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A timeline for choosing




September - October

  • Counselors distribute high school application forms and directory.
  • District holds High School Expo – this year it is Oct. 1-3.
  • Non-public school students can obtain materials at the Expo or from the Office of Student Placement.
  • Families research schools.
  • 8th grade counselors may hold information sessions for parents and students to help them choose schools and fill out the application form. Parents should keep in touch with counselors.

September - March

  • Some high schools allow prospective applicants to visit and shadow students. Families should contact schools directly.

By October 29

  • Students select up to 5 schools and return application form, signed by parent or guardian, to counselors.
  • The 8th grade counselor enters application information into a networked computer system

November - January

  • Selective high schools begin to evaluate applications.
  • Selective schools begin to conduct interviews and auditions. Some auditions and interviews are by invitation only and these schools only send out notifications, not rejections. Some schools interview all applicants but may send letters with date and time to counselors, not students (if a student has a conflict, s/he must reschedule). Some schools expect students to take the initiative in scheduling interviews.
  • Students should consult counselors to keep on top of their applications.

January - March

  • Special admission schools make acceptance, rejection, and wait-list decisions.
  • Citywide schools choose students to enter into admissions lottery.
  • The District Office of Student Placement runs three lotteries (general education, special education, ELL) to determine which students are accepted to citywide schools and to neighborhood schools with outside applicants.


  • Notification letters are sent to students who were accepted to more than one school.

March - April

  • Students with multiple acceptances are expected to choose within two weeks and submit a form with their choice to the 8th grade counselor. They are urged to make timely decisions so the second round of placements can begin.

April - September

  • As “multiple acceptance” students decide, spaces open up and students originally wait-listed or disapproved are reconsidered. Second- and third-round lotteries are conducted.
  • Parents, counselors, and principals advocate on behalf of students originally wait-listed or disapproved through phone calls and recommendation letters.
  • Additional letters are sent to remaining applicants, informing them of subsequent decisions. In this round of letters, students are admitted to only one school.

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