DREAM Program

DREAM stands for:

  • Determination
  • Resiliency
  • Enthusiasm
  • Ambition, and
  • Motivation

DREAM is an after-school academic program that prepares eligible seventh-grade New York City public school students to take the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) in the eighth grade.

Exciting news!

As of 2018, the DREAM program is just for seventh grade students. This is to prepare as many seventh graders as possible for the SHSAT. This year we will fill all open seats with seventh graders from our current waitlist. Doing this will double the number of seventh graders receiving SHSAT preparation. Next year the DREAM program will only recruit seventh graders.

If your child was placed on the waitlist in 2017, and is currently in grade seven, you may receive an offer letter. You must accept the invitation by following the enrollment instructions in the letter.

For more information, contact the guidance counselor at your child’s school or email the DREAM program at SHSI@schools.nyc.gov.

DREAM currently runs two initiatives:

Specialized High School Institute (SHSI)

Eligible students who apply are randomly selected to participate in DREAM-SHSI. Eligible students who apply but are not offered a seat are placed on a waitlist. Offers for the waitlist are generated four times a year.

This program runs:

  • On Saturdays during the seventh grade school year
  • Through the summer
  • Into the fall of eighth grade

The timeline for DREAM-SHSI is as follows:

  • This year all open seats will be filled from our waitlist. The waitlist is comprised of sixth graders who applied during the 2017-2018 school year and were wait-listed.  
  • Waitlist offer letters are sent to schools and mailed to eligible students' homes.
  • Families accept the invitation by following the enrollment instructions in the letters
  • The next Specialized High School Institute will run from February 2019 to October 2019.
  • In future years, this programs will run from November of seventh grade through October of eighth grade

To be eligible, you child must:

  • Be a current NYC resident
  • Be currently in the seventh grade in a DOE public or charter school
  • Meet income requirements based on federal guidelines
  • Have scored a minimum of 3.0 on the 2018 grade six NY State English language arts and math exams

If a student is selected, they must commit to participating in the entire program. The program begins when they are in seventh grade and will continue until the fall of their eighth grade year, including the summer.

Please note that students in all NYC districts are eligible for DREAM-SHSI.

DREAM Summer-Fall Intensive

This program runs:

  • During the summer and fall before students take the SHSAT in eighth grade.

The timeline for this program is as follows:

  • Eligible students are recruited 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 email SHSI@schools.nyc.gov

To be eligible for this program, your child must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a current NYC resident,
  • Currently attend a DOE public or charter school,
  • Be completing seventh grade and planning to enroll in eighth grade 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, and
  • Score a minimum of:
    • 3.00 on the 2018 grade six English Language Arts, and
    • 4.05 on the 2018 grade six Mathematics NY State tests
    • Score criteria are subject to change.

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

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