I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that the SHSAT is changing for this coming fall. I know some people already have test prep on their radar. Whether or not the SHSAT is an option you’re pursuing, there are other things you can dip your toes into now - to get a sense of what you’ll be dealing with come spring/fall.
Here are links to the high school/specialized high school directories and other (sort of) helpful tools:
This makes it easier to pinpoint specific schools:
A place to start could be glancing at the high school directory. The one posted online is last year’s. The new ones will be available in June - your kids should be given copes to bring home. They are chock full of info that’s mostly correct. One thing they don’t have is open house/tour info. The handbooks are published before most schools have done that planning.
The main round handbook is divided by borough and along with overviews of the schools, what they offer, info about graduation, extra curriculars, etc, the DOE started noting how many kids were admitted both GE (general education) and SWD (students with disabilities) alongside how many applications they got. For schools with specific screens (district, borough, etc.), info is noted about how many seats were filled per screen. This is helpful info to have. If you see a school takes 99% of students from a geographic screen and you don’t live in it, then it’s a school you shouldn’t have at the top of your list.
Perusing the directory was how I got both my kids involved in the process, although we waited until they brought the handbooks home. I handed each of them a post its pad and told them to mark off schools that sounded interesting or appealing. It got them thinking about the wide variety of options out there.