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NYC Department of Education eliminates zoned high school option

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New York City households are zoned out — of their native high faculties.  

The metropolis Department of Education has quietly executed away with high-school zoning, which for many years assured college students a seat in a school close to their dwelling. 

That leaves Eighth-graders going through extra uncertainty as they attempt to navigate an more and more complicated admission system, and dashes some households’ long-standing plans.

“When my son applied for high school, all he had to do was put down Queens Metropolitan,” mentioned Rayna Digena, whose Woodhaven handle beforehand gave her kids precedence standing on the Forest Hills campus.

Her Eighth-grade daughter, Peri, 13, now hopes to affix brother Michael, 16, a junior, on the neighborhood-oriented 1,050-student school. ”She has her coronary heart set on it.” 

But Peri might not get into Queens Metropolitan — or to any school in her dwelling borough — when she begins the DOE’s byzantine utility course of.

“I’m very nervous about it,” Digena mentioned, citing considerations a few prolonged commute to a distant school. 

The Digena household:
(from left) Peter, Rayna, Peri and Michael.

New York City’s sprawling system of greater than 400 high faculties beforehand restricted admission at some faculties to college students or residents of a borough, district or neighborhood zone. 

Before 2021, some of probably the most prestigious and aggressive faculties in Manhattan all however shut out youngsters who lived exterior District 2. The DOE dropped these priorities final 12 months.

For subsequent fall, the DOE is eliminating all geographic restrictions — ending zoned ensures at 22 massive high faculties, most in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. They embrace Francis Lewis, Bayside, and Cardozo in Queens; Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn; and Tottenville in Staten Island. 

Digena “heard a rumor” concerning the zone elimination, however “wasn’t told about it,” she mentioned.

“When I requested about it at school conferences, the reply was, ‘We’re undecided but.’’’

In current admission info periods, dad and mom have repeatedly requested concerning the standing of zoned high faculties — solely to obtain robotically scripted non-answers from DOE officers.

Students practice yoga in the school gymnasium of Boys and Girls High School in Bed Stuy.
Students observe yoga within the school gymnasium of Boys and Girls High School in Bed Stuy.
Stephen Yang

“Will there be zoned high schools this year?” one guardian requested at a citywide discussion board on Tuesday.

The reply: “We do not yet have updates available about zoned programs.” 

Yet in accordance with the DOE’s new 2022 NYC Public Schools Admissions Guide: “Beginning with admissions for students entering high school in September 2022, no high school applicant will have priority to attend a school based on where they live.”

The DOE’s high school listing now lists all metropolis high faculties– and the particular applications inside them — as “Open to NYC residents.” Some prime faculties and applications might “screen” college students, however the DOE has not but advised principals what standards, similar to grades, take a look at scores and interviews, they will use to pick youngsters.  

Two years in the past, about 250 high faculties and applications had some sort of district, borough or different residency requirement.

According to Mayor de Blasio, this “limited “opportunity for hard-working students to attend some of our most in-demand schools based on where they live.”

Students gather in front of Tottenville High School.
Students collect in entrance of Tottenville High School.
white

Ending the priorities “will expand opportunity and increase choice for all rising high school students,” he claimed in a December press launch.

But the DOE has not but advised principals tips on how to break the information to folks or assist them regulate, school sources mentioned.

“It’s confusing,” mentioned Adriana Avila, a PTA mother of three and member of Community Education Council 26 in Queens. “Parents are not getting the full story of how it’s going to impact them.”

A PTA dad mentioned it hit him “like a punch in the stomach” when a Post reporter confirmed him Page 10 of the DOE’s admission information.

Being zoned for Queens Metropolitan “was a factor” when the household, which requested anonymity, moved to Forest Hills eight years in the past, he mentioned. His two older youngsters each attended the school, they usually deliberate for a 3rd baby, now in Eighth grade, to go there as properly.

Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Queens.
Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Queens.
J.C.Rice

“I’m shocked to hear that this is going through,” his spouse mentioned, including that folks she is aware of didn’t have their kids take the entry take a look at for Catholic faculties final week as a result of they presumed they’d get into zoned faculties. 

“I really feel a lot of people are not aware. There is going to be a rude awakening.”

Donna Russo, a Middle Village actual property agent, mentioned the loss of zoned faculties will have an effect on property values.

“A lot of first-time home buyers want to come into an area based on the schools,” she mentioned. “This may force people who buy a house and pay school taxes to put their kids in private schools.”

CEC 26 in Queens, which incorporates Francis Lewis, Bayside and Cardozo high faculties, handed a decision final month opposing the change.

The DOE has not but opened subsequent 12 months’s high school utility course of — making it prone to start after Jan. 1, mentioned Laura Zingmond, senior editor of InfacetSchools.com.

That will dump the admissions mess onto the lap of New York’s subsequent mayor, Eric Adams. “I don’t know whether an Adams administration will do things differently,” Zingmond  mentioned.

An Adams spokesman didn’t reply to a request for remark.


TWILIGHT ZONE

NY Post photograph composite

In the previous, many New York City high faculties have been “zoned” – that’s, they assured a seat to any pupil residing within the neighborhood. Others have been reserved for borough or district residents, permitting no different college students to use. All these geographic limitations have now been eradicated.

Former Zone Guarantee Schools:

  • Harry S Truman High School – 750 Baychester Avenue, Bronx
  • Abraham Lincoln High School – 2800 Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn
  • Boys and Girls High School – 1700 Fulton Street, Brooklyn
  • Fort Hamilton High School – 8301 Shore Road, Brooklyn
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School – 5800 twentieth Avenue, Brooklyn
  • James Madison High School – 3787 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn
  • New Utrecht High School – 1601 eightieth Street, Brooklyn
  • Bayside High School – 32-24 Corporal Kennedy Street, Bayside
  • Benjamin N. Cardozo High School – 57-00 223rd Street, Bayside
  • Forest Hills High School – 67-01 a hundred and tenth Street, Forest Hills
  • Francis Lewis High School – 58-20 Utopia Parkway, Fresh Meadows
  • Grover Cleveland High School – 21-27 Himrod Street, Ridgewood
  • Hillcrest High School – 160-05 Highland Avenue, Jamaica
  • John Adams High School – 101-01 Rockaway Boulevard, Ozone Park
  • John Bowne High School – 63-25 Main Street, Flushing
  • Long Island City High School – 14-30 Broadway, Astoria
  • William Cullen Bryant High School – 48-10 thirty first Avenue, Astoria
  • Curtis High School – 105 Hamilton Avenue, Staten Island
  • New Dorp High School – 465 New Dorp Lane, Staten Island
  • Port Richmond High School – 85 St. Josephs Avenue, Staten Island
  • Susan E. Wagner High School – 1200 Manor Road, Staten Island
  • Tottenville High School – 100 Luten Avenue, Staten Island

Former Borough-Only Schools:

  • Herbert H. Lehman High School – 3000 East Tremont Avenue, Bronx
  • Riverdale / Kingsbridge Academy – 660 West 237th Street, Bronx
  • Edward R. Murrow High School – 1600 Avenue L, Brooklyn
  • Information Technology High School – 21-16 forty fourth Road, Long Island City
  • Newcomers High School – 28-01 forty first Avenue, Long Island City
  • Newtown High School – 48-01 ninetieth Street, Elmhurst
  • Michael J. Petrides School – 715 Ocean Terrace, Staten Island

Former District-Only Schools:

  • Midwood High School Liberal Arts and Science Institute – 2839 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn
  • Robert F. Kennedy Community High School – 75-40 Parsons Boulevard, Fresh Meadow