School Book (The New York Times)
City Publishes New Elementary School Directory
By Mary Ann Giordano
In the news on Tuesday, schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott visited Albany on Monday and expressed pessimism about whether the 2010 teacher evaluation law can be made to work, and the public advocate, Bill de Blasio, issued a report critical of career and technical education schools.
But the most useful news can be found in a report by Pamela Wheaton in InsideSchools about a new font of information provided by the city’s Department of Education: a directory of all public elementary schools in the city.
The directory is in the form of a PDF, and so is not searchable. And charter schools are listed in a separate directory. Still, InsideSchools says:
The listing indicates which are zoned schools, which are unzoned, and which have gifted and talented, dual language or magnet programs.
The 80-page directory comes just in time for kindergarten registration, which started this month.
It explains the kindergarten application process, defines the priorities for admission to each program, and how the waitlist works for schools with more applicants than available space. All parents of incoming kindergartners may apply individually to as many schools as they wish , but the best odds of admission to a school you aren’t zoned for is at a school with special programs.
InsideSchools says the Elementary School Directory doesn’t tell you how many slots each program offers or your chances of admission if you’re not in the zone. For that, you’ll have to call the parent coordinator or tour the school., And you can also attend InsideSchools’ free workshop on how to apply to elementary school on Feb. 7. To register, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gotham Schools’ Rise & Shine post has a more complete roundup of education news. Here’s some of what’s going on in the city on Tuesday:
Diane Ravitch, the education historian and author, will speak about New York City’s education system and the unions at an event to start the 50th anniversary of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, otherwise known as the principals’ union. The speech and Q. & A. session is from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at St. Francis College, Founders Hall, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn.At 1:30 p.m., Mr. de Blasio; the Manhattan borough president, Scott M. Stringer; and former Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr. will participate in a protest on the City Hall steps to press the city to release data showing what happened to what they are calling the lost, high-needs students at closed schools.
As the hearings over school closings continue, parents and others will gather at 5 p.m. at the Academy of Business and Community Development, 141 Macon Street, Brooklyn, to protest that school’s closing.
And the Learning Network is rolling out a ton of new content as January comes to an end.
Feb. 1 is the inaugural Digital Learning Day, a nationwide celebration of innovative teaching and learning through digital media and technology,, according to the Alliance for Excellent Education, the organizer.
The Learning Network is lending its voice to help the alliance and many other education groups start a conversation, learn one new thing or showcase a success, in using technology for teaching and learning. One thing the Learning Network has done is round up interesting New York Times articles from 1970-2002 documenting the effects of the digital revolution: Celebrate Digital Learning Day With 40 Years of Times EdTech Reporting.
February is also Black History Month, and the Learning Network has both a huge collection of Times resources, including lesson plans, multimedia and archival articles, and a new page of ideas sent in by readers in response to its query, How do you teach the civil rights movement?, Teachers, parents, students: it’s worth checking out.
Insideschools is a project of the Center for New York City Affairs at the Milano School for International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy.
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