New York City officials unveiled long-awaited details on how middle and high schools will accept students for the coming year: middle schools will continue a pause on academic screens, and high schools will dramatically streamline their competitive admissions criteria, education department officials announced Tuesday.
In a reversal, high schools will also continue to give admissions priorities based on whether students live within a certain borough or zone. Those priorities were set to be eliminated this year, but Mayor Bill de Blasio changed course following pushback from parents concerned about long commutes.
Applications for middle schools will open the week of Jan. 10 and will be due the week of Feb. 28. Offers will be sent in early May.
For high schools, applications will open the week of Jan. 24. The deadline is the week of Feb. 28, with offers sent in late May.
The highly-anticipated changes follow another year of pandemic-related disruptions to the competitive and often-stressful admissions process — one that critics say helps drive New York City’s status as among the most segregated school districts in the country.
An unusually large portion of the city’s schools use screens such as test scores, grades, and attendance for admission. Last year, middle schools put a pause on screening applicants since many of those traditional measures used were dramatically altered or unavailable during the pandemic. That pause will continue for another year, but, unlike last year, performing arts middle schools will be allowed to audition for admissions.
In high schools, the screening process will be handled centrally by the education department, instead of the schools themselves, and the measures that can be used have been curbed. Schools will not consider attendance, nor will they use test scores, as last year’s state tests were opt-in, and most students did not take them.
High schools can consider first-semester grades and a work sample for its selection criteria. Education department officials could not immediately say whether schools will be allowed to require their own essays or tests.
The admissions process for the city’s coveted specialized high schools, which is governed by state law, has not changed.
This article was originally posted on NYC announces 2022-23 admissions policies for middle and high schools