September 4th is upon us! Starting a new school year is an exciting time, and pretty soon, Staten Island youngsters will be heading back to school for another year. Below is some back-to-school information you might find helpful as you prepare for the upcoming school year. I’m often asked by homebuyers about the schools on Staten Island. The information I put together is both helpful and informative. With this, providing you a better understanding of the happenings in Staten Island schools.
New Start Times
Due to the new contract between the New York City Department of Education and the United Federation of Teachers (teacher’s union), some schools may have altered their arrival and dismissal times. Parents should be sure to check out their school’s website for the most current information on school start times. Although the times may have changed, the amount of time students will be in school has remained the same. Below is also a list of some schools who have posted earlier start times, according to the DOE and courtesy of www.silive.com:
- PS 1, Tottenville: Classes begin at 8:10 a.m., Monday through Friday.
- PS 8, Great Kills: Classes begin at 8:20 a.m., Monday and Tuesday, and at 9 a.m., Wednesday through Friday.
- PS 9, Concord: Classes begin at 8 a.m., Monday through Friday.
- PS 11, Dongan Hills: Classes begin at 8 a.m., Monday through Friday.
- PS 13, Rosebank: Classes begin at 8:10 a.m., Monday through Friday.
- PS 16, Tompkinsville: Classes begin at 8:20 a.m., Monday through Friday.
- PS 23, Richmond: Classes begin at 8 a.m., Monday through Friday.
- PS 32, Great Kills: Classes begin at 8 a.m., Monday through Friday.
- PS 36, Annadale: Classes begin at 8:20 a.m., Monday through Friday.
- PS 53, Bay Terrace: Classes begin at 8 a.m., Monday through Friday.
- PS 58, New Springville: Classes begin at 8 a.m., Monday through Friday.
- PS/IS48, Concord: Classes begin at 8 a.m., Monday through Friday.
Universal Pre-K (UPK) programs are available at some public schools and many Community Based Early Childhood Centers (CBECCs) across Staten Island. Although the registration deadline for UPK programs has since passed, there are still many available seats that parents of children turning 4 in 2014 can take advantage of.
You can check the list of schools that may have available seats for the current school year. Availability may change, so contact the school or CBECC directly to check.
Middle School and High School Admissions Process
As if the beginning of the school year isn’t hectic enough, right around the corner in October parents of 5th and 8th graders will have the chance to attend Middle and High School fairs across the borough and city.
In the fall, all fifth graders enrolled in a New York City public elementary school will receive customized middle school applications. The application will include all of the middle schools the student is eligible to apply to, and students rank schools in order or preference before returning the application to their current school.
As early as October, parents of 5th graders can visit open houses and information sessions hosted by the middle schools before completing the application. Decision letters are then sent out to parents in the spring.
Eighth graders across New York City have a similar process when applying for programs at the high school level. Currently, there are over 400 high school programs across New York City from which to choose. In the fall, eight graders submit their application listing up to twelve programs, ranked in order of preference. Applicants are matched to one of their ranked schools according to admissions priority, method and availability (all of these factors can vary depending on the program you are applying for).
To help with this process, the 2014-2015 Directory of NYC Public High Schools is already available on the NYC Department of Education website. Students who will be in the 8th grade this upcoming school year have the opportunity to use the directory to browse through the many different programs Staten Island schools and schools city-wide have to offer. Parents can also use the directory to familiarize themselves with the high school admissions process, including how it works and how schools consider students for placement.
Click here to access the directory online.
There are many charter schools across Staten Island and over 197 charter schools city-wide. For more information on charter school options, visit http://schools.nyc.gov/community/planning/charters/Directory.htm. The charter schools on Staten Island include:
- Elementary School: Staten Island Community Charter School
- Middle School: New World Preparatory Charter School
- Middle/High School: John W. Lavelle Preparatory Charter School
The calendar for the 2014-2015 school year is posted on the DOE website and, if you attend private or parochial schools, chances are your school’s specific calendar has already been made available to you as well.
What parents of public school students may not know is that because of the new contract between the DOE and the UFT, schools are allotting more time for parent-teacher conferencing outside of the normal November and March meetings. Curriculum Nights, Open School Weeks and more time set aside for parent-teacher conferencing has been added to the school’s calendar and/or worked into the teacher’s scheduled work day. Be sure to check with your child’s school about new events and opportunities to discuss your child’s progress in school.
State Test Results
As of last week, New York State released the test scores for the standardized tests students in grades 3-8 took this past spring.
Although individualized scores are available to parents using the ARIS Parent Link (link: www.arisparentlink.org), you can also view your school’s results by visiting a website link courtesy of the New York Times (link: http://projects.nytimes.com/new-york-schools-test-scores/new-york-city). By entering in your child’s school, you will be able to see school-wide data, including what percentage of students were rated with a passing score, advanced, or below standard. You can also track the school’s progress over the past few years.
Helpful Links and Resources
New York City Department of Education Website: www.schools.nyc.gov
New York City Department of Education Achievement Reporting and Innovation System (ARIS): www.arisparentlink.org
New York City Department of Education Office of Pupil Transportation: http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/Transportation
NYC Department of Education Pre-K Registration: http://schools.nyc.gov/ChoicesEnrollment/PreK
NYC Department of Education School Calendars: http://schools.nyc.gov/Calendar/2014-2015+School+Year+Calendars
NYC Department of Education- Choices & Enrollment (for information on all schools and programs at the Pre-K, elementary, middle and high school levels, including charter schools, gifted programs, special programs and new and transfer students): http://schools.nyc.gov/ChoicesEnrollment
As the summer winds down and you head out to do some back-to-school shopping or try to squeeze in another weekend at the beach, I wish you nothing but the best for you and your family during this upcoming school year!
If you are looking to buy a home on Staten Island and want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact me on Facebook or Twitter. Even better, my website is full of helpful information about the different North Shore neighborhoods, local businesses, news and events. Don’t forget to check out North Shore Buzz for video interviews and home-buying tips.
Look forward to meeting up soon!