March 8 2018 UPDATE: High school letters go out this week. Read and comment about 2018 high school admissions results here and our best picks for Round 2 2018 here.

March 2016: If you're a rising 9th- or 10-grader who wasn’t matched with a high school this week, here's what to do: You need to apply to schools with open seats during Round 2 of admissions. Applications are due March 18.

Get to the Round 2 fairs scheduled for next weekend, March 12 and 13, 11 am–2 pm at the Martin Luther King Jr. Educational Campus. Try to arrive early so you have plenty of time to meet with representatives from each school on your list.

Eighth-graders who are unhappy with their high school match may reapply during Round 2, but be aware that if you are accepted to another school you give up your first round match. Current 9th-graders who are offered a 10th-grade seat during Round 2 will have the option of remaining at their current school.

Where to start? Hundreds of schools have openings, but not all are worth considering. As you go through the Round 2 list, focus on the same factors that mattered to you when you applied last fall: How long is the commute? Do I prefer big or small? Are there any special programs or activities that I may enjoy? Will I be challenged?

Still not sure which schools you should consider? Let us help. We've combed through the list to identify our picks—schools that are proven best bets or seem promising. 

While very competitive schools are admitting more students with special needs, many of them did not fill all their seats. Among our picks are some popular, screened schools that have openings for students who receive special education services for upwards of 20 percent of the school day. That includes—but is not limited to—students in ICT (integrated co-teaching) or small self-contained classes. If you are uncertain as to whether you qualify, ask your guidance counselor to check in the online SEMS (Student Enrollment Management System).


Bronx River High School, which provides students with extra guidance and longer school days, has some 10th-grade spots.

Celia Cruz High School offers top-notch music instruction.

Strong students may consider the Macy’s honors program at Dewitt Clinton High School. It offers challenging academics, though there are some concerns about safety and discipline in the building.

Fordham High School for the Arts, which is modelled after the well-regarded Talented Unlimited in Manhattan, gives students a foundation in dance, drama, vocal music, instrumental music, and studio art.

Though the school has had its share of struggles in recent years, Lehman High School’s honors program, the Anne Hutchinson Academy, provides stronger students the opportunity to do research and take advanced and college-level courses.

Marble Hill High School for International Studies, which has strong attendance and graduation rates, has seats for special needs students and English language learners.

Theatre Arts Production Company School (TAPCo) is a popular draw for students interested in the arts.

At the University Heights Secondary School students enjoy the comfort of a small school with the offerings of a large one.

The honors program at Westchester Square Academy offers Advanced Placement classes starting in 10th-grade.

The Young Women’s Leadership School of the Bronx is part of a well-regarded network of all-girl schools. 

Several schools have filled all their 9th-grade general education seats but still have seats available for 10th-graders and students with special needs in both 9th and 10th grade: Bronx Collaborative High School, Bronx High School for Medical Science, Hostos-Lincoln Academy of Science, Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy


Some large, neighborhood schools have space for zoned students and a few spots available in select themed programs. All students, regardless of the program they’re enrolled in, benefit from a large array of classes, sports teams, clubs and activities.

Abraham Lincoln High School's selective programs in science and American studies offer higher achieving students the opportunity to tackle advanced coursework and interesting projects.

Fort Hamilton High School has strong vocal and instrumental music programs and lots of old-fashioned school spirit. Honors classes are open to qualifying students in all programs at this school.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School, James Madison and Midwood, are all good choices for students living in their zones.

New Utrecht offers instruction in Chinese, French, Italian, Polish, Spanish, Russian and Urdu. It's honors academy offers advanced coursework across all subjects.

Edward R. Murrow does not have any seats left for zoned students, but has openings in its bilingual Spanish program.

At Expeditionary Learning School for Community Leaders students get lots of academic and college support, complete sophisticated projects and enjoy field trips. 

The Urban Assembly Institute for Math and Science for Young Women is an all-girls school that serves students in grades 6–12. Class sizes run smaller than in most high schools and the students benefit from lots of technology and good support from teachers and staff.

A few sought-after, selective schools still have seats available for students with special needs: Bedford Academy, Benjamin Banneker Academy, Brooklyn College Academy, Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences, Medgar Evers, Millennium Brooklyn, and S.T.A.R. Early College. Some of these schools also have spots for 10th-grade general education students.


A. Philip Randolph High School, has programs that cater to a range of students’ interests including a new dual-language Spanish program.

Central Park East is a small, well-regarded high school with lots of sports teams and strong college advisory.

East Side Community has strong leadership, small classes and supportive programs including a well-funded college office. It belongs to a consortium of New York State schools that are exempt from administering all but the English Regents exam. The school has a few spots open for 10th grade.

The High School of Fashion Industries offers hands-on training and internships in the fashion industry.

Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics has room for special needs students and some general education spots in its Bilingual Spanish Science and Mathematics program. 

The Special Music School offers talented musicians strong academics and conservatory-style musical training.

Stephen T. Mathers is a good fit for students who like hands-on learning and want to keep college options open. The school specializes in teaching career skills such as masonry, carpentry and building preservation. 

At Talent Unlimited students are challenged in the performing arts and academics. The school has a few spots open for 10th grade.

The University Neighborhood High School, a nurturing school with a strong collaboration with NYU, has space in its unscreened, selective admission early college and bilingual Mandarin programs.

At the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School students get to build boats, farm oysters and learn to scuba dive as part of an imaginative curriculum that exposes students to disciplines ranging from aquaculture (farming fish) to marine technology. 

The Urban Assembly Maker Academy is new school off to promising start. Students take a full load of academic classes in addition to learning technology and design skills in “maker” classes.

These highly sought-after schools still have seats for students receiving special education services: Art and Design, Bard, Beacon, City College Academy of the Arts, Frank McCourt, High School for Dual Language and Asian Studies, Millennium, NEST+m, NYC iSchool, NYC Lab, NYC Museum, Professional Performing Arts, and School of the Future.


Bayside, Francis Lewis, Forest Hills and Cardozo are large, well-performing neighborhood schools with space for zoned students and a few spots for students with special needs. Cardozo also has open seats in its dance program.

Eagle Academy for Young Men III is part of a successful network of single-sex schools.

Students interested in learning Mandarin Chinese should consider Queens High School for Language Studies, a promising new school with enthusiastic teachers and a calm and friendly vibe. It is modeled after the successful High School for Dual Language and Asian Studies in Manhattan.

Queens Metropolitan High School is a mid-size, neighborhood school that is open only to those who live in the zone. Students enjoy a nice array of classes and activities and get lots of college guidance starting in 10th grade.

Robert F. Kennedy Community High School is a diverse and friendly place where all students, from struggling learners to high achievers, get plenty of support from teachers and staff.

Veritas Academy was founded in 2013 as an extension of the popular middle school, Bell Academy. Instruction at Veritas follows the Schoolwide Enrichment Model or “SEM,” which aims to provide gifted education to all students. The school also provides transitional bilingual instruction to native Korean speakers.

There are some great options for special needs students students who meet the entrance requirements: Academy of American Studies, Baccalaureate School for Global Education, Bard High School Early College Queens, Frank Sinatra, Townsend Harris, York Early College Academy and Young Women’s Leadership School, Queens and Astoria. Several of these schools also have space for 10th-grade general education students.


All the large, neighborhood high schools in this borough—Curtis, New Dorp, Port Richmond, Wagner and Tottenville—have seats for zoned students and those with special needs. Some have space in their themed programs open to students outside their zone.

CSI High School for International Studies, where students learn Japanese, Mandarin or Spanish and have opportunities to travel abroad, has space for rising 10th-graders.

Students looking for a career-tech school, should consider Ralph McKee especially for technology, including its award-winning robotics program.

Michael J. Petrides has seats only for students already enrolled in its middle school.

Did we miss any schools? Current parents and students, please post comments with your best bets.