High School Admissions Newsletter – Volume 3

Hi Everyone!

I hope your weekend is off to a great start!  There’s a lot of information in here again, but to try to make it a little bit more manageable, I’ve started a blog so I don’t have to type all of the info you need in the body of an email.  I’ll have links to specific posts throughout this newsletter, but you can also get there directly at michaeladaniel.wordpress.com.

You can also follow me on social media if that’s your thing:
Twitter – @MDEducation
Finally, a parent told me this week that the high school search “feels like a second full time job.”  I hate to say it, but if you’re doing this right, that’s going to be the case for the next 6-8 weeks.  THANK YOU!!!  You are awesome!!
As always, please reach out if you have any questions,

What You Should Be Doing Now:
Get Ready for Selective Art High School Auditions

It’s not a surprise that New York City has some of the most amazing art-focused college prep high schools in the country.  These schools have educated performers like Alicia Keys (Professional Performing Arts School), Al Pacino (LaGuardia), and Mos Def (Talent Unlimited).  They also have some of the highest graduation rates in the city and send hundreds of students to the country’s top colleges every year.  And, while grades and test scores play a role in admissions, there is a little more wiggle room than with other top high schools.

Below are links to everything you need to know about applying (auditioning) to arts high schools:

  • A chart of which schools offer which programs is available here.
  • Introductory videos to each school are available here.
  • The DOE guide to auditioning for schools is available here.
  • My comprehensive guide to auditions (with preparation checklists for every kind of studio and specific audition guidelines for each school) is attached to this email. (It’s also available here, but the links don’t work on the Google Doc version.)
Especially with studio arts programs (for which students must create a portfolio), it can take 20-30 hours to prepare for auditions.  Start now!
Test Prep

Around 30,000 students across New York City will take the Specialized High School Admissions Test in October to try to secure one of about 3000 seats in specialized high schools (yup, that’s a 10% acceptance rate).  Many of those students have been practicing and prepping for years (check out this article!).  If your child is serious about attending a specialized high school, prep needs to be an all-encompassing family affair for the next 3 weeks.  Math practice in the morning before breakfast, vocabulary flash cards on the bus to school, practice test questions and discussions about how to get to the right answers over dinner, scrambled paragraphs before bed, full practice tests every weekend.  You get the idea.  The same is true for the TACHS exam (where a high score can earn your child Catholic school scholarships) and the ISEE or SSAT if your child is applying to private or boarding school.  You can get prep books for all of these exams at the library, from any local bookstore, or from Amazon.  You can also find practice questions in the Specialized High Schools handbook, the TACHS Handbook, the SSAT website, and the ISEE website.

Make a Plan for Next Weekend’s High School Fair

It’s coming!  Next weekend is the citywide high school fair at Brooklyn Tech.  That means 7 floors of high schools all in one place – a great opportunity to learn about a ton of different schools from across the city, but also potentially totally overwhelming.  That’s why you need a plan!  Here’s what I suggest:

the fair:
  • Make a list of 15 – 30 schools that interest you and your child (if you need help doing this, email me)
  • Read the DOE guide to the high school fair to figure out where in Brooklyn Tech each of the schools on your list will be located during the fair.
  • Create a standard note-taking system to map out your day and track what you learn about schools.  I made a template you can use, but feel free to do it any way you want.
AT the fair:

  • Sign in at every school you visit.
  • Talk to students and staff members from every school and get them to answer questions that you can’t use the high school guide or Inside Schools for.  For example:
    • Instead of asking how many students attend the school (easy to look up online or in the high school book), ask how students get along with each other and with their teachers.
    • Instead of asking about the graduation rate (easy to find on Inside Schools), ask where students go to college and how many of the school’s alumni graduate from college in 4 years.
    • Instead of asking what sports teams a school offers (easy to figure out in the high school book or on the PSAL website), ask what % of students play sports or participate in other clubs or activities.  You want to go to a school where students are eager to be part of a vibrant, interesting community.
  • Pick up copies of all of the fliers, handouts, and other information schools have to offer – you’ll probably want to bring a tote bag and a pen with you (and wear comfortable clothes and shoes).
High School Spotlight: Urban Assembly New York Harbor School

Did you know that there is a New York City public school where students study scuba diving and take a ferry to school?  At the New York Harbor School, students learn to build and operate boats; spawn and harvest millions of oysters; design submersible, remotely-operated vehicles; conduct real-life research; and dive underwater. Students go on trips, tour colleges, hear and learn from experts in science and industry, and participate in the school’s on-going oyster restoration research program.  They also take a rigorous academic course load in all of the major subjects.  Graduates of the Harbor School have gone on to college at a variety of CUNYs and SUNYs, as well as out-of-state and private colleges like the University of Vermont, NYU, Ithaca, and Penn State.
Watch a video to learn more about the New York Harbor School here or check them out on their website or on Inside Schools.
**Please note that New York Harbor School is a Limited Unscreened school that gives admissions preference to students who have demonstrated interest, so if you are at all interested in applying, you should visit them at the High School Fair and sign in.

Upcoming Events:

Immediately –

  • Register for Bard High School Early College Assessment
(note – students must have an 85+ average and a 3 or 4 on both state exams to be eligible to apply to Bard) To register, please go to: http://bhsec.bard.edu/admission/
  • Register for Eleanor Roosevelt High School Tours

(note – students must have an 90+ average and a 3 or 4 on both state exams to be eligible to apply to Eleanor Roosevelt) To register, please go to: http://erhsnyc.org/apps/pages/?uREC_ID=91117&type=d

  • Register for Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT)
(Students must register and get a ticket from their middle school guidance counselor)
  • Register for the Test for Admission to Catholic High Schools (TACHS) Exam

Register at http://www.tachsinfo.com/

Sunday, September 22

  • Last day to register for October 12 SSAT

This is the test that students applying for boarding school have to take.  Please contact me if you have questions about whether your child should be taking this test.

Register here: http://www.ssat.org/test/registration/fees-deadlines#calendar

Monday, September 23, 2013

  • Bard High School Early College Queens Open House
5:30PM – 7:30PM
30-20 Thomson Ave. (6th Floor), Long Island City, Queens
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
  • Williamsburg Prep Open House
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
257 NORTH 6 STREET Brooklyn
Wednesday, September 25, 2013

  • Bard High School Early College Manhattan Open House
5:30PM – 7:30PM
525 East Houston Street, New York, NY 10002
  • New York Harbor School Open House

4:00PM – 6:30PM

Open Houses begin at 4:45 PM and end at 5:45 PM. Students and their families should plan to arrive at the Battery Maritime Building by 4:00 PM in order to ride the 4:15 PM ferry to Governors Island. Travel directions are located here. Be sure to register for an Open House by completing the form below! http://newyorkharborschool.org/admissions/open-houses/
Friday, September 27 –

  • All City Leadership Secondary School Open House


321 Palmetto Street Brooklyn, NY 11212

Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29 – 

  • Citywide High School Fair @ Brooklyn Tech
29 Ft. Green Place, Brooklyn, NY 11217 10AM – 3PM
Sunday, September 29, 2013
  • Catholic High School Information Fair
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Xavier High School – 30 W 16th Street Manhattan

Sunday, September 29, 2013

  • Bishop Kearney High School Open House
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
2206 60th Street Brooklyn NY 11204

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

  • Millennium Brooklyn Open House
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
237 7th Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11215
  • Great Boarding Schools Fair: Yale Club (New York, NY)
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Yale Club, 50 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, NY 10017

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

  • New York Harbor School Open House
4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Open Houses begin at 4:45 PM and end at 5:45 PM. Students and their families should plan to arrive at the Battery Maritime Building by 4:00 PM in order to ride the 4:15 PM ferry to Governors Island. Travel directions are located here. Be sure to register for an Open House by completing the form below! http://newyorkharborschool.org/admissions/open-houses/
4:30 pm – 5:30 AND 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
411 East 76th Street New York, NY 10021
  • Bard High School Early College Queens Open House
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
30-20 Thomson Ave. (6th Floor), Long Island City, Queens
  • Christo Rey Brooklyn High School Open House
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
710 East 37th Street Brooklyn NY 11203

Thursday, October 3, 2013

  • The Beacon School Open House for Manhattan and Bronx Residents 
4:30 pm – 7:00 pm
227 W. 61st Street New York, NY 10023

Sunday, October 6, 2013

  • Christ the King Regional High School Open House
10:00 am – 1:30 pm
68-02 Metropolitan Ave Middle Village NY 11379
  • Monsignor Scanlan High School Open House
11:30 am – 3:00 pm
915 Hutchinson River Parkway Bronx NY 10465
  • Moore Catholic High School Open House
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
100 Merrill Ave Staten Island NY 10314
  • Aquinas High School Open House
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
685 East 182nd Street Bronx NY 10457

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