decision making time

While there are still interviews and testing and auditions still going on for some, things are starting to wrap up, as main round applications are due 12/1. 

It’s ok not to have a definitive list yet. It’s ok to keep changing your minds. It’s ok to not have favorites. Hey, it’s ok to not have fallen in love with anything. I went through that with Jack. 

It’s pretty much impossible to imagine who these kids will be during the next four years. What the best environment will be. If you’ve made the right choices. If the school they’re offered will be a good fit. 

I’ve mentioned this before - Jack was offered seats at Baruch and Brooklyn Tech (3rd main round choice and first specialized choice).  Baruch didn’t offer a spring open house so we had to make a decision based on a tour that neither of us was particularly engaged during.  We ended up making the choice based on possible opportunities, thinking at a bigger school he’d have more options going forward. Turns out at least for the first couple of years the smaller school would’ve been a far better choice. He was lost and lonely, and hated where he was. If he had chosen a smaller school he would’ve been on the basketball team, he would’ve been in the neighborhood, he would’ve had a lot of friends he knew from middle school in the same place. 

 We grappled with transferring and each time he decided to stay and stick it out. This year has been transformative. He loves his classes. His major is social science research and he found topics he enjoys,  is enthusiastic about, comes home talking about. The kid he was at the end of eighth grade is someone so different than the person he’s growing into. What was a terrible fit before, now seems like he’s in the right place. You never know. 

There are no guarantees in any of this. You do you best to make smart, informed choices.

And again, it’s only high school. 

some quick thoughts

No 8th grade stuff (test scores, grades, attendance) is looked at during the high school admissions process. 

And some feedback and input about questions I’ve been getting about round 2 and the appeals process. My advice, don’t go into this thinking appealing your offer is an easy thing. It’s not. At this point I’ve heard SO MANY RUMORS about the appeal process and most aren’t true. Some appeals process facts:

They must go through the DOE. A principal can’t just accept you on the spot. 

Appeals need to be for a reason like transportation or welfare of the child. I’ve heard people appealing for things like better sports teams not enough friends at the new school. Things like that generally aren’t going to get you very far. 

If you are offered a spot at a school on your list, it’s much harder to appeal because, by it being on your list you’re agreeing you’re fine with your child going there.

There are ZERO appeals at specialized schools. The offer you get is it. 

You HAVE to have an offer to appeal. If for some reason you don’t get an offer in the main round, you can’t appeal until you get a round 2 placement. 

Having said all that, there are exceptions that almost seem like urban legends. I did know a kid Jack’s age who ended up at Beacon even though it wasn’t on his initial list. That was after an appeal to the chancellor and a mom who knew how to make a lot of noise.