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Teen gets into Stuyvesant after being told ‘it’s practically impossible’

Monday, March 25, 2019

Sebastian Acevedo has achieved his impossible dream.


When his mom told a guidance counselor at Sebastian’s Catholic grade school in Queens that he was thinking about applying to the city’s specialized high schools, the counselor chuckled, saying, “It’s practically impossible.”

“She said it’s not gonna happen,” he told The Post. “I was basically dismissed.”

But the remark only fired up Sebastian, 13, to prove her wrong.

While finishing 7th grade at Saint Matthias School, Sebastian’s parents — his mom, Kathy, a Ecuadorian immigrant and clerical worker, his dad Eugene a supermarket manager — signed him up at Kweller Prep. The company gives classes for kids planning to take the SHSAT exam, the sole entry criteria for the specialized schools.

Sebastian “did terribly” on a Kweller placement test, he said. “I remember crying after seeing the results. But it made me try harder.”

He took the SHSAT classes after school, on Saturdays, and over the summer, sacrificing time for his amateur boxing. His parents also made sacrifices to scrape up the $5,000 cost.

It paid off. Sebastian scored 568 on the tough exam. Last week, the city Department of Education offered him a seat in September at Stuyvesant — which had the highest cutoff score of all eight specialized schools, 557.

He was one of 33 Hispanics among 895 kids admitted.

“I worked so hard for it. To have it finally happen was just amazing,” he said. “It was a dream come true.”

Sebastian also got offers from Bard HS Early College in Queens, a highly-selective public school, and four private schools on scholarships. He has chosen Stuyvesant.

His new goal — sparked by worrying about his grandma’s heart condition — is to become a cardiothoracic surgeon.

As for college, he said. “I’m interested in an Ivy League.”

NYC’s Top 10 Elementary Schools By Test Scores

Friday, December 22, 2017

New York State released their 2017 standardized public school test scores in August, and New York City led the pack.

We take a look at the top ten achievers, and explore whether we can find an instructional magic bullet among them:

Rank: 1

School Name: Special Music School

Average Standard Score: 99.7

% of Students Classified Free/Reduced Lunch: 16.2

Student/Teacher Ratio: 13.4

Admissions: Over 650 children from across the city audition for 15 Kindergarten spots. They are assessed only for musical potential, not academic.

What Makes It Special: A public/private partnership where students receive musical instruction.

Bonus: How Unzoned Schools Are Held To Different Standards

Rank: 2

School Name: NEST+M

Average Standard Score: 99.6

% of Students Classified Free/Reduced Lunch: 28.1

Student/Teacher Ratio: 18.8

Admissions: Applicants must score above the 97th percentile on the public school G&T test, but demand far exceeds supply, so students are chosen by lottery, with two-thirds of qualified Kindergarteners shut out.

What Makes It Special: The only public K-12 Gifted & Talented school. (Hunter College is also a gifted K-12, but is not a public school.)

Bonus: A mom who managed to get her child in for 1st grade!

Rank: 3

School Name: TAG Young Scholars

Average Standard Score: 99.5

% of Students Classified Free/Reduced Lunch: 50.2

Student/Teacher Ratio: 24.4

Admissions: Same as NEST+M, though it’s Upper Manhattan location makes it less popular and slightly easier to get into.

What Makes It Special: The most racially and socio-economically diverse of the citywide G&T schools.

Bonus: How to raise your odds of getting into G&T

Rank: 4

School Name: The Anderson School

Average Standard Score: 99.5

% of Students Classified Free/Reduced Lunch: 9.8

Student/Teacher Ratio: 19.7

Admissions: Same as NEST+M and TAG

What Makes It Special: The most popular of the Citywide G&Ts, Anderson rarely has room for students who score below the 99th percentile, unless they’re siblings.

Bonus: Should you send your child to G&T before they turn 5 years old?

Rank: 5

School Name: The 30th Avenue School

Average Standard Score: 99.5

% of Students Classified Free/Reduced Lunch: 25.6

Student/Teacher Ratio: 14.6

Admissions: Same as NEST+M, TAG and Anderson

What Makes It Special: The only Citywide Accelerated G&T in Queens

Bonus: The difference between public and private gifted schools

Rank: 6

School Name: Lower Lab

Average Standard Score: 99.5

% of Students Classified Free/Reduced Lunch: 4.9

Student/Teacher Ratio: 18.2

Admissions: Open to children in District 2 who score above the 90th percentile, its popularity means that only those who score in the 99th percentile (excepting siblings) have a chance of getting in via lottery.

What Makes It Special: One of the few District G&Ts that’s its own school.

Bonus: The difference between a District G&T and a General Ed program

Rank: 7

School Name: Beacon School of Excellence

Average Standard Score: 99.4

% of Students Classified Free/Reduced Lunch: 87.4

Student/Teacher Ratio: 12.9

Admissions: A local school that, on occasion, has room for out of zone families.

What Makes It Special: The top school in Brooklyn, it doesn’t screen students.

Bonus: How to apply to a school that’s outside your zone via Kindergarten Connect

Rank: 8

School Name: Success Academy Charter School – Bedford-Stuyvesant

Average Standard Score: 99.4

% of Students Classified Free/Reduced Lunch: 80.8

Student/Teacher Ratio: 16

Rank: 9

School Name: Success Academy Charter School – Crown Heights

Average Standard Score: 99.3

% of Students Classified Free/Reduced Lunch: 83.1

Student/Teacher Ratio: 16.8

Rank: 10

School Name: Success Academy Charter School – Cobble Hill

Average Standard Score: 99.2

% of Students Classified Free/Reduced Lunch: 46.3

Student/Teacher Ratio: 15.1

Admissions: Lottery, with priority to respective district residents

What Makes Them Special: Despite the fact that Success Academies don’t screen their students, the above three, as well as seven more, outscored the selective, citywide, accelerated Brooklyn School of Inquiry, which ranked #23.

Bonus: The Success Academy network made their literacy curriculum publically available for all.


So what can we learn from these top performers?

At first glance, it would seem that being a school that evaluates children for admission is key. But how, then, to explain the Success Academies and Beacon School of Excellence, which take all comers but manage to achieve the same results, and even outscore dozens of schools with G&T programs?

Especially when those schools also report the largest number of Free and Reduced Lunch kids? Having an affluent student body obviously helps when it comes to test scores (and outside test prep). But it clearly doesn’t tell the whole story.

Is the secret smaller class-size, then, like some activists suggest?

Not when the largest classes can be found at the #3 ranked school. The lowest Student/Teacher ratio on the list does belong to the highest-ranked non-G&T school, though, so that may partially account for their success.

(However, the highest ranked non-NYC school on the list is #11, the Robert Seaman School in Jericho, NY. Its Student/Teacher ratio is 9.5 but that didn’t help it break into the Top 10.)

Unfortunately, it would seem that there is no single magic bullet to be found on this list.

Excelsior and NYS Aid Spring 2017

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Excelsior Scholarship & Paying for College in New York State

Spring 2017

Sources of Financial Aid

  • Federal government
  • New York State
  • Colleges – Institutional aid
  • Other sources
    • Businesses
    • Foundations
    • Clubs/Organizations


Welcome Centers

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Family Welcome Center staff members are available to assist New York City families with enrollment in pre-Kindergarten through high school. If you are new to New York City or moving to the city soon, visit the New Students page to learn about how to register and what documents to bring. Visit the Transfers page to learn how to request a transfer.

Family Welcome Centers are open 8am to 3pm, Monday through Friday.

The Family Welcome Centers will be closed on:

  • Monday, June 26

Please note: The Family Welcome Center at 29 Fort Greene Place is closed from Monday, April 10-Tuesday, April 18.


1 Fordham Plaza, 7th Floor
Bronx, NY 10458

Districts Served: 7, 9, 10

1230 Zerega Avenue, Room 24
Bronx, NY 10462
Districts Served: 8, 11, 12


1780 Ocean Avenue, 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11230

Districts Served: 17, 18, 22

415 89th Street, 5th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11209

Districts Served: 20, 21

1665 St. Marks Avenue, Room 116
Brooklyn, NY 11233
Districts Served: 19, 23, 32    

29 Fort Greene Place (BS12)
Brooklyn, NY 11217

Districts Served: 13, 14, 15, 16    


333 Seventh Avenue, 12th Floor; Room 1211
New York, NY 10001
Districts Served: 1, 2, 4

388 West 125th Street, 7th Floor; Room 713
New York, NY 10027
Districts Served: 3, 5, 6


28-11 Queens Plaza North, 3rd Floor
Long Island City, NY 11101
Districts Served: 24, 30

30-48 Linden Place, 2nd Floor
Flushing, NY 11354 

Districts Served: 25, 26

90-27 Sutphin Boulevard, 1st Floor
Jamaica, NY 11435

Districts Served: 27, 28, 29

Staten Island

715 Ocean Terrace, Building A
Staten Island, NY 10301

District Served: 31

2015 Bronx Science Senior College Matriculation

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Congratulations, Class of 2015

The Alumni Association congratulates the graduating Seniors of the Class of 2015!

It has been a very successful year and we would like to share with you where they are headed off to college.

Roll Call Video

See and hear from the Seniors themselves in this video where they say where they’re going to college.

Watch Now

2015 Bronx Science Senior College Matriculation

College Name (# of Students Attending)
Adelphi University 3
Allegheny College 2
American University 1
Arizona State University 2
Babson College 6
Bard College 1
Barnard College 5
Baruch College of the CUNY 23
Bates College 1
Becker College 1
Binghamton University 29
Boston College 2
Boston University 10
Brandeis University 3
Brooklyn College of the CUNY 3
Brown University 2
Bryn Mawr College 1
Bucknell University 4
California Institute of Technology 1
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo 2
Carnegie Mellon University 8
Case Western Reserve University 7
City College of New York CUNY 16
Clark University 1
College of William and Mary 2
Columbia University 8
Cornell University 18
Dartmouth College 1
Drexel University 1
Duke University 6
Emory University 8
Fairfield University 1
Fordham University 17
Georgetown University 6
Grinnell College 1
Hamilton College – NY 1
Harvard University 2
Harvey Mudd College 1
Haverford College 1
Hofstra University 5
Howard University 1
Hunter College of the CUNY 22
Indiana University at Bloomington 1
Iona College 2
Johns Hopkins University 5
Lafayette College 1
Lehigh University 1
Macaulay Honors College at CUNY 17
Manhattan College 2
Marymount Manhattan College 1
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 3
McGill University 2
Miami University, Oxford 1
Mount Holyoke College 1
New York City College of Technology 1
New York Institute of Technology – Manhattan 1
New York Institute of Technology – Old Westbury 1
New York University 34
Northeastern University 19
Northwestern University 4
Occidental College 2
Pace University 1
Pace University, New York City 4
Pennsylvania State University, University Park 10
Pennsylvania State University, York 1
Polytechnic Institute of NYU 27
Pomona College 1
Princeton University 4
Purchase College 1
Purdue University 1
Queens College of the CUNY 2
Queensborough Community College of the CUNY 2
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 9
Rice University 2
Rochester Institute of Technology 15
Rutgers University-New Brunswick 2
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey at New Brunswick 2
Smith College 1
Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education of the CUNY 3
St. John’s University – Queens Campus 30
Stanford University 1
State University of New York at Albany 3
State University of New York at New Paltz 3
Stony Brook University 74
SUNY College at Geneseo 1
SUNY College at Potsdam 1
Swarthmore College 1
Syracuse University 8
The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science & Art 11
The Culinary Institute of America 1
The George Washington University 2
Tufts University 3
Tulane University 5
Union College 1
United States Merchant Marine Academy 1
University at Buffalo The State University of New York 12
University of California at Berkeley 3
University of California at Los Angeles 1
University of Chicago 6
University of Colorado at Boulder 1
University of Connecticut 1
University of Detroit 1
University of Edinburgh 4
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 4
University of Maryland, College Park 3
University of Michigan 35
University of Notre Dame 1
University of Pennsylvania 3
University of Pittsburgh 2
University of Redlands 1
University of Richmond (School of Business) 1
University of Southern California 2
University of St. Andrews 1
University of Toronto 1
University of Vermont 1
University of Virginia 1
University of Wisconsin, Madison 1
Vanderbilt University 1
Vassar College 1
Villanova University 8
Virginia Tech 1
Wake Forest University 3
Washington University in St. Louis 3
Wellesley College 2
Wesleyan University 4
Wheaton College MA 1
Williams College 1
Yale University 2