News and views

  • Applying to middle school? Our advice & our picks

    Written by Laura Zingmond
    Busy is the family that has a 5th- and 8th-grader: middle school and high school applications are both due on the same day, Dec. 2! If you are a parent of a 5th-grader, this may be your first experence with school choice.  Options and selection methods vary greatly from district to district. Some districts have mostly zoned schools, others have none and some have a combination. It can be hard for families to figure out.…
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  • High school applications due Dec. 2! Our tips on how to apply

    Written by Pamela Wheaton
    High school applications are due on Tuesday, Dec. 2. Have you made your list yet? If you are still undecided where to apply, or how to rank your 12 choices, we've got last minute tips for you.  We have been visiting high schools all fall, updating our reviews and adding new slideshows. Read our school profiles and check the comments section too. Wondering what other students and parents, and even teachers, think of the school?…
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  • College counselor: No, you don't have to apply to 20 schools!

    Written by Dr. Jane S. Gabin
    By now many families of high school seniors have probably seen the scary article in last Sunday's New York Times. You know, the one that details the panicked quest for college acceptances causing many students to feel they need to file 20 or 25 applications just to have a chance. I have a 3-word response: Get a grip.You don't have to file 20 to 30 applications. Usually 8 to 10 will do, and will offer…
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  • As students audition for LaGuardia, how much does art count?

    Written by Gail Robinson
    This weekend, thousands of 8th and 9th graders will be presenting art portfolios, delivering monologues, dancing and singing in an effort to win admission to the elite “Fame” school, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts. But some parents and faculty say that the performances the students have been preparing for months may have less influence than the state English and math tests they took last spring. Parents of several students…
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  • Math & science 101 for parents: Our guide & videos

    Written by Lydie Raschka
    Are you confused by your child's math homework? Is science an afterthought in your child's school? Take a look at our parents' guide to math and science, including what to look for in the classroom. We give you questions you can ask during parent-teacher conferences as well as suggestions of what to do outside of school! Insideschools will help you find out if your children are getting the math or science instruction they need in…
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  • New School Quality Snapshots are breath of fresh air

    Written by Nicole Mader
    On Monday the Department of Education released new School Quality Reports for every city school, fulfilling its promise to abandon the labeling of each school with a single letter grade. For parents who appreciated this simple shorthand when seeking out the best school for their children, this new system may appear daunting. But for anyone who ever wondered how those grades were calculated or why some fluctuated wildly when all appeared stable on the ground,…
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How to apply to high school

  • Getting started

    New York City is blessed and cursed by the most extensive system of school choice in the country. Everyone must apply to high school. Choose carefully. Once you enroll, it’s really hard to transfer. The yearlong application process begins at the end of 7th grade,… Read more and watch video
  • Weighing your options: close or far?

    The first thing to consider is whether you want a school close to home or far away. Tip: check out the commute before you apply. Imagine what it will be like on a dark, snowy day in February. Some students happily travel halfway across the… Read more and watch video