Dear Judy,

I'm a currently a freshman and I hate my high school. I really want to transfer out. I want to talk to my guidance counselor about transferring but I have a few questions:

1. Can I get the transferring papers now or do I have to wait for the rest of the year to get it?

2. Can I only apply to 1 high school, or can I apply to more, or will it be like the 8th grade high school application list?

3. When will I get the result for my transfer?

4. Will the high school I apply to check my grades for 8th grade or 9th grade?

from Sadia U

Dear Sadia,

Sounds like your first impressions of high school were really negative. You are right to address the problem right away since the high school admissions process starts soon.

But first, I would urge you to give the school a chance. Most 9th graders need a few months to adjust to high school.  Look for something that you can relate to --  a club or after school sport, or another activity where you’ll have fun and find kids who share your interests. Maybe you'll find a class that you love, or a teacher who is especially inspiring.

If you are still unhappy after giving it a try, then consider applying to another school for 10th grade.  You'll need to fill out an application as you did last year, listing up to 12 choices. The schools will look at your most recent grades and test scores -- those from the 8th grade rather than the 7th.<!--more-->

Ask your guidance counselor to give you an application when they come out in early October.  Check online for dates of high school fairs and application deadlines. Individual school websites will be listing open house and tour dates soon. The citywide high school fair is at Brooklyn Tech on Oct. 2-3. You will hear the results for sophomore year placement in the spring and then, if necessary you can go through an appeals process.

If you apply to one of thespecialized high schools and are accepted, you will hear the results of your application earlier, in February. But make sure you get a ticket for the test, or audition, from your guidance counselor before Oct. 6.

Try to get a better sense of the schools before you list them and do not list any school that you are not certain you wish to attend. Limit your choices to schools that you are convinced will be a better fit than your present school. Note that not all schools have openings for 10th graders.

A second way to transfer involves talking to your guidance counselor about a mid-year transfer. But you have to be very persuasive because transfers are usually allowed only for  health, travel, or safety reasons. If you have a documented reason under those categories, or you are able to convince the guidance counselor that the curriculum does not suit you and that there are other schools where you would flourish, you might have a chance – but only a chance.  The school system does not like transfers.

No matter which path you take, you’ll have to spend at least a few months in your current school. Look for ways to make your time productive and bearable. You could be pleasantly surprised.

Good luck