Schools

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Looking for a Preschool in Chelsea? Start Here.

Are you just a parent, standing in front of a preschool, asking it to let your child in? We know that sometimes conjuring the right preschool fit is almost as daunting as getting your kid into the right college, but the odds are excellent that you'll find a great spot for your little one, and if you're in the Chelsea neighborhood, you're in luck. This famously family-friendly downtown NYC neighborhood offers plenty of wonderful options for preschool-searching parents.

Before you launch your hunt for a preschool in the Chelsea neighborhood, it helps to know what kinds of questions to ask on a preschool tour, and how other NYC parents decided on a preschool. There are also a few terms to know: Our list below sorts preschool options by type, including Traditional Preschools (which follow the NYC school calendar), Year-Round Preschools (which are in session during the summer and holiday breaks), Cooperative (which requre a time investment from parents), Dual-Language (Mandarin and Spanish preschools are popular), Religious, and Montessori or Reggio-Emelia (which both focus on child-led learning). ​

And even though it is strongly recommended that your start your search early (at least a year in advance), remember that spots do open up. Ask about wait lists if you're late to the process or new in town. Good luck!

Long Island City Preschool Guide

Long Island City boasts a surprisingly robust cohort of preschools, checking just about every box a family might need. But figuring out what boxes you want to check and which schools in your neighborhood match those boxes...well, it's not always easy. If you're feeling overwhelmed in your preschool search—or if you just want to make sure you haven't missed any great options—look no further. We've rounded up the nabe's most popular preschool options and categorized them to give you a leg up on the process.

A quick overview of the preschool categories below: Year-round preschools are just what they sound like—they're up and running all year long and often offer longer coverage hours for working parents. A "traditional" preschool follows the NYC public school calendar and runs from September to June, with a curriculum that reflects that school's unique educational mission. Co-op preschools require parents to commit some of their own time to school administration, management, and/or activities. Reggio Emilia and Montessori preschools offer a curriculum focused on child-directed learning. Home-based preschools are run out of a home-like environment, rather than a school, and tend to have small classes and an intimate approach. Religious schools offer a religious component, as you might expect. And some preschools are a combination of these types—a co-op Montessori, for example.

Got it? You've got this. Now all you have to do is set up visiting dates, apply, and cross your fingers...Good luck!

Here's the (Updated!) NYC Public School Calendar for 2019-2020

If you've got a child in public school, you live by the school calendar. Many local NYC preschools follow the public school schedule too. The New York City Department of Education's calendar for the 2019-2020 school year is below, and you'll want to bookmark it now for reference—and to help with planning family vacations and school break camp coverage

As a surprise (and welcome) early holiday present, the Department of Education announced on September 24 that schools will also be closed on Monday, December 23. The previously released version of NYC's school year calendar originally had kids and teachers showing up for a one-day school week on the Monday before Christmas...but happily, that day is now scratched from the official calendar.

With the exception of the occasional unplanned snow day or case of the sniffles, these are all of the dates you can count on your kiddos being out of school during the 2019-2020 school year.

19 Science Fair Projects for Kids from K to Middle School

Crafting the perfect science fair project is a right of passage for most elementary-school kids. The ideal experiment involves a few key ingredients, a little bit of parent involvement, and can be completed in under two weeks.

Traditionally, science fairs take place in fifth grade, but many schools are now incorporating STEM experiments into the curriculum as early as kindergarten, so we've put together a list of 19 easy science fair project ideas, ranging from the tried-and-true “exploding volcano” to extracting DNA from a strawberry. There are chemistry science projects for 5th grade and plenty of hands-on, get messy ideas for the youngest inventors.

12 Online Tutoring Services to Help Kids Get Ahead in School

Online tutoring services for kids and teens are readily available at the click of a mouse, making these sites the perfect, in-a-pinch solution for hectic family life.

Perhaps it's 9:30pm on a Thursday, and your 10-year-old has been struggling for over an hour with a particularly tough math question. Maybe math was never your thing. His anxiety is building, yours is through the roof, and you have no idea where to turn...

Kids can get help with core school subjects, specialized classes and subjects, SAT tutoring, and yes, online math tutors, usually instantly, through online tutoring sites. Most offer tutoring chat via text, video, and audio, connecting tutor with student for help or extra practice with just about anything, from chemistry to languages, such as an online Spanish tutor. Some services even run 24/7. So whether your first grader needs help with reading or your high school student wants to pull up that AP calculus grade, consider checking out one of these 12 online tutoring platforms.

HudsonWay Immersion School Brings Mandarin and Spanish Bilingual Education to NYC and NJ

Founded in 2005 by an expectant mom committed to giving her soon-to-be-born twins a bilingual education, HudsonWay Immersion School (HWIS) has grown from a home-based class of five kids into an academically rigorous, full immersion Mandarin and Spanish language program for children ages 2 through grade 8. Beginning in PreK, HWIS's core curriculum is taught in both English and the selected foreign language, with the goal of helping students develop advanced cognitive skills, higher second language proficiency, strong social skills, and an increased awareness of the many diverse cultures in our ever-changing world.

Over the last 14 years, the bilingual school has expanded to two campuses in Stirling, New Jersey and New York City, including a brand new facility in Midtown West that just opened in time for the 2019–20 school year. With all this momentum, we sat down with the mastermind mom behind HudsonWay Immersion School, Sharon Huang, to learn more about the unique dual language program and the new Manhattan campus.

Free and Cheap After-School Programs for NYC Kids and Teens

Tis the season for after-school program enrollment. Families looking for reasonably priced enriching and fun programs for their children have tons of sports, arts, academics, and other kinds of classes to choose from. In fact, a handful of high-quality after-school programs are actually free or super inexpensive!

Some places, like the New York City Parks Department, offer after-school coverage Monday through Friday. Other programs like those found at the Children’s Museum of Art (CMA) only meet once or twice a week. We've rounded up organizations that offer complimentary or reasonably priced classes to kids, tweens and teens throughout the five boroughs. Lots of the programs on this list have multiple enrollment periods per year. Check in with Mommy Poppins regularly to stay on top of enrollment options during the fall, winter, and spring.

DOE Announces New Waitlist Policy for Middle, High School Admissions

Anyone who's raised kids in New York City knows what a hustle it is to get them into a good school, and the process only gets more complicated as they grow.

The city is hoping a significant change to the middle and high school admissions process will make it a little easier. Gone are the Round 2 applications, instead replaced by a waitlist system DOE officials claim will make the process shorter, easier, and more transparent. Read on for the details, and how this may affect your child's middle school and high school application process.

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