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Old 10-07-2015, 03:40 PM
 
440 posts, read 772,112 times
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Hi all,

My sister's foster parent is relinquishing custody to me, the older sister, within a month. She is in 9th grade, and currently lives in California. I'm 30, have a full-time job, just finished my Master's, but I currently live in the S. Bronx in what I assume is a not good school district at all.

The process seems a little opaque - are public school solely dependent on your address? So you basically have your choice of 1 school and that's it? What about these other public schools with low enrollment numbers, how do they choose which students to take in? If I were to move to a better school district within NYC does that give me control over where I can enroll her?

Any advice would help... basically, she's a really bright kid and I want her to be in a decent school, but I can't afford $50k a year, either.

Any advice appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 10-08-2015, 07:35 AM
 
4,783 posts, read 4,665,088 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deecbee View Post
Hi all,

My sister's foster parent is relinquishing custody to me, the older sister, within a month. She is in 9th grade, and currently lives in California. I'm 30, have a full-time job, just finished my Master's, but I currently live in the S. Bronx in what I assume is a not good school district at all.

The process seems a little opaque - are public school solely dependent on your address? So you basically have your choice of 1 school and that's it? What about these other public schools with low enrollment numbers, how do they choose which students to take in? If I were to move to a better school district within NYC does that give me control over where I can enroll her?

Any advice would help... basically, she's a really bright kid and I want her to be in a decent school, but I can't afford $50k a year, either.

Any advice appreciated.

Thanks!
Address doesn't matter in HS.
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Old 10-08-2015, 08:02 AM
 
2,591 posts, read 3,374,308 times
Reputation: 1293
Quote:
Originally Posted by deecbee View Post
Hi all,

My sister's foster parent is relinquishing custody to me, the older sister, within a month. She is in 9th grade, and currently lives in California. I'm 30, have a full-time job, just finished my Master's, but I currently live in the S. Bronx in what I assume is a not good school district at all.

The process seems a little opaque - are public school solely dependent on your address? So you basically have your choice of 1 school and that's it? What about these other public schools with low enrollment numbers, how do they choose which students to take in? If I were to move to a better school district within NYC does that give me control over where I can enroll her?

Any advice would help... basically, she's a really bright kid and I want her to be in a decent school, but I can't afford $50k a year, either.

Any advice appreciated.

Thanks!
There are very few zoned schools for high school, but you should look into that. I think there is one in Riverdale that's not terrible. Is there a good zoned HS in Queens?

The rest of the system is city-wide. I don't know much about 9th grade applications, but I do know that you have to start now. Is she living with you already? I'd find a Catholic school you're happy with for this year, and if feasible, start with the application process for public schools now for 10th grade. If she's a good student, I'd look into selective schools that don't give priority to Manhattan residents, such as Beacon, Manhattan Hunter, Bard. There is a big book of high schools that middle school counselors have, and other information can be found at insideschools.org.

I do know it's harder to get into a good school for those going into 10th though, and most of the selective schools have their own admissions requirements -- essays, interviews ets. Some give your student extra points for going to the open house. She could also look into taking the SHSAT for specialized schools, but there is really no time to prepare, so she'd have to be exceptional to have a chance at this point (the test is soon). She can only do the above if she is already going to school here though, as far as I know.

Honestly, you may not have time for all of that, and if the zoned schools don't seem to be a good option, I'd look into a Catholic for the rest of high school. Some of them have scholarships and financial aid too. There may be an exam they require for merit scholarships, and there's the TACHS test too.

PS - If she his here before the public hs admission form is due (I think Dec. 1?), I'd fill it out anyway, even if you haven't had time to jump through all the hoops. Good luck.

Last edited by yodel; 10-08-2015 at 08:12 AM..
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Old 10-08-2015, 08:23 AM
 
572 posts, read 424,110 times
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Once she is officially living with you, you'll need to visit a HS Welcome Center.

Family Welcome Centers - Welcome Centers - New York City Department of Education

HS enrollment happens year-round, though not all high schools accept mid-year transfers. She will be placed in a high school that is under a 90-minute commute. She can apply to specific high schools/programs for 10th grade (assuming she's here soon). After that, she'll be locked into a specific school.
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Old 10-08-2015, 04:31 PM
 
Location: New York NY
4,133 posts, read 5,942,768 times
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She can start the process rolling officially only AFTER she has an official New York City address. That's when you visit the DOE offices mentioned above. When you go, make sure you have all necessary proof of address and guardianship, vaccinations, results from any previous standardized state tests, her IEP if she has one of those, and the latest report cards. That will all help the DOE find a school for her--and hopefully the right school.

Unofficially you should start looking at insideschools.org site now to find a good school for her. (Also look at https://niche.com/ for subjective comments on just about every school in the city.) Really try and get her into a SELECTIVE high school--one where grades and standardized test scores are considered for admission. These are the better high schools. Schools with UNSCREENED or LIMITED UNSCREENED admissions will take just about anyone, and most of these are weaker schools. Doing your research first, you have an idea of where to ask the DOE to place her. (No guarantees, of course, that DOE will assign her where you want. But it's better for you to start saying what you want rather than them start by just saying what they've got.)

I don't know the really strong high schools in the Bronx. There may be some beside Bronx Science or High School of American Studies, where kids need high scores on the specialized high school admissions test to get in -- and you may have missed that test date unless she has that NYC address very, very soon.

But nearby in East Harlem you might ask for The Young Women's Leadership School or Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics, both of which can give a motivated student a strong, college-prep education. Further south in Manhattan you can check out Frank McCourt, Talent Unlimited (if she wants to sing/dance/play music/act), or Manhattan/Hunter. Again, a motivated student can do well in any of these, and they're all calm, civilized places.

The strongest screened high schools --places like Bard HS or Beacon HS in Manhattan --are in high demand and tough to get into at the last minute. But you'll never know unless you ask.

Good luck.

Last edited by citylove101; 10-08-2015 at 04:57 PM..
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Old 10-08-2015, 06:21 PM
 
3,447 posts, read 3,515,337 times
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Don't bother with public.

Your educational life is decided by the end of 8th grade, with one graceful transfer in 9th.
NYC HS general enrollment... not a great scene.

Anything other than a SELECTIVE school, is a hell hole.
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Old 10-08-2015, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Eric Forman's basement
1,689 posts, read 1,660,619 times
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If you have money for tuition, and don't mind a Catholic education for your sister (and she's okay with it too, of course), Cardinal Spellman in the Bronx is still an excellent school. It should be easily reachable via subway.
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Old 10-09-2015, 08:49 AM
 
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I went to Spellman. Albeit 20 years ago. Tuition was $3k or so a year back then, I know it has gone up significantly but is still very reasonable for the education you can potentially get. They also offered scholarships back then ($1k was what I had).
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