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NYC Parents Tell Us Your Story of Gifted and Talented School Tours!

NYC Parents Tell Us Your Story of Gifted and Talented School Tours!

posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - May 5th, 2011

We’ve heard from many of you regarding the school tours for the NYC gifted and talented program! Now that the OLSAT test is long-gone the school selection process is even MORE stressful!

Here’s what we’ve heard from a few of our members! Tell us your story.
Dear Michael, thanks for talking to me last Friday. Just wanted to let you know that I went on a tour of PS 33 and was incredibly impressed. Wow. What a great school. Congratulations on choosing that school for your daughter–I am sure she loves it.
~ Mom in Mahattan

If you are familiar with Brooklyn schools, would you recommend PS 95 gifted or PS 215 general ed?  I know 215 is a better school overall, but do I opt out of g and t if this is the choice I’m left with? Thanks for your advice!
~ L.H. in Brooklyn

Hi – I have been frantically searching for information on G&T schools in District 2.  My son is entering Kindergarten and has a seat a PS 150 but is eligible for citywide and district 2 G&T programs. I have been touring all week, and I was very impressed with my tour of PS 33.  He currently attends PreK at 150 and is very happy there, but he sort of operates in his own universe in the classroom and I am worried that they won’t have the resources to stimulate him as he continues to move through that school.

~ Mom in Tribeca

Tell us your story and ask your questions below!

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4 Responses


Our son got 99 on test and we had choices for both city wide and district 2 wide. We debated about our choices for city-wide and district 2 for gifted and talented schools. We enjoyed all the tours and felt that PS33 Chelsea Prep was the best choice for us. we ranked P.S. 33 as our first choice, NEST 2nd choice, lower lab 3rd choice. We thought we’d put PS 33 in Manhattan due to the strength of the G&T program and the principal Lindy seems to really know her stuff! We thought the tour was handled professional and the best we went on. We felt welcome to the school at P.S. 33 Chelsea Prep


Our son got a total score of 97 after the NYC public school he is in for pre-k this year botched the way the test was given- they gave it to him in two parts rather than one, so he ended up taking the OLSAT portion with no notice and during the school day which for him was much more stressful. Not sure how NYC misses the obvious conflict of interest in having the public school that would like to retain a g&t child giving the test– they don’t want you to leave and they don’t prioritize giving the test well because of that fact- just signing up for the test signals to them that you want to leave. All kids who are in public pre-k should take the g&t test for K at a different school than the one they are enrolled in.

So now we have a 97 result which basically means we have no chance at city wide when this is what is needed by this child, he got a 147 on the Stanford Binet (to give a little perspective on what another, more comprehensive test showed) and still we have no suitable public school options for him. NYC has some serious problems with the administration of the gifted and talented program; if they acknowledge that a 97 is a cut off which means that they have determined that a child with a 97 would thrive at city wide g&t schools, then the lottery should be random amongst 97-99 percentiles and then it would at least be a fair random chance. I emailed with one of the citywide g&t schools about my frustration when I was looking into going on a tour of one and they wrote back that they agreed with me that 97s and up should be a part of the random lottery for these slots! Seems sad that the schools themselves don’t support the way the DOE is doing it.

I would say this even if my son got a 99- it’s just logical: if the cut off is 97 for applying then it should also be that all applicants have an equal chance of getting a slot selected at random. Our district g&t option is only one school which basically seems unsure they want to have g&t class there at all, so it’s hard to know if it will be a place for g&t children to thrive. We are still not sure what to choose.


My daughter got a perfect score on her G&T, and her mother and I’s first choice is NEST + m, but given that she’s entering in the 1st grade for the 2011-2012 school year, her chances of getting into this Citywide program is set at, oh, what?, 0 percent? It’s crazy. I emailed the principal of NEST to see what my daugther’s chances of getting in would be, since I read at that NEST had no seats available for 1st grade, and she “diplomatically” lied to me and without referring to my question about available seating, wrote back, “Just put the schools you want her to attend in the order of your preference.” The admissions process for these prograrms is apparently shrouded in mystery…but I asked the NYC DOE to send me the algorithm that places kids in the Citywide programs, but 4 weeks later, nothing; I did get an acknowledgment of my inquiry via email a month ago, but I guess they’re hoping I “forget” as long as they respond no further. I looked up one of the constants known as the “Pareto Efficiency” in the algorithm the DOE uses, and I understand how this part of the equation is supposed to make things fair, but I want to know the rest of the algorithm, so I can truly see where the fairness the DOE touts comes into play. I suspect there’s nothing too fair in the G&T selection process, and if that is the case, I’d like to know that anyway. I don’t understand the system, and being a product of Catholic School for most of my academic life, I didn’t know anything about the public school system until my kids came of age…now I really want to understand things, and given my “ethnic” background, where the expectation for my own Hispanic kids is almost as low as it was for me the in the 70’s, I really want to know how everyone who gets their preferences is gaming the system so that I can put every advantage in my kids corner.


I need help, My son is currently in PS 89 in Battery Park. WE just found out he was accepted to Chelsea Prep PS 33. Honestly, i was not impressed with the school at all. I am surprised by these comments. Any idea if strategically this is a better move or lateral move for us?

MOM in Battery Park

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