Open House is your best chance to get to know a school
by Adrian Carrasquillo
Oct 06, 2009 | 10541 views | 0 0 comments | 142 142 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As children turn to teenagers there are important milestones that set them up for their future. Perhaps none more so than the choice of high school, where the student will mature, find themselves, and hone their strengths.

Across the city, high schools are holding their open house events to get prospective students and their parents to learn about the schools that could become their second homes.

The St. Agnes school in College Point is an all-girls school. The October 17th open house event allows for students and parents to tour the classrooms and meet the faculty. Students give guided tours and showcase the schools media tools like smart boards and the computer room.

“We give them the application for the scholarship exam, information, and pricing for uniforms, and they can walk by tables and see the available clubs and athletic teams,” said Veronica McBreen of St. Agnes.

McBreen said she knows that every student is unique and looking for something different in a school.

“It's like buying a prom dress,” she said. “You wouldn't let your friends choose it, and you wouldn't want the same one they want. We're a small school and some girls blossom, but some might want a bigger school. Students should check out all of the schools.”

On October 24, St. Francis Prep High School in Fresh Meadows will hold its open house. The event will start in the auditorium where principals, deans, and alumni will give presentations about the school.

“There is a wonderful spirit here,” said a St. Francis Prep representative. “It really comes across that the former students have a great love for the school.”

She added that while incoming students don't know what they want to do with their lives, being a strong student is the best way to ensure future success.

To this end, St. Francis Prep attracts students who understand that they must keep an 85 overall average and that the passing grade is a higher than usual 75. Most students are taking advanced placement courses as well.

She said that students may be taken aback by the size of the school. Some may prefer a big school and some might like a more intimate setting. Parents are most concerned with academics and safety and highlighted that the school has terrific video surveillance.

The Mary Louis Academy will host an open house event on October 18, where parents and students will be greeted by faculty members at the door. Small groups of eight families or so are taken around the school by student tour guides. In the auditorium, Principal Kathlene McKinney gives a presentation, and, after refreshments, parents meet with the chairperson of the different academic departments for a question and answer session.

Sister Filippa Luciano, C.S.J. sang the praises of the all-girl atmosphere for students. “It promotes the student as an individual,” she said.

St. John's Preparatory High School in Astoria hosts its open house on October 18, at which National Honor Society students take parents and students on guided tours around the school. Principal William Higgins noted that the school has a comprehensive academic approach, including a unique partnership with St. John's University.

In the middle of their junior year, students who are achieving at high levels can apply for a baccalaureate program that allows them to graduate from high school and finish their first year of college at the same time.

“We also have a different levels of difficulty for our major classes which allows students to learn in a challenging way,” Higgins said.

The school has nearly 1000 students and one of the unique aspects of the school is an extensive retreat program, with religious and social aspects.

“Kids go to school and already know their classmates,” Higgins said.

Dates for the open house of every school in our Top High Schools issue can be found in each individual school's profile.

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