Getting Ready for High School Choice

  • In the fall of 8th grade, all students start the process to choose their high school from more than 30 schools and programs. As with middle schools, the options include charter and traditional schools, schools with special focus areas, all-boys and all-girls schools, schools with extensive career preparation programs or specialized academic programs that give students the chance to graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate's degree. Many schools and programs have entrance criteria, so it's important to know the options and requirements to make sure you stay on the path to get into your top-choice school.

    The path to your top high school, grade by grade

    In 6th grade

    • Talk to friends and family members about the schools they go to
    • Visit City Schools’ website to learn about different kinds of high school programs, like Career and Technology Education, International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement, and P-TECH
    • Visit City Schools’ website or browse the annual school choice guide to learn about special requirements to go to certain high schools
    • Use Naviance to explore careers, and get a sense of what interests you and what sort of education is required for different types of jobs

    In 7th grade

    • Meet with your school’s choice liaison to talk about schools that might interest you and get answers to your questions
    • Go to open houses at different schools, so you’ll get a sense of the range of schools available
    • Join clubs, play sports, and take advantage of activities available at your middle school, so you can keep figuring out what interests you and where your talents lie
    • Keep every path open to you by having great attendance, working hard, and doing your best on tests

    In 8th grade

    September to December
    • Narrow down your choices by visiting schools you’re interested in, going to the School Choice Fair, and talking to current students, parents, and staff members
    • Stay focused on doing well, so you’ll meet requirements for special programs
    • For the Ingenuity Project, register for the test; for charter schools, make sure you know the application deadlines
    • Meet with your choice liaison to get your questions answered and for help with your choice application
    January to March
    • Submit your choice application by the deadline (usually in January)
    • Submit applications to charter schools by the deadline (usually in February)
    • Find out where you'll be going to high school (usually in March)