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Making it Into the Prep for Prep Program
posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - November 14th, 2014
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Prep for Prep program and wondered what, exactly, it is. The program’s catchy name entices a lot of parents who are looking for a top-flight education for their little one.
Prep for Prep was founded in 1978 by a Bronx public school teacher named Gary Simons. According to its website, the program “develops leaders through access to superior education and life-changing opportunities” and is geared toward minority students in New York City.
The program is competitive and highly selective. Every year, the program conducts a talent search across New York City. The end result of this process is that approximately 120 students are selected as candidates for entry into the Prep for Prep program.
The program sets very high standards for applicants. Approximately 6,000 students who scored in the 90th percentile or above on their statewide tests are nominated by their school and screened by Prep for Prep. The students undergo some initial testing, then about 1,000 students progress to the Second Level. This level includes individual educational testing, teacher recommendations and interviews with kids, parents and teachers. After that, about 150 candidates are accepted into Prep for Prep (5th and 6th graders for day private school placement) and 75 are accepted into PREP 9 – 7th graders for boarding school placement. These students are given full scholarships to attend these elite schools.
Students who make it into the program go through a 14-month academic course the summer before their 6th and 7th grade year. These courses include two intensive 7-week sessions and after-school Wednesday and Saturday classes. The purpose of the course is to prepare students to walk into independent or boarding schools ready to compete at the highest levels with their peers. About 75% of students admitted make it through this program.
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