Someone asked about LaGuardia today and I thought it was a good time to share some basic info about that school and the other specialized ones.
Taking the SHSAT or auditioning for LaGuardia is all arranged through your middle school guidance counselor. They should notify you early in the school year that you have to let them know if your child is taking the test and/or auditioning. They distribute admissions tickets before the test so make sure they know if you're interested. Advance sign ups are mandatory. You cannot just show up and take the test (I'm amazed every year that people actually do that).
LaGuardia. Kids can audition for more than one discipline, like theater and fine arts, or music and theater tech. Kids can also be admitted to more than one disciple. Kids can earn seats at LaGuardia and a spot at a specialized high school. Plus a seat at a main round school. I've known kids with 4 offers - that's some decision to make.
Another note about LaGuardia. They host NO TOURS and NO OPEN HOUSES. There is no chance to check out the school before auditions. Suddenly the overwhelming open house scenario seems lovely compared to absolutely nothing. Some parents sneak into the building during auditions, which is what I did. I went up to the office to ask a question so I got to see at least a couple of floors, the escalator, and glanced in the theater.