touring thoughts

Now that some tour/open house dates are up you can start to get a sense of how busy fall is going to be. September, and particularly October can be a lot to juggle - besides tours/open houses, and testing (SHSAT, Bard, Nest), there’s test prep and/or portfolio/auditions to prepare along with regular school. Whew. 

Before the juggling begins, now would be a good time to start thinking about what schools you want to see and when, if you have a chance, you want to see them. I’ve watched years at this point of everyone desperate to get into the Bard open house when the reality is very few families end up listing it - 4 years of high school in 2 years doesn’t work for many kids. Visiting district 2 screened schools if you’re not in the district is generally a waste of time (you can check the high school handbook and see how many people some schools took from their first screens). Brooklyn Tech’s first tour is the second week of school - I don’t know that kids or people at the school itself will be in a full tour mindset yet. 

I made the mistake with my older one of signing her up for the very first Bard assessment. She was mentally still at the beach and wasn’t into test mode yet. Needless to say, she wasn’t invited back for an interview. 

Keep in mind that the SHSAT is generally at the end of October/beginning of November, as are LaGuardia auditions. If your kid is doing either or both, perhaps don’t schedule too many other tours those couple of weeks. It gets overwhelming.

I’m attaching a tour log, for those of you who’ve joined recently. Whether you print these out and take them with you, or jot notes in a notebook, below you’ll find good points to look for/ask about. And it’ll help you keep track, when making final lists and your head is spinning a bit, to have info about schools organized in some way. The 3 things at the bottom was how I kept my little one engaged - after each tour we’d decompress and he’d tell me the 3 things that stood out the most. Could be anything, from colors of doors (purple at Brooklyn Latin) to colors of walls (ugly at Brooklyn Tech), to out lunch options.