High School

Students sitting in auditorium at a graduation ceremony

I took my daughter to the Citywide High School Fair at Brooklyn Technical High School today.

For me, it was a stark reminder that my baby girl is no longer a baby.

Having grown up in Detroit, I am largely ignorant of the high school admissions process in New York City. Based on today’s fair, though, the high school admission process resembles the pre-school/kindergarten admissions process, complete with testing: the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT), which is required for admission to the City’s elite public high schools.

My daughter is currently taking an SHSAT prep course, and she is way more knowledgeable about all of this than I am.  I watched with pride as she navigated the fair like a networking pro, chatting up students and faculty from her top choice schools — Bronx High School of Science, American Studies, Brooklyn Tech and Beacon.  She has a take-charge personality, and she thrives in these types of environments.

I’ve told my daughter that the school choice decision is hers to make, as long as she keeps an open mind.  I don’t want her to have to resort to deception to wind up where she wants to go, as I did when I was entering high school.

When I was her age in Detroit, there were only two elite, special admission high schools: Cass Technical High School, and Renaissance High School.  The Catholic school system had its own high school testing and admissions process.

Having sent me to Catholic school for 8th grade, even though we weren’t Catholic, my mother wanted me to go to a Catholic high school.  Spending 8th grade in Catholic school was enough for me.  I wanted to go to Cass Tech, where all of my brothers and one of my two sisters had gone.

I wound up taking both tests. 

I got into Cass Tech, but my mother made it clear that if I also got into the Catholic school she wanted to send me to, then that’s where I was going.  So it was luck, or serendipity, that I happened to answer the phone call informing me that I was admitted to her (not mine) top choice Catholic high school.

I didn’t tell my mother about that phone call until just before my graduation from Cass Tech.

High school is a big milestone marker, both for my daughter in her life, and for me, as a parent, in mine.  I am confident she will choose wisely.

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One Response to “High School”

  1. Tweets that mention High School « Carolyn A. Edgar -- Topsy.com Says:

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