Yasmeen Khan is an associate producer covering education. You can find her stories on the air and on SchoolBook.org, WNYC’s education website.
It’s match week for New York City’s Eighth graders applying to high schools. But for those students who did not get a match or who did not like their choice, there is a second chance.
A second round of applications will soon begin and students can learn more about their options at a high school fair this weekend at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Educational Campus on the Upper West Side.
Their choices include 12 new high schools opening in September 2012. Principals of those schools have been working to fill their freshman classes by speaking with guidance counselors and attending fairs, like the one taking place this weekend.
"We really are excited about creating something new, something that's vibrant, something that's cutting edge," said Bernardo Ascona, the proposed leader for the Union Square Academy for Health Sciences in Manhattan. Ascona is working to fill a freshman class of 108 students.
The school will focus on health careers, and incoming students can choose one of two paths: dental assistant or pharmaceutical technician, two areas where there should be growth in the job market, Ascona said.
The fair will go from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The city's education department offers tips and sample questions for school representatives on its Round 2 website, such as asking about internships, a dress code and Advanced Placement courses.
All students who want to attend a New York City public high school must apply.
During the first round, students ranked up to 12 different choices on their applications. They were then matched to schools using a method similar to the way medical students are matched to residency programs.
Education officials released the results of the first round of high school admissions earlier this week. Of the 77,137 eighth grade students who submitted applications, 84 percent matched to one of their top five schools and 74 percent to one of their top three. About 10 percent of students did not match.
Correction: The original article indicated students could choose from among nine new schools. This is incorrect. There are 12 new schools from which to choose although some are pending approval.
Watch a video of high school students discussing the match process: