email one: The Bronx Science spring tour is coming up soon and I've got conflicting thoughts about it that I thought I'd share.
I generally suggest to families to go on tours of schools you're interested in, that your child meets the criteria for, that are reasonable commute/wise. In what is going to be a very full fall, it doesn't make sense to use time and energy schlepping to schools you've got no interest in pursuing. An example - just because everyone you've ever met is going to a Beacon or Stuyvesant open house, that doesn't mean you should if they're not the right fit for your child.
Having said that, if Bronx Science is something even slightly on your radar, you might consider going to this open house. Both my kids went in the spring, even though I was relatively sure the commute would be too much for them. I was right both times, but glad they got the experience. It's good to see a school early, when this is still a pretty abstract process. It can work as sort of a practice run, you see how you and your child work together when touring, practice what kinds of things to look for, what kinds of questions to ask, take notes, fill out a tour log, think about commute and neighborhood and what the school offers.
Once September hits you're going to be juggling a lot - this could be nice way to dip your toe in to the touring pool, when you can focus on only this.
email two: Just got a great question (thanks Anni) and wanted to share the answer with everyone.
Bronx Science's open house is truly an open house. They ask you to reserve a spot, but no one checks identification or to make sure you registered. It's more so they have a sense of how many people to expect. It's kind of a free for all - you wander the building yourself and there are teachers and students, parents and administrators throughout so you can explore on your own and ask questions. Yes it gets crowded, but you're not waiting on line for hours to get into the building with a group. I didn't get there early and both times walked right in, after talking to robotics teams in the courtyard.
Weather happened to be lovely both times we toured. While we were on the subway, and as we walked from the station to the school, I had my kids imagine what that would be like before eight in the morning in February.
email three: Thanks Joan for giving me a head’s up about this!
You can get info about taking a bus from Queens or Manhattan to the open house here:
Also, don’t worry if you can’t make this open house. They have another one in the fall. In fact all the specialized schools (including LaGuardia - they hosted their very first one last year) have open houses in the fall. Generally they’re held in the 2 weeks or so before the SHSAT, which can get a bit overwhelming, but know everything will be available for you to check out then.