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theschoolboards
05-05-2011, 07:26 AM
From NY Gifted Education Examiner (http://www.examiner.com/gifted-education-in-new-york/let-the-school-tours-begin-speyer-legacy-admissions-2012?CID=examiner_alerts_article) by Alina Adams:

While the official Kindergarten 2012 Admissions season kicks off in September of 2011, a small number of private schools do offer Spring tours for families who want to get a jump on the process.

Because I am a bit... anxious (and because, knowing how insane the Fall is going to be, I'm trying to get as much done in advance as possible), I've signed up for as many Spring tours as would have me.

As indicated previously, my husband would prefer that our daughter attend an all-girl school. I'd like a Jewish one.

So we split the difference and went to tour a secular co-ed, the Speyer Legacy School (http://www.speyerlegacyschool.org/) on West 86th Street.

Previously, the NY Gifted Education Examiner interviewed a happy Speyer parent and gave some background on the only two year old start-up school (read the entire piece, here (http://www.examiner.com/gifted-education-in-new-york/spotlight-on-the-speyer-legacy-school-a-private-school-for-the-gifted-new-york-city)).

Speyer bills itself as a school for Advanced Learners, a private alternative to Hunter Elementary, the public citywides and district Gifted & Talented programs.

Connie Williams Coulianos (http://www.speyerlegacyschool.org/page.cfm?p=349), formerly Head of the Hollingworth pre-school at Columbia University (http://www.tc.columbia.edu/centers/hollingworth/index.asp?id=Hollingworth+Preschool) and one of Speyer's founders, spoke to the roughly two dozen parents at her Open House, explaining that "children are capable of so much more than what we currently ask of them," and added, "it's also important to remember that it's not just what you know, but what you do with what you know. The world these days is full of very smart, well-educated people who are doing awful, awful things."

Both of those statements are in tune with my own personal philosophy of education. I don't believe in just learning - I always want to know, "to what end?"

Connie explained that admissions at Speyer takes the entire child into consideration. They don't use a cut-off score like Hunter or the public schools. Instead, they evaluate the child over a course of a two-hour mock school day in order to assess whether each individual applicant would benefit from the Speyer Scholars program (http://www.speyerlegacyschool.org/page.cfm?p=9).

There is also a discussion - not, Connie stressed, an "interview" - with the parents.

Here is what I saw on the tour:
* Airy, well-lit, spacious classrooms with plenty of student work and other materials on the walls
* Lots of emphasis on art and literacy
* Smart boards and computers
* Enthusiastic, passionate teachers and administrators happy to come to work each day
* An understanding that, no matter their IQ, each child has unique social/emotional needs, and that every child develops at their own pace

read more>> (http://www.examiner.com/gifted-education-in-new-york/let-the-school-tours-begin-speyer-legacy-admissions-2012?CID=examiner_alerts_article)
Other articles from Alina Adams' Admissions 2012 series:


Getting ready for the NYC 2012 (yes, 2012) Kindergarten Admissions season (http://www.theschoolboards.com/showthread.php/1232-Getting-ready-for-the-NYC-2012-%28yes-2012%29-Kindergarten-Admissions-season)
Sibling policies in New York City public and private schools (http://www.theschoolboards.com/showthread.php/1247-Sibling-policies-in-New-York-City-public-and-private-schools)
Single sex school options (private and public) in NYC (http://www.theschoolboards.com/showthread.php/1281-Single-sex-school-options-%28private-and-public%29-in-NYC)
Jewish Day School options in Manhattan (http://www.theschoolboards.com/showthread.php/1298-Jewish-Day-School-options-in-Manhattan)