It’s a new year, and tens of thousands of families across New York City are now facing the high school admissions waiting game they have heard about and been dreading for months and sometimes years.


After submitting their “Round 1” public high school application choices back in December, they are now asking themselves questions like, “What happens next?”  “What should we expect?”  “What happens after we get our Round 1 result?”  And most important of all, “What if we don’t get a school we wanted?”


Based on my work with hundreds and hundreds of families faced with exactly this scenario, I would like to preview an article that will be featured in the February issue of a prominent NYC parenting magazine, with my Steps Towards Success After Round 1. 


1.  Don’t assume you will get what you want in Round 1.  This may be hard to swallow now, but it is best to assume the worst and be ready for it.  If you are pleasantly surprised, so be it.  But the numbers don’t lie – unfortunately, many students don’t get their #1 choice, or even another top choice.


2.  Anticipate and Plan.  Don’t wait until Round 1 results are issued in March to be prepared for what happens after Round 1.  Know the process, and have a plan of action.  You can rest later.


3.  Understand what happens in Round 2.  This may sound similar to #1, but it cannot be overstated.  You may not have much time to act and make decisions in Round 2.


4.  Understand the appeals process, but don’t rely on it.


5.  You may have to compromise.  Again, this is probably not what you want to hear, but know that many students don’t get their “perfect” match and flourish in their new schools, anyway.


6.  Don’t let your emotions get in the way of the work ahead.  I have seen many families who, in frustration or anger, sabotage their own efforts.  Focus on the work rather than the personalities or emotions.


7.  Consult an expert.  Whether that is your counselor or someone who truly knows the process well, get the facts, develop a solid plan, and don’t act based on rumors or someone else’s situation.


I welcome your comments or questions below or by emailing me at


If you want help understanding the process or developing an action plan, contact us today.