November: a month looked upon fondly as a time spent with family and friends, preparing for the holiday season and giving thanks. However, for parents of school-aged children, November represents one of the busiest months on the school calendar; with parent-teacher conferences, open houses and preparations for school holiday events well underway.
Parents of middle and high school aged children have the added task of looking into the different programs offered by Staten Island schools, and completing that Middle School or High School preference sheet.
You see, gone are the days when a neighborhood school was a “neighborhood school,” where students living within a particular zone attended a particular school. Yes, whenever you buy a home on Staten Island, you are “zoned” for a particular school, but that school is no longer your only option. Parents of students entering ninth grade, sixth grade, and even kindergarten can apply to send their child to any school, regardless of whether or not the child is zoned for that school.
This fairly new school admissions process has allowed schools to specialize in different programs to offer potential students. Read on to find out more about some of the programs our North Shore public middle and high schools have to offer.
North Shore Middle Schools
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.
Parents and their 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.
IS 027– Anning S. Prall Intermediate School: www.is27.org
Located in West Brighton, IS 27 is known as the Magnet School for Applied Learning with Technology Integration. Other than the core curriculum the school offers classes in Engineering, Enterprise and Journalism to its students. IS 27 also offers advanced programs through the District 31 Middle School Scholars Program.
IS 028– Eagle Academy for Young Men of Staten Island: http://schools.nyc.gov/SchoolPortals/31/R028/default.htm
Recently opening, the Eagle Academy for Young Men of Staten Island is one of several co-location schools approved by the Department of Education. Sharing a space with IS 49, the Eagle Academy offers a small-school setting that aims to develop a community of responsible young men who respect one another and themselves.
PS/IS 048– William C. Wilcox: http://websites.nylearns.org/ps48pta/default.aspx
Located in Concord, PS/IS48 just recently opened its doors in a brand new building that will house students from grades Pre-K through Grade 8.
IS 049– Berta A. Dreyfus: http://berta49.wordpress.com/
Located in Clifton, IS 49 offers three small learning communities that aim to nurture critical thinking, offers inquiry-based instructional methods, interdisciplinary thematic projects and student-centered activities. Through a collaboration of staff, community, private enterprise, and service learning, students at IS 49 are encouraged to set and achieve higher education and career goals.
IS 051– Edwin Markham: http://www.is51.org/
Located in Westerleigh, IS 51 isdedicated to fostering academic excellence for all students by setting high expectations for the academic success of all learners, and by providing a nurturing and safe learning environment that promotes respect for all cultures in our diverse population.
IS 061– William A. Morris: http://www.is61knights.org/
Located in Randall Manor, IS 61 is known as the Magnet School for Arts and Letters. The school offers honors programs with accelerated courses for high school credit, as well as magnet programs for talented students in the areas of journalism, visual arts and performing arts.
North Shore High Schools
In the fall, eight graders submit their high school application by 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).
Curtis High School– https://sites.google.com/a/curtishs.org/home/Home
Curtis offers many academic programs, including the International Baccalaureate Scholarship Honors Program with accelerated curriculum and Advanced Placement courses; Nursing, NJROTC, Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Business/Computer Institute, CoOp, Human and Legal Studies, Journalism Institute and School for International Services.
Port Richmond High School-http://schools.nyc.gov/schoolportals/31/r445/default.htm
A diverse population of students makes up a population of approximately 2600 students who participate in programs such as Gateway to Higher Education, Collegiate Academy, Culinary Arts, JROTC, Medical Technology ,TV/Media Production, Institute for Business, Hospitality, Entrepreneurship and Tourism, and several others extracurricular activities.
Susan E. Wagner High School– http://wagnerhigh.net/
Located in Manor Heights, Wagner High School offers a wide range of required and elective courses, as well as extracurricular team and club activities. Students are placed in Learning Centers based on their interest and academic performance. The Learning Centers offered include: Scholars, Institute for Law and Politics, Academy of Finance, Entrepreneurs, Air Force Junior ROTC, Media Arts, Sports Management, Music (Performing Art), Institute for the Theatrical Arts (Performing Art), Visual Arts, Leadership, Academy of the Sciences, Academy of Language and Culture, Exploration, Vocational Preparatory.
The Application and Admissions Process
To help with this process, the 2014-2015 Directory of NYC Public High Schools is available on the NYC Department of Education website. Students who are in the 8th grade this 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.
In the end, whether or not a student is accepted into a school or program that they have applied for is based on a variety of different factors. There are admissions priorities, which may include whether or not a student has met a certain academic standard, attended an open house or informational session, or is zoned for that school. Many schools admit students based on a lottery, but some schools include auditions or other requirements as part of the admissions process. Parents should be aware of the admissions policies when applying for different schools and programs (which are all outlined on the New York City Department of Education website).
As a North Shore Realtor, I understand how school choice is a huge concern for many potential home buyers, which is why I am committed to staying current with the programs that the different public schools have to offer and the process behind how students are placed. If you are looking to buy a home or any Staten Island real estate and want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact me on Facebook or Twitter.
Check out my website for helpful information about the different North Shore neighborhoods, local businesses, news and events.
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Have a fabulous Fall season, and I look forward to meeting up soon!