Monday, October 26, 2009

McCourt School Application Timing

After looking into the issue of HS app timing, here is what happens (verified by Erin Hill, our CS counselor) with new schools like Frank McCourt.

The new schools are announced by the DOE in early Feb., too late to include on our HS apps, which are due Dec. 4. The Specialized and Non-Specialized matches come out in the Specialized Round, also in early Feb. If we get a match at that point, we have to accept before McCourt is activated. Thus, unless something changes, kids who get a Spealized match (and therefore also Non-Specialized) in Feb. won’t be able to consider McCourt unless they very riskily turn down both offers which no one in their right mind would do.

Main-round students, however, will be able to include McCourt. They can attend the New School Fair or otherwise research the new schools announced in Feb. and will have the option to revise their application to add one or more new schools into their order. Therefore, those students wil be able to consider McCourt equally with all the other existing schools. According to Erin, NYCiSchool started off the same way (accepting applications in February) and ended up with a great group of kids.

The downside for McCourt is that the school won't get any students like my son who are taking the SHSAT not so much because they really want a Specialized HS but because they want the opportunity for early notification, there is no downside, and it’s good experience. This pool of kids like Ben, it seems to me, are ideal McCourt candidates and the school won’t get any of them (or as many) in Year One because of this timing glitch.

I ran into Gale Brewer at Saturday’s Global Learning Collaborative tour and she said she was aware of the issue and thought that in the case of McCourt, there might be some kind of "waiver.” She was too busy to pin down beyond that so I don’t know what she meant. I e-mailed her and Shula Warren for more info, which I will pass along once I get it.

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