Like most parents, we think our children are special, but what clues do I look for to figure out whether my child would be considered G&T or not? What do I need to do to get him into a program - I tried to navigate the NYC DOE site for more information but got completely lost. Sorry for the basic questions.
I agree, there isn't much information to really help parents with the NYC gifted and talented program - especially on the DOE site. That's why I created a blog at nycgiftedandtalented.wordpress.com that outlines step-by-step the process we went through with our daughter when she was tested and accepted to the G&T program in NYC.
Karen and I are partnering to launch a new site starting next week called www.TestingMom.com (it's not live yet so stay tuned!). This site is provide parents information with insights they need to make sure their child does well not only on G&T testing but standardized tests that now begin in kindergarten in most major school districts around the nation.
There is a line at some point between when a child is very bright and when they can be defined as gifted (gifted in this sense meaning a child who needs an accelerated curriculum). We didn't know for sure until the first test results were in (ERB based on the Wechsler scale). But there are certain signs to look for. My favorite site (thogh you can drown in the information) is Hoagies Gifted
Mike and Karen's sites are very helpful as well. I am also developing a site tied to my movie The Kindergarten Shuffle to help parents with the process, not just for G&T, but for all of it. The movie itself has a large autobiographical component that sketches how my wife and I felt learning about our son's academic abilities. We show IQ tests, his interactions with the world in contrast to other kids, and the parents discussions around the issue. I felt that it is a topic that is often ignored. I hope you'll consider getting the movie because I wanted to help parents like you because we were in a similar position.
Sirmausalot - thank you for the advice! Sorry if I sound a little dense/slow on the process - it seems the first step for us should be to schedule our child for a ERB test. Is there a certain deadline that we need to have the test taken by? What score would qualify us for the G&T programs around the city?
The process is byzantine. So ask away. The ERB is the test for private schools. The Standford Binet is the test for Hunter College Elementary (only for residents of Manhattan and your child has to score absurdly high to even get an interview for one of 48 spots).
The test for the regular New York City Gifted and Talented program is called the OLSAT. You'll sign up to take the test October 12th through November 17th is when you need to sign up Here's the link to the DOE site. Once your sign up, you can do it on line, you begin your journey through the system. You'll eventually get a test date.
There is a practice booklet with 16 OLSAT questions. You can't download that however. You can pick it up at your borough enrollment office or go to one of the miserable information sessions (in the movie we show the parent's reactions to having attended one of these). If you give your child the practice test and notice they have an aptitude for the types of questions on it (my son got 15 out of the 16, also shown in the movie), then you need to seriously consider that they need an accelerated program. But I'd start with just registering for the test, getting a practice booklet and see where that leads.
Please ask more questions. It gives me more opportunity to plug my movie :-)
Thanks for being patient and dumming it down for me. Since ERB is for private schools, I assumed you guys took the ERB first in preparation for private school apps? And then when you saw the results, you decided to open up the field to include the G&T programs?
I don't remember exactly when we knew about the G&T program. Certainly, whenever we found out about it, we knew we'd have him tested. Not only because we thought he was bright, but because it's hard to know how a kid will do -- especially since the results of one test can vary wildly from another. So ERB or no, we'd have scheduled that test. Also, the barrier to entry for the G&T district programs is lower than you need for Hunter or most top tier private schools. your child would need to score in the 90th percentile and above for a G&T spot at a local school.
Also, on our blog, I recently talked about other opportunities such as dual language programs. If you're in district 6, there is an arts intensive program at PS 153 (which I should write about soon.) What district are you in?
A pre-school director tends to guide one through the private school admissions process. If your child is not at a private pre-school, you should consider hiring a consultant. They will help you with deadlines, applications, and preparation.
We're not quite sure how to talk to our preschool director about our interest in G&T. For now, we're maintaining the impression that we'll apply to privates. But if the hurdle is 90th percentile for local G&T, that makes us feel a lot better and relieved. Out of curiosity, what is the threshold for citywide G&T?