NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing

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.

Push to expand NYC gifted and talented programs

Over the past few years it’s become evident the lack of racial diversity in the NYC gifted and talented programs across the city. The biggest gaps are most evident in lower-income, minority neighborhoods. Not only that, the two boroughs of the Bronx and Staten Island neither have a citywide program within their borough. For the students living in the Bronx of Staten Island and scoring a 99th percentile on the OLSAT and NNAT-2 tests doesn’t guarantee a city-wide seat. And if these students do somehow get into a citywide gifted and talented program like NEST or Anderson it would take in some cases almost 2 hours of commute time each way with public transportation. The gifted and talented problem of supply and demand has been evident over the past several years with over 1,900 pre-K kids qualifying for a citywide seat and only 250-300 kindergarten seats being available.

The DOE promises to open more programs across the city, especially in areas that have few district wide gifted and talented programs. The DOE determines what areas get a new gifted program based upon the amount of kids who take the test in that district. Unfortunately, it’s a vicious cycle since many students don’t take the test since the parents don’t know about the test or don’t bother for whatever reason. There are plenty of students in both the Bronx and Staten Island to justify the opening of a new citywide program in each of those boroughs but it’s a tough sell since space is limited and educating local residents about this program.

The NYC G&T program does offer excellent educational opportunities but only for those who are aware of the program. Hopefully outreach to the local communities will make some sort of impact but as with anything that has to do with the DOE it will take years to see change.

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 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.

NYC Schools Start Tomorrow! Goodbye Summer, Hello Chelsea Prep PS 33!

Well, the summer has flown by as we head into another G&T year here in New York City!  We went up to PS 33 Chelsea Prep yesterday to drop off some supplies for our daughter’s gifted and talented teacher this year – the incredible Mrs. Alycia Zimmeran! Our daughter is so blessed to have Mrs. Zimmerman for another year. Our daughter had Mrs. Zimmerman in first grade and now she’ll have her again for the third grade!  Not sure if the public education system in New York City, no I mean Amercia, gets any better than this! Mrs. Zimmerman explempies what it means to be a dedicated, accountable, and enthusiastic teacher. I can’t say enough great things about her and her use of technology in the classrom which includes updates on her web site.

The NYC department of education did provide a brief update the new G&T handbooks which will now be available in early October,  according to the DOE web site.  There are MANY changes expected to come into play for the New York City gifted and talented program.  Make sure you go to and get free practice questions for the OLSAT test and the NNAT test  – it will come sooner than you think! It’s never too early to start preparing your talented tot!

Keep me posted on how the first week of schools go, especially to all the G&T parents across all the 5 boroughs!

PS 33 Chelsea Prep Reviews from the 2011-2012 School Year

As the 2011-2012 school year ends it’s time to do a few blog posts over the next few days. You’ll be reading PS 33 Chelsea Prep reviews from the 2011-2012 school year! My daughter just finished 2nd grade at the G&T program at PS 33 in NYC in District 2 and it’s been quite another year of two thumbs up from both my wife and me!  PS 33 is now one of the high-demand Gifted and Talented programs in NYC.  Kudos to Principal Linore Lindy at P.S. 33 as she added more gifted and talented classes that now goes up through 3rd grade! Next year the program expands to fourth grade and the demand will for sure grow. Although, keep in mind with the changes to the test from the BSRA to the NNAT the number of students qualifying for the program will for sure drop due to the difficulty of the NNAT test compared to the BSRA (Bracken School Readiness Assessment).

This year PS 33 offered tap lessons from a former Broadway performer! It’s just another one of the amazing examples of the great program at this school not only for academics but also for extracurricular activities.


Wall Street Journal Launches Tool to See NYC Teacher Ratings released an interactive tool to see the evaluation of teachers of New York City teachers.  You can find out all the ratings for teachers in 4th grade and above at all the public schools in New York City. There was an uproar from the teacher’s union when the department of ed. decided to release this information to the general public.  These ratings aren’t based upon OLSAT test results but rather standardized tests given to students starting in 4th grade.

Actually, the 2 most popular citywide gifted and talented programs scored lower than one of the most popular district 2 G&T programs at Lower Lab PS 77.

Make sure you also visit to get 50 free sample questions for gifted and talented exam.

Should your gifted and talented child skip a grade?

Now that the OLSAT test is behind most of us for the NYC gifted and talented program many parents wonder if their child should actually skip a grade (or in some cases even 2 grades!). Arsitotle Circle wrote a great article on this topic indicating the mains things to consider:

  • Teacher feedback on your gifted and talented child
  • School experience
  • Current peer group
  • Your gifted child’s schedule and after school activities

Of course you can also find out by practicing questions from where you get 50 free sample questions.