New York City’s Gifted and Talented program is designed to challenge, grow, and inspire the city’s academically gifted minds. Most of the city’s districts offer at least one G&T program, and today we’ll explore the best gifted and talented schools in Queens.
First, it’s helpful to know that the city offers two types of gifted programs: the citywide G&T programs and the district-wide G&T programs. At the 100 district-wide programs, students attend a gifted school within a mainstream educational environment. Classes like gym and art may have mixed ability students, but Gifted and Talented students take academic classes with similarly gifted peers. These schools offer an “enriched” curriculum, which can vary according to school and teacher.
The five citywide programs are the most selective, and these schools are exclusively for Gifted and Talented students. The citywide schools offer an accelerated curriculum, meaning students study a curriculum that is advanced by one year. These schools accept the brightest minds from all boroughs.
Admission to the program is competitive: To qualify for a seat in the district-wide program, students need to score in the 90th percentile on the Gifted and Talented entrance exam. A score in the 97th percentile is required for admission to a citywide program. However, these numbers can be misleading: There are more qualified students than there are available seats, so the citywide programs truly require a score in the 99th percentile, and so do the most sought-after district programs. In some cases, even students with these high scores do not win one of the coveted citywide seats. A lottery is used to determine which qualifying students are awarded a seat.
Now that you know the basics, what are some of the best gifted and talented schools in Queens?
The 30th Avenue School, PS/IS 130
The 30th Avenue School is the only citywide G&T program currently available in Queens.
The curriculum highlights inclusion, inquiry, and responsibility and is strongly focused on advanced engineering and technology concepts. Students tackle computer coding starting in Kindergarten and begin exploring Lego robotics in sixth grade. Middle school students participate in advanced computer simulations and hold online debates.
The school provides experiential learning and encourages students to explore and ask questions. Younger students spend time in the exploration room, creatively solving problems using hands-on methods.
While promoting teamwork, projects, and exploration, the school fosters a cooperative culture. Younger students attend morning and closing meetings together, and older students meet four times weekly to discuss concerns and share goals.
P.S. 122 Mamie Fay
Mamie Fay boasts a highly engaging curriculum, a strong arts program, and a unique focus on civic awareness.
Reading and writing is emphasized in all classrooms, with plenty of opportunities for interdisciplinary study. As early as Kindergarten, students learn to proofread, edit, and enhance their writing through multiple drafts.
Students take classes in music, dance, and visual arts to promote creativity and well-roundedness. They work with a poet each year to produce an anthology of poetry, and the school focuses on learning that is both rigorous and creative.
The highly effective faculty is a primary reason that Mamie Fay has one of the more sought-after programs in the district.
P.S. 144 Col. Jeromus Remsen School
P.S. 144 provides an engaging curriculum that integrates the arts into a variety of subject areas.
Every grade has an “artist in residence,” involving visits from city cultural organizations and opportunities for culturally rich field trips and experiences. The school also has a full-time science teacher who incorporates art in his instruction.
Students make puppets and ballroom dance, but they also receive weekly technology instruction and adhere to rigorous academic standards.
The school recognizes the importance of parent involvement and fosters a strong school-home connection.
P.S. 85 Judge Charles Vallone
At P.S. 85, students are able to reach the school’s high expectations with help from a dedicated faculty and small class sizes.
Despite the school’s rigor, faculty and staff believe that learning should be engaging and young children should not be excessively pressured. Teachers foster warm classroom environments and encourage inquiry and exploration.
P.S. 85 also has its own science lab, a rare occurrence in most elementary schools. Students participate in labs and help care for school pets.
I.S. 119 The Glendale
The Glendale is a school that both pushes students to reach their full potential academically and provides outlets for creative expression.
Students and teachers alike track individual goals each marking period, giving students ownership over their own learning and providing chances to celebrate success.
Teachers discuss classroom strategies in “teacher teams,” sharing experiences about what has and has not been successful with their students and offering helpful suggestions.
Reading instruction focuses on nonfiction to better prepare students for high school, college, and beyond.
P.S. 203 Oakland Gardens
One of New York City’s highest performing schools, P.S. 203 provides students with stable leadership, high expectations, and a talented faculty.
Teachers prepare creative, interactive lessons using SMART Boards, which can be found in each classroom. Each student has access to a computer that is used to create innovative projects and learn about responsible digital citizenship.
Although the curriculum is demanding, students also study a variety of artists and can even participate in activities such as accordion club if desired.
P.S. 108 Captain Vincent G. Fowler
Despite the large size of P.S. 108, the school is extremely well-organized and holds all students to high academic standards.
Creative classrooms are brimming with books, games, blocks, and objects meant to teach mathematical concepts. Students develop skills and participate in interactive projects in small groups known as centers.
For math, students attend two class periods: one designed to develop memorization and speed via drills, the other focused on hands-on exploration and solving multi-step problems in small groups.
Other Strong Gifted and Talented Schools in Queens
-P.S. 165 Edith K. Bergtraum (PK-5, District 25), notable for requiring students to keep math and writing portfolios to track progress and for structuring classes to accommodate varied learning styles.
-P.S. 115 The James J. Ambrose School (PK-5, District 26), known for a warm environment, experienced teachers, and a music program featuring electric guitars.
-P.S. 174 William Sidney Mount (PK-5, District 28), which combines a first rate academic education with extensive instruction in art, music, and dance.
-P.S. 290 A.C.E. Academy for Scholars at the Geraldine Ferraro Campus (PK-5, District 24), best known for small class sizes, enthusiastic teachers, and encouraging students to explore the world through “global studies” rather than traditional social studies.
-P.S. 176 Cambria Heights (PK-5, District 29), one of the higher scoring schools in the district due to an emphasis on order and hard work.
-P.S. 166 Henry Gradstein (PK-5, District 30), noted for its strong sense of community, creative and collaborative lessons, and lively two minute fitness break each morning.
How to Qualify For G&T Programs in Queens
Now that you know about some of the best gifted and talented programs Queens has to offer, how can your child qualify for one of those limited seats?
To get your child started with some free practice questions from the NNAT and OLSAT, click the button below.
For pre-K students, the test is administered one-on-one by trained early childhood educators. Questions are read aloud once with no repetition permitted, and children indicate a correct answer by pointing at one of a series of choices.
Don’t overemphasize the test to a pre-K aged child, but do feel free to practice test concepts, as well as listening skills and concentration. You can access practice questions by clicking the button below.
How Can We Help?
At Origins Tutoring, we believe that preparation for the NYC Gifted and Talented test does not have to be daunting and exasperating; instead, it can represent an important opportunity along a student’s path to learning mastery. Indeed, the perspectives and abilities acquired during preparation provide a foundation that can last throughout a student’s school career.
Our two-track approach to mastering content and improving test-taking skills means that students will not only thoroughly understand the fundamental concepts and skills tested by the NYC Gifted and Talented test, but they will also excel in using essential techniques to improve attitude, endurance and focus.
Our students hone their independent thinking skills while developing a resilient mindset so they can perform on test day in a powerful, resourceful, creative and calm manner. Each student in our program receives the undivided attention and expertise of a dynamic and experienced coach who provides the framework to support each student on his unique path to becoming a master learner.
Please call 917.287.7927 now for a complimentary consultation to discuss how we can help your child achieve his or her personal best on the NYC Gifted and Talented test.
A bit of preparation, along with plenty of loving encouragement, can go a long way toward helping your child qualify for one of the best gifted and talented schools in Queens!