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Hunter College Elementary School is a New York City elementary school for intellectually gifted students, located on Manhattan's Upper East Side. It is administered by Hunter College, a senior college of the City University of New York.
Hunter College Elementary School was created in 1940 as an experimental school for gifted students. It grew out of the Hunter College Model School and assumed its current name in 1941. From its inception until 1973, Hunter College Elementary School was located at the Hunter College campus at 68th Street and Lexington Avenue. Its current location is at 71 East 94th Street in New York City. It is sometimes said that it is harder to get into this elementary school than into Ivy League colleges.
The school has enjoyed tremendous success over the years and in the 1950s and 1960s was recognized worldwide for its groundbreaking approach to the education of gifted students. A 2005 review by  recognizes the significant history and mission statement of the school but mentions that the institution may be foundering somewhat for want of attention from its parent organization, Hunter College. Recent staff turnovers have resulted in a lack of consistency of teaching quality, although many parents feel that the quality of instruction remains outstanding.
One of its most notable principals was Dr. Florence Brumbaugh, educator and author of children's literature, who retired in 1960 and was succeeded by Louis T. Camp. The current principal is Randall Collins, who will be resigning at the end of the school year.
Students are accepted only from the Manhattan region of New York City, and only at the kindergarten grade. Fifty students are accepted each year, up from 48, an equal number of boys and girls, from varying backgrounds.
The application process requires the completed application packet sent with a copy of the prospective student's birth certificate, and a $70 money order to cover administrative fees (though a $35.00 fee waiver is granted to students who would be eligible for the free or reduced lunch program in public schools).
Prospective students undergo two rounds of testing, as part of a process to determine a student's eligibility. The first test is a one-on-one assessment with a school-approved child psychologist to administer a modified Stanford-Binet, Fifth Edition test on intellectual reasoning, at a cost of $350. Upon passing with an eligible score, students are then invited to the second round of testing, which involves trained consultants monitoring each student's learning behaviors as they are assigned tasks to complete in both a group session with other hopeful students and an individual session. It is from this session that students are also drawn for the wait-list.
Students are selected based on these observations. All identifying information, such as the student's name and family status, are removed so as to not influence selection by the school's Admissions Committee, resulting in a blind process which precludes a sibling policy that would otherwise give preference to those who already have siblings there or whose parents attended the school. Upon selection, the Administer of Admissions offers acceptance to the twenty-five boys and twenty-five girls recommended by the Admissions Committee, and wait-lists twelve boys and twelve girls, who are used to fill any vacancies arising until the third grade.