When Heraclitus of Ephesus said “The only thing that is constant is change” (for the Gifted & Talented among you, what he actually said was, “All is flux,” which has been translated in a multitude of different ways since 475 BC), he was likely not specifically referring to the New York City Gifted & Talented school system.
Yet, the observation is still applicable. When NYC G&T placements for 2016 were released last week, parents learned that fewer children had been offered spots than ever before. The reason for that was not that, all of a sudden, NYC was less awash with gifted and talented children. In fact, more qualified than ever.
The change came from the fact that, in the past, schools would over-offer places on the mathematical assumption that a certain number of families would turn them down. They did not want to end up with an under-subscribed class. This happened, for instance, in 2013, and despite available seats and interested parents, the Department of Education refused to fill the empty slots.
Previously, placement in G&T programs was centralized through the DOE. This year, schools will be allowed to manage their own wait-lists, which is why offers were only extended for available seats.
That means that this year’s G&T process will be more similar to the overall Kindergarten process, where parents who receive an offer to any school other than their first choice (or no offer at all) are automatically wait-listed at all the schools they ranked ahead of the school they did get, and are encouraged to contact the school directly. This, of course, raises the question of whether these wait-lists will be as haphazardly managed as the other ones, where being persistent and knowing someone at the school allows for queue jumping.
For more about how to manage a wait-list for both G&T and General Ed public schools, listen to this mom’s experience, here.
To learn about prepping your child for G&T testing now that the competition is greater than ever, click here.
And for upcoming FREE workshops to help you make a battle-plan for next year’s application season, go here.