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  1. #1

    Success academy vs gt school

    Anyone have thoughts about the difference between success academy and citywide gt school?which one you would pick for your child if you get both of them?

  2. #2
    There isn't a comparison between G&T and Success, that is to say, they address different things. You may want to say more about your child and your goals as well, as school don't exist in vacuums per se.

    Success runs a tight ship but also seems more worried about numbers and passing state tests. That said, in many cases I'd take that over say a failing school.

    I have mixed feelings. I tutored a kid SA was trying to force out. She was becoming an unhappy straight F student and the fam was embarrassed but the long and short was the direction was to put her into ICT and also get her help via an IEP therapy etc due to all her academic problems. I was brought on the help her manage through the transition. From the get go I didn't agree to it and said so and told them to bear me out for a month. With a lot of respect, patience and love I was able to incrementally bring her to being an A student in 4 months. It was a lot of hard work but left a sour taste in my mouth on SA's part. In short, they'd brainwashed her and she became a robot student.

    Mind you, I've experienced this effect with students from other non-SA schools too, so they are not alone in this. So the situation is no matter where you child ends up, keep your eyes open and always champion your child.
    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, ...)

  3. #3
    Thank you for the info. That’s helpful.
    How about citywide g&t schools? Do they mostly teach in advance or teach more/differently?

  4. #4
    I toured Success Academy. It seems like a great school, fantastic resources, dedicated teachers, rigorous academics...but I did get the sense that they were very strict and regimented. You have to know if this works for your child or not. I could see a child, even a bright one, faltering if this not the right learning environment for them. They also differentiate learning for many subjects, so I saw some kids in the front of the classroom engaging in a discussion with the teacher, another group sitting at a table working on something else, and then an individual student working on yet a different assignment at a separate table.

  5. #5
    I toured Success Academy and read "How the other half learns" a book by a journalist who spent a year in a SA school. I agree with previous posters that SA is academically rigorous (a plus in my book). And it seems more open to differentiation than DOE in general. E.g. I have not heard of other schools that are actually open to grade skipping.
    Other points that I did not feel enthusiastic about:
    - in some cases, the activities seemed too regimented (i.e. K classes have 2h per week of "blocks" to break up the intense day. Kids were in groups of 2-4 and given some blocks to start building with. If a kid wanted more blocks, they had to ask for permission and were only allowed to pick up 2 more blocks. To get another 2, they had to go back and repeat the same process. I asked the reasoning behind that and was told that they don't want kids to grab too many blocks, drop them, hit someone or themselves, etc. Valid reasons, but the way to achieve them left me with a bitter taste).
    - SA extensively uses a reward system. Students get "points" for being on time, focusing, etc. I saw lists with the top "scorers" on corridors, etc. Not necessarily a bad thing, but the specific way it was done and presented, again left me unhappy.
    - SA pushes parents to support them politically. Take part in their rallies, etc.
    - SA day starts at 7:30 am. Wednesdays end at 12:30 pm. No afterschool, no transportation. Without a stay-at-home parent, this means a part-time nanny. For many families, these are practical but serious issues.

    No first-hand impressions of g&t schools.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by maryb830 View Post
    I toured Success Academy. It seems like a great school, fantastic resources, dedicated teachers, rigorous academics...but I did get the sense that they were very strict and regimented. You have to know if this works for your child or not. I could see a child, even a bright one, faltering if this not the right learning environment for them. They also differentiate learning for many subjects, so I saw some kids in the front of the classroom engaging in a discussion with the teacher, another group sitting at a table working on something else, and then an individual student working on yet a different assignment at a separate table.
    Thank you!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by RoxaniG View Post
    I toured Success Academy and read "How the other half learns" a book by a journalist who spent a year in a SA school. I agree with previous posters that SA is academically rigorous (a plus in my book). And it seems more open to differentiation than DOE in general. E.g. I have not heard of other schools that are actually open to grade skipping.
    Other points that I did not feel enthusiastic about:
    - in some cases, the activities seemed too regimented (i.e. K classes have 2h per week of "blocks" to break up the intense day. Kids were in groups of 2-4 and given some blocks to start building with. If a kid wanted more blocks, they had to ask for permission and were only allowed to pick up 2 more blocks. To get another 2, they had to go back and repeat the same process. I asked the reasoning behind that and was told that they don't want kids to grab too many blocks, drop them, hit someone or themselves, etc. Valid reasons, but the way to achieve them left me with a bitter taste).
    - SA extensively uses a reward system. Students get "points" for being on time, focusing, etc. I saw lists with the top "scorers" on corridors, etc. Not necessarily a bad thing, but the specific way it was done and presented, again left me unhappy.
    - SA pushes parents to support them politically. Take part in their rallies, etc.
    - SA day starts at 7:30 am. Wednesdays end at 12:30 pm. No afterschool, no transportation. Without a stay-at-home parent, this means a part-time nanny. For many families, these are practical but serious issues.

    No first-hand impressions of g&t schools.
    Thank you for the details!

  8. #8
    I would chose G&T busing over transporting my child myself for a 7:30am start at Success. If I lived walking distance from a Success, I may have to weigh the pros and cons more heavily. My child’s pre-k classmate has 3 other siblings at Success. The mom has nothing but good things to say about SA. I’m sure it’s convenient to drop all ages of kids at the same place.

  9. #9
    Does anyone have thoughts on how TAG Young Scholars compares to SA? My child got into our local SA and I honestly was leaning away from that option until I found out that he qualified for the Citywide G&T program. I want an academically rigorous environment for my child, but don't like the reputation SA has for discipline. TAG is 7 miles away from my kindergartener -- is it worth traveling there for what seems like a very similar approach to education as SA?

    Kamanta

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by bigheartbk View Post
    Does anyone have thoughts on how TAG Young Scholars compares to SA? My child got into our local SA and I honestly was leaning away from that option until I found out that he qualified for the Citywide G&T program. I want an academically rigorous environment for my child, but don't like the reputation SA has for discipline. TAG is 7 miles away from my kindergartener -- is it worth traveling there for what seems like a very similar approach to education as SA?

    Kamanta
    I can't answer the question for you as a lot depends on your individual circumstances and preferences, but some things to consider, apart from the obvious screening differences:
    - differences in curriculum. TAG has latin, technology and swim classes (https://www.tagscholarspta.org/education-at-tag.html)
    - TAG goes to 8th grade. Many parents are happy with SA in early grades, most of them are not with their middle schools.

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