DREAM Program

DREAM (Determination, Resiliency, Enthusiasm, Ambition, Motivation) is an extracurricular academic program that prepares eligible New York City public school students for the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT), which students can take in grade eight.

DREAM currently runs two initiatives:

  • The Specialized High School Institute (DREAM-SHSI), which runs from February of grade six to the fall of grade eight, and
  • The Summer/Fall Intensive (Intensive), which runs during the summer and fall before students take the SHSAT in grade eight.

DREAM has 20 locations throughout the five boroughs. Students are assigned a location based on the district of residence.

Specialized High School Institute

If your child is eligible, an application will be sent to their school during the fall of the year they are in grade six. You must return the completed application to the school by the identified date. For more information, contact the guidance counselor at your child’s school or email the DREAM program at SHSI@schools.nyc.gov.

Eligibility for Specialized High School Institute

To be eligible for DREAM-Specialized High School Institute (SHSI), a student must:

  • Be a current NYC resident
  • Be a current grade six student in a DOE public or charter school
  • Meet income requirements based on Federal guidelines
  • Have scored a minimum of 3.0 on the 2017 grade five NY State English language arts and math exams
  • Once selected for the program, the student/family must accept their offer by committing to participating for the full program, which spans parts of three school years (grades six, seven, eight) and two summers

Participation in DREAM-SHSI is based on the random selection of applications submitted by eligible students.  Eligible students who submitted applications and were not offered placement are placed on a waitlist. Offers from the waitlist are generated four times throughout the year.

The next Specialized High School Institute will run from February 2018 to October 2019. The program is currently filled. The next application process will begin in Fall 2018.

DREAM Summer-Fall Intensive

The DREAM Summer-Fall Intensive SHSAT test-prep program recruits eligible students each spring. Invitation letters to participate in the DREAM Summer/Fall Intensive are sent to schools and mailed to eligible students' homes. Parents accept the invitation by following the enrollment instructions in the letters.  For additional questions, contact the guidance counselor at your child's school or  mail SHSI@schools.nyc.gov.

Eligibility for the Summer-Fall Intensive

To be eligible for the Intensive students must meet all of the following:

  • Be a current NYC resident
  • Attend a DOE public or charter school
  • Be completing grade seven and planning to enroll in grade 8 next school year
  • Live, or attend school, in NYC school district 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, or 32
  • Score a minimum score of 3.00 on the 2017 grade six English language arts, and a minimum of 4.05 on the 2017 grade six Mathematics NY State tests

Score criteria are subject to change.

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