BEAM Fall Newsletter 2016: join us for our annual mathy trivia night!
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Applying to High School: "It wasn't this hard when I was in 8th grade!"

Pop quiz. 
Which of these steps might an 8th grader have to navigate to be placed in a New York City public high school?
A. Take a test.
B. Attend an open house.
C. Visit a fair. 
D. Write an essay. 
E. Conduct an interview.
F. Complete a portfolio.
G. Audition.
H. Submit a transcript.
I. Turn in a preference form to their guidance counselor.
Did you guess all of the above? Yup. Most of our 8th graders will have to do at least five of the nine steps above—and this might include taking two tests, writing three essays, or going to four open houses. 

The process is worth it—according to one ranking, NYC is home to eight of the top 500 high schools in the country, and BEAM has students at seven of those high schools. But it's also daunting. We constantly hear from parents that the process was much simpler when they graduated 8th grade. They rarely know which of the over 400 NYC high schools will be best for a child with such mathematical potential.

That's where BEAM comes in.  From July to January, our staff spends hundreds of hours following up with each and every 8th grader and offering personalized guidance and tutoring to help them gain admission to a high school that will both support and challenge them. 
Adrianne (9th grade) said this about how BEAM helped her apply to high school:
"BEAM suggested that I apply to NEST+m because I was studying for the SHSAT and the exams are similar. I ended up not getting into any specialized schools, but I did get into NEST+m. I have just finished seven weeks there and I like it. Everyone is friendly. You can go up to an 11th grader and ask a question and they will help you."
Each year, over 70% of our students are admitted to trusted high schools (with STEM resources), with 55% admitted to selective high schools and over 40% at highly selective schools, like NEST+m. Our students succeed because BEAM is there to help them and their families navigate the process. We will be working hard through the end of the year to ensure that all of our 8th graders end up at high schools that will truly prepare them for the demands of college. 

Join us for math trivia!

Join BEAM students and supporters for a fast-paced night of slightly-mathy trivia on Tuesday, November 15 in Lower Manhattan.

You'll get to work together with some of our amazing kids while solving interesting questions and enjoying upscale pizza, pasta, and an open bar.  You'll also be contributing to BEAM and learning more about how we prepare students for advanced work in math.  Be warned, though—one of our board members says he's playing to win!

You can read about last year's trivia night on our blog
Sign Up
Your $100 ticket to the event includes a $40 tax-deductible gift to BEAM.  This marks the start of our end-of-year matching campaign; all donations will be matched up to a total of $350,000 thanks to generous support from our Board of Directors. 

Can't make it to the event? Please forward this email to a friend who might be interested!

What We're Reading

"Students at the City University of New York system who have already completed community college typically pay a $70 application fee when applying to transfer to a four-year CUNY school if they take off more than one semester in between, a CUNY spokeswoman confirmed."  An enlightening article in The Hechinger Report detailed the myriad "mindboggling barriers" that low-income students face when trying to afford college. Read the infuriating report here

A recent article from Chalkbeat NY discusses under-matching in high school admissions in the latest installment of their "Barriers to Entry" series. Among other findings, "students at low-performing middle schools are more likely to apply to less competitive high schools ... even if students themselves are high-achieving." This dovetails with our experience at BEAM; many middle schools do not have guidance in place to support high-achieving, high-potential students.

Google and Gallup recently released "Diversity Gaps in Computer Science: Exploring the Underrepresentation of Girls, Blacks, and Hispanics", a report that investigates the structural and social barriers to computer science

BEAM helps with writing, too!

In October, we held our annual Essay Writing Workshop, where students learned best practices to improve their writing and then workshopped an upcoming essay. 
At BEAM, whether teaching math or writing, we make sure to address the mechanical ways students have been taught to work so far. Gabby said this about the event, "Today, I learned that you don't have to be confined to a certain number of sentences in a paragraph."

Another student, Deja, wrote, "I learned that a person's writing can always improve."  That's the BEAM philosophy—be here to grow—and we are so pleased that our mathematicians and scientists also taking writing seriously. As Nyasia points out, "Being a stronger writer will make people take me seriously when they read my work." 
Copyright © 2016 Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics, All rights reserved.

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