Archived High School Placement Emails



August 6th, 2018

Hello Families, 

The summer really feels like it is winding down for me and I'm busy preparing for your children to apply to high school in the fall. WOW, time really does fly!

Here are some updates and pointers for the week:

  • By now you should have: 1) A solid list of 12 + schools that you are considering 2) attended at NYC DOE parent info session and 3) spoken to me at least once.  Congrats if you can check off these items!!! If you have not yet completed these, it is CRITICAL that you get caught up so you will be in a prepared and empowered position for the high school application this fall. 
  • We are moving this week and start our staff institute next week so this week will be the last week to sign up for summer office hours. There are quite a number of slots still available so if we haven't yet spoken please sign up ASAP

    Please click here to sign up for the week of Aug 6 - 10.

Here is your August "to do" check list:


  1. ❏ Continue researching schools and creating a school list.

  2. ❏ Check school websites on a weekly basis to learn about fall info sessions, open houses and audition requirements.

  3. ❏ Update your calendar with important fall HS placement events.

  4. ❏ Check DOE High School enrollment page on a weekly basis for updates on fall info sessions & open houses

  5. ❏ Make sure that you have signed up for at least one summer office hour phone conversation with me.

  6. ❏ Make sure to mark your calendar for the following dates!

  • Thurs 8/23  - 8th grade Orientation - 6PM
  • Wed 9/26 @ Back to School Night
  • Tues 11/6 High School Application Info Session
  • Tues 11/20 High School Application Due Date 

High School Fairs:

  • Sat 9/22
  • Sun 9/23
  • Sat 10/13
  • Sun 0/14

Talk soon!!



July 30th, 2018

Hello Families, 

I've had the chance to talk to many of you about high school placement already during my weekly phone office hours and I'm impressed with the strategic approach and thoroughness that I've seen! 

Here are some additional tips to make sure that you are maximizing all of the hard work you are putting into research high schools. If you haven't yet spoken to me, it is critical that you schedule a call so we can touch base about where you are in high school placement process. Feel free to email me with any questions that you have about these tips or high school placement in general. 


NYC Public High School Admissions Process Top 10 Tips for Middle School Families tips below directly from NYC Admissions Solutions SM

1. High schools do not see how you rank their school’s programs on your application

Despite any pressure you may get, you can feel good knowing that you can list choices in your true order of preference. 

2. High schools will not see your score on the SHSAT (Specialized HS Admissions Test) 

Regardless of how you perform on the SHSAT, your score has no impact on your candidacy for other high schools. 

3. There are only 2 guarantees

The only guaranteed high school matches are a) choosing your own school that continues to grade 9, and b) choosing your zoned high school program – if you have one. But be sure to list those choices at the bottom of your list of other choices. 

4. Admissions priorities can significantly impact your chances of matching to a school

Be sure to list at least some choices on your application that represent schools in which you fall into a higher priority group. 

5. Program selection criteria are important targets

Published selection criteria, whether grades, test scores, etc., are important targets to follow. When you consider schools for which you do not meet the published criteria, your chances of becoming a strong candidate can be significantly diminished. 

6. Screened programs should not represent all your choices

Much like the college selection process, it is in your best interest to select a variety of program types to maximize your chances of receiving a match – especially since you are most likely competing against many other high achieving applicants. 

7. Generally, risk decreases with number of choices

Generally speaking, the more choices the better. If you can fill up your application with 12 choices you are willing to accept, you put yourself in the best position. Remember, it’s better to stretch yourself now than be left with nothing later. 

8. Don’t rely on Round 2 or appeals

Round 2 and appeals do not represent additional chances to get what you want. Do everything you can to get a Round 1 match, since after that the choices become more limited. 

9. There are no waitlists, nor do spots open up later

Even if your friend gives up their spot, that does not create an opportunity for you. The match you get is the school you are expected to attend, so choose wisely. 

10. The more the better, but… 

The best strategy is to make as many choices as possible, paying close attention to admissions priorities, admissions methods (screened, limited unscreened, etc.), and selectivity (program demand, seats, selection criteria, etc.).

Talk soon!



July 23rd, 2018

Hello Families,

I hope all is well and that many of you were able to attend last week’s high school placement info sessions hosted by the DOE. Here are a few reminders and tips for you this week:

If you're interested in attending the specialized high schools, come to the Specialized High Schools Admissions Workshop and Fair on July 24 in Manhattan or July 26 in Queens! At the event, you can:

  • Learn about the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) and LaGuardia High School auditions

  • Speak to representatives from the specialized high schools

  • Meet with the performing and visual arts schools in the District 2 Performing Arts Consortium (Manhattan only)

View locations and times for the events and sign up to attend—RSVP is not required, but we encourage you to register so that we know how many people to expect.  

Prepare for the event by visiting Specialized High Schools Admissions—click "Prepare for Auditions and/or the Test" or scroll down to find a copy of the new Specialized High Schools Student Handbook (click “Available in” and then choose your language). Call the NYC High School Admissions hotline at 718-935-2009 if you have any questions.

Attached you will find the spring presentation by Victoria Ferber on how to apply to a Specialized Visual Arts Program. 

Lastly, please remember to sign up for office hours with me if you haven't already as well!



July 16th, 2018

Hi Families!

I hope you enjoyed the weekend. Here are a couple tips and reminders for you this week:.

  1. NYC DOE High School Admission Workshops start on Tuesday THIS WEEK! Please make it a priority to attend one. See dates, times, and locations and register to attend here.
  2. If you have not already, set up a calendar that will be kept visible in your home, and start to fill in key dates now. Many key dates have already been announced, such as the SHSAT dates (specialized HS exam), high school fairs, application deadline (for independent schools), etc. You can find these dates on the back page of the high school directory and individual school websites. School open houses and info sessions should be posted by the end of August on school websites and the DOE high school admission calendar. Check on a regular basis as info will be updated daily. Here are some key dates to keep in mind:
  • CSA High School Placement
  • Wed 9/26 @ Back to School Night
  • Tues 11/19 High School Application Due Date

High School Fairs:

  • Sat 9/22
  • Sun 9/23
  • Sat 10/13
  • Sun 10/14

Specialized High School Admissions Test

  • Sat Oct 20
  • Sunday Oct 21
  • Sat Nov 3 - for English language learners, students with disabilities with IEP's or approved 5-4 plans and make-up test requests
  • Sun Nov 18  - for English language learners, students with disabilities with IEP's or approved 5-4 plans and make-up test requests

3. Starting today, all of my high school placement related emails will be archived on our website under the Current Families tab and easily available to view. I hope this will help with keeping information organized and accessible. 

4. Lastly, don't forget to sign up for phone office hours with me. I will host them on a weekly basis this summer and it is important that I check in with each of you one time this summer. 

Always feel free to email me with any questions!



July 9th, 2018

Greetings Families, 

How have you been enjoying the summer thus far? I hope your children are happy and engaged & doing the things that they love. Please continue to discuss high school options with them! Maurice at NYC Admissions Solutions was so kind and offered to share his HS Starter list with CSA families (see attached document)! You will see that both of our lists are almost identical. Please respect his wishes and do not share, post or distribute this list. 

Below you will find few reminders for you in regards to HS Placement:

  • Don't forget to attend one of the July HS placement workshops hosted by the DOE next week! Not to be missed! See dates, times, and locations and register to attend here.
  • Sadly, the Hudson Guild had to cancel their free SHSAT test prep intensive due to lack of enrollment! It's hard to believe that these incredible programs are not being taken advantage of. Fortunately, Kaplan has FREE SHSAT mini practice tests throughout the summer. Go to at/free/events to find an event near by and register today! Creative Achievement Success (CAS) Prep, located in Bed Stuy, BK is accepting more students into their summer program click here to learn more.  Additionally the DOE will host 2 SHSAT Workshops. Go to http://schools.ny vents/default.htm to learn more. Lastly, Anna Silver HS in the LES is also hosting a Tea & Talk: Specialized High Schools Admissions Test CONVERSATION 07/12/2018. Click here to register!
  • SUMMER PHONE OFFICE HOURS HAVE BEGUN! Make sure to speak to me at least one time this summer to strategize for fall 2018 high school applications. You don't want to save this important process for last minute. Please click here to sign up for phone office hours to discuss HS placement for the week of July 16 –July 20th. To make the most of our phone appointment please email me a list of schools that you are considering BEFORE this call. 

Always feel free to email me with questions and/or concerns!




July 3rd, 2018

Happy summer families!

I hope you have all eased into your summer schedule smoothly. It was nice to see many of you at the end of year high school placement meetings held during the BBQ last Wednesday. 

A few things to check in about. Your rising 8th graders met with me last Monday and Tuesday to discuss high school placement, how to best use the NYC High School Directory & summer high school research expectations. We finished our sessions with a Q&A session with high school students from New Design, East Side Community High and Professional Performing Arts High School. Every rising 8th grade student who was present on Monday and Tuesday was given the following materials and should have them on hand:

1. Hardcopy of the NYC High School Directory

2. Hardcopy of the Specialized High Schools Student Handbook.  

3. Summer To Do List for Rising 8th Graders

4. 2018 High School Placement Summer Homework

I've encouraged 8th grade students to always feel free to email me with any questions this summer & please hold them accountable to commit to their high school research during the next few months.

Below you will find more useful information!

End of Year High School Placement Meeting

If you missed the end of year HS placement meeting click here to check out summer materials that we reviewed. Also, here is a copy of a starter list to help you in your research. Please sign up for summer phone office hours with me if we have not checked in yet this year. It is critical that we touch base.

High School Admissions Family Workshops

It is imperative that you attend one of the July workshops hosted by the DOE. These workshops deep dive into the high school application process and are full of invaluable information. Not to be missed! See dates, times, and locations and register to attend here. RSVP is not required, but you are encourage to sign up so the organizers know how many people to expect. You will also find separate workshops for Specialized high schools as well. 

Start getting ready for the workshops by using NYC School Finder to explore high school programs. You can also read the NYC High School Directory and Specialized High Schools Student Handbook.  

SHSAT Test Prep

  • Manhattan Youth will host a second session of SHSAT test prep in the fall so stay tuned for more information on that closer to the start of school! 
  • Families can make the summer one of fun and learning. Kaplan has FREE SHSAT mini practice tests throughout the summer. Go to to find an event near by and register today!. 
  • Hudson Guild Summer SHSAT program enrollment starts NOW! The program will run from July 5th to October 11th, 2018.  Details below:
  • July and August classes will be held three days a week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays.
  • September and October classes will be held one day a week on Saturdays. 
  • Time: 9 am to 2:30 pm

During this class students will:

  • Practice ELA and Math
  • Learn tips for taking the test
  • Visit specialized high schools
  • Learn the about the admissions process with their parents at orientation

To be considered, please complete the attached application, scan and email it to or return a hard copy to the lobby at Hudson Guild's Elliott Center (441 W. 26th st.) as soon as possible. 

You may submit additional documentation at a later date, but it must be turned in before the start of programming on July 5th, 2018. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Desire Adams at

Summer Phone Office Hours

I will start hosting summer office hours in mid July. These weekly office hours will last throughout the entire fall.  Please make sure to read all of your emails from me. 

Additional Resources

You will find the City School of the Arts High School Resource Guide that I created in December here. It is full of articles and a helpful starter list. 

Take care & talk soon!