NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing


Non-profit HOPEorgNYC helps prepare kids for gifted and talented test

The non-profit HOPEorgNYC helps prepare kids for the gifted and talented test in New York City.  Jill Goldstein, founder of @HOPEorgNYC, founded the non-profit in 2015 due to the lack of participation of students in lower-income areas of NYC who take the NYC gifted and talented test for children entering kindergarten through 3rd grade. The mission of this group is to lessen the divide within the gifted and talented program in New York City.  HOPE meets with students every Saturday morning from September through January to help them prepare for the upcoming NNAT and OLSAT tests.

Over the years, it has been evident that the NYC gifted and talented program skews to more Caucasian and Asian students vs. African American and Latino students. The population of gifted and talented students based upon race is disproportionate to the racial population of the city. According to the NY Times, this racial segregation within the schools begins as early as pre-K and then really manifests itself going into kindergarten with the gifted and talented program.

HOPE plans to even out the playing field within district 10 in the Bronx where the program meets at the local library every Saturday to help local students prepare for the test. Their goal is two fold: help the kids succeed on the the G&T test and to do well in school.

Here are students who have benefited from the wonderful work HOPE is doing in the Bronx. The kids thank TestingMom.com for giving them test prep materials and for sponsoring the HOPE team.

 



Good news about pre-K and gifted and talented
February 23, 2016, 5:04 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program, OLSAT Test | Tags: ,

Well, it looks like one of the unforeseen consequences of the NYC universal pre-K program is that it causes more talented tots to qualify for a seat in the ultra competitive NYC gifted and talented program. According to a study in Educational Researcher 4-year-olds who attend a preschool are 4.8 times more likely to get a qualified score for the competitive NYC G&T program. The findings shouldn’t be very surprising since early education initiatives would have a direct impact on not only overall performance but also how the child takes direction from a teacher. Since the OLSAT test requires listening from the child, any child who is in pre-K would have an advantage by more likely having to develop listening skills since they are in a classroom setting. Hopefully by all children attending universal pre-K in lower income areas these children will now be able to perform better on the G&T test. Plus parents in these areas will be more likely to know about the NYC gifted and talented program since the pre-K teachers will hopefully tell parents about the program.

Here’s the full article>



NYC Gifted and Talented Testing Canceled this weekend

Due to Super Snow Storm Jonas the NYC Gifted and Talented Testing has been cancelled this weekend. I suppose it’s a good thing for parents who haven’t done any preparation and allows them more time to start practicing with their little ones with questions from TestingMom.com. Tons of practice questions for both the OLSAT and NNAT-2 tests.

Here’s what the DOE said on their web site regarding the test being canceled this weekend:

G&T News

The Office of Student Enrollment welcomes you to Gifted & Talented Admissions!

Testing is cancelled for January 23 and 24, 2016 due to the weather. If you were scheduled to test on January 23 or 24, you will be contacted this coming week about rescheduling your test. Please email questions about your student’s test to the email address listed on your appointment letter. You can email servicecenter@schools.nyc.gov with general questions about G&T testing.



Gifted and Talented School in Queens Screws up big time!

Well, a district wide gifted and talented school in Queens screws up big time! It all started with parents at the PS 144 in Forest Hills who received a letter from the school that their child will be taking the test that week for the gifted and talented program. The letter informed the parents their child will take the OLSAT tests and BSRA (Bracken School Readiness Assessment). One problem, the DOE phased our the BSRA test 4 years ago and replaced it with the much more difficult NNAT-2 test. Below is a photo of the actual letter parents received from the school that really screwed up on this one.

To add insult to injury, according to parents, who contacted the school about the test, the parent coordinator who answered the phone abruptly said in a curt manner “Whatever is on the letter are the tests that are going to be given!”.  I suppose the school was bombarded with phone  calls from frantic parents who were confused and even more confused after the school verified their worst nightmares coming true! So much for the person who answered the phone to do a 5 second Google search to find out which test is currently being given to students. Maybe they were too busy watching reruns of Dance Moms online?

After months (and some times years!) of test prep will their talented tot now be required to take another test that they haven’t prepared for? Imagine these poor moms and dads who are stressed out to the max and then finding this out the same week the test was to be administered. It’s like a high school student preparing for the SAT test for months and then 48 hours prior to test day being told “Sorry, it’s actually the ACT test.”

After a few days of confusion in Forest Hills the principal, Reva Gluck-Schneider, finally broke down and reluctantly admitted to the error of their ways. This, of course, is after scores of parents kept calling and asking questions. Wow…a DOE employee admitting they were wrong? Is that in the union contract? You can read the entire drama in this DNA Info article.

The letter parents from PS 144 received regarding the upcoming gifted and talented testing.



Testing Mom hosting free seminars
January 5, 2016, 3:56 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program, OLSAT Test | Tags:

Testing Mom hosting free seminars for NYC parents to review the NYC Gifted and Talented Admissions and Testing this week! These seminars are free but you need to register to attend (links below).

Here’s what you’ll learn at the seminar:

  • The various tests given to children for gifted and talented programs in New York City
  • Learn about the NNAT-2 test and OLSAT test that’s used for admissions into the New York City G&T programs
  • Prepare your child for testing without “prepping”
  • Shy child? Find out how to help a shy child overcome testing anxiety.
  • Easy and fun things you can do at home to help your child prepare for testing
  • Live questions and answers from the audience.

You can register here:

 



Countdown has started for NYC parents!
December 14, 2015, 2:56 pm
Filed under: nnat test, NYC Gifted and Talented Program, OLSAT Test | Tags:

Well, the countdown has started for NYC parents who are anxiously awaiting testing day for the gifted and talented entrance exam starting in a few short weeks. The talented tots start making their annual pilgrimage starting Jan. 9, 2016 to line up one-by-one to take the OLSAT test and NNAT2 test at designated schools across all five boroughs. Last year alone over 30,000 pre-K to 2nd grade students took the test and almost half were the 4-year-olds vying for a coveted seated in one the top kindergarten gifted and talented programs sparingly sprinkled throughout the city. During the holiday-winter- Christmas break from school parents will begin the final push to make sure their child gets enough sleep and drinks plenty of jumpy juice on test day to make it into the 99th percentile. Although, even at the highest percentile ranking of 99 does not guarantee a seat in the program (why that would make it too darn easy!). At 99th percentile the child is then placed in a pool with over 1,500 kids who are attempting to get a citywide seat that has approximately 250-300 available each year. The children are radmonly selected from the pool of 99s so hope your child gets in top 100. Welcome to the city of hard knocks if your kid doesn’t make the cut!



Top tips for NYC gifted and talented schools

It’s that time of year again for children to make the annual pilgrimage to the take the OLSAT and NNAT2 tests for vie for a coveted spot in the NYC gifted and talented program for next school year. Here are a couple of tips for NYC parents to remember after their talented tot takes the test in January.

Top tips for NYC gifted and talented schools:

  • Make sure you visit every G&T school your child is eligible to attend after scores are released in April 2016. Some schools have very good reputations but keep in mind there are quite a few hidden gems in the city. Make sure you discover for yourself if a school would be a good fit for your child or not after visiting the school in person. Don’t rely on second hand information to base your final decision on what’s the best fit for YOUR child.
  • There is a misconception that citywide G&T programs like NEST and Anderson are better than their district wide counterparts. This isn’t necessarily true since all G&T programs and curriculum vary dramatically so make sure you do your homework to find out the ins-and-outs of the schools your child is eligible for either district wide or citywide.  The major plus about citywide programs is those schools go through 8th grade or all the way through 12th grade, depending on the school. That means no middle school or high school admissions process (believe me, that’s a big plus!). Once your child is in a program they are there to stay unless you decide to remove your child for whatever reason like moving or you’re tired of trying to keep up with the mountains of homework your child brings home every day.

There’s also a great article on DNA Info with even more tips for parents deciding about G&T programs for their children.