ranking schools

I’ve been getting some questions about ranking. There are so many variables to take into account at this point - there’s an awful lot to think about. 

Some things to keep in mind:

If it’s a screened program or school, MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD MATCHES THE SCREEN. I’ll never forget the principal of Baruch telling us at a tour that half their applications didn’t fit their screen. 

RANK IN ORDER OF PREFERENCE. It’s hard for parents and kids to not get caught up in the hype sometimes. It happened to us - Jack put Beacon first at the last minute because everyone else he knew was putting it first and he figured they were onto something. You and your family should put blinders on and avoid outside chatter as much as possible. Put what you like first at the top of the list and go down from there. Or, as we did it, put your least favorite at the bottom and work your way up.

DON’T TRY TO GAME THE SYSTEM. There is no such thing. Ranking something 2nd or 4th or a citywide vs a borough wide or however people think they might figure out an advantage is basically wishful thinking. 

TRY NOT TO GET TOO CAUGHT UP IN RUBRICS. There is SO MUCH INFORMATION out there and it can get overwhelming. Some of those rubrics are daunting and intricately specific. Others are far less so. Again, apples to zebras. It’s hard to compare schools side by side when you’ve got so much info from some and so little from others. This is going to be one of those situations where you can’t and won’t know how it all worked out in the end and trying to figure out concrete answers now is like pushing a rock up a hill.

You still can be changing your minds. Totally ok. We finished Jack’s application at 11:30 the night before it was due. 

The REACH - TARGET - SAFETY system the DOE is pushing this year is a bit misleading. Those are college application terms and make sense when you’re applying to a variety of schools and expecting to get a variety of acceptances. Since you’ll only get one main round offer, rank according to preference. Yes you should have a variety of schools on your list. Yes, it’s smart to have different admissions methods. But don’t include any schools on your list that you wouldn’t be happy with your child attending. 

That deserves it’s own line: DON’T INCLUDE ANY SCHOOLS ON YOUR LIST THAT YOU WOULDN’T BE HAPPY WITH YOUR CHILD ATTENDING. If it’s on your list, you’re telling the DOE you’re ok with it, Makes it much harder to appeal.

MAKE A COPY OF YOUR APPLICATION. Photocopy it. Scan it. Or take a photo of it with your phone. I’ve known situations where they’ve gone missing.

Gear up for a wait. Offer letters generally come out end of February/beginning of March. Remember - ALL OFFERS are on that one letter. That’s when you’ll find out SHSAT scores, which school/schools your child gets an offer at, open house info for specialized schools Quick note: all specialized schools offer open houses in the spring, to help families make a decision. Some main round schools offer them as well, but not all. 

And breathe. You survived this.