Thursday, April 30, 2009

Grade Rounding and Final Grade Determination at Computer School

I asked how grades get rounded. Here is Henry Zymeck’s answer:

Rounding up or down is at the discretion of the teacher.  For example, I had a policy that grades of 90 or above could not be achieved by rounding up because they set the benchmark for excellence.  Other teachers are comfortable with rounding up.  Should the parent or student have questions, they should consult the teacher first.

It is the policy of the school to record grades above 90 in increments of 1, below 90 they are recorded in increments of 5.

I asked about how the final report card grades are determined. Here is Erin Hill’s answer:

The final grade is the average of all 4 quarters, rounded scores.  However, I THINK these final scores can and have been rounded up or down at the discretion of the teacher as well.  High schools look at the final grades (which are put into the system), but there are some high schools who request their report card and are able to see any (if at all) improvement an individual student may have made. They look at core courses and SOME even look at language—but mainly core.  

Monday, April 27, 2009

CS SHSAT Prep Class in the Fall After School

Sara Sloves just confirmed that Mr. Rodriguez and Mr. O'Mara will be doing their afterschool SHSAT Test Prep class again in the fall. The spring session was from 2:30 to 3:30 one day a week (16 classes) for $225 tuition. If enough kids sign up, they will do one class on Monday, one class on Friday. Otherwise, they'll just do it on one of those days. I'll post once I get the final information from Sara.

Acting Coach Recommendation?

Question:  Does anyone know of a good acting coach, who specializes in preparing kids for La Guardia?

Query by Sonya Houston

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bronx Science Open House Sign Up Link

Sign up for May 26 Open House. The link is live:

Kaplan Practice SHSAT

Kaplan offers a free practice SHSAT. There's one coming up on May 10. Interested parents can call them and sign up for it.

Provided by Kavery Kaul

Bronx Science Open House May 26

Bronx Science is holding an open house for 7th graders on May 26 at 6 pm.  Could you please inform your parents?  We will also have one in October and they should attend one or the other.  They should check our website for registration information next week.

Thank you,

Phoebe Cooper
Assistant Principal Organization
Bronx High School of Science
phone: 718-817-7710
fax: 718-733-7951

Provided by Nancy Batterman

Brooklyn Tech

 I heard very good reports about Brooklyn Tech from a neighborhood parent. Teaching staff is top caliber, great chorus, wet and dry labs, wrestling team, girl's fencing, chinese, excellent math, great principal, generous alumni, 50 minutes by train from 72nd St. (take Q only 4 stops, descend.)  We will plan to go to an open house.  Of course, I have not researched anything else yet.  That's my 2 cents.

Provided by Ina Greenfield

Write a Letter to The Chancellor Protesting Unfair District 2 Preferences

A friend of mine (Delta parent!) wrote this letter to Chancellor Klein and told me to feel free to circulate to others to adapt and send. I think we really do need to protest the unfairness of District 2 having screened schools that give preferential treatment to students in the district whereas our district does not, but used to (Beacon). Anyway, here's her letter. I left off her name.  

Provided by Nancy Brandwein


Dear Chancellor Klein:

At an information session for rising 8th graders at my son's public school on the Upper West Side this week, I learned that while high schools in District 2 give a preference to residents of that district,  high schools in District 3 do not give a like preference to residents of District 3. Adding to this inequity is that there are more high schools  in  District 2 than in District 3.

It seems pretty obvious to me that, as a matter of basic fairness, either every district in the city  should have its residents enjoy a preference in schools in that district, or none should.

Can something be done about this, and soon? If not, why not?  I would be grateful for your prompt attention to this matter, and await your response.

Thank You,

[Your Name]

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Switch to

Hi everyone, I switched our blog to because it allows for comments to posts. I (as the administrator) still need to make the original post but at least now everyone can add information that they have related to a posted topic. To initiate a topic, just send me an e-mail at with the information you would like to share.

I'll be enhancing the design as we go along (just for fun) as this version is straight from a standard template. If you have any ideas about how to make our blog more effective or more enjoyable, let me know. I'm am new to all of this.

I thank Blake Evans, our neighbor on 76th Street. He is father of one-year-old CJ, a future student of PS 87. Blake helped me set this up and is author of Domestic Father, a blog about his experiences as a new parent and active dad. It's awesome so check it out at 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mock SHSAT Test?

A Mott Hall parent told me all their seventh graders took a mock specialized HS test recently and those who did well were invited into some special tutoring/test prep group (it would seem to make more sense for those who DIDN'T do well, so I may have this wrong). The point is I wondered if this is something CS does. I haven't heard of the kids taking a mock specialized HS test just to gauge where they are/how they'd do. As much as I'm not for over-testing, I think it's a smart thing to know where your kid is before the summer.

So, if no one knows I'll email Erin Hill and ask her about this. The dad from Mott Hall told me enrollment was required NOW for these private test prep classes for the fall, but this seems extreme...

Provided by Nancy Brandwein

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

E-mail List, Facebook,Twitter on DOE Site

I just signed up for the DOE e-mail info list, became a fan on Facebook and checked out the Twitter posts. We’ll see what this is all worth.

Page where you can sign up for e-mail (also linked off the CS site



Monday, April 20, 2009

Links to all of this year's directories and other explanatory materials provided by the DOE are available on the Parent Links page of our departmental web site and I'll be updating the links to 2009-2010 materials as the DOE puts them up

High School Info Meetings Link from DOE

Choosing a High School Information Sessions - May 2009
Middle school students and their families are invited to attend an information session to learn about high school admissions. At each session, there will be a presentation about high schools and the admission process followed by a question and answer period. We hope to see you there! All sessions start at 6:30 p.m.

Here are the Manhattan Locations:

Thursday, May 7
High School for Health Professions
345 East 15th Street

Tuesday, May 12
PS 166 The Richard Rodgers School
132 West 89th Street

Wednesday, May 20
PS 333 Manhattan School for Children
154 West 93rd Street

Tuesday, May 26
A. Philip Randolph Campus
443 West 135th Street

Provided by Denise Blackwell

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Kickoff Get Together

I propose going to a good (hopefully inexpensive) place for margaritas or more on the evening of Tuesday April 21 to kick off the grueling HS process. Places that come to mind: Flor de Mayo (best margaritas, cheap eats and retro 1950s Chinese appetizers), Thai Market (great drinks AND food). Anyway, if anyone in the HSASG (I personally like the SHSAT "Shat" acronym) group wants to do this at say, 6:30, email me directly so there are not a gazillion emails about who can/wants to come, who doesn't. I'm at

Provided by Nancy Brandwein

Welcome to the HSASG Blog

Hey everyone, I let Erin Hill know about our group forming (thank you Ina Greenfield for the fabulous idea!) and she (Erin) took it a step further and suggested it could be a real blog. So I set this up in iWeb on my MobileMe account and have determined it is possible to add a comment function. I just need a few days to figure out how to do it. So until then, the blog can live as a list of all of the information we have to date and I will post any new news that comes in. Let me know what you think and if you have ideas. I’d be happy to try to integrate all of your thoughts. I will e-mail everyone a link but you can also click at the bottom of the contact page of my professional website

New Schools LInk from DOE

I found this link on the Dept. of Education website which contains a booklet regarding new high schools that will be opening in the Fall.  I thought this might be helpful to the group.

Provided by Denise Blackwell

Specialized Strategy

Just a couple of other thoughts while I am thinking about high school. For the specialized test it is good to have a lower scoring school (less popular) on your list to make sure that you match with one of the specialized schools so that you can get your matches in Feb versus March. Naomi and I put Brooklyn Latin on the list. We went and looked at it and I was very impressed with it. I think it is the newest of the specialized schools.

Provided by Tracy Buell

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

New School: The Cinema School

The new school Erin mentioned last night, The Cinema School looks interesting and is at

Do you all know about the NYC public school blog:

article about new high schools

article about high school seat shortage (not for the faint hearted!)

Spring Open Houses and Tours

Bard Open House April 22—register online at (UPDATE: their site says this is now closed)

Beacon Open House June 3, 5 to 7 pm—no need to register

NYC iSchool—8 dates in May 9:15 am—register online at