high school fairs this weekend

This year high school fairs will be happening this weekend in 4 out of 5 boroughs—seems Staten Island doesn’t have its own fair or is represented at any of the others. They’ll happen again in a weekend in October. 

You can find details about where and when for both weekends on the DOE calendar below:

Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx are in different locations in September and October, Manhattan is the same for both.

This is the first year they’re doing ONLY borough specific fairs so I’m not sure what to expect. There’s no way of knowing what schools will be there. In the past they had a list when you arrived of who was attending, and that helped, but not all schools show up day of. I’ve found that super popular schools (Beacon, Eleanor Roosevelt for example) haven’t come in the past—they already get too many applicants. And, there’s been no word about whether there will be any specialized schools in attendance. In the past, they all showed up at the citywide fair, so families could talk to people at all of the 8 test in schools in one location. No published alternative for this year.

Here’s the deal: if you want to see schools in more than one borough, you’ll need to go to fairs in more than one borough. I’d suggest making a list of what schools you’d like to see and then figure out touring days. Could be you want to talk to schools you couldn’t get a tour reservation at, or schools that don’t offer tours, or you’d like a few minutes with an administrator to talk about specifics for your child. These fairs are a good opportunity to do that. 

People have asked how long you can expect to be there and I can’t give an answer, since this set up is new. But I’d go in with a game plan - that will help keep things under control. My daughter and I went to the HS fair with no plan in mind whatsoever and it was one fo the longest experiences I can remember. The silver lining was Juniors cheesecake (near Brooklyn Tech).

I’m planning to go to the Manhattan fair this weekend and Brooklyn in October. I’d love to hear your feedback from whichever fairs you attend.

LAST NOTE: you don’t have to go to a far. My son and I didn’t - he’s not a crowd person and I knew it would be too overwhelming for him. Sometimes parents go themselves, to ask questions and get a sense of things. If you’re planning on visiting a bunch of individual schools, it might not make sense to go to the fair. Pace yourselves—it’s going to be quite a busy fall.