2014-2015 NYC School Calendar

2015-2016 NYC School Calendar

Today, 3/28/2015
High: 41 Low: 23
Chance rain/snow
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Tomorrow, 3/29/2015
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5% chance of precipitation.

Inside Schools

Parents running for ed councils see hurdles and hope - Read Full Article

Parents running for ed councils see hurdles and hope

The call to action is different for every parent. For Naila Rosario of District 15 it was overcrowding and a lack of pre-k that led her to run for a Community Education Council seat four years ago. For Deborah Alexander of District 30, it was attending her first CEC meeting as a kindergarten mom and seeing parents fight on behalf of families whose needs were very different from their own.

“I was blown away by that kind of selflessness and commitment to a broader cause,” Alexander said. “When it was over I wanted to do the same. Then when you get in you see how tricky it is.”

Talk to any CEC member and you’ll hear that educational advocacy in New York City is much like parenting itself: fulfilling but frustrating. “It’s a lot of work,” said Alexander. “It’s daily emails and phone calls. That’s one thing parents don’t realize.” Add to that, election process glitches (at press time the DOE had only posted 95 percent of applicant profiles online more than a week after the application deadline), strict voting laws (only three PTA officers from each school can actually vote for district CEC reps) and a lack of real legislative power on many issues, and it’s enough to thwart even the most well-meaning of parents.

New Yorkers don’t seem daunted. When the CEC application period ended last Monday, 1290 parents had applied to run for 300 seats in 32 district and four citywide councils, a 70 percent increase in applicants compared to 2013, according to the DOE. Rosario, for one, is thrilled about the increased interest, a change she sees taking hold throughout her district. “My first candidate forum had three parents,” she recalled. “This year we have RSVPs for over 200.”

The rise in turnout in many parts of the city is hardly a fluke. Jesse Mojica, executive director of the DOE’s Office of Family and Community Engagement (FACE) credits a massive outreach program involving months of planning and advertisements in subways, ethnic and community publications and small newspapers. “It speaks to the hard work of this office and leadership of the chancellor. We have worked hard to let everyone know that we take parent voice very seriously,” he said.

CEC members agree that the environment under Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariña has been much more friendly and engaging for parents than in the past. Mojica and the chancellor meet with CEC leaders bimonthly to consult on issues, and formed a Blue Book Working Group intended to give parents more input on co-locations and building utilization.

Still problems and inequalities persist. In District 5 in Central Harlem where many zoned schools are struggling, there have been complaints about uneven representation and the strict CEC voting laws. While intended to give every school an equal number of votes and not to allow any one school over-representation on the councils, some say the laws end up undermining the parents who care the most. “Not even the motivated schools have a shot in this CEC system,” said a frustrated District 5 mother who preferred to remain anonymous. “There are lackluster reps who could care less. Why not let the reps who are motivated by their own school lift up all of the schools?"

Whether or not voting laws could be changed to allow more parents to participate, especially in places like District 5 where a few strong and active schools are outnumbered by troubled ones, is also unclear. Mojica said there are no current plans to change the process.

After a history of troubled elections, particularly in 2011 and 2013 (the elections occur every two years), this year’s process seems to be much improved if not perfect. More applicants isn’t necessarily better without the mechanism to handle the numbers, says Alexander, whose own candidate profile has yet to be posted online. She lays the blame, at least partially, with FACE. “It needs to be revamped,” she said. “I don’t want to just bash them, but they need help and support from the DOE.”

Mojica disagrees with that characterization. “When you deal with the largest school system in the nation, resources are always going to be a challenge,” he said, noting that each application must undergo three layers of review and the entire CEC selection process is subject to a strict 90-day state mandated window. “There’s always room for improvement, but I’m encouraged when I look at this process. We are moving in the right direction.”

For all the hurdles, it’s the personal connections that seem to matter most to parents. Direct access to the chancellor and superintendents give representatives like Alexander and Rosario a clearer view of DOE policies that often confound families day to day. “The biggest benefit is being able to help parents navigate the waters,” said Alexander. “That’s why I ran and that’s why I’m continuing to run.”

To see the CEC candidates running in your district or to attend an upcoming forum, visit nycparentleaders.org.

Additional reporting by Lydie Raschka.

Why I'm choosing an early ed center for pre-k - Read Full Article

Why I'm choosing an early ed center for pre-k

Last week marked the start of New York City's pre-kindergarten application process. For about two seconds I fantasized about securing a coveted spot in a district school pre-k for my 3-year-old son. He'd be able to go on to kindergarten there; we'd have the next several years figured out, educationally, at least. But I soon saw the light: Staying at the early education center where my son now attends preschool has benefits too great to pass by.

Sure, there are all the logistical perks people mention when singing the praises of early ed centers: Unlike schools, my son's daycare is open during the summer, and provides 11 hours of care each day, not just the six hours of city-paid universal pre-k. Although we will pay for the extended hours, that means no need for complicated, patched-together after-school or summer child care arrangements.

Also key: My son's younger sister will attend the 2-year-old program there. That makes for just one pick-up and drop-off.

But my reasons for wanting us to stay go beyond convenience. I love that early education centers are all about young kids and young families. I love that the culture of early childhood is reflected everywhere in these places—from the tricycles and soft blocks in the common area, to the little blue cots for napping, to how the janitors and security guards indulge the kids' endless fascination with their phones, keys and brooms. In this giant metropolis of a city, good early education centers are little bubbles designed for the very particular needs of young kids and their frazzled parents, micro-worlds where the staff is sympathetic and the sinks and toilets and just about everything is little and low to the ground.

In my work at the Center for New York City Affairs, I've heard many times from education experts how little kids learn very differently from older ones. Four-year-olds learn through play—through pretending and singing and dancing and building. Pre-k isn't supposed to look like 5th-grade, of course, but nor should it look like kindergarten.

Some experts warn that in order for pre-ks housed in schools to work, the academic-bend of the older grades must not seep down to the classes for 4-year olds.

But how can we ensure that? School principals have always had a lot on their plates. Now they must fret over the needs of 4-year-olds along with those of 10-year-olds. While I know there are some who pull this off beautifully, it's a tall order.

Directors at early ed centers have the luxury of being all about the little ones. Pretty much everyone at good education centers gets to be all about the little ones.

My past three-plus years as a parent has presented me with a learning curve steeper than any other I've encountered. As I've bumbled along, I've turned to my kids' child care teachers for tips on everything from how to introduce a sippy cup to when to ditch the diapers. I tell them when my children have had a rough night; they tell me how they napped, how they played, and how much lunch they ate. On the not-so-rare occasion that I've messed something up—left the milk bottles at home, lost a shoe en route to school—they've helped me out.

As a perpetually sleep-deprived working mom of two little ones, I've not just appreciated this kind of support, I've leaned on it. I don't know if this back and forth between parents and teachers is common at elementary schools—we haven't gotten there yet. But at quality early education centers, it's par for the course. It has to be. Daycares look after kids who can't yet talk. Clear communication between parents and teachers is a necessity.

As many warned me would happen, my son is growing up fast. In a flash, the pudgy newborn who once kept me up at night has become a lanky little boy who likes to proclaim often and loudly that he's almost a grown up. Some days, as we begin our walk home from school, he instinctively reaches for my hand. Other times he prefers to go solo, walking a bit off to the side, relishing his separateness as he pokes at the sidewalk with a stick.

My son loves his school, but if asked, he'd likely tell you that he'd be just fine at one made for big kids. And he'd probably be right. But I'm not there yet. One more year of educational play, and one more year of hand-holding—both for him and his mom—sounds good to me.

Insideschools to launch pre-k search engine - Read Full Article

Insideschools to launch pre-k search engine

If your child turns 4 this year, he or she is eligible for free pre-kindergarten, either in a public school or at a early childhood center run by a community organization. But how can you find one? And what is the quality of the programs?

The staff of Insideschools and a panel of experts will tell you how to find a good program for your child and how to navigate the application process at our March 31 event: The Lowdown on pre-k. We'll also introduce our new pre-k search engine. Type in your address and you'll see what your zoned school is and whether it offers pre-kindergarten. With this search, you'll be able to find all the pre-k options closest to your home or work and see reviews of public schools that offer pre-k. 

The de Blasio administration gets an A for effort in its rapid expansion of pre-kindergarten, with more than 30,000 new seats last fall and another 20,000 planned for this coming fall. But what is the quality of these new programs? Even though there are more free all-day pre-k programs than ever,  demand still outstrips supply in many neighborhoods. Get the lowdown at this free workshop for parents. We will:

-- Introduce our new pre-k search engine to help you find programs in your district, neighborhood or zipcode

-- Explain the difference between "child care" and "pre-kindergarten"

-- Help you decide whether to choose pre-k run by public schools or early education centers

-- Tell you what to look for when you visit programs

-- Show you where the seats are

-- Explain how and when to apply

-- Give you advice about what to do if there's no slot for your child where you want it

-- Describe ethnic and racial diversity in pre-k programs.

Clara Hemphill, interim director, Center for New York City Affairs at the New School and Insideschools founder and senior editor will moderate a discussion by Insideschools.org experts and guest panelists Takiema Bunche Smith, director, Leadership Institute at SCO/FirstStepNYC and Josh Wallack, chief strategy officer, Department of Education.

This event is one of a series sponsored by the Center for New York City Affairs examining Mayor Bill de Blasio's performance in key areas impacting New York City during his first year in office. Join our de Blasio series discussions this year using #deblasioseries and follow us @centernyc

This event is sponsored by the Center for New York City Affairs at Milano School for International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy. 

Admission is Free but RSVP is required by clicking the register button

School Book

Middle School: A 'Hot Mess' of Distractions - Read Full Article

Seventh graders make for curious but easily distracted students. Our Being 12 series looks at the crucial age where teachers and hormones battle for kids’ attention.

NYC Schools Chancellor Announces
New School Support Structure

Click here for full report


  • March 18 - April 18 – District and borough parent leaders, along with the DOE, host forums for parents to meet and ask questions of Education Council candidates.
  • April 19 - May 8 – Presidents, Treasurers, and Recording Secretaries of Parent Associations and Parent-Teacher Associations vote online for the new Community and Citywide Education Council Members for the 2015-2017 term.
  • May 12 – Election results are published on NYCParentLeaders.org.
  • July 1 – Elected and appointed Community and Citywide Education Council Members for the 2015-2017 term take office.


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

Pre-K Application Period Is Open!

If you live in New York City and your child was born in 2011, he or she is eligible to attend a free, high quality pre-K program in September 2015. You can use the School Search tool to find pre-k in your area. The application period runs from Monday, March 16, 2015 to Friday, April 24, 2015.
More Information

Kindergarten Admissions

The application period ended on February 18, 2015. However, you can still submit a late application in one of three ways:

Interpretation services will be provided in over 200 languages for the over-the-phone and in-person options.

Review our Kindergarten Directories to make your list of choices. The Directories are available online, and at local elementary schools and at Family Welcome Centers. Translated versions are available online, in nine languages. 

For a list of new schools opening in the 2015-16 school year, click here.

G&T Score Reports and Applications

Score reports will be sent to families in early April. Families of students who are eligible will also receive an application along with their score report. The application deadline is April 23.

    G & T Overview

    Gifted & Talented (G&T) programs are one way the NYC Department of Education supports the needs of exceptional students. G&T programs aim to deliver accelerated, rigorous, and specialized instruction, aligned to Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS). New York City students who are entering kindergarten through 3rd grade are eligible to participate in G&T Admissions. Children must pass an assessment to be eligible to apply to G&T programs.

    Please use the steps below to guide you through the process:
    1. Apply for testing by completing a Request For Testing (RFT) form.
    2. Take the test on the test date that you are given.
    3. Receive notice of eligibility in April
    4. Apply to G&T programs, if eligible

    High School News

    Schools received High School Admissions Round 1 results on March 5. Round 2 applications were due to guidance counselors on March 20. Find more information on Round 2. Please contact your guidance counselor for specific questions. 

    High School Directories Notice

    Students applying to a NYC public high school for the 2015-2016 school year can 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

    Upcoming Events

    Saturday, March 28
    Press Conference/Rally
    Citywide Rally to Save Our Public Schools
    12:00 PM
    3rd Avenue and 41st Street
    outside of Governor Cuomo's
    midtown Manhattan office
    Wednesday, April 1
    Common Core Standards Implementation & Testing Committee Meeting
    5:00 PM
    Joan of Arc Bldg.
    54 W. 93rd St.
    Room 204

    Business Meeting
    6:30 PM
    Joan of Arc
    Room 204
    154 W. 93 St.

    District 3 Common Core Parent Survey

    Encuesta para padres del CEC3 del Distrito 3, sobre estándares básicos comunes

    CEC3 News

    CEC3 Business Meeting
    Wednesday April 1
    Joan of Arc Building, Room 204
    154 W. 93rd St.

    District 3 SCA Proposed Amendment
    to the 2015-2019 Capital Plan Presentation

    Presentation Given at the January 7th CEC3 Special Meeting

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

    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


    Education Reports

    School Quality Reports

    As a part of her vision for New York City’s schools, Chancellor Fariña has introduced two new ways for the public to evaluate New York City public schools:

    • The School Quality Snapshot is designed specifically for families and provides a concise picture of the quality of each school.
    • The School Quality Guide provides a more robust set of information about each school, including multiple years of data so that schools’ progress over time can be more easily tracked.

    You can find a school’s 2013-14 School Quality Snapshot, School Quality Guide, and NYC School Survey Report by going to NYCDOE  School Quality Report search at http://schools.nyc.gov/Accountability/tools/report/FindASchoolQualityReport/default.htm  

    For more information go to: http://schools.nyc.gov/Accountability/tools/report/default.htm

    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