I know there are many information sources out there and they’re not always sharing the same info. I’ve even found different people at the same school sharing different info and DOE reps at the fair on Saturday couldn’t answer my questions. Whew. But I wanted to see what I could do to clear up some things I’ve been hearing from a bunch of parents.
When schools say they fill up on their first screen, that’s pretty clear cut that yes, if you’re not in that first screen, you basically don’t have a shot. Brooklyn Millennium now fills up 100% with kids from Brooklyn. Lab, ElRo, Baruch all fill up with District 2 kids. Seriously, 100% and you’re wasting a spot if you’re not a D2 family. School of the Future does too, although many kids continue on from middle school so they don’t have that many spaces. Clinton’s current screen is continuing middle school and then Manhattan and fills up with those. Harvest Collegiate fills up with Manhattan kids. Museum Schools is a District 2 school but doesn’t fill up with kids that way and takes students from all over NYC. East Side Community fills mostly with continuing middle school students and then is open to all NYC.
You can find this info for every school in MySchools. Click on Admissions Method and it’ll show you what the screens are and how they filled up last year. This does change from year to year (Last year West End Secondary had 70% of kids continue on from middle, the year before they had 90%) but at least this gives a sense. Generally if a school fills up 100% a certain way that doesn’t change to less.
Will waitlists make a dent? Doubtful, at least for the more popular schools.
Also, I want to debunk this myth: you DO NOT have to put a school first to get an offer there. Principals will say so but they don’t know how you rank them. I track families in real time and at just about every school I track, there were kids who got in who didn’t rank them first (that includes Beacon, ElRo, and Lab). Having said that, the higher you rank a school, the better your shot of getting an offer, provided that you fit that schools screen.