Thursday, October 30, 2014

Scholarship fund encourages New York City school-age children to pursue their unique passions

The School Choice Group (SCG), the leading global education consultancy headquartered in New York, in collaboration with the Parents of Accelerated Learners, NYC (PALNYC), announced today the second annual Michael Perelstein Memorial Scholarship Fund Discover Your Passion competition winners.

This competition is targeted toward New York City students from 2nd through 8th grade who show exceptional promise and passion for an individual interest, such as academic fields, sports, music, the arts, community service, entrepreneurship, or technology. The focus on individual passion and the story behind the funds are what make this scholarship unique. Michael Perelstein was a man who learned late in life the importance of passion and of doing what he loved. His untimely death at age 56, taught the ultimate lesson––the value of living your dreams––to his widow, Elizabeth Perelstein and his children, Sarah and Daniel Perelstein. The opportunity to foster this value led to the creation of this memorial scholarship award program.

Each entrant was required to submit a sample or demonstration of their endeavor, nomination letters, and a description of how the award monies will be used to further their unique passion.

“I know Michael would be proud to have provided opportunity for young people to pursue their personal passions and I am honored to be able to keep his memory alive by nurturing these children’s educational interests," said Elizabeth Perelstein, the Chair and Founder of the School Choice Group.

The 2014 Michael Perelstein Memorial Scholarship Fund Discover Your Passion award winners are (click on their name to learn more about their passion):

Samantha Katel (The Mandell School, Manhattan, grade 8). Samantha, the Grand Prize Winner is being awarded $5,000 to develop a unique therapy device for autistic children. She is an 8th grader from Manhattan who for the last three years has been a volunteer peer buddy at Manhattan Children's Center, a school for children with autism. Samantha has designed and hopes to prototype and distribute her idea with the help of this award. 

Julian Benelli (The Anderson School, PS 334, Manhattan, grade 3). His musical talent already blooming at the age of 8, Julian is being awarded $3,500 to purchase a weighted keyboard, piano bench and piano lessons to help his music composition.

Akira Nakada (Speyer Legacy School, Manhattan, grade 6). A keen and talented chess player, Akira will receive $3,500 to attend the North American Chess Open and to take private chess lessons.

Sebastian Klein (PS 29 -John M Harrigan, Manhattan, grade 5). Sebastian is being awarded $1,500 to be used for fencing equipment, clothing, and private fencing lessons.

Nash Flammang (Success Academy, Manhattan, grade 3). Nash will receive $3,500 to expand his “Lemon-Aid” stand to help the homeless. The funds will be used for tuition to an entrepreneurship camp and for seed money to advance his project.

Olivia Kelly (School: PS 121, the Bronx, grade 2). Olivia will receive $1,500 to attend an International Gymnastics Competition winter camp to prepare her for the Junior Olympics.

Andrei Stewart-Chapman (Little Red School House, Manhattan, grade 4). Andrei is being awarded $1,500 to support his passion for tap dance with a tap board, shoes and lessons.

The winners will receive their scholarships on November 8th at an award celebration at the NYC Ed Tech Family Day A’Fair. This premiere event––part carnival, part scavenger hunt, part education fair for parents and their children in kindergarten through 8th grade––will introduce Education Technologies to NYC families. 

November 8, 2014 at 10:00-12 noon
NEST School+m 
111 Columbia St. 
New York, NY 10002

For information on the scholarship see

School Search Solutions, a division of The School Choice Group is New York’s leading education consulting service, specializing in school placement for private, public, specialized and international schools, from preschool through college. Founder and Chair, Elizabeth Perelstein, co-founded the British International School of New York. With its largest team of education consultants in the New York area, School Search Solutions has helped hundreds of New York families find the right schools for their children. 

School Choice International, also a division of The School Choice Group is the world’s largest education consulting and school placement firm with over 140 on-the-ground consultants (including Special Education Consultants) in 75 locations worldwide. School Choice International provides a broad array of education solutions to transferring employees and organizations.

About The Parents of Accelerated Learners, NYC [PALNYC] 
The Parents of Accelerated Learners, NYC [PALNYC] is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that launched three years ago with one mission: to provide educational resources for parents to better support the strengths and talents of their children. This mission continues to be realized today with an expanding collaboration of schools, educators, parents and organizations through quality programs and events like The NYC Gifted & Talented Symposium, that supports the cognitive, social and emotional needs of high potential youth, The NYC Ed Tech Family Day A’Fair, and the PALNYC Workshops Series for parents.

For more information, see and

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mobility & Education: Corporate Policies and Practices Featured in October Mobility Magazine

The mobility industry is not lacking surveys. Most of the major players in the field make some attempt to understand common practice in at least a few of the many disciplines that comprise employee relocation. Because of the breadth, depth, and complexity of mobility—one could ask hundreds of questions on tax policy alone and still not cover it comprehensively—many areas receive short shrift. Among the most neglected is education. This despite the fact that education is frequently cited as one of the most significant areas of concern for expatriate families. 

Until now, when seeking out information regarding education-related policies for expatriates, the best a program manager might find in a survey would be a simple “yes/no” choice regarding the provision of education support. The team at School Choice realized that corporate policies were, by necessity, complex and nuanced, differentiating education benefits based on a number of different factors, such as home and host location and seniority of the employee. Therefore, rather than asking a binary question which does not result in useful information, we structured our survey so as to incorporate these factors. The result is a web-based survey—“Mobility & Education: Corporate Policies and Practices”—that, though it takes some time to complete, captures data about this important area in a more detailed and nuanced way than any previous mobility survey.
Excerpts of our survey appears in the October issue of Mobility Magazine, a publication of Worldwide ERC®, the workforce mobility association for professionals who oversee, manage, or support U.S. domestic and international employee transfer. 

If you are a program manager or administrator with knowledge of your organization's international mobility policies, we invite you to participate in our benchmarking survey. To date, there has not been a detailed survey to explore the practices of global employers regarding education-related assistance for assignees with school-age children. We are aiming to change that.

See this survey link to participate. It should take an estimated 20 minutes to complete the survey. All participants will receive a report of these results, and no individual organization's data will be disclosed to any other participants

If you have an assignee with nursery, school or college age children moving anywhere in the world email  or call:  +1-914-328-3000 and 866-881-5959 (US toll free).

Friday, August 15, 2014

College Placement Exams - SAT or ACT?

Standardized testing has always been one of the most stressful parts of the college admissions process. This one single exam generates one number that will determine where your life is going for the next four years. And for years, it seemed there was really one standardized test worth taking- the SAT exam given by the College Board. In recent years, however, the SAT has been challenged and actually overtaken by the ACT exam in terms of how many students a year take the exam. So the question becomes how does this information affect the average college applicant, and what can you do to use it to maximize your success?

This Table explains the way that the SAT and ACT are scored:

Score Range
Number Of Sections
Type Of Sections
600-2400, 800 for each section
Critical Reading, Writing, and Mathematics
1-36, 1-18 for each section
English, Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences.
How did the ACT overtake the SAT? ACT offers significant advantages to a student over the SAT. First of all, there are no penalties for wrong answers, unlike the SAT that currently gives you a quarter of a point off for every wrong answer. Second, the essay for the ACT, unlike the SAT, is completely optional. Third, and most importantly, the ACT is more directly linked to the actual curriculum of education, where the SAT is more based on the critical reasoning skills learned through the curriculum.

In addition to this, multiple states mandate that schools pay for the ACT and force high school students to take it. On the one hand, this could be seen as a very effective marketing tactic by the ACT. On the other hand, it could also be seen as an attempt to get students in a college ready mindset as well as giving them the chance to compensate for low grades with a high score on a standardized test. And therein lies the question--which test should a prospective college student take?

The answer is that you should take both. Until you take the test, or at least begin to study to take the test, you will have no idea which test would better show your strengths to a college. Because of this, I would highly advise that if you have the money and the time, you prepare for and take both of them, and take them multiple times. Many colleges, for example, allow you to use your best SAT/ACT scores and omit prior test results for evaluation, even if you have taken both tests multiple times.

This is a critical issue because this score plays an important part in college acceptance. Let’s use a conservative estimate and say that the SAT only counts for ten percent of whether or not a college accepts you. That’s one number, one single test that will account for ten percent of how a college views you. And with that in mind, why not make as much effort as you can to make sure that number is the best possible number it can be?

Which test will students take?

Current 10th Graders (Class of 2016)
SAT: Take the current SAT.
PSAT: Take the current PSAT.
ACT: Take the current ACT.

Current 9th Graders (Class of 2017)
SAT: Take the current SAT until Fall of Junior year.  Starting Spring of Junior year, take the NEW SAT.
PSAT: Take the NEW PSAT in the Fall of Junior year.
ACT: Take the ACT Aspire to prepare for the ACT, which is not going through a major change.

Current 8th Graders (Class of 2018)
SAT: Take the current SAT until Fall of Sophomore year.  Take the NEW SAT in Junior and Senior year.
PSAT: Take the New PSAT in the Fall of Sophomore and Junior year.
ACT: Take the ACT Aspire to prepare for the ACT, which is not going through a major change.

Current 7th Graders (Class of 2019)
SAT: Take the NEW SAT.
PSAT: Take the New PSAT.
ACT: Take the ACT Aspire to prepare for the ACT, which is not going through a major change.

By Rob Holloman
School Choice International


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