11

Mar 12

May 6

High School

Sep 17

Nov 5

Nov 7

Mar 26

Mar 27

May 7

D75 School Programs


Nov 17

Nov 18

Mar 2

Mar 3


*Multi-session schools and District 75 School Programs are exempt from these additional conferences. Schools will notify families accordingly if they are holding these events at their site.

June Clerical Shortened Days
citywide June Clerical Shortened Days for elementary and intermediate/junior high schools as well as D75 schools.

  • Tuesday, June 9, 2015
  • Monday, June 15, 2015

School Admissions News

Middle School Principals Forum
Thursday,  October  16,  2014
 6:00 PM. – 8:00 PM.

P.S./I.S. 76 - A. Philip Randolph School
220 W. 121 St. NY, NY 10027
(between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Frederick Douglas Jr. Blvds.)
Subway:  A,B,C,D,2 or 3 train
Bus: M3, M7, M10

 Our principal’s forum will feature presentations that cover each school’s individual culture, special programs, teaching styles, admissions policy, expectations and more.

Childcare is available for children 4 and older.

RSVP necessary only if you will require childcare by Monday, October 10 to cec3@schools.nyc.gov

 For further information, contact D.J. Sheppard @ djshepp@schools.nyc.gov  

High School Directories Notice

Students applying to a NYC public high school for the 2015-2016 school year can now access the 2014-2015 High School Directory online in nine languages: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu.

All non-native English speakers who will participate in the admissions process are encouraged to review the directories.  Visit http://schools.nyc.gov/ChoicesEnrollment/High/Resources/default.htm for complete information and the English directory. Questions regarding the 2014-2015 High School Directory may be directed to the High School Admissions Team at HS_Enrollment@schools.nyc.gov

Community Events

UFT Manhattan Borough-wide Parent Conference
Sat. Oct. 18, 2014

Deadline: October 15, 2014

The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Creative Curricula program provides grants to teaching artists or cultural organizations working with Manhattan public schools to provide K-12 arts education in the classroom.

Link to Complete RFP:   http://lmcc.net/program/creative-curricula/


The fall NLI series is now accepting registrations. From pointers on neighborhood organizing to suggestions on how to navigate city government or attract local press, their workshops are designed with resident-led groups in mind; each session draws from the ideas and experiences that you bring. Complete four workshops (including 'Basics of Community Organizing') and receive a Neighborhood Leadership Institute certificate of achievement.

Workshops take place in downtown Manhattan. For more info and to RSVP, contact Arif at aullah@citizensnyc.org or 212-822-9580.   

Saturday, September 20
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Bring your neighbors together on issues that matter to you.
Saturday, September 27
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Build and maintain an effective neighborhood association or community group. 
Saturday, October 18
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Increase public support for your group by framing your message and alerting local media. 
Saturday, October 25
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Learn how city government functions and how to have your community issues addressed.
Saturday, November 15
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Support your group's work with community fundraising efforts.

Upcoming Events

Thursday, September 18
Middle School
Parent Teacher Conferences
Common Core Standards Implementation & Testing Committee Meeting
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Joan of Arc Bldg.
54 W. 93rd St.
Room 204
Community Board 7
CB7 Youth, Education & Libraries Committee Meeting
6:25 PM
Jessica Jenkins, Principal of West End Secondary School to speak
CB7 Offices
250 W. 87th St.
2nd Floor
more info
Sat, Sep 20 - Sun, Sep 21
High School
Citywide High School Fair
Brooklyn Tech High School
Monday, September 22
CEC3 High School Admissions Committee Meeting
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Joan of Arc Bldg.
154 W. 93 St. Room 204

CEC3 News

CEC3 Calendar of Meetings for the 2014-2015 School Year
2014-2015 CEC3 Meeting Calendar

A New District 3 6-12 School Opening in Fall of 2015
Presentation from 9/10/14 CEC3 Calendar Meeting

To join the CEC3 Email List, 

please send your name and email address to


CEC3 2013-2014 Strategic Plan Document

Adopted at January Joint CSD3 Presidents' Council/CEC3 Calendar Meeting

CEC3 Vacancy! 
Applications are now being accepted to fill the vacant ELL seat on the District 3 Community Education Council

All applicants must be a parent/guardian of  an ELL student currently attending a District 3 elementary and middle school

Contact the CEC3 Office for more information at cec3@schools.nyc.gov or (212) 678-2782