Update for Families, January 22, 2021
Fall 2020 School Experience Survey
We want to know about your experience with remote and in-person learning during the current school year. Now through February 5, please share your opinions via the Survey by visiting schools.nyc.gov/experiencesurvey.
The survey collects feedback from families, students, and teachers about remote learning, communication, technology use, and health, safety, and instruction for those students and teachers who attended school or worked in person at any point this school year. Your feedback will help us understand student needs and improve remote and in-person learning for the rest of the school year.
The survey is open to families and teachers of students in grades 3-K–12, and students in grades 6–12. The survey is available in English, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Urdu. All feedback provided is anonymous and confidential.
Anyone who cannot complete the survey online can call 311 to find support to complete the survey by phone. The survey closes on Friday, February 5, and we want to hear from you!
Middle and High School Admissions
Middle school applications opened January 14 and high school applications opened January 20. This year we’ve made some changes to better support our students’ learning journeys and to ensure a fairer process for all our public school families.
Students in their final year of elementary school can now apply to middle school! The deadline to apply is February 9. As the DOE shared in December, middle schools that formerly evaluated (“screened”) applicants for admissions will not use academic records, auditions, or other screens or assessments to evaluate or admit students this year. This pause on screening will be in effect for all 70,000 fifth graders entering middle school this fall.
- Eligibility requirements (which students can apply to a specific school) and admissions priorities (the order that student groups are admitted to that school) are not changing. Students will continue to have priority to attend middle schools close to where they live or attend elementary school. If any middle school program has more applicants than available seats, offers will be made to that program by lottery and using any admissions priorities the school has (e.g., for students with disabilities or multilingual learners. This is how most middle school programs in New York City already admit students.
- We will engage school communities to help inform the use of screens for future years.
We decided to pause on middle school screens this year because the measures our screened schools previously used to make admissions decisions were no longer available due to the pandemic. In addition, the COVID-19 health crisis has had a disproportionate impact on our communities of color, immigrant families, and other traditionally underserved communities. Pausing on screens for admissions this year will help create more inclusive learning environments and more opportunities for all our City’s students.
Now that the high school application is open, you will be able to apply online at MySchools.nyc or through your school counselor. The deadline to apply is February 23.
- To apply to any of the eight testing schools, register as soon as possible to take the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test. All current eighth-graders who registered by the January 15 deadline will take the test on January 27. You can still register through January 28 to take the test on a later testing date. Registrations will not be accepted after January 28.
- To apply to LaGuardia High School’s arts programs, register by February 23 to audition for LaGuardia High School. Please note that all high school auditions this year—including for LaGuardia High School—will take place virtually. You can find updated requirements for audition programs at schools.nyc.gov/HSAuditions.
As part of a larger effort to make the high school admissions process simpler and more equitable for families, geographic (location-based) admissions priorities for high schools will be phased out over the next two years. This means that, after next year, the location of a student’s home cannot alone determine their chances of getting into a certain high school.
Attend Virtual Arts High School Fairs
Interested in arts programs? Join us at any of these events to learn about audition requirements for each discipline, the audition process for this year, and how to submit your audition online. This is also a chance to meet representatives from NYC’s audition schools, including LaGuardia High School. Please note that schools from different boroughs will join and present on different dates. At the end of the event, school and DOE staff will answer your questions.
Changes to Gifted & Talented Programs
Last week, we announced that this will be the last year New York City administers the current Gifted & Talented test to four year-olds. We believe there is a better way to serve our young learners.
- We will spend the next year engaging communities around what kind of programming they would like to see that is more inclusive and enriching, and truly supports the needs of diversely talented students at different ages.
- We will also engage communities around how best to integrate enriched learning opportunities to more students, so that every student can access rigorous learning that is tailored to their needs and fosters their creativity, passion, and strengths.
Students currently in Gifted & Talented programs, including those entering programs this fall, will be able to complete their elementary school program. Information on this year’s test will be posted in the coming weeks on the DOE website and shared with school communities.