Students who won admission to the city’s hyper-competitive specialized high schools next year are concerned about falling behind due to coronavirus school closures.
While the Department of Education is marshaling remote learning to keep kids engaged, students headed to juggernauts like Stuyvesant High School are worried about lags in coursework and preparation for the next level.
Frances Kweller, founder and director of Kweller Prep, said the potentially lengthy stoppage will rob city kids of crucial instruction — especially those who are academically advanced.
“There will inevitably be learning loss,” she said. “They need to supplement their instruction and the time is now. If they fall behind they might not be able to catch up later.”
Kweller said top high schools require mastery of courses like AP physics — subjects not easily taught through computer screens and cyber-teachers.
One of Kweller’s students, Mason Grant of Brooklyn, learned Thursday that he earned a spot at Stuyvesant — considered one of the most rigorous high schools in the country.
While there was no quieting her jubilation, the coronavirus closure did give Mason’s mother pause about her son’s preparedness.
“We are just going to try to keep him on a regimen,” said Shawn Grant. “Of course if you give any kid too much free time they are going to get distracted.”
Grant said she is going to use some of the down time to enroll her son in Kweller’s supplemental classes to ensure that he’s ready to go once the bell rings at Stuyvesant — whenever that might be.
“We just have to let him know that he can do it,” she said. Mason was one of 10 black city kids to secure a spot at the top school.
Meanwhile, Asian and white students dominated admissions to the city’s specialized high schools yet again this year — figures that will likely reignite the debate over entry criteria for the eight coveted campuses.
“They deserve to take a moment to celebrate their hard work and achievements,” said Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza. “At the same time, diversity in our specialized high schools remains stagnant, because we know a single test does not capture our students’ full potential. I am hopeful we’ll move towards a more equitable system next year.”
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