2014-2015 NYC School Calendar
Today, 9/1/2014
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Tomorrow, 9/2/2014
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Inside Schools

Our picks: pre-kindergarten classes that may still have room - Read Full Article

Our picks: pre-kindergarten classes that may still have room

There's been a rush to sign up for pre-kindergarten in the past few days. Yet, under Mayor DeBlasio's huge pre-k expansion effort there are still some good options among a variety of pre-k choices—regular public schools, charter schools and programs housed in community organizations. (These organizations, such as churches, temples, libraries and YMCAs are called Community Based Early Childhood Centers.) And, even at this late stage, the Department of Education is adding new seats.

For a complete list of programs go to the Department of Education website. To find out if a program still has seats, you'll have to call directly.

Here are some promising new programs that still had seats when we called just before Labor Day. Call first, and then go in person to sign up, bringing your child, their 2010 birth certificate, their vaccination card, and two proofs of residence.


St. Johns' Chrysostom is still enrolling. Parents rave about the pre-k in online reviews.

New York City Montessori Charter School in the South Bronx offers a promising vision: hands-on learning that prepares the brain for long-term understanding. There was a wait list with about 10 names when we called.


Brooklyn Heights/Downtown

PS 307's expanding pre-kindergarten program is attracting children of middle class families in DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights. Students with special needs from throughout the district come for the school's excellent ASD Nest program. Principal Roberta Davenport, who grew up in the nearby Farragut projects, has forged partnerships with city and neighborhood agencies as well as artists and entrepreneurs.


PS 120 was called "well developed" on last year's Quality Review, the highest rating the city gives to a school. Although test scores have a ways to go, teachers say Principal Liza Caraballo is a good manager and the school is safe and orderly, with zero bullying, according to school surveys.

Park Slope (District 15)

The Department of Education opened seven new pre-k classrooms at the recently closed Bishop Ford Central Catholic High School. The 126 new seats are reserved for children living in District 15. The seats will now be assigned according to a lottery. The pre-k's will be located at 19th Street and Prospect Park West but the lottery will be held a few blocks away at PS 10, at 511 Seventh Ave. near 17th Street. Applications will be accepted through September 2nd from 9 am–3 pm, and from 6 pm–9 pm Thursday, August 28. They will be announcing weekend hours today. Laura Scott, principal of the highly regarded PS 10, will supervise the Bishop Ford program.

East New York

There is still space at PS 346, which has better test scores than most schools in District 19, a positive climate, and is making improvements each year.


PS 212 is a safe school with happy teachers and strong leadership according to school surveys. Teachers create a "comfortable" learning environment at this "well developed" school, according to the city's Quality Review.


PS 361 is an early childhood (pre-k–2) program with a promising new leader who is setting a higher academic bar than in the past in order to prepare children for 3rd grade and beyond. Teachers use points and small rewards to motivate children to do their best and teach character education lessons three times a week. School surveys indicate the school is safe and welcoming.


Lower East Side

PS 188 had three spots when we called. Teachers are overwhelmingly happy with the leadership of Principal Mary Pree and 100 percent of the staff report that the school is safe and orderly.

PS 64 is a small school on Avenue B that serves many children of local Latino families. Dedicated teachers draw out children in group discussions and help them learn to express themselves with ease. The administration has been working to increase the arts, recently adding a new visual arts studio and a new dance studio.


Astoria/L.I. City

Racially diverse PS 171 is making dramatic academic progress under the leadership of Principal Anne Bussel. The numbers of children scoring a 3 or 4, the highest scores, on the English Language Arts exam, doubled from 2013 to 2014. Attendance has also improved under Bussel's leadership, and most teachers say the school is safe and orderly.

Some of the other programs were filled when we called, but there may be movement in the next week or so. Do get on a waiting list if there's a spot you really want. (Evan Pellegrino contributed to this report.)

College Counselor: To-do list for juniors & seniors - Read Full Article

College Counselor: To-do list for juniors & seniors

School starts on Sept. 4 and for high school juniors and seniors, this means it's also time to start thinking about college. Here's my advice on what to focus on as you look ahead to college.

Juniors: The most important thing you can do for yourself this year is to concentrate on your studies. Take the most challenging courses you can, and strive to do well. If you are involved in some extra-curricular activities you enjoy, stick with them. If you have not become involved yet – join something! This does not have to be at your high school; it can also be in your community. You will look (and feel!) more balanced if you do something besides study. But don't obsess about college applications yet – most high schools do not begin college programs until the spring of junior year. One more thing: READ. I cannot stress more emphatically that students who read widely and constantly fare much better, in the college process and overall, than students who read little.

Seniors: This is your year, and many challenges lie ahead. But they do not have to be panic-inducing challenges! Plan ahead carefully, and you'll be fine. My suggestion is NOT to use electronic planners only – post a written calendar, list of due dates, goals and so forth where you can see it clearly each day.

Here is what you need to do in September:
• Make an appointment to see your college counselor
• Find two academic teachers you can speak to about writing letters of reference
• Sign up to see the college admissions representatives who will visit your school
• Write a draft of your personal statement and ask your English teach to review it
• Start working on applications to schools on your list that have rolling admissions
• Register for any standardized tests you still need to take

And think about this: there are many current articles on the internet about how students are drowning in tuition debt. You can avoid this by applying to public colleges and universities. Do not be put off by the brevity of the CUNY application – the excellent education you can receive at these schools is not represented by the mechanical nature of their admission process. Outstanding students with strong records of service and intellectual curiosity should apply to the CUNY Macaulay Honors program; the process requires considerable work, but the results are absolutely worth it!

Senioritis: forget about it. Senior year grades count.

Find an ally: students, each of you needs at least one faculty member who strongly believes in you. Identify that person and share your hopes and dreams. Maybe that person will recommend schools to you, or will offer to write a recommendation for you, or will introduce you to someone else who can help. But do not wait for the last minute! Plan ahead, say please and thank you, and get going!

New peak enrollment centers open Aug. 27 - Sept. 12 - Read Full Article

New peak enrollment centers open Aug. 27 - Sept. 12

Students who are new to New York City public schools or who are re-entering city schools after a time away, may register at special temporary enrollment centers beginning on Aug. 27 in all boroughs. The centers are open Monday-Friday, 8 am to 3 pm through Sept. 12, with the exception of Sept. 1, Labor Day. Regular enrollment centers will be closed from Aug. 22 to Sept. 15.

All high school students should go to the enrollment centers, along with any elementary and middle school students who do not have a zoned school. Elementary and middle school students who have a zoned school should wait until the first day of school, Sept. 4, to register at the school, the Education Department said.

All special education students who have a current IEP (Individualized Education Plan) may enroll directly at their zoned schools on Sept. 4. Students without a current New York City IEP, need to go to an enrollment center or to a special education site, for those with more restrictive needs.

Our advice: do your research before you get to the enrollment center. Make up a list of schools that would be a good fit for your child. Read our school profiles on Insideschools and check out other reports about each school on the DOE's website. If you have doubts about your zoned school, know that there are other schools in every district that are alternatives. Search for "unzoned" schools, or look at the DOE's elementary and middle school directories online.

The centers are designed for new students and students who aren't yet assigned to a school, but in the past, enrollment staff has been able to help some students who needed a transfer or a different school placement, or were applying for a variance to attend a school outside of their zone (known as a placement exception request.)

Students must be present to register. And, paperwork, including proof of address, a birth certificate or passport, immunization records and latest school transcript or report card, is required. See the Department of Education's website for all the details.

Here's a list of the centers:


PS/IS 194
1301 Zerega Avenue (enter on Parker Street)

PS/IS 218 Rafael Hernandez Dual Language Magnet School
1220 Gerard Ave. (Enter at 167th Street & Walton Ave.)

Theodore Roosevelt Campus
500 East Fordham Road


Brooklyn Tech High School
29 Fort Greene Place (use the South Elliott Place entrance)

Clara Barton High School
901 Classon Avenue

Edward R. Murrow
1600 Avenue L


The High School for Fashion Industries
225 West 24th Street


Long Island City High School
14-30 Broadway

Thomas Edison Career & Technical Education High School
165-65 84th Avenue

Staten Island:

Michael J. Petrides School
715 Ocean Terrace, Building C

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

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 4
First Day of School

Early dismissal for non-District 75 Kindergarten students.

Partial school time for Pre-K.

Wednesday, September 10
Business & Calendar Meeting
6:30 PM
Joan of Arc Complex
154 W. 93rd St.
Tuesday, September 16
Elementary School
Parent Teacher Conferences
Wednesday, September 17
High School
Parent Teacher Conferences
Thursday, September 18
Middle School
Middle School

CEC3 News

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

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