STATEN ISLAND, NY – For those New York City parents who are interested in enrolling their child in a Gifted & Talented (G&T) program in September, the city Department of Education (DOE) is hosting virtual information events.
New York City is expanding its Gifted & Talented program to every school district starting next school year, along with changes to which students will be eligible and how the admissions process will work.
The expansion will add 100 kindergarten Gifted & Talented spots – for a total of 2,500 seats across the five boroughs. A new entry point for third grade will be created for the first time in the fall. As part of this pilot program, there will be a total of 1,000 seats available.
The DOE is encouraging parents and guardians to join a live virtual event to get information on this spring’s G&T admissions process for children entering kindergarten or grades 1, 2, or 3, in the fall.
After a presentation on program types, eligibility, and how to apply, there will be time for questions.
The virtual events will be held during specific dates and times, starting Tuesday. You can find those dates and times at www.schools.nyc.gov. At the time listed, click the event’s link to join the session.
What should parents know ahead of the info session?
Gifted & Talented programs are only offered to students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
Parents have told the Advance/SILive.com that students in the Gifted & Talented programs learn the same curriculum, but it may move at a faster pace, include additional projects, use technology in the classroom and increase critical thinking.
The programs are open to public, district and charter school students, private and parochial school students, students with disabilities, students with accessibility needs and English Language Learners (ELL).
Previously, Gifted & Talented programs were only available starting in kindergarten. They will now be expanded to include an entry point in third grade. The city has also removed the single, high-stakes exam to enter into a Gifted & Talented program.
The expansion is the result of the DOE’s engagement with parents and community stakeholders to establish priorities for admissions. The DOE met with a diverse set of parent representative groups and advocacy groups with a dedicated interest in this topic.
Applications open on May 31.
Who is eligible for Gifted & Talented for kindergarten?
The city will use its universal screener for pre-K students to determine eligibility.
Every current pre-K student will be evaluated by his or her current teacher for a potential nomination. The universal screening will take a burden off of parents while also creating access for more children with a more diverse eligibility pool.
Students enrolled in programs not affiliated with the DOE and those not yet enrolled in school will participate in an interview with city staff to confirm eligibility.
Families of eligible, nominated pre-K children will receive a letter inviting them to apply to a kindergarten Gifted & Talented program before the application opens.
Who is eligible for Gifted & Talented in third grade?
The top 10% of second-graders in each school-determined by grades in the four core subject areas-will be invited to apply to a third-grade program.
This ensures that the DOE is using multiple measures to determine eligibility in the program, according to the mayor’s office.
“The top 10% of second grade academic performers in every school will be invited to apply to Gifted & Talented programs, with preference being given to students applying to programs in their home district by using academic grades from the four core subject areas,” said Banks. “We are screening students for gifted behavior based off their total academic performance, not just a single test.”
According to the mayor’s office, child development research shows that identifying gifted behavior in later grades may provide a more accurate assessment of ability.
Families will be considered for placement at all of their application choices, and offers will be made based on district and sibling priorities, as well as seat availability.
The third-grade program will continue into the fourth and fifth grades.
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