Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

NYT Tribute to Frank McCourt

One of the proposed new high schools in the Brandeis complex is the Frank McCourt School of Journalism, Writing, and Literature.

The Storyteller Begat the Teacher Who Begat the Writer

Monday, July 20, 2009

Services Offered by The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review offers free practice exams to help students figure out where they’re scoring and how much time they’ll need to dedicate to preparing for the exam.  Some students may need to go on to privately tutor or take a classroom course, while others may just need to purchase a book and brush up on a few skills and learn test-taking and time management skills, in order to achieve their goal.  Taking an exam with us is a great way for students to experience what it’s going to be like on the actual test day.   

I noticed someone wrote on the blog back in April about a free test offered at Mott Hall II.  We actually ran that exam, since we partner with the school to run an on-site course.  All the students were invited to participate in the course at a reduced fee since we partner with the school.  The school was also allotted some scholarships to give away.   Some parents seemed wary of our free exams on the blog, but there’s nothing to be leery about.  We provide marketing materials to students who come in to take a free exam, but there’s no commitment to working with us in the future.   All students receive a detailed score report after the exam to help them pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses. 

Provided by Emily Leidner

High School Programs
The Princeton Review of Manhattan & The Bronx   

Free Practice SHSAT

Emily e-mailed me and asked to post this information with I have done. I asked her to send more information about TPR which I will then post. —Sara


My name is Emily Leidner and I am the Director of Outreach of High School programs at The Princeton Review. I’ve recently begun reading your blog, and was hoping you might be able to post information about The Princeton Review’s free practice SHSAT exams. We offer students the opportunity to take a free SHSAT in a proctored environment. About a week after the exam students and parents receive a detailed score report, so they can have an idea where the student is scoring and where exactly his/her strengths and weaknesses lie.

Our next free exams will be held on:
Tuesday, July 28 at 10am
Saturday, August 15 at 10am

Both exams will take place at 594 Broadway, Suite 502.  Students can register at or by calling 212- 925 6447.

Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Provided by Emily Leidner

High School Programs
The Princeton Review of Manhattan & The Bronx

SHSAT Prep and Stuyvesant Work Load

This was provided as a comment, but it is so comprehensive I am uploading as a post as well. —Sara


I have two thoughts about SHSAT tutoring: Although we found tutoring to be extremely helpful (Next Level Learning in Manhattan) and my daughter probably wouldn’t have gotten into Stuyvesant without it, her first year was EXTREMELY tough and she definitely wasn't prepared for five hours of homework a night. Now it's all I can do to convince her to stick with it. Her social life has evaporated and she's still trying to get us to transfer her out. If the beginning of this year doesn’t go significantly better we’ll probably withdraw her and see about getting into Beacon (which is supposed to be awesome!). The stress is very high at Stuyvesant and a lot of kids and parents I talk to weren’t totally aware of what they were in for, even after attending the fair.

So my advice is, before you make a serious attempt at the SHSAT, make sure your son fully understands the demands and is willing to invest himself in a very serious and challenging program. Once you have that out of the way then check with friends and get referrals to tutors. At this late stage I would say you probably have to go with a tutor, unless your son is the kind of kid who’s self-motivated and willing to cram for the next several months. Our tutor gave our daughter some kind of assessment test and then focused their work on her greatest weakness (math). She also struggled with the paragraphs that you have to sort and rearrange so the repetition for that was useful.

Provided by Lisa deMauro, Counselor, The Computer School

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Test Prep Course Recommendation

SHSAT prep course recommended by friends of Ben with older siblings who did get into good schools:

Geller/Rosenstein/Feldman (GRF Test Preparation Classes)

Several locations around the city, 10 3-hour sessions twice weekly start in August or September and go right up to test time. Fee: $845

Call Richard Geller at 212 864 1100. He usually doesn't answer but if you ask if there are still openings and for him to send out a brochure, he will do it promptly (at least he did for us a month or so ago). Other numbers are: 

Ken Rosenstein 914 772 0011

Barry Feldman 201 461 3591

I don’t know if there are still openings or not.

DOE Summer Info Sessions and SHSAT Prep Question

After taking a couple weeks off from the end of school, I'm starting to think about HS again. There was a very informative session at Brooklyn Tech about Specialized schools — from the "Making Choices" flyer you posted on June 22. I recommend these sessions, as they're a great way to familiarize yourself with school options in advance of the school fairs (which are sure to be chaotic). Schools now on our radar (that weren't before) include: Brooklyn Tech, Brooklyn Latin, HS of Math and Science at CUNY.

My question, and I'd love to post it to get feedback from all the parents, is: What kind of SHSAT tutoring are people doing? We did the Computer School course in the spring but I was not satisfied with it. We bought a Kaplan book for the summer, but I don't know (a) if that's enough or (b) if I can convince Willie to go through it methodically. I just spoke with an individual tutor who scared the heck out of me ("If your kid hasn't been working with me since last March; it's too late..." Oy). As grating and self-serving as this tutor was, she did wonders for a friend's son who transformed from a test-worrier to supremely confident and aced it.

 I'm opposed to testing and to competitive tutoring — but given the situation, I also don't want to leave my son at a disadvantage.

Provided by Tom Thompson