citywide high school fair and a bit about specialized high schools

Tomorrow and Sunday is the citywide high school fair, held at Brooklyn Tech in Fort Greene: 

http://schools.nyc.gov/ChoicesEnrollment/High/events/default.htm

It’s busy, crazy, crowded, overwhelming, hot (there’s no air conditioning in the hallways at Tech), and intense. 

But, it can also be an effective way of talking to people at a bunch of schools in one shot.

Someone asked about some of the smaller specialized schools - I’ll write more in a bit - but the fair could be a good way of asking specific questions of each while not having to leave the Brooklyn Tech gym. Could be you get info that piques your interest in something you hadn’t thought about before. Or, you might realize after delving in a bit, somewhere isn’t a good fit for your child and it’ll save you a trip to the Bronx or Staten Island. 

My advice is (and this goes for life in general, not just the fair) go early. The line builds up. Tens of thousands of people are there over the 2 days. In the past they put a borough on each floor with the specialized high schools in the gym. 

And now, a bit more about specialized (some of this I’ve written about before). There are 8 test in schools. The original 3: Stuy, Bronx Science, and Brooklyn Tech are big. The first 2 have over 3000 students each, Tech is now past 5600 I believe. Staten Island has closer to 1000, the rest are considerably smaller. As I’ve said before, I can only speak with authority about the school my kids were at, but I know families at many schools and get general info from them I’m happy to pass along. If any of these places interest you, go visit or do more research.

American Studies (DON’T call it Lehman - there’s another Lehman in the Bronx and American Studies or HSAS is what the former prefers to be called) is the one more humanities based specialized school. What some people don’t realize is that there’s a set city curriculum and kids HAVE to take math and science and English and social studies and language. But different schools have different focuses and HSAS is humanities. It’s super small - 90 kids or so per grade - and they only offer AP classes. It’s at the same subway stop as Bronx Science but closer to the station.

Math Science and Engineering (HSMSE) has more of a math/engineering bent and focuses on college level classes. It was founded by the current principal of Brooklyn Tech and I’ve been told there are similarities in how things are set up. It’s another very small school. 

Brooklyn Latin is an IB program - one of the few at a public NYC school. The classes are intertwined in a different way than in a more traditional curriculum set up. Public presentation of work is a big part of what kids do here. There are also mandatory uniforms. It shares a campus with another school.

York at Queens College/State Island Tech - I don’t know anyone at either of these schools. I don’t even know anyone who knows anyone at either of these schools. If either seems like a good fit, check them out and let me know what you think.