Thursday, December 10, 2009

Blackboard Awards 2009

Congratulations to:
Outstanding Public High School Eleanor Roosevelt
Rising Star Public High School Manhattan Hunter Science

West Side Spirit Covers the High School Hustle

On the Monday after Thanksgiving, parents and 8th graders in public middle schools around the city put the final touches on their high school applications. With admissions rounds in both fall and winter, a separate specialized high school exam and sometimes-confusing forms to fill out, the application process generally causes stress for all. But adding to the stress for many parents on the West Side is the frustrating fact that no selective District 3 schools give local students admissions preference. Read more at

US News and World Report HS Rankings 2009

Most of our NYC specialized schools make the top 100.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

HS Admissions from a High School Perspective

Must read. Impressive post by iSchool co-principal Mary Moss.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

DOE Response to Concern About D2 Preferences

Thank you for your email to which I have been asked to respond on the Chancellor’s behalf. It is clear from your letter that you are familiar with our choice process and have some concerns about your child’s chances of getting into the schools in which you have interest.

As you correctly pointed out, there are a number of schools that give priority to District 2. In fact, nine high schools give priority to District 2 and four give priority to District 3. You also mentioned some selective screened schools that give priority to District 2, including Eleanor Roosevelt, Millennium, School of the Future, and others. It is true that these are some of the more selective and highly sought-after high schools. Screened schools, as you know, select candidates to rank based on the degree to which those students meet their selection criteria, and only ranked candidates can match to those programs. While District 2 students are given priority at the schools mentioned above, that does not necessarily mean other students will not be ranked and matched to one of those schools. In fact, among the screened schools that give priority to District 2, 30% of their 9th grade matches for 2009-2010 were represented by students outside of District 2.

At the same time, there are a number of highly selective high schools, screened and otherwise, that do not prioritize students from any district — Beacon, Bard, Columbia Secondary, High School for Environmental Studies, ICE, NEST+m, and NYCiSchool, just to name a few — in addition to the Specialized High Schools like Stuyvesant and High School for Math, Science and Engineering at the City College. The approximate number of seats allocated at screened programs that give priority to District 2 is only 5% of the total number of seats in Manhattan alone.

While screened programs and the high schools you mentioned may represent an excellent fit for some students, there are many choices that we encourage you and your family to explore. There are many schools throughout the city that have very strong instructional programs with a rich array of AP and college course offerings. Whatever your final school preferences may be, the choice process provides you with a “safe” way of making choices: You should list your choices of high schools on the high school application in your true order of preference. That is, high schools will not see how you ranked them, and you will not reduce your chances of matching to any given school based on your preferences.

I encourage your child — as well as all 8th graders — to research and consider choosing the schools that will give them the best possible chance to succeed. Your child’s guidance counselor is an excellent resource and he or she can help you identify such schools. Once you consider the wide variety of schools throughout the city and list them on the application in your order of preference, you can make the most of the high school choice process.

If you would like to discuss your options further or review your child’s application, I would be happy to speak with you. Please do not hesitate to contact me at


Leonard Trerotola
Executive Director for High School Enrollment