As you’re seeing, every school operates differently. Part of the reason that schools like Beacon and Stuy offered more than one open house (although now Stuy is down to one) is that there was an initial presentation and then families were guided through the school by tour guides. That led to a back up - sort of like waiting on line for a Disney World ride. Other schools, like Bronx Science, open their doors and you walk through and see whatever you like. Brooklyn Tech is a hybrid. They have a presentation in the auditorium (I’ve seen it standing room only which means well over 3000 people are there) but you don’t have to sit through it, and then you’re free to wander.
By time you have a handle on all this, it’ll be over.
AND SPECIFICALLY ABOUT SPECIALIZED OPEN HOUSES:
All specialized high school open house info is now posted in the important dates section of the HS411 website. And, Brooklyn Latin tours should go live next week (thanks Joanne).
There are TWO big changes from previous years:
LaGuardia is holding an open house. Even families at LaGuardia had no idea this was happening this year. But, it’s on the official DOE calendar so it must be true. And it’s looking like Stuy is holding one open house instead of two. Hmmm. New principal - perhaps new ways of looking at things. But having experienced the crowds at a Stuy open house, it’s hard to imagine how they'll be able to accommodate everyone in one night. I heard from someone at the school that they’re hosting a separate evening for underrepresented minorities, but that still leaves an awful lot of families trying to see the school at the same time.
A bit about the Stuy open house (at least how it’s been run in the past) . . .
It’s super crowded. You need to get there early. They let people in in groups - first you’d see a presentation in the auditorium (the singing portion lasted a bit long) and then you were assigned student tour guides who walked you through the building. There were almost no teachers around. The two girls heading up my tour were like a comedy skit - neither was quite sure of facts and they kept corrected each other about required classes, time between periods, how things worked. Jack and I walked away more than a bit confused. In fact, we tried to escape our tour and couldn’t seem to get out of the building. It was like that movie After Hours - we thought we’d never get out. Having said that, the school is beautiful. The location is amazing. The kids who volunteered that night were motivated and serious go getters (you find that at most of these events).