This weekend, Sept. 29 and 30, is the Department of Education's gigantic high school fair from 10 am to 3 pm at Brooklyn Technical High School. Prepare for a hectic day, where you will meet teachers, students and administrators and find out about their schools.
You can attend information sessions several times during the day, led by staff from the Education Department's enrollment office. This will be helpful especially if you're a newbie to the process (and it will give you a place to sit down and take a breather.)
Here's the schedule provided by the DOE:
|High School Admissions Process||11 am|
|Auditioning for High School Arts Schools and Programs||Noon|
|Specialized HIgh School Admissions Test (SHSAT)||1 pm|
|High School Admissions Process||2 pm|
Most schools will have a table staffed by students, teachers, parent cordinators, guidance counselors and, sometimes the principal. Each borough has a dedicated floor or space. The nine specialized high schools are set up in the gymnasium.
Here are some questions you might want to ask:
- How much homework is typical? Is homework assigned over school vacations?
- Are students allowed outside the building for lunch?
- Does the school offer four years of math and four years of science? (Important for college prep)
- Are Advanced Placement classes offered? What subjects? What are the requirement to take an AP class?
- What are the requirements for graduation?
- If the school has a graduating class, which colleges did graduates go to? What percentage of grads went to college?
- How does the administration handle discipline?
- Do students feel safe? Are there metal detectors?
- How does the school help students who are struggling?
- How does it challenge the strongest students?
- What are my chances for admission if I don't meet the specific requirements?
- Is there a uniform?
- What are the after school activities? What teams do they have? (Note that this can change from year to year and the directory might not be accurate!)
Here are a few more pointers for the day of the fair:
- Rather than carry around a hefty, heavy directory, consider ripping out the pages of schools that most interest you beforehand.
- Bring a notebook and pen to write down your impressions and any notes
- Collect fliers, or write down, the dates and times of school info sessions and tours
- If there's a sign-in sheet for a school that interests you -- sign in! That gives you a leg-up in admissions for some schools
- Dress for summer. It gets hot and steamy inside the huge building and there is no place to stash a jacket.
- Wear comfortable shoes and bring water. There will be food and drink for sale, but still, nice to have your own supply.
Insideschools will be at the fair. Stop by our table too.
And, before you go, be sure to watch our video: Making the most of the high school fair