April was a busy month, as I traveled to a number of schools, offices and homes to meet with 6th and 7th grade families looking to get a good start on the high school admissions process. Kudos to all those families for showing up and taking advantage of the opportunity to learn all you can!
For those of you who missed these events, I will share a few of the most common questions that came up (in no particular order), along with an abbreviated version of my responses!
Q: What are the best resources I can use to learn about schools?
A: With over 700 high school programs from which to choose, school research can seem overwhelming. A few good resources to consider are your school counselor, the high school directory (don’t wait to get the new one in June – go to http://schools.nyc.gov/ChoicesEnrollment/High/Resources/default.htm and check out the DOE resources), school websites, insideschools.org, or a good school admissions consultant!
Whatever resources you use, though, remember there is no substitute for visiting schools!
Q: What should I be doing now to prepare?
A: It is not too early to begin preparing, and there are a number of things you can be doing now to save yourself time and aggravation down the road. One of the best things you can do in May, for example, is find a few schools to visit – whether that includes formal school visits/tours, or just informal visits. A great idea is to find a school event your child is interested in (spring concert, drama production, or sporting event) and visit the school for that event.
Q: What are the best schools to consider for my child?
A: (watch this week’s video!)
Q: What if I don’t get any of my choices?
A: Be sure to learn about how school matches are made, how the ranking process works, what are admissions methods and priorities, etc etc. And be sure to understand the different rounds in the process, appeals, etc. This can go a long way towards knowing how to plan for the worst, what to expect and anticipate!