DOE eliminates zoned high school option that guaranteed neighborhood seats – New York Post

New York City families are zoned out — of their local high schools.  

The city Department of Education has quietly done away with high-school zoning, which for decades guaranteed students a seat in a school near their home. 

That leaves 8th-graders facing more uncertainty as they try to navigate an increasingly confusing admission system, and dashes some families’ long-standing plans.

“When my son applied for high school, all he had to do was put down Queens Metropolitan,” said Rayna Digena, whose Woodhaven address previously gave her children priority status at the Forest Hills campus.

Her 8th-grade daughter, Peri, 13, now hopes to join brother Michael, 16, a junior, at the neighborhood-oriented 1,050-student school. ”She has her heart set on it.” 

But Peri may not get into Queens Metropolitan — or to any school in her home borough — when she starts the DOE’s byzantine application process.

“I’m very nervous about it,” Digena said, citing concerns about a lengthy commute to a distant school. 

The Digena family:
(from left) Peter, Rayna, Peri and Michael.
The Digena family:
(from left) Peter, Rayna, Peri and Michael.

New York City’s sprawling system of more than 400 high schools previously limited admission at some schools to students or residents of a borough, district or neighborhood zone. 

Before 2021, some of the most prestigious and competitive schools in Manhattan all but shut out kids who lived outside District 2. The DOE dropped those priorities last year.

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