Hunter College Elementary School
Hunter College Elementary School is a New York City elementary school for intellectually gifted students, located on Manhattan's Upper East Side. It is administered by Hunter College, a senior college of the City University of New York or CUNY.
It is sometimes said that it is harder to get into this elementary school than into Ivy League colleges. Hunter College Elementary School was created in 1940 as an experimental school for gifted students. It grew out of the Hunter College Model School and assumed its current name in 1941. From its inception until 1973, Hunter College Elementary School was located at the Hunter College campus at 68th Street and Lexington Avenue. Its current location is at 71 East 94th Street in New York City.
The school has enjoyed tremendous success over the years and in the 1950s and 1960s was recognized worldwide for its groundbreaking approach to the education of gifted students. Independent review sites regularly reference the school's exceptional academic and extracurricular programs, as well as the daunting admissions process. Students from the elementary school generally continue from Kindergarten to 6th grade, and then (through affiliated Hunter College High School, located in the same building) through 12th grade. The Wall Street Journal published a study in 2007 that showed Hunter among the top 20 feeder schools to top universities in the United States, and the only public school listed in the top 20.
One of its most notable principals was Dr. Florence Brumbaugh, educator and author of children's literature, who retired in 1960 and was succeeded by Louis T. Camp. The current principal is Lisa Siegmann.
Students are accepted only from the Manhattan region of New York City, and only at the kindergarten grade. Fifty students are accepted each year, up from 48, an equal number of boys and girls, from varying backgrounds. Prior to 1970, boys could only attend the school through sixth grade.
The application process requires the completed application packet sent with a copy of the prospective student's birth certificate, and a $70 money order to cover administrative fees (though a $35.00 fee waiver is granted to students who would be eligible for the free or reduced lunch program in public schools).
Prospective students undergo two rounds of testing, as part of a process to determine a student's eligibility. The first test is a one-on-one assessment with a school-approved child psychologist to administer a modified Stanford-Binet, Fifth Edition test on intellectual reasoning, at a cost of $350. Upon passing with an eligible score, students are then invited to the second round of testing, which involves trained consultants monitoring each student's learning behaviors as they are assigned tasks to complete in both a group session with other hopeful students and an individual session. It is from this session that students are also drawn for the wait-list.
Students are selected based on these observations. All identifying information, such as the student's name and family status, are removed so as to not influence selection by the school's Admissions Committee, resulting in a blind process which precludes a sibling policy that would otherwise give preference to those who already have siblings there or whose parents attended the school. Upon selection, the Administer of Admissions offers acceptance to the twenty-five boys and twenty-five girls recommended by the Admissions Committee, and wait-lists twelve boys and twelve girls, who are used to fill any vacancies arising until the third grade.
Notable alumni include:
- Elena Kagan
- Margaret Lefranc
- Ron Brown (U.S. politician)
- Fred Melamed
- Loren Hammonds/"Mojo the Cinematic" of Dujeous
- Lin-Manuel Miranda
- Adam Cohen (scientist)
- Jonathan Tunick
- H. David Politzer
- Bobby Lopez
- Roy M. Goodman
- Subotnik, Rena, et al. (1993) Genius Revisited: High IQ Children Grown Up. Ablex Publishing. ISBN 1-56750-005-6.
- "New York's hottest public elementary school is harder to get into than Harvard". Business Insider. Retrieved 2016-03-14.
- "Hunter College Elementary School - insideschools.org". insideschools.org. Retrieved 2016-03-14.
- "Hunter College Schools: For Fortunate New Yorkers | Duke TIP". tip.duke.edu. Retrieved 2016-03-14.
- "Ivy Feeder High Schools WSJ - Documents". Docslide.us. Retrieved 2016-03-14.
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