Mayor Adams and Chancellor Banks announce expansion of gifted and talented programs across the city


April 14, 2022

Added more than 1,000 new spaces for gifted and talented children in kindergarten and third grade

Provides access to accelerated learning to all New York City public school districts

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NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Education (DOE) Chancellor David C. Banks today announced the expansion of the Gifted and Talented program at the New York public school serving elementary students. Mayor Adams and Chancellor Banks are adding 100 kindergarten spaces and 1,000 third grade spaces, expanding the two entry points to all districts. With this expansion and updates to the admissions process, the city’s Gifted and Talented program will serve all communities in the city for the first time. Applications for both programs open May 31.

“Expanding our Gifted and Talented program to every district in New York is about giving every child, in every ZIP code, a fair chance and making sure no child is left behind,” said Mayor Adams. “We are doubling down on this administration’s commitment to our youngest New Yorkers by adding additional seats and removing inequities in the admissions process to provide students across the city with access to accelerated learning. And with this expansion, for the first time ever, there will be a program for gifted and talented students in every school district in this city. This is how we give each young person the opportunity to grow, to learn, to explore their talents and their imagination.

“Today we are coming to the end of the era of scarcity – the era where families fight each other for limited places for gifted and talented students in distant schools,” said Chancellor Banks. “Through this expansion, we are providing more accelerated learning opportunities to more families, while providing a fair and just process to identify students who will excel in accelerated learning. »

The expansion of gifted and talented elementary students 2022-2023 is the result of the DOE’s engagement with parents and community stakeholders to establish priorities for this year’s admissions. Specifically, the DOE met with a diverse set of parent representative groups and advocacy groups with a particular interest in this topic who provided thoughtful and nuanced comments.

“All students, regardless of race, income, or the neighborhood they live in, deserve equal opportunity to learn and meet accelerated academic challenges,” said New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams. “The Council looks forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders to ensure that the new version of Gifted and Talented not only helps more students succeed, but also reflects the diversity of students in our city.”

“I am thrilled with the announcement of the expansion of Gifted and Talented into all school districts,” said Rita Joseph, New York City Council Member. “Going forward, we must place particular emphasis on ensuring that all students, regardless of their socio-economic status or family wealth, can benefit from the program.

“Today the Mayor and Chancellor showed once again that they don’t just talk, they get things done. Since the fall, parents, community leaders and elected officials have consistently called for the restoration of Gifted and Talented, and today the Mayor and Chancellor demonstrated that they are listening,” said Linda Lee, New York City Council Member. “By not only increasing the number of places available across the city, but also expanding the programs to all school districts in the city and allowing students to test the program at older ages, this new program will prove that we we can have equity and excellence in education at the same time. I thank the Mayor and Chancellor for this announcement and look forward to working closely with them to ensure a smooth implementation in the months to come. »

“Increasing the number of programs for the gifted and talented is critical to addressing the inequities plaguing New York City public schools,” said Ronald Lauder and Richard Parsons, co-founders, Education Equity Campaign. “While some districts in Manhattan currently have as many as seven Gifted programs, some communities of color in Brooklyn and Queens only have one. By adding 1,000 new seats for gifted students in the boroughs, Mayor Adams is taking a giant step for our public schools and we are deeply grateful to him for heeding our call to action. We look forward to continuing to work with Mayor Adams and Chancellor Banks to make New York’s public education system the best in the country.

Although their views may have differed, three areas of focus became clear: 1) increasing the number of seats, 2) creating a fair selection process, and 3) providing an expanded entry point into third year in each district. These insights helped DOE shape its plans, and the agency looks forward to even broader engagement on this topic in the future.

Historically, kindergarten was the initial entry point for programs for the gifted and talented in New York City. For the 2022-2023 school year, approximately 100 new kindergarten spaces are added to the gifted and talented student portfolio, expanding the program to all 32 districts and bringing the total number of spaces to 2,500.

To fill these seats, each current pre-K student will be assessed by their current teacher for potential nomination. Universal pre-K screening eases the initial burden on families and creates access for more children with a more diverse pool of eligibility. First implemented for the 2021-2022 school year, universal screening has led to a more diverse pool of students receiving an invitation to apply for the gifted and talented programs. Students enrolled in non-DOE programs and those not yet enrolled in school will participate in an interview with DOE staff to confirm their eligibility.

Families of eligible and nominated children will receive an eligibility letter inviting them to apply before the application opens.

For the first time ever, each district in New York City will provide an additional entry point for gifted and talented third-grade students, representing a baseline of one program in each district and a total of 1 000 places. Child development research shows that identifying gifted behavior in the upper grades can provide a more accurate assessment of gifted ability.

Determined by grades in the four major subjects, the top 10% of second-year students from each school will be invited to apply to a third-year program for gifted and talented students. Using grades in all four majors ensures that the DOE uses multiple metrics to determine program eligibility. Anchoring the screen at the school level will ensure that district programs are representative of the population of the district. Families will be considered for placement at all of their application choices and offers will be made based on district and sibling priorities, as well as space availability. The third-year programs will transition to the fourth and fifth years in subsequent years.

A pillar of the Adams administration is genuine parent, family, and community engagement on the issues that matter most to our students. As previously announced, engagement and conversations about the future of enrollment and admissions in New York City public schools will continue this spring and summer. More information on how families can get involved and have their voices heard will be announced soon.


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