If you haven’t already heard, 8th grade families are now scrambling to take control over an overwhelming high school admissions process.  The huge, citywide fair just ended, and tens of thousands of 8th grade families across the city are wondering to themselves:  “How are we supposed to do everything we need to do in the next several months, and end up with a high school we are comfortable with?”


Families of 6th and 7th graders, take note.  This could be you.  The unfortunate reality is that the majority of families wait until September of the 8th grade year to kick-start their high school search.  And many of these same families are the ones who end up unhappy with their high school match.    Don’t ask me; just ask all the independent researchers who discovered the same thing.


Don’t let that be you.  For 6th grade families, and especially 7th grade families, this year is an important one to avoid the scenario described above.  This coming month of October is a great time to get engaged in the process and take better control now rather than a year or two from now.


So what does that mean for 6th and 7th grade students and parents?


1.  Get to know your counselor or another expert on the process.  They will play a big part in helping you get a high school of choice, so it’s important to get to know them now so they can be your biggest advocate and help you avoid any problems later on.


2.  Plug in.  That means becoming familiar with the admissions events coming up, signing up for emails, videos and newsletters (like ours!), getting to know the high school admissions calendar, and generally becoming more aware of what you will be going through later.  It will make it that much easier when it really counts.  And if you can, start attending events like open houses and fairs to learn as much as you can.


3.  Set your sights high, and know what schools are looking for.  Get a copy of the latest high school directory and start reviewing it.  If your favorite high school is looking for certain grades or test scores, know what they are.  Now.  If your child has subject areas that are weaker than others, get the help you need from your teachers.


4.  Attendance is critical, so students should get to school every day on time.  Remember, 7th grade attendance and grades play a huge part in high school admissions.


5.  Start putting together your best work.  If you have projects or assignments you are especially proud of, keep them in a folder.  You will be able to submit these to high schools.


6.  Be aware of what’s going on with 8th graders.  If you don’t have 8th grade friends, just stay aware of what they are going through – it will be great learning for you later on.  The good and the bad.


7.  Start asking questions.  The more people you talk to, the more you will learn.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions, just remember that ultimately you will have to make your own decisions and decide which schools are best for you.  No one else.


Stay with us all year for more tips and guidance, through this blog and our weekly video tips.  We welcome comments below or at Info@nycadmissionssolutions.com.