St Ann’s School is a private school in Brooklyn Heights with strong academic offerings. The school is well regarded for its academics across the board, along with particular strengths in arts and individual student flexibility. Read on to see whether St Ann’s may be the correct fit.
St Ann’s NYC | School Information
St Ann’s is located in Brooklyn Heights in NYC on a small campus, with separate buildings for lower school children and some arts courses. The school itself just passed its fiftieth anniversary and serves approximately 1100 students from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.
One quirk of St Ann’s is its unique grade system – there is none! Instead, teachers write personalized reports on each student, including details on their learning habits and styles, improvement throughout the year, and more.
While some might think this lack of grades lets students slack off, St Ann actually sends some of the highest percentages of students to Ivy League colleges, and the school is often ranked in the top ten New York City high schools.
The mission of St Ann’s is to ensure children are brought up to question and explore the world, which the school tries to encourage with its unorthodox no-grades system and focus on teacher discussions instead. The curriculum at St Ann’s is also unique.
While students will complete the full high school curriculum required, they will also have choices to explore Ancient Greek or Chinese as their foreign language component, or try their hand at a wide variety of visual and performing arts.
By the time students reach junior year, they are given vast freedom in setting up their own paths of study – students can take seminars in a variety of topics from selected teachers, pursue electives, and more.
This college-like process helps students acclimate to the options available after they graduate and may be one of the reasons why St Ann students generally go on to succeed in higher education.
For more information, visit the official school website.
Saint Ann’s | Admissions Overview
St Ann offers admissions points from pre-kindergarten to eleventh grade, and while the requirements can be slightly different, certain criteria apply to all students.
Generally no top score on one exam or one stellar grade will guarantee acceptance at St Ann’s – it is more important for children to show they are well-rounded than to excel only in one area. Note that age cutoffs for children are September 1st of each school year.
St Ann’s Pre-Kindergarten Admissions
The most common early entry point to St Ann’s is for the “threes” class, or children who will be three for the upcoming school year.
The application process takes several steps, and the first stage is to submit an application on the St Ann website with information about the prospective student.
Based on these applications, selected families will be offered a tour and a chance for the child to participate in an admissions playgroup.
In these groups, which are common for private school kindergarten admissions and several gifted and talented school admissions processes, observers will watch the children playing together and participating in small group activities.
From this playgroup, St Ann will extend offers to the next year’s threes class.
Depending on how many students remain at the school, St Ann’s will occasionally allow admissions for the “fours” class. In this situation, preference generally goes to students who made it nearly through admission for the threes class but did not receive an offer after the playgroup.
St Ann’s Lower School Admissions
After the pre-kindergarten entry point, the next major entry points are kindergarten and first grade. For admission in these years, parents will need to fill out the appropriate lower school application on the St Ann website. In addition to the application, a current teacher needs to fill out an evaluation form, which covers all kinds of relevant questions about learning styles, classroom behavior, and more. Parents will also need to allow the child’s current school to release educational records.
After this initial stage, St Ann’s will reach out to schedule an ‘interview’ for the upcoming kindergartener or first grader. The interview, which is basically a modified IQ test, lasts approximately 45 minutes and does not require both parents. However, parents will have the chance to ask questions and receive feedback after the interview.
This interview is based on a modified Stanford-Binet exam, which is an IQ test designed for young children.
These exams can be administered to students as young as two, though they are most commonly used starting at age five.
Typical subsections of the exam include fluid reasoning, knowledge, quantitative reasoning, visual-spatial processing, and working memory.
While these topics all sound complex, students tend to have fun and enjoy the exam given its focus on manipulatives, pictures and toys, patterns, and flash cards.
While there is minimal information available about the Stanford-Binet exam, and thus the St Ann’s interviews, you can still prepare your child by teaching and encouraging critical thinking and reasoning skills, as well as by exposing your child to a variety of learning experiences.
For example, check out the kinds of everyday activities you can do with your child to prepare for gifted assessments, and click the button below to access 30 questions that can help your child improve her or his critical thinking and problem-solving skills.Stanford-Binet overview. Admissions to second and third grade are possible only if students leave St Ann’s and open up spots in later years.
St Ann’s Middle School Admissions
For admissions in fourth and fifth grade, or for students hoping for a sixth, seventh, or eighth grade slot, the process looks more similar to that of traditional private schools.
For each grade, parents will need to complete the correct application on the St Ann website.
Fourth grade students must submit their recent ERB results and a teacher evaluation , while fifth grade students should submit their ISEE results and a teacher evaluation .
Sixth grade and later applications should submit ISEE results in addition to the application form.
For middle school, St Ann’s allows students to send in supplementary material of note for their admissions portfolio , as long as the material can fit into a normal size file folder. Examples of supplementary material might be a story or essay, or art piece, or others.
Based on the application and materials, St Ann’s will offer interviews to selected students in each grade where there are open seats.
St Ann’s High School Admissions
By the time students reach ninth grade, there are usually 10-15 open slots for new joiners in ninth grade . Spots beyond ninth grade are available only if additional students leave the school.
In addition to the online application, students will need to submit either ISEE or SSAT scores , release their educational reports starting from seventh grade, and provide a writing sample and two teacher references. In addition, as with middle school entry, students can submit supplementary material of note for consideration in their applications.
All applicants need to participate in a two hour tour , which takes place anywhere from September to January depending on schedule availability. St Ann’s will reach out to schedule interviews with eligible students.
This interview lasts approximately an hour and will include both “fit” type questions to determine whether the student will do well at St Ann’s, and some informal assignments.
In all cases, families will hear about admissions decisions in February of each year.
Get more information on the [ISEE])http://www.originstutoring.com/blog/free-isee-practice-tests-printable), including download practice tests for lower level ISEE, middle level ISEE or upper level ISEE.
Discover everything you need to know about the SSAT, including how the content and format differs at each level and download practice tests for each SSAT level.
How Can We Help?
At Origins Tutoring, we believe that preparation for St Ann’s School in Brooklyn 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 can last throughout a student’s school career and beyond.
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 admissions interviews and required tests for St Ann’s, 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.