Research all NYC schools

Research Now

Online Learning: Advice from Mentee Accepted to Specialized High School

March 29, 2020 Michael N. Manta

It’s easy to get bogged down during this pandemic by the negative news that is surrounding us. Schools have closed in NYC, and cases are continuing to rise. After stocking up on essentials and quarantining themselves, the biggest question for many families right now is “how can I make sure my child does not fall behind in school?”

 

Though many schools have transitioned to online classes, there are still drawbacks to this new academic environment. The most significant of these is the decline in the rigor of the work being assigned. Due to the competitive nature of high school admissions in NYC, maintaining the same academic workload is essential in being prepared for high school application exams. One of the most notoriously difficult of these tests is the SHSAT or the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test. This is the test all eighth-graders must take in order to earn a seat at some of the most selective public schools in NYC.

 

Because this exam is so challenging, students need to have skills in mathematics and ELA at almost a ninth-grade level to succeed. Thus, it is understandable that many families are worried about their child keeping ahead of the curve for these tests. However, school is not the only way in which students can prepare for these admissions tests. In fact, some preparation can be done inside the comfort of your own home.

 

A tool that NYCMentors.org provides for free to keep our mentees ahead of the curve is IXL, an online test prep website that allows our mentors to track the progress of their students through the diagnostic IXL offers. In fact, the company has designed their tools to assess where students are based on the NY state test standard. Our students love to use it, which is demonstrated through the over 10,000 questions answered this past year. But don’t just take my word for it, look at what one of our mentees has said about our service and using IXL.

 

At our launch event hosted by our partnering organization Chess in the Schools back in September, Jonathan Manta, co-founder of NYCMentors.org who is currently a freshman at the McCallie School, encouraged some middle school parents and students to sign up for mentorship.


Above Jonathan Manta is speaking with the mother of Jeremiah Beckles about the opportunities with NYCMentors.org at our launch event.

 

One of these students was Jeremiah Beckles, currently one of our eighth-grade mentees, who has recently been accepted into Brooklyn Tech, one of the city’s most selective specialized high schools. In an interview, I spoke with him about his feelings about being admitted. “It is very fulfilling to be admitted into Brooklyn Tech,” said Beckles, “I am glad that I am able to go to a school close to me, which has a great education that focuses on STEM – especially in technology and mathematics.” When asked whether IXL is a good tool in preparing for this process, Beckles replied with a succinct but firm answer, “Definitely.”


Above is a meeting I had with Jeremiah Beckles during our mentorship program, which are done via Skype

 

“Overall the most stressful part of the process was taking the exam because it is not the same as a practice test,” described Beckles, “some important steps a family can take is to get ahead with practice and having a mentor who is available for their mentee to help them with academic and non-academic problems.” He is looking forward to the academic rigor of Brooklyn Tech and believes that this challenging environment will help him grow as a student.

 

As for his feeling about the mentorship program, Beckles cheerfully replied: “The mentorship program was fantastic, I felt that I had a lot of support and help.”


Michael N. Manta is a senior at Xavier High School in NYC and the Co-Founder & CEO of NYCMentors.org. 

NYCMentors.org Inc. is a registered 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that connects underserved middle school students with older peers to guide, support, and mentor them and their parents with the NYC high school options and application process.

Join to NYCMentors.org

Join today and have a high school mentor guide your child through their middle school years

Join Now

Other articles

  • img

    How to Join a Sports Team! Updated for 2021

    • May 19, 2021
    • Oliwia Caes

    One of the best ways to stay active and get more involved in the school setting is to join a sports team! Being on a sports team has numerous benefits. It gives you extracurricular activities to build your profile, the ability to create friendships through spending time with a group, and a chance to simply relax and unwind after a full day in the classroom.

    Read More

  • img

    How to be a Leader in a Club or Extracurricular Activity Updated for 2021

    • May 12, 2021
    • Halina de Jong-Lambert

    So, you want to have a leadership role in a club or extracurricular activity. There are many reasons to take up one: to share your interests, take charge in bringing about change, or simply have more control within one. Whatever your reason, there are a few surefire ways to do so!

    Read More

  • img

    Interview with Mentors from NYC Mentors.org (2020-2021)

    • May 05, 2021
    • Paris William Polatidis

    During these challenging and trying times, the high school admissions process can seem daunting to many middle school students. The high school admissions process can be confusing under normal circumstances, let alone during a pandemic! When delving into the unknowns of this challenging admissions year, it can be important for middle schoolers to have an older, experienced person to guide them through this process. That’s where being a mentor comes in!

    Read More

  • img

    What benefits do Charter Schools offer?

    • April 28, 2021
    • Oliwia Caes

    Charter schools are unique alternative options to fully public or fully private schools in NYC. Charter schools are, in fact, free public schools, however, they are run independently and therefore, with more freedom than typical public schools. Because of this greater independence, a charter school can come with many benefits such as a higher-quality education, individualized attention, specialization in certain subjects, and access to a more thorough curriculum.

    Read More