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Applying to NYC High Schools: Authors & Bibliography

This LibGuide aims to provide information about the New York City public high school application system.




Michaela  Donahue's picture
Michaela Donahue

Annotated Bibliography

1. Admissions. (2018). Retrieved December 2, 2019, from Stuyvesant High School website:



This source provided context for how placement into schools is determined via factors like SHSAT as well as how many seats that school currently has open. It specifically discussed both eighth and ninth grade students, while many other sources only made mention of eighth graders. As such, it made clear that ninth grade students can apply for specialized schools. 


2. Advocates for Children of New York | Home. (n.d.). Retrieved December 2, 2019, from Advocates for Children of New York website:


This website was useful for understanding what options are available to at risk students groups. This includes students who are discriminated against for their sexuality, race, gender, etc. It seemed important to not only relay information about a zone and district but also information on what resources are available to students within their district so that they do not feel ostracized or alone. As New York City is an extremely diverse area, this resource was included. 


3. All NYC Specialized High School SHSAT Cutoff Scores for 2019. (2019, March 21). Retrieved December
2, 2019, from Theschoolboards website:



This thread discussed the cutoff scores for the SHSAT for each school in 2019. It also included the cutoff scores for 2018 for comparison. These scores were interesting as they showed the standards for the school and are useful for finding a score range to shoot for, however these scores are crowdsourced and self reported and so are not guaranteed to be completely accurate. 

4. Audition. (2019). Retrieved December 2, 2019, from Fiorello H. Laguardia High School of Music & Art and
Performing Arts website:



This source provided comprehensive information on the LaGuardia High School Auditions process. Through its elaborate discussion of audition preparations, audition schedules, and audition suggestions, it became a key source in creating a description of what exactly a school audition entails. 



5. Casas, N. Y. (n.d.). How does the School Zoning System work in New York City? Retrieved December 2, 2019, from New York Casas website:



This article details how zoning works for each age group, which was useful when discussing the high school process and how it differs from the middle and elementary school processes. It also lists best schools in each age range, though the author does not go into detail about why these specific schools were chosen. 



6. Etherington, C. (2016, April 28). Stuff You Should Know: How NYC School Zones and Districts Work. Retrieved December 2, 2019, from 6sqft website:

This is an excellent article that discusses the difference between a zone and a district when talking about New York City Schools. It also provides a discussion on diversity within schools, and the fact that some school districts are favored over others. 



7. Fader, A. (2012, February 23). NYC School Zones: Where to Find Accurate Public School Zone Maps | Mommy Poppins - Things to Do with Kids. Retrieved December 2, 2019, from



This is a parenting website that pointed out the fact that it is surprisingly hard to find accurate information regarding school zones in New York City. The author recommends many of the same sources for finding your zoned school that we do in this guide- The DOE website search and Inside Schools. 



8. Jones, C., Ma, L., Fertig, B., & Willens, P. (n.d.). Guide: Understanding New York City Schools. Retrieved December 2, 2019, from WNYC website:



This is a wide discussion of many facets in the New York City public school system, ranging from the top leadership, types of schools that exist within the system, and the best people to contact in different scenarios. This is particularly useful if you are new to the city and want an overview of the school structures. 



9. Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT)—InsideSchools. (2019). Retrieved December 2, 2019, from Insideschools website: 



This post from popular high school admissions information website Insideschools. It discusses many frequently asked questions about the SHSAT, a discussion of the recent diversity initiative (the Discovery Program), and free or low cost places to prepare for the SHSAT. 



10. Superintendents. (2019). Retrieved December 2, 2019, from NYC Department of Education website:



This page discusses the role of the superintendent, lists superintendents by borough and by district, and gives families a way to contact their superintendent. 



11. Szufilita, J. (2010, January 6). How to find your zoned school. Retrieved December 2, 2019, from NYC School Help website:



This blog post provides information on how to find your zoned elementary school. However, the methods would also work if you were trying to find your zoned high school. It also discusses what a zone is and what zones mean for school admissions.



12. The Bronx High School of Science. (n.d.). Retrieved December 2, 2019, from



This high school webpage provided information on how ranking along with your SHSAT plays a major role in determining what specialized school you will end up at. It states that if students are accepted into one specialized high school and decline this offer, they will not be given an offer by another specialized high school. Further information on this statement was not found, but it seemed to be a key point to include. 



13. What is the difference between an IEP and a 504 Plan? | DO-IT. (2019, April 30). Retrieved December 2, 2019, from Do-it website:



The DOE’s description of IEP and 504 plans is difficult to summarize. I used this college web page in order to get a more simplistic understand of IEP and 504 plan.