Specialized High Schools Institute


What is DREAM – The Specialized High Schools Institute (DREAM - SHSI)?

DREAM – SHSI is a 22-month extracurricular program of rigorous coursework designed to assist eligible NYC public school students in preparing for the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT). DREAM – SHSI coursework emphasizes verbal and math skills, problem-solving, critical analysis, time management, and test-taking strategies specific to the SHSAT.

What is the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT)?

The SHSAT is the test used to determine admission to the following eight Specialized High Schools:

         The Bronx High School of Science

         Brooklyn Technical High School

         The Brooklyn Latin School

         High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering at City College

         High School of American Studies at Lehman College

         Queens High School for the Sciences at York College

         Staten Island Technical High School

         Stuyvesant High School

Who is eligible to apply for DREAM - SHSI?

Public School Student Eligibility:
To be eligible to apply for DREAM 2018, a public school student must meet ALL the following criteria:

• be a current NYC resident,
• be a current 6th grade student,
• be economically disadvantaged as defined by Title I Free Lunch status,
• have a minimum scale score of 317 on the 2015 grade 5 NYS ELA exam,
• have a minimum scale score of 319 on the 2015 grade 5 NYS math exam, and
• have had a minimum attendance rate of 90% during grade 5.

How does a student apply for the DREAM – SHSI program?


Public school students who meet the eligibility criteria described above will receive an invitation letter and a pre-populated application delivered to their schools in late October, 2015.  Applications must be completed and returned to the schools by the date indicated on the application form.  Once applications have been reviewed and the eligibility status of all applications has been certified, offer letters to students for placement in the DREAM – SHSI program will be generated through a random selection process and mailed directly to students’ homes from the Division of Equity and Access. Should the number of eligible applicants exceed the number of available seats, DREAM – SHSI participants will be randomly selected from the pool of eligible candidates. Students who are offered a placement in the program must attend a mandatory orientation with a parent or guardian to finalize acceptance of the offer.  Eligible students who are not offered placement through the random selection process will also be notified by letter from the Division of Equity and Access and will be placed on a waitlist. 

To be accepted into DREAM – SHSI, the students/families must commit to participating for the full 22-months.  The components are outlined below.

When does DREAM - SHSI take place?

The DREAM – SHSI program consists of five components:


Grade Level



Step D

6th Graders

January - June 2016
(16 sessions)

(9:00 AM – 1:00 PM)  

Step R

Rising 7th Graders 

July – August 2016 
(20 sessions)

Monday – Thursday
(9:00 AM – 1:00 PM)

Step E

7th Graders

November – June 2016 
(32 sessions)

(4:00 PM – 6:00 PM)
(9:00 AM – 1:00 PM)

Step A

Rising 8th Graders

July –August 2017 
(20 sessions)

Monday – Thursday
(9:00 AM – 1:00 PM)

Step M

8th Graders 

September – October 2017
(18 sessions)

Tuesday & Thursday
(4:00 PM – 6:00 PM)
(9:00 AM – 1:00 PM)

Where does the DREAM – SHSI program take place?

DREAM – SHSI will be offered at 20 locations throughout the five boroughs. Students who are offered a placement in the program will be advised of program locations in their offer letter from the Division of Equity and Access. 

Current DREAM-SHSI Students: 

DREAM-SHSI Step D Calendar
DREAM-SHSI Step E Calendar

DREAM – SHSI Publications

2015 Public School Parent Information Letter English Spanish Urdu Bengali Russian Korean Arabic Chinese Haitian Creole

Memo For Principals Only:

DREAM SHSI Information.doc