The assertion by one poster that ALL the other citywide G&Ts ALREADY offer Singapore math is simply untrue. Neither BSI, nor STEM nor Anderson offer Singapore Math as their main math curriculum. Only NEST does, and it is paid for by the parent body at NEST, since the DOE will not cover the cost of the Singapore math curriculum. One of the reasons Anderson and NEST have fabulous middle school programs is because of middle school PARENT participation and PARENT donations. Anderson, NEST, and BSI expect a minimum contribution of $1,200 EACH year for EACH child you have in the school. Anderson raises close to $900,000 per year. BSI has close to a 95% participation rate in its direct appeal. While TAG conducted a direct appeal this year, and many parents of children in K-5 gave, only ONE middle school family made a donation to the direct appeal. Change at these schools start with the parents, and if you want to see a difference, then contribute your time or money like the middle school parents do at the other citywide schools.
To the poster who said that there are only enrichment offerings for K-2, that is simply untrue. While K is offered a general music class, 1 - 4 have weekly violin instruction, and 5 - 8 has a full fledged band program with instruction in wind instruments, and a fabulous band instructor. There is also a glee club for the middle school students. K -5 (NOT just K-2) have art (once a week), technology (twice a week), physical education (once a week) science (twice a week). The reason only K - 2 has spanish in the morning before school starts is because it is ALREADY offered within the curriculum in 4 - 8. The PTA would like to expand it to K - 3 so all grades (K-8) are covered. There are weekly enrichment clubs during the first semester, and weekly enrichment clubs during the spring after the NY State tests are over, with offerings like Stone Age Art, Puppetry, Mask Making, Art History, Theater, Robotics, Fitness & Health. There is a Junior Great books program for 1-8, Latin for 3rd grade, and Story Pirates for 3rd grade. K & 1 go to the 92nd street Y for music performances several times throughout the year.
TAG is a vibrant school with a rigorous (not rigid) curriculum combined with a wide array of enrichment offerings. There are many dedicated parents at the school who care deeply about helping both the school and the children reach their full potential. My child is eager to go school every day, loves her teacher and has developed wonderful friendships with her peers. I feel lucky to have found such a gem of school which is truly unlike any other school in the city. I am impressed with the level of parent commitment, not only to their own child, but to students across grades. For example, the highly successful math team for the upper grades is run by a brilliant lower school parent who volunteers his time to the group, and who helps tutor other students at the school for free. The debate team for the middle school is run by a lower school parent volunteering his time as well, and the robotics team is run by a former TAG parent, assisted by a parent of a lower grade student. And the fabulous talent show this year was put together by a lower school parent who left work early every day to help both middle school and lower school students develop their acts and rehearse.
TAG is a great school. Writing negative reviews on a public website simply demoralizes the community that your child is a part of and is unproductive. Share your concerns with directly with the other parents at the school and organize to make a difference instead.
It's interesting that Great Schools gives TAG a "10" rating - which has to be due to the test scores. While TAG's test scores are high, so is the amount of test prep packets done in class & for HW in grades 3-8. The curriculum could be greatly improved compared to the other city-wide G&T's who have been using Singapore Math for years I heard that TAG is JUST NOW considering Singapore. Although our students get prepped well for testing they are not immersed in a wide variety of enrichment so they can be well-rounded, independent learners. Some PTA parent will argue that students have violin, early morning Spanish, and chess however, those are lower grades enrichment teasers that aren t continued 3-8. My 6th grader felt that violin was a joke only 7-10 students use them at a time while the rest of the class just sits in the auditorium reading & doing busy work not even related to music. Other schools have K-8 chess programs & teams, TAG only offers it K-2 and then students are left to play at their leisure oops, no leisure time because they don t even have chess or other board games during recess. No wonder some kids lose it & run wild when they get a free moment.
For a G&T school, TAG is "a good school" that's better than the district and neighborhood options. I disagree however w/the parent who said that "the children are diverse in every way." Diversity is improving in the lower grades (K-2) however 3-8th grade is not as racially, ethnically or socio-economically diverse. I do agree w/ the parent who addressed the concern about school leadership. Mr. McCormick was AWESOME and helped bring a lot to TAG as a classroom teacher & as an administrator - programs, organization & his warm personality. It s just a shame that he had to work under a principal who lacked the true vision needed to take TAG to greater heights. School leadership appears to have a lack of creativity & innovation to address the learning needs of their gifted population. In my 12 years as a TAG parent (3 children have attended this school) Ms. Cesar has NEVER been interested in bringing money or programs to TAG and seems to just want to fly under the radar and do the bare minimum so that TAG can remain considered a City-wide G&T school.
Many wonderful children and families herel But the approach is very rigid and the school is not skilled at differentiating learning. Much learning occurs at home; homework is assigned on material that has not yet been covered in class. My son did well at TAG but did much better by switching to a school that created many different small groups during the day so that they could really challenge him where he needed it and help him in other areas. He became a more independent learner elsewhere because he stopped getting drowned in busy work. TAG can be a good option for absolutely academically perfect kids who need no recess or physical activity (sometimes recess is banned for the whole grade because of bad behavior!) and who do not flag when they are yelled at for silly things, For some, it is a subtly discouraging place, whereas perhaps it makes some kids stronger. The school does a great job exposing kids to a wide range of information. Parents are enthusiastic at first but tend to give up and stop participating over time. This is likely due to poor leadership by the principal who feigns interest in helping to further develop the school but always lets real change slip away.
The children are diverse in every way, in ethnicity, economically, religiously, a true wonderful representation of NYC. The children are united by their intense devotion to learning, they are sponges. There is no bullying, I have heard them tease each other, but have also heard teachers say "stand up for yourselves,but most importantly stand up for each other." The principal works closely with the DOE and pilots remarkable programs to enrich curriculum. The parent coordinator is involved and passionate. Yes you get the emails, and you will be an informed parent! Not only informed about TAG, your child, school events, but learning opportunities in the community and around NYC. The PTA is strong and getting stronger, yes we have to work hard to supply some programs, but our parents are lawyers, bus drivers, police officers, housekeepers, what we have we work hard to provide for our children. This is like having a prep school education in a public school setting, and I am so proud that my children are TAG scholars.
I have always been impressed by my neice, who is in middle school and has attended TAG since Kindergarten. I asked my sister where she went to school, and when she told me I did everything I could including pray that my son could go to school there. Two years later, I am a happy and proud TAG parent! I have had people tell me, "Why not Anderson, or NEST?" I have nothing negative to say about those schools, but I am so happy to be a member of the TAG family!
We love TAG Scholars for our lower school child. Our daughter is academically challenged and feels very supported by her teachers. The PTA is growing stronger and is working to raise money to support the lack of DOE funding for programs such as teacher's aides in the Kindergarten classes and chess as part of the K & 1st grade curriculum. The school shares space with 2 other schools but TAG is completed separated from other students in its own wing on two floors. !
I had the chance to visit TAG when my current 1st grader was still in pre-school. I was excited that there was a gifted school in Harlem that promised to meet the needs of my my child. Although I liked my child's teachers, sadly after 2 years I'm a bit disappointed because I find that I have to supplement everything from academics to enrichment activities. Other gifted schools & even many charter schools have chess, foreign languages & robotics programs for all of the students as part of the regular school day. For a school that been around for a long time, I hoped that there would have been a more rigorous academic math & writing curriculum as well as enrichment offerings parallel to other citywide gifted programs. Another disappointment is the influx of random emails I receive from the parent coordinator. Although this isn't the same person I met on my 1st tour, this lady doesn't seem like she has the skills to provide the necessary information & resources to parents. Hopefully the school will improve their communication w/parents & find ways to get parents more involved like workshops and volunteering. TAG could do much better otherwise it's just a regular school.
Tag is a great school , I have 2 children there and they love it. The principal knows all the students by name and the teachers are amazing. I would recommended to all parents.
This is an amazing school. My daughter finished second grade here this year. This is the most diverse classroom I have seen. 98% of the kids are children of hard striving adult immigrants and they are HUNGRY to learn and to excel. Many ignorant people out there (including a very inaccurate New York Times article) who lack real insight or ties to the school think this school is somehow "too heavily minority." But that misperception is actually a good thing for all the people who are truly in the know and are able to take advantage! Yeah, the facilities are shabby the neighborhood is scary there is no in school library but the teachers, the principal, the security, they do a lot with what they have. They are strict but loving. The writing program expects perfection from 8 year olds - no mistakes allowed (no indulgent attitudes here). The ugly plaid uniform sucks, but there are more important things to worry about.
My child attends TAG. I am so amazed at the progress she has made since she started. In kindergarten she went from barely being able to read, to reading at a second grade level in six months. I also like the emphasis on character, self-control and good behavior, and that all of this is accomplished in a warm environment where it is obvious that the teachers care deeply about the children. I do have concerns about some of the administrative staff and wish that their professionalism and skills were at the same level as that of the teachers. I am happy that the principal is so receptive to parent input and involvement, though, and that we have been able to make some very positive changes as a result.
I have my child going at TAG. They have great teachers.This is a great school for any child to be!!!!
My daughter is in first grade and she absolutely loves TAG! Her teacher is firm but nice.Her work is always challenging it's just a warm atmosphere.
The school is no doubt a gem in east Manhattan. People may have doubts about this school at the beginning, but as soon as you send your child there you will realize that this is a great school. My son is in the Kindergarten and he just loves it. His teacher Mr. Chohaan is excellent. For parents who are choosing a G&T program for your kids, I highly recommend TAG.
TAG is a wonderful school! I started in the sixth grade and now I am in the eighth. Throughout those three years I have developed so much as a person by participating in challenging classes, and by making friends that are like family today. Last year in seventh grade I took a rigorous Biology Regents High School Course, and I am proud to say I passed with a 90 which now allows me to take AP courses in High School! I am now in an Earth Science Regents Course which is also just as intense as the Bio Course. Other than in science I have been offered the opportunity to take my Integrated Algebra Regents, travel to Washington D.C, involve in Socratic Circles, and explore Social Studies in a new way. Due to these great qualities of the school it has helped me become TAG Middle School's Class President! I am very proud of my position, and ever since I was elected President I feel like I have been able to make my fellow students happy by having dances, performances, potlucks, etc. Being in TAG has definitely made me a better, more mature, and thriving to succeed student that I am ready to attend Beacon High School in the Fall of the 2011-2012 school year!
My daughter is attending the TAG school and she loves it. The teachers make sure that the parents are informed of there child progress in class and classes. I wasn't to sure about sending my little girl to this school we live on the west side of manhattan and next to us we have some of the best schools in District 4. Some parents feel its alot of work for there kindergarden child but i say if they have no problem with all the work then you should either. Remember there in a Talented and gifted school if they couldnt do it they would not not be there.
i have been in tag for over 3 years choosing to go to this school was the best choice i have ever made in my life. for one, the students are nice, the moment you enter some one will take you under their wing and everything works out. not saying there aren't cliches because there are, the thing is, everyone is nice to each other. Also the teachers, they become more then teachers, they become apart of your life, like friends and family. not saying you'll like all the teachers in tag, but most of them, are the best ever. I am an 8th grade scholar at tag and will be graduating soon. believe me, tag also helps your kids prepare for high schools, and the shsats. i was able to get into Brooklyn tech and i know it was all because of the great help i got from tag. TAG is one of the best schools i have ever been too and i will miss the teachers and students deeply. if i could go back to tag earlier i would, but or now, i know i will never forget the great memories in my school. it really is one of the best schools in New York.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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