In the past LaGuardia had kids write essays as part of the audition process. It’s not noted on their website anywhere but it’s something I’ve heard from many families.
I checked in with someone who served on their PTA for years and got some info about what they’re looking for. She said it’s not about the most fabulous writing skills, but it’s about how kids talk about their passion, to get a sense of if they’re auditioning because they want to or if it’s more parents pushing them, and also how they commit to a task. She mentioned too that people in the building are noticing how kids act while they’re waiting. They’re looking for kids who are dedicated and focused.
This essay component could change as there’s a new principal in the building.
Also, keep in mind that the audition portion is just part of their admissions rubric. They also consider grades, test scores, and attendance like other screened schools.
Info from their site about what happens at auditions: