fall guide 11 cover

To our readers,

Welcome to our third annual fall guide, the first of six Notebook print editions for the school year. Each September we try to provide you with vital information in an issue designed to be kept as a reference.

This fall, besides telling you about the many changes in the District, we are again spotlighting the city’s public high schools. The decision about where to go to high school is a big one – families should be thinking about it well before 8th grade.

We’ve provided detailed profiles of more than 90 schools and data on how their students are doing. Some new topics we cover this year include the odds of getting into different schools and some high school programs aimed to give students a head-start on college.

We try to break down the high school situation for you because the admissions process is a complicated one. The long list of high school options can be bewildering. It’s important for students and parents to understand how their academic record can affect their options.

And not all options are created equal. The statistics in our center spread show that in some schools, nearly every entering 9th grader graduates four years later. At others, fewer than half of students make it through. Our school profile section shows that some have rich arrays of programs and activities, while others have fewer special offerings.

The local group Research for Action has found that students who are Black, Latino, male, or in special education are less likely to end up attending one of the schools they sought in the high school selection process. Hopefully this guide is a step toward giving everyone a more equal shot in the process by providing good information to all. Equally important, given the deep inequities in the system, we hope to provide our readers with the information they need to be advocates for change.

Look for stories from our previous guides and additional tools for learning more about high schools throughout our site.

If you find this guide valuable, we encourage you to become a member of the Notebook. As a reader-supported, nonprofit news organization since 1994, we depend on your contributions to maintain our independent watchdog role. We welcome your feedback. Best wishes for the new school year!

Paul Socolar
Editor and director

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