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Applying to middle school? Fair dates set

Applying to middle school in New York City is usually not just as simple as enrolling in your neighborhood school. Many districts offer a choice of schools and students must fill out an application. Some districts have zoned schools; others do not, but even in the districts with zoned schools, there are always other options.

How do parents find out about these options? The Department of Education sponsors middle school fairs in all districts that offer school choice. At these evening fairs (from 5:30-7:30 p.m.) families and 5th-graders meet representatives from each school. While fairs are a great way for parents and students to meet with staff and students and to ask questions, they are no substitute for attending a school tour or open house.  Check schools' websites, or call schools to find out about their tour and open house schedule.

This year fairs will be held during the first two weeks of October, beginning on Oct. 4. (See the schedule below and here.) Middle school directories listing all schools in the district, including some which are open district or citywide, are not yet online but will be given out to 5th-graders this month, according to the DOE's website.

Districts 3 on the Upper West Side, District 15 in Park Slope, and District 22 in Midwood, and a few others, generally offer well-attended forums where principals talk about their schools. Check with your district family advocate (listed on our district pages) or your school's parent coordinator, to find out if your district is hosting one. We'll post dates on our calendar as we get them.

Key dates and application deadlines are outlined on the DOE's website. For students interested in applying to selective or accelerated programs, Oct. 21 is the deadline to register for the OLSAT test (administered in districts 17, 20, and 22 in Brooklyn, and in district 24 and 30 in Queens), and for the talent test programs in District 21, including Mark Twain, which is open citywide. Other districts and schools have different guidelines. Some schools select students based on a review of their grades, attendance, standardized test scores, and teacher recommendations; others require an onsite test or interview.

Charter schools have a separate application process and timeline. Most accept applications until late March with admissions lotteries held in April. Charters give preference to continuing students and to those who live in the geographic district.

Check out our reviews on Insideschools for guidelines, and be sure to ask about admissions requirements when you visit schools. The directory listings are not very specific. We offer tips on our middle school "how to apply" page as well as a list of some selective programs and how to find options outside of your district. And, our blogger Liz Willen chronocled her sons' searches in Middle School Muddle.

Other parents are always a great source of information about schools. Parents of sixth-graders (and other school search survivors): please share your insights in comments below!

Here's the fair schedule (all fairs are from 5:30-7:30 p.m.)

District 1 October 6
Henrietta Szold (P.S. 134)
293 East Broadway, NY, NY 10002

District 2 October 4
P.S. 40
319 East 19th Street, NY, NY 10003

District 3 October 6
Joan of Arc Complex
154 West 93rd Street, NY, NY 10025

District 4 October 13
Tito Puente Education Complex (J.H.S. 117)
240 East 109th Street, NY, NY 10029

District 5 October 4
Roberto Clemente (I.S. 195)
625 West 133rd Street, NY, NY 10027

District 6 October 13
Eleanor Roosevelt (J.H.S. 143)
511 West 182nd Street, NY, NY 10033

District 7 October 4
South Bronx Preparatory
360 East 145th Street, Bronx, NY 10454

District 8 October 4
Albert Einstein (J.H.S. 131)
885 Bolton Avenue, Bronx, NY 10473

Districts 9 & 10 October 11
Theodore Roosevelt
500 East Fordham Road, Bronx, NY 10458

District 11 October 6
Michelangelo (J.H.S. 144)
2545 Gunther Avenue, Bronx, NY, 10469

District 12 October 11
Mott Hall V
1551 East 172nd Street, Bronx, NY 10472

District 13 October 6
M.S. 113
300 Adelphi Street, Brooklyn, NY 11205

District 14 October 4
I.S. 318
101 Walton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11206

District 15 October 13
M.S. 88
544 Seventh Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215

District 16 October 11
M.S. 267
800 Gates Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11221

District 17 October 13
Middle School for the Arts
790 East New York Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11203

District 18 October 6
John Wilson Intermediate
1001 East 100th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11236

District 19 October 6
Gershwin Middle School 166
800 Van Siclen Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11207

District 20 October 11
J.H.S. 227 Edward B. Shallow
6500 16th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11204

District 21 October 6
David A. Boody I.S. 228
228 Avenue S, Brooklyn, NY 11223

District 22 October 4
Arthur W. Cunningham
1875 East 17th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11229

District 25 October 11
I.S. 25
34-65 192 Street, Bayside, NY 11358

District 28 October 4
Robert A. Van Wyck (J.H.S. 217)
85-05 144th Street, Queens, NY 11435

District 30 October 6
Oliver W. Holmes (I.S. 204)
36-41 28th Street, Queens, NY 11106

District 31 October 13
New Dorp High School
465 New Dorp Lane, Staten Island, NY 10306

District 32 October 13
Roland Hayes (J.H.S. 291)
231 Palmetto Street, Brooklyn, NY 11221

Last modified on Thursday, 22 September 2011 15:07

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