Volume 78 / Number 2 - June 11 - 17, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since

Middle schoolers are just looking for acceptance

By Julie Shapiro

With a couple of weeks of school left to go, fifth-graders still don’t know where they’ll be attending middle school next year.

Department of Education officials are telling parents that the acceptance letters went out two weeks ago, but parents were still staring at empty mailboxes as recently as last week.

“Parents are distraught,” said Barry Skolnick, parent of a fifth-grader at P.S. 89. “No one knows anything.”

District 2 shifted its middle school admissions process to several months later this year, but officials promised that parents would still find out about admissions decisions in early May. That date shifted to late May, and now, with graduation just a few weeks away, parents have lost patience.

Some middle schools have lost patience with D.O.E., as well. Salk School of Science and East Side Middle School reportedly called parents of accepted students to tell them the good news. Lab Middle School, another top choice for Downtown kids, is not making phone calls because D.O.E. told them not to, according to a source.

“People at the D.O.E. admit that it’s bad,” a source said of the notification situation.

Meanwhile, NEST+M and The Anderson School, which have citywide gifted programs, sent out their letters several weeks ago. NEST told parents that they wanted to know by the end of last month whether the accepted students are attending — but parents still hadn’t received responses from the other schools, so they don’t want to make a decision yet. NEST reportedly sent out acceptance letters to students who didn’t actually get in.

To cap off the mess, middle schools are holding orientations for new students this week, but at this rate, it looks like few students will know which orientation to attend.

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