high school fairs this weekend

This year high school fairs will be happening this weekend in 4 out of 5 boroughs—seems Staten Island doesn’t have its own fair or is represented at any of the others. They’ll happen again in a weekend in October. 

You can find details about where and when for both weekends on the DOE calendar below:

Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx are in different locations in September and October, Manhattan is the same for both.

This is the first year they’re doing ONLY borough specific fairs so I’m not sure what to expect. There’s no way of knowing what schools will be there. In the past they had a list when you arrived of who was attending, and that helped, but not all schools show up day of. I’ve found that super popular schools (Beacon, Eleanor Roosevelt for example) haven’t come in the past—they already get too many applicants. And, there’s been no word about whether there will be any specialized schools in attendance. In the past, they all showed up at the citywide fair, so families could talk to people at all of the 8 test in schools in one location. No published alternative for this year.

Here’s the deal: if you want to see schools in more than one borough, you’ll need to go to fairs in more than one borough. I’d suggest making a list of what schools you’d like to see and then figure out touring days. Could be you want to talk to schools you couldn’t get a tour reservation at, or schools that don’t offer tours, or you’d like a few minutes with an administrator to talk about specifics for your child. These fairs are a good opportunity to do that. 

People have asked how long you can expect to be there and I can’t give an answer, since this set up is new. But I’d go in with a game plan - that will help keep things under control. My daughter and I went to the HS fair with no plan in mind whatsoever and it was one fo the longest experiences I can remember. The silver lining was Juniors cheesecake (near Brooklyn Tech).

I’m planning to go to the Manhattan fair this weekend and Brooklyn in October. I’d love to hear your feedback from whichever fairs you attend.

LAST NOTE: you don’t have to go to a far. My son and I didn’t - he’s not a crowd person and I knew it would be too overwhelming for him. Sometimes parents go themselves, to ask questions and get a sense of things. If you’re planning on visiting a bunch of individual schools, it might not make sense to go to the fair. Pace yourselves—it’s going to be quite a busy fall.

ELRO updates

They only have registration open for October 3:


On their homepage they mention there will be 2 other open house dates, 10/24 and 11/3. Those sign ups will go live at another time.

ELRO sign ups are always a bit tricky to find, but this year takes the cake. An open house button that goes nowhere, a message on the homepage that they’ll go live tomorrow, and making that registration link live on that left drop down menu is confusing. 
MY ADVICE: you might want to think about waiting for a later date. I took both my kids after the SHSAT.

There is now a green OPEN HOUSE tab on the home page, left side:


Someone knows someone who actually signed up that way today (that sounds like the stuff of urban legends), but there’s no longer a sign up form at that link. It takes you to an OPEN HOUSE TOURS page, which is different than the REGISTER FOR AN OPEN HOUSE page that’s listed under admissions information. That page still says the 17th. But the homepage says sign ups will go live on the 18th. We’ll see. 

I’ll keep checking. If something goes live, please let me know.

Eleanor Roosevelt’s home page is now saying open house sign ups will go live tomorrow at 10:30am:


It sounds like they’re only opening up registration for those 3, but they’ve got more open houses scheduled and sign ups for those will happen at a later date. On their open house sign up page though, they still have today listed as the day they go live. I reached out to the school but haven’t heard anything yet.

My gut is that tomorrow at 10:30 things will kick into place, but I’ll keep checking today, just in case.