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Most students got a top HS pick; for some, choices remain

In a year when legal wrangling complicated the high school admissions process, the city managed to place more than half of eighth-graders in their first-choice school, city officials said today.

Still, more than 6,500 eighth-graders didn’t get into any high school at all, according to the Department of Education’s annual press release touting admissions results. The city released the results today, nearly a month later than usual and more than two weeks after the department mailed out admissions decisions that had been delayed by a lawsuit over school closures.

The 80,412 students who submitted high school applications included 8,382 students who applied to one of the 14 high schools the city tried to close this year. Originally, the department planned to assign those students to another high school listed on their application. But after the city lost a lawsuit stopping the school closures, the department generated new matches for the students, giving 1,397 of them a choice between attending a school the city has deemed failing and another school the student ranked lower. (The other 7,000 students ranked the schools slated for closure so low on their applications that they were placed elsewhere.) Students have until the end of next week to choose, according to a letter sent to principals last week by Leonard Trerotola, the department’s high school enrollment director.

An additional 174 students who were matched with schools originally slated to close will be able to submit an application in the supplementary round, typically reserved for students who were not accepted to any school. The 6,520 other students who did not receive a high school match will also be able to apply to the schools originally slated to close, Treratola told principals. The department also opted not to match any of the 1,087 students who applied to selective programs at the once-closing schools with those programs but will allow the students to reapply, according to the press release.

When the ruling was first announced last month, teachers union president Michael Mulgrew told GothamSchools that the union would sue to force the city to place students in the schools that were originally proposed for closure. Dick Riley, a union spokesman, would not comment today on the results of the high school admissions process.

The complete press release is below.

CHANCELLOR KLEIN ANNOUNCES MORE THAN 80 PERCENT OF STUDENTS ADMITTED TO A TOP CHOICE HIGH SCHOOL FOR FIFTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein today announced that 86 percent (69,363) of the 80,412 eighth grade students who applied for admission to New York City public high schools in 2010 have been matched to one of their top five choices. More than half of the applicants – 52 percent (41,667) – received their first choice, 77 percent (61,777) of students received one of their top three choices, and 86 percent (69,363) received one of their top five choices-marking the fifth consecutive year that more than 80 percent of high school applicants received one of their top five choices. In all, 92 percent of students (73,718) were matched with one of their choices. Our high school admissions process provides tremendously varied options that respond to the diverse needs and interests of our students, with the aim of best preparing them for success in college and their careers, Chancellor Klein said. I am pleased that for the fifth consecutive year, more than 80 percent of students were admitted to one of their top five choices. Among this year’s applicants, 20,140 students listed a new small school as their first choice, and 12,638 of those students – 63 percent – were matched to their first choice. A total of 214 new small secondary schools accepting ninth-graders have opened since 2002, and 12 more will open at the start of the 2010-11 school year. The high school admissions process consists of three rounds and begins after students list up to 12 high school programs in order of preference on their applications. In the first round, students applying to the City’s specialized high schools receive their matches; this round was conducted in February. During the second round, known as the main round, the vast majority of eighth-graders receive their high school match; these letters were sent earlier this month. Students were matched to their highest choice possible based on their interests, eligibility, and the selection method used by schools. This year, 6,694 students did not receive a match in the main round and have been automatically entered into the third round, known as the supplementary round. Additionally, after a recent State Supreme Court ruling halted the City’s plans to phase out 19 failing schools, the Department ran a match process for students who listed one of the schools originally slated for phase-out on their initial high school application. Of the 8,382 students who selected a phase-out school or program on their applications, 1,397 were matched to one of those programs. Pending an appeal of the Court’s decision, most of those students (1,221) can choose between two options-the phase-out school or the school they were matched to in the main round of the process. The remaining 174 students did not receive a main round match and will be able to select a second school option during the supplementary round. Screened programs at the phase-out schools were also listed by 1,087 of the 8,382 students on their initial applications, and these students will be able to reapply to any of the screened programs they listed. If the City wins its appeal, students who select phase-out schools or programs will attend the schools they were matched to in either the main or supplementary round. Students participating in the supplementary round have until April 29 to submit their choice forms to guidance counselors. The Department of Education will host an information and counseling fair for students about the supplementary round on Thursday, April 22, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Educational Campus in Manhattan (122 Amsterdam Avenue, at 66thstreet). School representatives and admissions counselors will be available to discuss high school options with students and their families. Students in the supplementary round will receive high school matches on May 26. Details about the 2010 high school match results are below.