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Queens Chronicle

Applying to high school simplified

So long Round 2! City tries to take headaches out of finding a spot

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Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 10:30 am | Updated: 11:53 am, Thu Aug 29, 2019.

The anxiety and complications of getting into the high school or middle school of your choice in New York City have sometimes made getting a mortgage look simple.

Last week, the process was made simpler — though no less anxiety-inducing — when the city announced a new, streamlined application process that will take effect for the 2020 school year.

Under the new system, the two-round application has been scaled back to one and, from now on, students will be placed on waiting lists for schools they want to attend but can’t get into right away.

Much of the process that was instituted in 2004 remains.

Eighth-grade students will still have to apply by the December deadline and rank their top 12 school choices.

Schools usually informed students of their decisions by March.

Until now, students who were matched to their third choice would be assigned there automatically.

Under the new system, the student will go onto the waiting list for his or her first two choices. If a spot opens up at one of those schools, the student can move up.

Students who were not matched with any school under the old system applied again to three new schools in a second round.

The plan outlined last week by Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza eliminates the second round.

Instead, an unmatched student will be assigned to a school by the Department of Education.

Some 80,000 students a year have to go through the initiation rite of applying to high school.

“Parents have enough on their plate—tangling with bureaucracy to get their child into school shouldn’t add to the load,” de Blasio said in a prepared statement.

“We are changing the middle and high school application processes so families don’t have to go through the gauntlet just to get a placement. There will be one application round and one deadline to make everyone’s lives easier.”

The new system also promises to make life a little simpler for school administrators.

Schools sometimes found themselves with unfilled seats after students to whom they’d offered spots accepted invitations from elsewhere.

Schools that in the past had to wait until the second round to fill up can now know pretty much by March who and how many students will attending the next fall.

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