BEAM's role in navigating the maze: Understanding HS admissions for high potential students


BEAM's role in navigating the maze: Understanding HS admissions for high potential students


This event will be held Monday, April 3rd, 7-10pm in Manhattan (exact location TBA). 

We will begin with a screening of the recent documentary Tested, which follows students applying to NYC's most selective public high schools.

This will be followed by a panel discussion with BEAM alumni about their experiences preparing for and applying to high school and the role BEAM played in their ultimate placements.

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Here are a few of BEAM's high school students and their stories.  We look forward to introducing you to more students on April 3, 2017.

BEAM suggested that I apply to NEST+m because I was studying for the SHSAT and the exams are similar. I ended up not getting into any specialized schools, but I did get into NEST+m. I have just finished two weeks there and I like it. Everyone is friendly. You can go up to an 11th grader and ask a question and they will help you.
— Adrianne, 9th grade, NEST+m

As you will see in Tested, we find that 8th graders tend to fixate on one or two dream schools.  Once we know what a student wants, the BEAM staff is able to recommend similar schools that students can apply to so they maximize their chances of getting a great match for high school, as with Adrianne. 

I first studied for the SHSAT during my summer at BEAM. I ended up being accepted into Bronx Science and Bard High School Early College and chose Bronx Science. There was some culture shock when I first arrived, but it’s absolutely the right school for me.
— Andy, 11th grade, Bronx Science

We were surprised to learn that Andy had not studied for the SHSAT until three months before the test; in some neighborhoods, students begin studying three years in advance. But with his fast thinking and with some clever instruction into BEAM, he was admitted to two of the top high schools in NYC. 

I went to the Citywide High School Fair with BEAM. They taught me how to shake hands and introduce myself. While there, I talked with the Assistant Principal of the Academy for Software Engineering (AFSE). I really liked her and the school, so I went to an Open House to learn more. I ended up ranking it first and got in. I like the school because of its community environment.
— Mona, 11th grade, AFSE

Mona immigrated to the US from Yemen two years before attending BEAM.  She worried about doing well on admissions test due to her slower speed in English.  We worked together to find a school that would be just as impressed by Mona as we were!  At AFSE, she has gone on to have paid cyber security internships and is well on her way to a successful programming career. 

Not familiar with the high school admissions process?

This fall, Chalkbeat NY has been publishing a series entitled "Barriers to Entry" on the challenges all students, but especially those from low-income backgrounds, face when applying to high school.  Here are some highlights: