This is overwhelming. And confusing. It’s a flawed system that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Information can be spotty. Every school handles things differently.
There are going to be mistakes. Overlaps. Missed tours. Stresses about test prep and essays and regular school and extra curricular activities. Kids who are ambivalent. Other families who seem more together than you. People with strong opinions about schools they know nothing about. It’s easy to feel lost in this process.
When going through this with my kids, our mantra was, “it’s just high school.” And it is. Just high school. Some will find great fits. Some won’t. Some will get their first choices. Some won’t. No matter where your kid ends up, they’ll make new friends, have terrific and not so terrific teachers, learn new things, figure out more about what they like and they don’t. And often, as I’ve found with my two, learning what they don’t like is an empowering thing.