Changes are underway for the New York City high-school admissions policy, schools chancellor David Banks announced Thursday, with a big focus being on grades. With application dates approaching fast, here’s what parents need to know right now about the new admissions policy for NYC high schools.
Banks is working to undo former mayor Bill de Blasio’s admissions policies by changing the high-school admissions criteria to better emphasize good grades. The new policy will give priority to students scoring in the top 15% of their class or citywide with a 90 average for admissions into the city’s approximately 100 screened high schools. Previously, students with an average of 85 and above received priority for screened high schools.
As reported in Chalkbeat, the move marks a departure from the past few years when the pandemic upended many of the selective admissions criteria, forcing changes to admissions that helped move the needle on integrating one of the most segregated school systems in the nation.
The changes come just weeks before the school application process opens.
“If a young person is working their tail off every single day and they get a 99 average and they’re seeking to go into one of these screened schools, that ought to be honored,” the chancellor said.
New Admissions Policy for NYC High Schools: 5 Groups
The new policy uses a tiered strategy to admit students into screened schools. Applicants to these high schools will be in groups based on their final seventh-grade core course grades. Students will be admitted to screened programs in group order, starting with students in group one. If all students in group one have been accommodated, students in group two will then be considered for available seats, and so on.
- Group one: Students whose seventh-grade average falls in the top 15% of their school or citywide, as long as they have at least a 90 average.
- Group two: Students who are in the top 30% of their school or citywide, with at least an 80 average.
- Group three: Students who are in the top 50% of their school or citywide, with at least a 70 average.
- Group four: Students who are in the top 70% of their school or citywide, and with at least at least a 65.
- Group five: All other students.
The city’s eight specialized high schools, which include Stuyvesant and Brooklyn Tech, will not be affected. These schools use a state-mandated test as their criteria for admission, the SHSAT. LaGuardia High School, a performing arts school, is based on auditions. SHSAT registration begins Oct. 6. Most NYC public middle schools will administer the SHSAT during the school day on Nov. 7 for current students.
Application Dates and Deadlines
Policy changes have also been made to help make the admissions process easier, including opening up the application process earlier than last year.
Meanwhile, the city’s 32 community school districts will set their own middle-school admissions policies. Superintendents will work with school communities and parents to “thoughtfully determine if and where middle-school screened programs should exist,” according to the DOE.
Here are important application dates to note: NYC public high-school applications open Oct. 12, and middle-school applications open Oct. 26. Applications for both are high school and middle school are due Dec. 1. High school and specialized high-school offers will be sent in early March, followed by middle school offers in April.
For more information about high-school and middle-school admissions policy, visit schools.nyc.gov.
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