Middle School

Make the right school choice for adolescence


In New York City, families have many options for educating their children in both the public and private school sectors. Both sectors offer students the chance for a wonderful academic experience. The challenge for many families is navigating the many options and finding the right match. For Nursery School or Kindergarten, school lists should be based on parents’ educational preferences, along with what they know about their child’s learning style. For Middle or High School, children have an academic record and their own preferences. They should participate in the research and decision process.

To help find the right fit for your child, you can begin by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What are my child’s strengths?
  • Could my child benefit from a school that provides more academic support?
  • Would my child benefit from a small or large middle school?
  • Is my child an independent learner or do they need a more structured environment?
  • Should I begin to consider single sex education for my daughter or son?
  • Should I consider a school with a strong music department or athletic department?
  • Will my child be better served in a 5th – 12th program or a 5th – 8th grade school?

There are a variety of public and private school options available for your middle school student. There are K-8 schools, large middle schools for 6th through 8th graders, small middle schools with less than 300 students, secondary schools with middle school, and many more private schools with expanded K-12 programs. There are also middle school programs that offer thematic studies in math, science, technology, environmental studies, and the arts.


How we can help

If you schedule a one-on-one session with a Smart City Kids Advisor, one of the first things we will help you do is narrow your focus. Before we meet, we will send you a questionnaire to complete that will help you think through and decide on which qualities matter most to you for a school. During our meeting, we will spend time with you before of meeting your child and talk further about your goals. A detailed discussion of your child and your priorities will help us assess which schools would be a good match. The first step toward improving your child’s chance of being accepted into the schools you want is to apply to schools where the fit is right. Schools will be assessing fit as carefully as you will be, so if you get that right, you are already one step ahead.

We’ll talk with you about why we think the fit is right, what the environment and culture are like at these schools, and how competitive each school is. If, after you visit the recommended schools, you feel the need for more choices, we can suggest other options. But our goal is to point you to the right options immediately so you don’t waste time or feel overwhelmed with possibilities.

At Smart City Kids, we believe that with direction and information, parents can navigate the middle school application process. Toward that end, we offer personal sessions that provide you with a detailed, inside look at middle school admissions, we will meet your child provide our educational assessment of your child’s academic skills and presentation, help you focus on the schools that will best meet your child’s needs, tell you what to look for during the tour, provide critical tips for student interviews and test preparation, and cover what schools will be looking for when they meet your child. If your child needs tutoring prior to testing, we can provide tutors with excellent track records preparing children for these tests.  For families who are relocating, students in public schools, or in K-12th grade schools, we interact directly with the ongoing schools.