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Thread: Why NEST+m

  1. #1

    Red face Why NEST+m

    NEST parent here. We got into NEST the way many people do: pure chance. Actually, the story is much more complex than that. But in the end, it was chance that our son scored so highly on the tests and a computer powered by the DOE did the rest.

    However, we did tour NEST and ranked it second (Anderson was our first choice based upon proximity). NEST is fantastic. The teachers put their heart and soul into the place, as do the parents. They are truly focused on accelerating the curriculum and providing as broad as an education as possible with exposure to many, many different educational opportunities. The Lower School has started Mandarin twice a week. The leadership is strong, as evidenced by the principals excellent hiring capabilities. (Except a couple of missteps last year looking for a replacement lower school AP, but that seems to have been fixed).

    In my film, The Kindergarten Shuffle I have a scene at a NEST lower school concert and the main character in the film talks to a mom about the school. It's like a mini-tour. If you have any questions about the school, please let me know
    Writer and director of The Kindergarten Shuffle

  2. #2
    How realistic is it to commute to NEST from Brooklyn? I know a couple parents from Brooklyn who send their kids there, but I'm concerned about my child not having school friends in our neighborhood- and, to be honest, the commute!

    Also, can you share a bit about Anderson vs. NEST if you can....

    Thanks!

  3. #3
    I truly feel that if a child scores in the 99th percentile, they deserve to go to a school with an accelerated curriculum and I was willing to make the sacrifices necessary to make that happen (moving and/or commuting). For us, NEST ultimately involved both of those sacrifices. And in fact, we've moved to such a lovely neighborhood and building and made close friends with the people we carpooled with that first year, it's been a boon to have had this random thing happen in our lives. It's enriched and improved upon our situation.

    Other friends that I love dearly think kind of sacrifice, especially the loss of a very local school community and the time spent commuting, is too great. (In fact, in the movie, Julia's best friend Jay makes that counter argument against G&T testing and for his local school). It's perfectly valid. Just not my point of view.

    We have many lovely friends from Brooklyn and Queens who make the commute and although it is a bit of a sacrifice, seem more than pleased to do it. There are also several private busess which the PTA helps organize. Considering the quality education your child receives, the cost is well worth absorbing. And I think some children enjoy time on the bus with friends.
    Writer and director of The Kindergarten Shuffle

  4. #4
    Anderson is certainly smaller, more intimate, perhaps more progressive. But their new principal was the lower-school vice principal at NEST for many years (and is awesome). NEST is more structured, especially in later grades and larger. But the benefits there are that they have their entire building and all PTA resources are focused in one place. The math curriculum at NEST is stronger simply because they use Singapore math. Tour both, take them with a grain of salt, and realize your child will get a top notch education at either. Also consider the Brooklyn School of Inquiry as I attended an information session there and loved it.
    Writer and director of The Kindergarten Shuffle

  5. #5
    Wow- this was soo helpful. Thank you. I'm glad to know there are private buses for Brooklynites going to NEST. I totally appreciate hearing why you decided to make the (what I see as) sacrifices to send your child there. But, it seems for you that it all worked out. Re:my concern about having school friends for playdates: if he carpooled or bused with kids from our neighborhood, he would still have school friends close by.
    Good to know about Anderson and I will certainly check out the Brooklyn School of Inquiry.

  6. #6
    There is a yahoo group for brooklyn nesters. A lot of kids do come in from there. There is a an advantage to having over 100 kids per grade. They really have a wide variety of kids to make friends with. It works really well (and a friend is over now.)
    Writer and director of The Kindergarten Shuffle

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Sirmausalot View Post
    I truly feel that if a child scores in the 99th percentile, they deserve to go to a school with an accelerated curriculum and I was willing to make the sacrifices necessary to make that happen (moving and/or commuting). For us, NEST ultimately involved both of those sacrifices. And in fact, we've moved to such a lovely neighborhood and building and made close friends with the people we carpooled with that first year, it's been a boon to have had this random thing happen in our lives. It's enriched and improved upon our situation.

    Other friends that I love dearly think kind of sacrifice, especially the loss of a very local school community and the time spent commuting, is too great. (In fact, in the movie, Julia's best friend Jay makes that counter argument against G&T testing and for his local school). It's perfectly valid. Just not my point of view.

    We have many lovely friends from Brooklyn and Queens who make the commute and although it is a bit of a sacrifice, seem more than pleased to do it. There are also several private busess which the PTA helps organize. Considering the quality education your child receives, the cost is well worth absorbing. And I think some children enjoy time on the bus with friends.
    I just purchased and watched your film today and found it startling how similar our current situations are. We're currently zoned for the same school as your son was (PS 173), and while we're not pursuing the G&T program, my son is in the second round for Hunter (which my wife went to, though she grew up on the Upper West Side, so it was a much easier commute). It sounds like you're not still in Washington Heights, but how close to NEST did you wind up moving? 11 years on, does the commute still feel worth it? Thank you for your beautiful depictions of our neighborhood and also for the cathartic look into the neurotic panic that can come over a parent during this whole process. Was that 66%=99% error actually what happened, or was that poetic license? What does Zeke think of the film?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Gnito View Post
    I just purchased and watched your film today and found it startling how similar our current situations are. We're currently zoned for the same school as your son was (PS 173), and while we're not pursuing the G&T program, my son is in the second round for Hunter (which my wife went to, though she grew up on the Upper West Side, so it was a much easier commute). It sounds like you're not still in Washington Heights, but how close to NEST did you wind up moving? 11 years on, does the commute still feel worth it? Thank you for your beautiful depictions of our neighborhood and also for the cathartic look into the neurotic panic that can come over a parent during this whole process. Was that 66%=99% error actually what happened, or was that poetic license? What does Zeke think of the film?
    You must have your reasons for applying to Hunter, but not applying to G&T. But based on your zoned school, you would have priority for the Anderson lottery. Couldn't hurt?

  9. #9
    Well, there are a few reasons. The main one is probably that my wife grew up on the Upper West Side and her mother (who we had to cut out of our lives, unfortunately) still lives there. So being in that neighborhood is really hard for her. Another reason is that we're feeling ambivalent about whether to accept a Hunter position even if we got one. We're not sure whether segregated education for kids who seem to be quick studies at age 4 (especially if they come from educated white middle class backgrounds, as ours does) is even a good idea. Plus I kind of like the idea of keeping our kid in the neighborhood for social and logistical reasons. Our kid's 4-K teacher went to Anderson and she's similarly skeptical about the value of "gifted" education. She said if she had a kid like ours, she'd probably send him to a local school over a citywide. Also I felt like we were asking a lot of her to have to fill out the Hunter recommendation form; I didn't want to double her work by asking her to fill out the G&T one as well.

  10. #10
    I'm cautious about some of the things you mention. For instance, my kid's playmates, BFFs, friends, etc spanned about 5 miles even when from zoned schools, so things such as this, in the case the social aspect, is a distraction IMO.
    Passionate tutor of Elementary School subjects specializing in NY state tests, and the specialized high/middle school tests (SHSAT, Hunter, TACHS/CHSEE, ISEE, SSAT, ERB, ...)

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