Firm Schools and “New York Smart”

by NYC Firm Schools on February 27, 2009

Pick Me! Pick Me!
Creative Commons License photo credit: cole24_

There is a catch phrase in many NYC Private School forms to discuss children who are very intelligent vs. children who are considered “gifted.” The catch phrase often comes across in a way such as, “Is your child truly gifted, or New York smart?” All joking aside, the “New York Smart” phrase actually has an applicable meaning.

Parents in New York City have often spent at least a year working on applications and essays, interviews and IQ tests before their child enters Kindergarten. Due to the intense process of preparing a child for the best of public or Firm Schools, parents find themselves deeply imbedded in the educational process. They are, in a very real way, highly invested in how and when their children learn. In areas that have excellent public schools, parents tend to generally focus less on the educational development of their 3 and 4 year olds because, frankly, they don’t have to; they already know which school their child will attend and there isn’t an issue with applying to the school.

“New York Smart” is, therefore, a term used by NYC parents to describe the by-product end result of children who have had active educational participation from those around him or her. It is not the same as a child who is truly gifted, however.

A Gifted Child, though the term is well worn out, is oftentimes a child who is gifted and talented in specific ways, but not always (and actually seldom) in all ways. Many gifted children excel in certain areas but are standard or even weak in others.

Schools that have very individualized Gifted Child programs are ones that recognize the need to provide accelerated education in those areas that a child is gifted in, and still fully support the child in weaker areas.
This type of support is usually dependent on a high teacher to student ration, as learning plans this individualized require a lot of planning and mentoring.

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