NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing


Meet Chelsea Prep’s new interim principal

Here’s the letter that the new interim principal of PS 33 Chelsea Prep who replaced Mrs. Lindy who recently retired from the NYC Dept. of Ed.

 

Dear Families:

It is with great pride and excitement that I write this letter of introduction to you as the Interim Acting Principal of PS 33 Chelsea Prep. I am honored to join you in continuing the legacy of success established at Chelsea Prep.

I have been dedicated to the field of education for more than thirteen years. I have proudly served as a teacher, coach, and assistant principal in the NYC Department of Education. My experiences in early childhood, gifted and talented, and dual language programs have enabled me to understand the unique needs of diverse learners and supporting conditions that allow them to thrive as individuals. This appreciation is also fueled by my energetic and free-spirited 16-month old daughter, Lianna. Like all of my students, Lianna reminds me each and every day the amazing curiosity and limitless potential young minds possess.

Through a close partnership with you, I look forward to continuing the focus on character education, fostering a nurturing environment, and enhancing instruction that challenges, enriches, and engages our students to maximize their academic, social, emotional and physical potential. I am confident with our collective commitment, expertise and shared leadership, we will provide the students of Chelsea Prep the best education and foundation in preparing them to be strategic thinkers, life-long learners, and world class citizens ready to master the challenges of the 21st Century.

I will be available Tuesday, July 14th through Thursday, July 16th, from 10am-12pm. Please feel free to stop in and say hello. You can also reach me via email at cwang@schools.nyc.gov at any time to set up an appointment.

As Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” I look forward to serving the Chelsea Prep Community and collaborating with each of you as we work together towards greater success.

In partnership,  Cindy Wang Principal, I.A.



Start preparing for the NYC gifted and talented test

Well, it’s time to start preparing for the NYC gifted and talented test even though school starts in September. So far, there have been no changes announced by the Dept. of Ed to the testing process and procedures for this upcoming testing season in January-February 2016.   Here are some quick and dirty stats as of the time of this writing:

  • 70,000 seats in standard-track gen-ed kindergarten classrooms; 2,700 seats in G&T programs* (appx. 250 seats are available for Citywide programs – this is for non-siblings).
  • Admission based solely on the test score (for NNAT-2 test and OLSAT test). The NNAT test has 48 questions and the OLSAT has 30 non-verbal questions. Each test accounts for 50% of the child’s overall score. The two tests are administered at the same time with the NNAT non-verbal first then the OLSAT verbal section.
  • In Jan.-Feb. 2015 almost 38,000 students from pre-K to 2nd grade took the NYC gifted and talented test.
  • Pre-K students do not need to fill in bubble sheet – only point to the correct answer.
  • Kindergarten to 2nd grade take test at school if in public school. No testing in 3rd to 5th grade.
  • Once in gifted program, no re-testing necessary each year through 5th grade. Middle school is entirely different story.
  • If your pre-K child is testing for the G&T continue with your registration for general ed. kindergarten at your local public school. Do the two processes concurrently.
  • Important note: G&T curriculum varies from program to program – even at the district level. There is no standard G&T curriculum in NYC so make sure you check with other parents who have kids in the program to get as much information as you can about their curriculum and how it varies (if at all) compared to the general ed classrooms. Some vary,  some don’t so do your homework!

If you’re looking for more in-depth guide on the New York City Gifted and Talented Program there’s a well written guide from the folks at Testing Mom for only five dollars. The best deal around.

NYC Survival Guide cover



New Principal at PS 33 Chelsea Prep

Well, the era of Mrs. Lindy has come to an end as principal of the NYC G&T program at PS 33 Chelsea Prep in District 2.  She took a once failing school from zero to hero in her 10 years at the school launching the G&T program in 2009-2010 school year with just 14 students that has turned into over 300+ students in the gifted program at the school. Congrats to Mrs. Lindy as she retires and is able to spend more time with her family.  The new interim principal will be Cindy Wang. She will be holding Open Office Hours from Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 through Thursday, July 16th, from 10am-12pm at PS 33 at 9th Ave. and 26th Street.

Here’s a nice tribute poem for Mrs. Lindy written by the PTA from PS 33:

The time has come to say goodbye
10 years have passed – yes – time does fly

A principal of epic style
Always going the extra mile

Never a sick day, never to rest
Always striving to make Chelsea Prep best

Grants and donation she was always seeking
Of bettering our world she was always speaking

From Highline to hoedown all the year through
Whitney, Hudson Guild, Audubon too

Teaching the children compassion and empathy
In September our school may seem so empty

True – in our hearts she will always endure
Missing her though – we will – for sure

Our final words of thanks won’t suffice
Our gratitude – we say more than thrice

Thank you, thank you, thank you and thank you again
Administrator, teacher and most of all friend

Your hard work and dedication will always be treasured
A principal and woman truly beyond measure

With love and appreciation, The PS33 Family



NYC Gifted and Talented Admissions for 4th and 5th grades

The Dept. of Ed. just announced the new criteria for NYC Gifted and Talented admissions for 4th and 5th grades for the 2015-16 school year. Don’t worry, there’s no OLSAT test or NNAT-2 test involved but make sure your child is adored by his or her teacher, that’s for sure! According to the DOE here’s the “new and improved” criteria they will be using if you want your child to enter a G&T program going into 4th or 5th grades.

  • 2015 New York State English Language Arts (ELA) and Math scores
  • 2015 Report Card Grades
  • Descriptors of Exceptional Characteristics provided by the student’s teacher

The deadline to apply is on May 22, 2015 and here are the locations for all 5 boroughs to submit your application. Guess what? You get to leave work early since you can’t do this online or by mail. Did I just have a flashback to 1972? All requests must be made in person and the Family Welcome Center facilities are only open 8am to 3pm. So much for being so welcoming and for those parents who don’t have any flexibility at their jobs to cut-out early. Just tell your boss that you want your child to have a better life (and job!) than you and you must leave early! I’m sure the “boss man” will completely understand…yeah, right.

The Dept. of Ed. does provide specific guidance for the criteria but it does allow some opinions and biases being inserted by the teacher to determine if the child is worthy of getting a coveted seat into the NYC G&T program or not. Here are a few hypothetical situations that could occur to the detriment of the child:

  • The teacher and parent(s) don’t get along and the only recourse the teacher has to get back at the parents is to not give a child a recommendation. What if the parents are hardcore Republicans who support Ted Cruz for president and don’t believe in teacher unions. Oh yeah, those parents would be homeschooling anyway.
  • The teacher and principal collude because the child scores 4’s on both the ELA and math test and they want to keep their school test scores high, therefore don’t recommend the child attend a G&T program. Remember, schools in NYC are ranked on how children perform on the not-so-popular common core ELA and math tests.
  • The teacher and parents are good friends outside school and the parents use that friendship to manipulate the teacher in writing exaggerated claims about their child’s abilities. Highly unlikely, I know…but these are hypothetical situations! :-)

Of course, the list of hypothetical situations could go on and on. So fun to think about all the possibilities and the lengths some parents in New York City would go to for their talented tot to get into the gifted and talented program.

I do find it interesting the DOE announced the criteria included state test scores were being used a week after the state tests were completed. I’m sure if parents knew up front that this was part of the criteria process parents across all five boroughs would be heading over in droves to Testing Mom to get free practice questions for the New York ELA and math tests.



NYC gifted and talented test scores
The NYC gifted and talented test scores have been released for kids going into kindergarten this fall (2015). So many parents are estactic that their talented tot made the cut and now hopes are even higher to get a coveted spot at one of the citywide or district wide gifted programs sprinkled throughout the city. There’s always a sour apple in the bunch and here’s an email that Testing Mom online test prep received from a parent who is really upset about her son’s score (even at the 95th percentile). Here’s what she told Testing Mom:

Hi Testing Mom,

My 4-year-old son stands no chance of getting accepted into one the gifted and talented citywide kindergarten programs since he scored in the 95th percentile. I thought he’d score in the 99th (I’ve been told by numerous people how smart he is), but I suppose he just isn’t as smart as everyone thought. I’m very disappointed in him because he said the test was easy after he came out of the testing room…although I now blame myself and feel like a horrible mother because I didn’t sign-up for your program until after I received his scores so we can start practicing for next year’s test. I heard about you from several parents last fall and their kids made 98th and 99th percentiles but I thought I could do it on my own without any outside help…boy, was I wrong. He did so well on the 10 questions provided in the handbook from the Dept. of Ed. but they probably only put easy questions in their handbook so parents don’t feel they need to prepare. Even after using your program for just the past couple of days since I received his scores I have discovered the areas he needs to focus on. If I only knew then what I know now things might have turned out very different.

My stomach turns every time I look at his score on the test and I’m trying not to hold a grudge against him – after all, he is only 4-years-old. I know some parents would be so happy with a 95th percentile, but now I wish he would have bombed the whole test instead of being on the cusp.

M.L. – mom in Flushing Queens – NYC

Wow, this mom is what I’d call hardcore but I suppose it’s a typical response from some parents in New York City when the harsh reality sinks in. I hope this mom doesn’t give up on her son and it sounds like she’s wanting him to take the test again. I’m sure he’ll do better next year and hopefully score in the 99th percentile so his mother once again will be proud to have him as her offspring.



State scrubs common core test questions
March 22, 2015, 8:21 pm
Filed under: common core test | Tags: , ,

Well, according to the NY Post it looks like New York state scrubs common core test questions due to lack of answers provided on certain ELA and math questions given last year to New York students.  It looks like with the elimination of these questions actually helped increase the overall test scores last year for New York State. Not that really made a big impact since over 60% of the students still failed both the ELA and math portions of the state tests based upon the common core. Maybe the third time is a charm with this being the third round of testing since New York converted from the much easier Regents tests to the common core tests in 2013. With $33 million on the line for Pearson (the publishers of the test) there will need to be significant improvement in this year’s scores to say that the testing is showing some significant progress over time.  I suppose if they eliminate more questions from this year’s test then test scores will automatically go up…although artificially. Even though all students in the state take the annual tests for ELA and math it’s a critical score for all the fourth graders in the NYC school system since these scores can be used for admissions into some of the selective middle schools in the city. It seems like people in the city are becoming accustom to the common core curriculum and testing as there haven’t been as many parents and teachers whining this year as compared to previous years. As with anything, change is challenging for some but not as challenging as some of these questions on the common core test.

If you’re needing practice questions for ELA and math for the upcoming test go visit our friends at Testing Mom.



More and more parents are opting out of common core testing
March 2, 2015, 5:32 pm
Filed under: common core test | Tags:

Well, it looks like more and more parents are opting out of common core testing, at least to this recent article in the New York Times. Not sure how the schools will determine if a student is meeting the grade standards or not. Of course, the common core testing has no impact on the little ones who encounter the NYC gifted and talented tests which is a barrage of 88 questions from the OLSAT and NNAT2 tests respectively.  The movement to make the common core go extinct (like the way of the dinosaurs) has found interesting bedfellows from both sides of the aisle. The right claims it’s a government take over of the school (news flash folks! the government took over the schools 50+ years ago!) and on the left it’s the claim that poor test scores will be used to demonize teachers which threatens the teacher union establishment that has one heck of a stronghold on political outcomes in this country.   The article goes on to mention that there’s a TV campaign of anti-common core testing that’s hitting the airwaves this week in New Jersey. In one of the TV ads, the dad says his first grader cried and didn’t want to karate practice because he was so stressed out about common core! Oh my, his son had to miss karate practice to sit at home and study? I can’t believe a six-year-old would whine and cry to get out of doing school work to go to karate practic  What is this world coming to! I wonder if the dad paid the same amount of money to enrich his son’s education as he does spending on having his son break wood planks his son might not have common core PTSDe. Watch the drama unfold about common core testing on the TV commercial airing all over New Jersey for the next few weeks.

I think all students should have to test at least one time to see how it goes. At least the parents would then find out if their kid is even at grade level and then take matters into their own hands. So, is your kid taking the gifted and talented test? Or common core test? Or both? You can get free practice questions at Testing Mom.




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