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City schools admissions process gets streamlined


The complicated application process for city middle and high schools is getting streamlined, Mayor de Blasio and schools Chancellor Richard Carranza announced Thursday.

Starting this school year, rising middle and high schoolers who aren’t accepted at their top choice schools will be automatically wait-listed for them — rather than forcing students to submit a second round of applications.

“We’ve heard from families and educators that they want a simpler, more transparent, and more accessible system of school choice, and today we’re taking a step forward,” Carranza said.

In past years, rising high-schoolers applied to 12 schools in December of their eighth grade year, and learned their “match” school in March. If they weren’t happy where they landed, they could apply again to schools with space still open in a separate round of admissions starting in the spring. A pared down version of that system also existed for rising middle schoolers.

The changes announced Thursday will consolidate both processes into one round, with the same deadlines for middle and high school applicants. Students will still get their matches in March. But now they will be automatically wait-listed at any schools that were ranked higher than their match on their preference list.

Officials said families would be able to monitor their positions on wait-lists in real time, but the lists would be cut off around the start of school in September.

Tazin Azad, the parent of an eighth grader at M.S. 890 in Brooklyn who spoke at the press conference, said she had to go through the second round of applications to get her son a spot at his school, and appreciates the change.

“As of today, we’re thrilled our family will never have to go through this again,” she said.