If you’re an 8th-grader who wasn’t matched with a high school, you’re not alone. This year roughly 4,800 (out of nearly 77,000) students did not receive a match and will need to apply to high schools with open seats during Round 2 of admissions. Applications are due March 28.
The Round 2 high school fairs are scheduled for March 18 and 19, 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 you’re interested in and with Department of Education enrollment personnel who can answer your questions.
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 forfeit your Round 1 match.
Current 9th-graders who are offered a 10th-grade seat, in the first or second round, will have the option of remaining at their current school. Ninth-graders who didn't submit an application last December may apply now to schools with open seats.
Where to start
Hundreds of schools have openings, but not all are worth considering. As you go through the Round 2 list and read the InsideSchools profiles, 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?
Some schools with spots in Round 2 are hosting open houses prior to the March 28 application deadline. Check out the Department of Education’s calendar for dates and times. Interested in a school but don’t see it listed on the calendar? Contact the school or speak with its representatives at the fair to request a visit before the application deadline.
InsideSchools can help
Join us on Facebook Live next Wednesday, March 15 at 4 pm. We’ll offer advice on navigating Round 2 and answer your questions.
Consider our picks from the list below, which includes schools with a proven record and those that seem promising.
Some popular, screened schools 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).
This year, there are several, well-regarded 6–12 schools in Round 2 that have seats for current students only, meaning their own 8th-graders. In the past, students attending 6–12 schools who decided not to move after applying elsewhere for high school had to wait until the appeals round in May to request to stay put. If a Round 2 school only has space for current students, we did not include it in our picks.
Students at Bronx Latin tackle challenging work and benefit from supportive college advisory.
Celia Cruz High School offers top-notch music instruction.
The Eagle Academy for Young Men is the flagship school in a successful network of single-sex schools.
Marble Hill High School for International Studies, which has high attendance and graduation rates, has 9th-grade seats for English language learners and a few 10th-grade spots in its International Studies program.
The Urban Assembly Bronx Academy of Letters has an active college office and provides opportunities for overseas travel.
Students interested in the arts should consider Theatre Arts Production Company School (TAPCo). It gets extra funding through the College Access for All initiative.
At the University Heights Secondary School students enjoy the comfort of a small school with the offerings of a large one.
These popular schools still have seats available for 9th-graders with special needs, 10th-graders (general and special education) or both: Bronx Collaborative High School, Fordham High School for the Arts, Hostos-Lincoln Academy of Science, Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy, and Young Women’s Leadership School of the Bronx.
Some large, neighborhood schools have space for zoned students and spots available in select themed programs. At these schools, all students benefit from a large array of classes, sports teams, clubs and activities: Abraham Lincoln, Fort Hamilton, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John Dewey (no zoned option) and New Utrecht.
The Benjamin Banneker Academy offers challenging academics and has good college readiness and graduation rates.
Students at the Brooklyn College Academy get lots of personal attention and, starting in 11th grade, take classes at Brooklyn College.
The Brooklyn High School of the Arts provides solid academics and exciting opportunities for students to learn and perform outside their classrooms.
Edward R. Murrow does not have any seats left for zoned students, but has 9th and 10th grade openings in its bilingual Spanish and Mandarin programs and a few 10th grade spots in several of its arts programs.
At Expeditionary Learning School for Community Leaders students get lots of academic and college support, complete sophisticated projects and enjoy field trips.
James Madison and Midwood, are good choices for students living in their zones.
The culinary program at the School for International Studies may appeal to budding chefs and entrepreneurs. The school also has a few 10th-grade spots in its International Baccalaureate program.
S.T.A.R. Early College delivers on its theme offering students strong science and technical education. By 11th grade many take courses at Brooklyn College.
These popular schools still have seats available for 9th-graders with special needs, 10th-graders (general and special education) or both: High School for Public Service: Leaders of Tomorrow, Medgar Evers, Millennium Brooklyn and Urban Assembly Institute for Math and Science for Young Women.
A. Philip Randolph High School, has programs that cater to a range of students’ interests including a new dual-language Spanish program.
The Eagle Academy for Young Men of Harlem is part of a successful network of single-sex schools.
The High School of Economics and Finance provides hands-on training in business and finance and a range of Advanced Placement courses.
The High School of Fashion Industries offers hands-on training and internships in the fashion industry.
Humanities Prep is a small, progressive school with a nurturing environment and challenging academics that has a heavy emphasis on research and writing.
Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics, which has an impressive selection of college-level courses, has space 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. Mather 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.
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 School for Green Careers, which prepares students for eco-friendly jobs in construction and agriculture, offers lots of individual attention and engaging, hands-on work.
Opened in 2014, the Urban Assembly Maker Academy is off to promising start. Students take a full load of academic classes in addition to learning technology and design skills in “maker” classes.
These popular schools still have seats available for 9th-graders with special needs, 10th-graders (general and special education) or both: Art and Design, Bard, Beacon, Central Park East, City College Academy of the Arts, Frank McCourt, High School for Dual Language and Asian Studies, High School for Environmental Studies, High School for Health Professions, Institute for Collaborative Education, Millennium, NEST+m, NYC Lab, Professional Performing Arts, Repertory Company High School for Theater Arts, Talent Unlimited and Young Women’s Leadership.
Benjamin N. Cardozo, Hillcrest and Forest Hills are large, well-performing neighborhood schools with space for zoned students and a few spots in select themed programs. These schools offer a wide array of classes, sports teams, clubs and activities for all students, including those with with special needs.
Bayside and Francis Lewis are good options for students living in their zones.
Eagle Academy for Young Men III is part of a successful network of single-sex schools.
At the Preparatory Academy for Writers, students write a lot and work in small groups on engaging assignments.
Queens Gateway to Health Sciences offers challenging academics, advanced coursework and stellar college readiness and attendance rates, though there are reports of friction with the principal.
Queens High School for Language Studies is a promising new school with enthusiastic teachers and a calm, 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.
Located on the Rockaway peninsula, Scholars’ Academy is an academically rigorous, screened school that has a wide array of sports and arts classes. It's a good bet for top students who are still looking for a placement.
At World Journalism Preparatory, newspaper editing, video reporting and web site development are all integrated into the curriculum. Students create newscasts in the school’s film studio.
These popular schools still have seats available for 9th-graders with special needs, 10th-graders (general and special education) or both: Academy of American Studies, Baccalaureate School for Global Education, Bard High School Early College Queens, East-West School for International Studies, Frank Sinatra, Queens Collegiate, Robert F. Community High School, Thomas A. Edison and Young Women’s Leadership School, Queens and Astoria.
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.
Eagle Academy for Young Men of Staten Island is part of a successful network of single-sex schools.
At the Gaynor McCown Expeditionary Learning School, students do lots of engaging work, go on field trips and attend school in a sleek, modern building.
Students looking for a CTE (career and technical education) school, should consider Ralph McKee especially for technology, including its award-winning robotics program.
Did we miss any schools? Current parents and students, please post comments with your picks.