This is the post I've been trying to write for a few weeks now. I realize that the New York City High School application process is completely foreign to most of you yet it is now consuming much of my life. I thought I should share this pain...I mean process with you.
Here is the timetable I'm working with. We have to pick up to twelve schools, then list them in the order we prefer, favorite being first and descending from there. There are small schools, career and technical schools, small learning communities, charter schools and specialized high schools. Some of these schools require tests, interviews, essays, one even encourages bringing a portfolio of your achievements. Most of the others only look at your seventh grade report card, test scores and attendance. We do all these things between now and late November. The application is turned in by early December. The schools then decide who they will admit. Of the schools that admit you, you only get into the highest one on your list. For example, say you get into schools 2, 3 and 7 you only actually get into school number 2.
There is a chance that you will get into none of the schools, at which point you will deal with the appeals process in the Spring. The New York City Department of Education assures us that 80% of students get into one of their top 5 choices. Whew that makes me feel better...not.
The there are the Specialized High Schools which we are lucky to have as an option since Avery is considered gifted. These schools involve a test all their own and are outside of the application process. To be honest Bronx Science and Stuyvesant aren't really in the running. Avery is put off by the math and science focus as well as their 2800+ student populations. He is interested in American Studies and Brooklyn Latin (although we'd have to be pretty desperate to let him travel from the Bronx to Brooklyn everyday). He's got to test high enough to get in. American Studies only has 90 slots, it's population is less than 300 students.
All of this leaves me in a state of high [school] anxiety. I went to Stuyvesant, hated it, was miserable and screwed up my academic career because I went there. As parents we need to choose the best school for our child, not necessarily the best school. That is easier said than done with this system. This is why outside of work all I do is research and visit schools with Avery. At least by December our part will be over. We find out about the specialized High Schools in February and the regular High Schools in March.
After going through all this, college applications will seem like a breeze!
On a lighter note a friend shared this test with me. Nothing surprising here:
Your result for The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test...
A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.
You scored better than half in Geek, earning you the title of: Pure Geek.
It's not that you're a school junkie, like the nerd, and you don't really stand out in a crowd, like the dork, you just have some interests that aren't quite mainstream. Perhaps it's anime, perhaps it's computers, perhaps it's bottlecaps, perhaps it's all of those and more. Your interests take you to events and gatherings that are filled with people you find unusual and beyond-the-pale, but you don't quite consider yourself "of that crowd." Instead, you consider yourself to be fairly normal.
Which, you are.
Congratulations! You're the one on the RIGHT!
Thanks Again! -- THE NERD? GEEK? OR DORK? TEST
Have a great weekend all! All you people out at Rhinebeck fondle yarn for me, ok?