NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing


Field trip to Philadelphia
June 26, 2014, 11:11 am
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program, PS 33 chelsea prep | Tags:

The kids at P33 Chelsea Prep 4th grade class took an incredible field trip to Philadelphia! We all had to meet up super early at Penn Station at 6am then head down to the city of brotherly love for an exciting time learning about the history of the city.  After a walking tour the day ended with a trip to Constitution Hall and of course a visit to the Liberty Bell! The end of the day concluded with a visit to the first post office with a reenactment from a man and his printing press. At the end of that presentation the kids could buy a copy of the Declaration of Independence that was printed on the printing press. There were so many other field trips this year for the fourth grade but this one was the best one of all for all the kids and the parents who were able to go as chaperones.

Here are some photos of the trip:

 

 

All the kids from PS 33 4th grade G&T in front of Constitution Hall in Philadelphia.

All the kids from PS 33 4th grade G&T in front of Constitution Hall in Philadelphia.

 

 

Visiting Constitution Hall in Philadelphia. Learning our nation's history where the Declaration of Independence was signed!

Visiting Constitution Hall in Philadelphia. Learning our nation’s history where the Declaration of Independence was signed!

The kids from Chelsea Prep on the walking tour of Philadelphia

The kids from Chelsea Prep on the walking tour of Philadelphia



PS 33 Gifted and Talented Kindergarten Teacher Wins Blackboard Award
June 20, 2014, 11:00 am
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program, PS 33 chelsea prep | Tags:

PS 33 Gifted and Talented Kindergarten teacher wins Blackboard Award for 2014! Dana Kaplan, G&T Kindergarten teacher, celebrates her accomplishments as one of the top educators in New York City among public and private schools – nursery school through high school.  The Blackboard Awards launched in 2002 and have since become the top honor given to teachers and educators on top performance by parents nomination  the city. Out of tens of thousands of nominations each year here is the list of the 2014 Honorees: Excellence in Education:

  • Dana Kaplan – PS 33, Chelsea Prep
  • Lisa Schalk – Chelsea Day School
  • Willie Devargas – Little Missionary’s Day Nursery
  • Nicole Devault – Alexander Robertson School
  • Heather Meisner – PS 198
  • Dr. Katarina H. Klaf – PS 77-NYC Lower Lab School
  • Laura Resnick – PS 87-William T. Sherman School
  • Sarah Liogys – NEST+m
  • Dennis Sullivan – Saint Ignatius Loyola
  • Fran Vogel – Robert F. Wagner Middle School
  • Kristen Smith – MS 245-The Computer School
  • Evan Burns – Democracy Prep Charter High School
  • Bayard Faithfull – The Beacon School
  • Karey Boals – The Chapin School
  • Eileen Shostack – PS 75

I was lucky enough to attend the event and here’s a video of Dana accepting her award along with some photos. Congrats to Dana on a well deserved award!

 

ps 33 gifted talented

Dana Kaplan, PS 33 G&T Kindergarten teacher, at Blackboard Awards with two former students who came to support her!

gifted talented nyc

Dana Kaplan, PS 33 Chelsea Prep Gifted and Talented Teacher, receives a well deserved Blackboard Award.

blackboard awards nyc



PS 33 Chelsea Prep and National Dance Institute
May 19, 2014, 7:45 pm
Filed under: PS 33 chelsea prep | Tags: ,

PS 33 Chelsea Prep and National Dance Institute (NDI) performed an amazing show at PS 33.  The show had a China theme and all the children in 4th grade participated (both general ed and G&T).  In case you’re not familiar with the National Dance Institute (NDI) it’s a not-for-profit organization founded in 1976 by NYC Ballet dancer Jacques d’Amboise in the belief that the arts have a unique power to engage children and motivate them toward excellence and by what I witnessed in this program I’d have to agree!  NDI gives access to professional artists to the children of PS 33 to help them develop and prepare the show for the students at the school along with the parents. NDI not only inspires the kids at PS 33 but thousands of children each year in schools throughout New York City!  PS 33 has partnered with this wonderful organization since 2006 with the support from all the teachers, staff, parents and students from Chelsea Prep! Most of all with the support of the wonderful principal Mrs. Lindy who has nurtured the relationship with NDI to the point where it’s at today! Below are some photos of the performance at PS 33 Chelsea Prep including the gifted and talented students.

 

 

The fourth grade classes at PS 33 perform with the guidance and direction with the folks from NDI!

The fourth grade classes at PS 33 perform with the guidance and direction with the folks from NDI!

 

PS 33 Chelsea Prep principal Mrs. Lindy gives accolades to NDI for all the gracious help they give the students at PS 33.

PS 33 Chelsea Prep principal Mrs. Lindy gives accolades to NDI for all the gracious help they give the students at PS 33.

 

The fourth grade gifted and talented class rocks the stage at the NDI show!

The fourth grade gifted and talented class rocks the stage at the NDI show!



PS 33 Chelsea Prep Wins at National Chess Championship in Dallas
May 15, 2014, 10:37 am
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program | Tags: ,

Congrats to all the amazing chess players at Chelsea Prep! After a long flight PS 33 Chelsea Pep wins at National Chess Championship in Dallas last weekend. The team placed 10th in the entire US! The team spirit was strong and Chelsea Prep pride was represented by all who made the trip to Dallas.  The students at PS 33 learned chess from Chess NYC and the coach, Russell Makofsky, inspired the kids each and every chess lesson to perform at this level .

The huge trophy won by the kids from PS 33 at the chess tournament in Dallas! Congrats to everyone!

The huge trophy won by the kids from PS 33 at the chess tournament in Dallas! Congrats to everyone!

 

PS 33 Chelsea Prep with Coach Russ getting pumped up before the chess tournament begins.

PS 33 Chelsea Prep with Coach Russ getting pumped up before the chess tournament begins.

 

While PS 33 continues to enjoy introduction to chess in classrooms and we can now see firsthand the fruits of the labor of principal, Mrs. Lindy. providing such exceptional activities to the gifted and talented students at PS 33!



NYC gifted and talented test scores released with surprises

Well, a few weeks ago the NYC gifted and talented test scores released with surprises for parents! It looks like only 25% of the students scored to quality for a district and/or citywide seat for next year’s G&T program. This is much lower than the 34% that qualified last year so it seems that the kids in NYC who took the test this year aren’t as smart as the ones from last year. Although, 25% of students qualifying is a hefty percentage. According to the chart below it does seem the districts that have mostly non-English speaking children scored lower than in previous years. This could be due to the change this year for the 50/50 split between the OLSAT test and the NNAT-2 test. Last year it was a 35/65 split. So, it seems the verbal portion of the OLSAT tricked the talented tots. According to this NY Times article there seems to be a bias toward English only households in the scores for the OLSAT test.  Even with the lower percentage of students qualifying for a G&T seat there still aren’t enough seats folks, although the odds this year are much better than last.  When the official acceptance letters come out in a few weeks that’s when the numbers will tell the complete story and if the NYC dept. of ed. adds more seats.

 

Here's the breakdown by district for NYC gifted and talented test scores. This compares scores from 2013 to 2014 and the percentage of increase/decrease.

Here’s the breakdown by district for NYC gifted and talented test scores. This compares scores from 2013 to 2014 and the percentage of increase/decrease.



NYC parents distraught with gifted and talented scores
April 14, 2014, 7:49 am
Filed under: nnat test, OLSAT Test | Tags: ,

The scores are in! It seems many NYC parents are distraught with gifted and talented scores received by their talented tot. According to Testing Mom (the site with thousands of practice questions for the OLSAT test and the NNAT test).

Obviously, these comments from parents are way out of line and very concerning. Testing Mom said she doesn’t condone or approve of these comments but wanted to give people an idea of how intense some New York City parents get when the G&T test scores get released. I feel bad for the poor kids of these parents as some of these comments are just plain mean!

  • “I thought my son was well prepared for OLSAT test from the few practice questions provided by the Dept. of Ed. How did he get score  of 48? I am so disappointed in him and as a mother.  I started practicing with him today but now have to wait another year.”
  • “I think my son has ADHD, if only I put him on meds prior to this test he would have been able to sit, focus and As the verbal section.  He did so awesome on the nonverbal score. Trying to figure out what wrong. “
  • “He scored 88th percentile which is ok but still disappointing! I’m trying not to look at him differently but it’s hard not to right now. I thought he was so smart but now I realize he’s just average like his father (my ex).”
  • “I’m shocked at how our child could have scored so low on the OLSAT and so high on the NNAT-2 test but since signing up on Friday I can see how. We thought she’d breeze through the verbal OLSAT test but now I know better.”

My jaw dropped (literally!) after reading these comments from parents but I suppose they were being honest about their feelings. I hope they get over the initial shock quickly and start supporting their child emotionally.



NYC Gifted and Talented School Tours
April 9, 2014, 7:12 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program | Tags: ,

Well, it’s that time of year and the NYC gifted and talented school tours have begun! I received this detailed report from a very involved Brooklyn parent who took the time to write down play-by-play during their school tours for the gifted and talented programs in Brooklyn. Thanks so much for this detailed report from this Brooklyn parent!

School name: PS229 Dyker in Brooklyn, New York, NYC DOE district 20. It has a district-wide G&T program.

  • Grades in school: K-8, but gifted and talented program ends on 5th grade. After that, the school offers NYS Regents track in Math (Common Core Algebra) and Science (Living Environment). Since 2012/13 school year they have 8th grade, which is why on some web sites tis school is still incorrectly identified at K-7. It is K-8 for both General Ed and G&T (for the students currently entering into K).
  • School hours for Kindergarten is 8:10 am – 2:30 pm,
  • Building and location. The school is located in a new building (feel like a couple of years old), with a large community park with a children’s playground directly across the steet.
  • Admissions and available seats. Gifted and Talented Kindergarten class in 2014  – 1 class with 25 kids T, entering K in Fall of 2014. In total, the school has 4-6 classed per grade: 1-G&T, 1- special ed (or co-taught with special ed kids), 3-4 – regular classes. At K level, each of these classes has 25 students. G&T program is district-wide, it admits all kids within the district based on the gifted and talented priority guidelines, regardless of which particular zone your child lives in within district 20.
  • This year, the number of G&T spots available in each grade was:
  • K – 25 seats
  • 1st grade  – 6 seats
  • 2nd grade – 1 seat
  • 3rd grade – 3 seats
  • As a district-wide: Last year’s lowest gifted and talented score for in-district non-siblings, still admitted to the G&T program at this school, was no known to the principal or parent co-ordinator.
  • G&T Approach,  curriculum and instruction. G&T class follow the “enrichment” model, which means the same exact Common Core curriculum and schedule as general ed, no acceleration, but rather enrichments. Per Ms Valentine (G&T k teacher), they go on trips a lot (Statue of Liberty, Staten Island, many other places – sounded like almost every month). In-class poetry on Fridays. So, they would go through the standard curriculum faster, with the remaining time left over for trips and other activities (in theory, anyway). Use “leveling” of books – children are bundled into group based on their reading level, each level then is assigned books most appropriate to their reading level.
  • In K G&T, there is daily homework, which usually takes about 20- 30 min to complete.
  • One teacher per class of 25, no TA’s . This is not a Title 1 school. (in my opinion, having only a single teacher per 25 kids will severely limit the ability of the teacher to customize work to the kids of different knowledge levels).
  • The classroom has multiple stations / centers for different activities. The K G&T classroom is large and bright, has several tables each seating 4 students. There is some whole group instruction and some – small groups instruction. No foreign language instruction in the K class.
  •  G&T K teacher, Ms Valentine, is G&T certified and worked in this school since 1984.
  •  School Uniforms are optional but encouraged. Ibn the current G&T K class, most kids didn’t appear to wear uniforms.
  • Physical activity. Gym – once a week. Going outside of the building: in K, it’s not built into the schedule. No going outside during the Fall and Winter, start going outside one a week in the Spring. Go outside into a community park, using small gates to segregate school kids from others playing in the park.

 

After school programs: there is a free after-school program (by lottery), conducted in-school by an outside agency NIA Community Services network http://www.niabklyn.org/afterschool_launch_page.html ),  with 24 seats for K (out of the 4-6 K classes, each having 25 students). Additionally, there are 12 private fee-based afterschool companies that work with the school, some of which pick up kids at this school:

 

  • Chang’s Learning Center (1661-63 Bath ave)
  • Excel 1 – 8640 20th Ave
  • Excel 2 – 7907 New Utrecht ave
  • 18 Av NWT – 8004 18th ave
  • Elite Learning Group – 2234 bath ave
  • Yoyee Learning center – 1952 86th st
  • Marks JCH of Bensonhurst – 7802 Bay Parkway
  • Scholar Zone Learning Center – 1434 86th st
  • Mei Mei Daycare – 6805 14th ave
  • IQ Leaning Center – 123 Ave S
  • AmWins Tutoring Center – 6402 8th Ave suite 229
  • Brilliant Minds – 1650 bath ave
  • Dyker Excel Tutoring – 6717 11th Ave

Observations: In the current K class, about 70% of the kids appeared Asian, most others appeared white.

I observed about 15 minutes of whole class reading instruction in the class – the teacher was holding up one card at a time with one word written on it,  then would read the word aloud and the kids would, altogether (all 20+ kids), say out loud  the first sound of that word. I was a little turned off by this – the exercise seem way too simple for my son’s reading revel (he reads about two grades ahead, as do many of the other G&T kids). Mind you, this was in the current K class (close to the end of their K school year). This type of activity feel to be more appropriate for my 3-year olds, so I am a little worried if the instruction level is rigorous enough for strong G&T students.

The Kindergarten class proceeded to have lunch at 10:30 am (seemed a little early).




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