Open house is a window into the next four years
by Andrew Pavia
Oct 03, 2013 | 659 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As children begin their teenage years, one of the most important decisions they will make is choosing a high school that will strike the balance of being both challenging and nurturing.

In order to ensure that a student will be successful and enjoy the next four years, high schools across the city hold open house events to introduce parents and prospective students to their institutions.

Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood is hosting its open house on October 20. It will allow would-be students to speak with teachers face-to-face, walk the hallways, and get a firsthand perspective of the school from current students.

“There is no better way to get to know the school in a short period of time than an open house,” said school president Richard Karsten. “Prospective students can talk directly to teachers and chairs of the departments they are interested in.”

Karsten pointed out that many of those who attend the open houses have a general knowledge of the school going in.

“By the time they get to the open house, we will have answered basic questions,” he said. “On that day, we’re hoping the questions get more specific.”

Members in the Student Ambassador Program will lead tours and answer questions.

“Almost every time I meet with alumni, they tell me that the open house made a dramatic impact and shifted their decision,” Karsten said. “Most often it’s because they connected with students.”

On Saturday, October 19, Saint Vincent Ferrer High School, an all-girls school located on the Upper East Side, will host its open house.

“It’s very important to see a lot of schools for open house because you want to get the best fit for your son or daughter,” said Sister Christine Cosgrove, director of Admissions. “Walk through the building, see interactions with students and teachers.”

Cosgrove suggests that parents and prospective students attend open houses early.

“Start seriously in seventh grade and confirm your choices in the eighth grade,” she said.

However, her biggest tip for parents is to keep the schools honest. “See if what they say they're doing, is what they actually are doing,” Cosgrove said.

Brooklyn’s Bishop Ford Central Catholic High School in Park Slope will hold its open house on October 20. Prospective students and parents will get the opportunity to tour the facility with students and teachers.

“It’s imperative for parents to see where the schools are located and to ensure that it’s in a safe neighborhood,” said Deanna Philippe, director of Admissions.

Philippe said it’s also important to speak to the current students.

“Ask them why they love the school and view the relationships that current students have with faculty members and staff,” she said. “See how they support each other.”

Overall, Philippe said that choosing a high school is more than just picking a place for a teenager to learn.

“Parents should think, 'what is a comfortable fit for my family,'” she said.

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