looking at last year and going forward

I polled High School 411 families about their placement results and over 200 replied (which was awesome). I was able to pull together some data that I thought would help as you start the process. 

The families I polled had similar stats to citywide data: just under 45% of families got their first choice main round school, 70 or so percent got one of their top three. 

Some thing the DOE isn’t talking about: generally 8-10% of kids don’t get an offer. This year, they decided to assign students to a school not on their application instead of them having no option. 7% of the families I polled were given a seat at a school they hadn’t ranked. For the most part they seemed to be geographically close to where kids live, but not always.

There are also a number of kids getting offers at a specialized school (LaGuardia or one of the 8 SHSAT schools) but not a main round school. Within the families who shared info, that was 6%. A middle school principal recently told me that kids were starting to think of specialized schools as safeties. 

Some other take aways from my quick poll:

Attendance matters! Principals count that in their rankings. It’s not as simple as the “under 10 absences” that people think is the standard. Every school has their own rubric. 

People continue to rank schools they are not eligible for either by location, or screens, or grades/test scores. SUPER important when putting together final lists to make sure your child fits a school’s criteria. It’s a waste of a space if they don’t.

Last year’s format change in ELA and math tests (3 days to 2) resulted in scores under what many families were expecting, leading to not being eligible for all schools they’d expected to rank. I know families are thinking about opting out, as the DOE has stated there is no penalty in not taking the tests. 

Important to be careful on specialized applications (those are filled out by your kid on test day). Some families received an offer from Brooklyn Latin only, no main round, and that wasn’t a school they’d seriously been considering. Brooklyn Latin has the lowest cut off score of all the specialized. 

Cut off scores for specialized high schools went up about a few points at almost all schools: 


Keep in mind these numbers are self reported. The higher scores is being attributed to seats being held out for the Discovery Program. This past season 13% of seats were held out. This coming season 20% of seats will be held out.

QUICK NOTE: You can’t appeal your specialized offer and if you get a specialized seat and don’t accept it during the main round, you lose it.

Bard Queens and Millennium Brooklyn are part of the Diversity Initiative, leaving fewer seats available for general main round offers. Both of those will be harder to get into as there will be less seats available. 

But Manhattan Millenium changed their screen at the last minute last year so now their first first is for below Houston street and then ALL of NYC (before it was below Houston, then Manhattan, then the whole city.


Bard Queens usually has posted spring touring options by now, but nothing is out yet. NYC iSchool will post spring dates mid April. Bronx Science and Bard Manhattan spring info is already posted on the HS411 calendar. Will keep you posted as I hear more.