“I’m applying to high school this fall – is there anything I can still accomplish before school starts?”

New York City families with rising 8th graders often say to me at this time of the summer there is little more they can do to prepare for applying to high school – especially with the lack of information shared thus far by the NYC Department of Education or individual schools.

In fact, though, there is plenty you and your child can accomplish in the latter part of the summer, even without knowing everything you will eventually learn.  


Briefly, here are my Top 10+ Key Questions for August (in no particular order)

    1. Have you started to identify and plug into key resources, websites and email lists (like the one for the DOE?)?
    2. Have you and your child thought about what has worked and not worked at your current school?
    3. What’s important to you and your child in a new school?
    4. What are your child’s interests, and what might they want to try in high school?
    5. Could testing and/or auditions be in your child’s future (are you familiar with last year’s audition requirements), and if so, do you have a plan to prepare?  Have you registered for any tests that have opened or will open registration in August (ISEE, SSAT, TACHS, etc.)?
    6. Do you have a sense of what the application requirements were last year for schools of interest?  Were there essay questions?  Were there interviews?  Did they require testing?
    7. Have you thought about academic work samples that schools may ask for later on?
    8. Have you started to at least jot down names of schools of interest in a chart?
    9. Have you established a realistic research regimen (including recorded videos that already exist on school websites) and carved out time on your calendar?
    10. Are you getting too bogged down prematurely with particulars such as admission rates, screening criteria, school-based assessments, selectivity, etc?
    11. Have you started to create a high school application calendar, including carving out time now before school starts?  Are you starting to monitor any fall high school events on school websites (they are starting to trickle out!)?
    12. Do you know who your school counselor is so you can speak with them in the fall?  When school starts, be sure to ask if there is a high school info session coming up and what other support they may provide.

Indeed, there is plenty to keep you busy, but don’t overdo it. It’s a marathon, and it’s important that you and your child stay fresh and motivated.  If you are already spending hours upon hours each week on any or all of the items above, it’s probably too much. Stay focused and efficient.

Interested in more guidance?  

Reserve your spot NOW for our FREE webinar on September 20, 2022 (date subject to change), “Keys to Success for 8th Grade Families,” and share with your friends!

Finally, contact us if you would like to have a brief complimentary call about how we can help support your family, PTA or school community.