I posted this last year when Inside Schools did their redesign, but you need to visit early and often. They are an invaluable not for profit and (if you want more updated reviews) you should support them here.
We are all so sorry that Judy Baum, "ask Judy" passed away in Dec. A great loss for us all.
- I love that they are journalists without an agenda except to help confused parents.
- I love that they know the byzantine quirks of the NYC school system unlike the national sites that just cull by test score.
- I love that there is no scrap of information worth having that isn't listed somewhere on the site.
- I love that the data at the top of the reviews is up to date and accurate.
- I love that the reviews even when they are out of date are nuanced and honest.
- I love that parents, students and teachers can weigh in
- I love the forum and "ask Judy" where you can ask and receive great information-we will really miss Judy!
They have redesigned their site. Here are few helpful hints when using it:
- they have information sorted by level (elementary etc.) and all of the information; how to apply, contacts, the forum are easy to find under the school level
- If you are in the elementary school level (for example) and you try to search for a high school it won't come up. You need to go to the home page or the high school level page.
- on the homepage you can sort schools of all levels by name or number and within the level pages (elementary, middle school, etc.) you can do an advanced search, or you can click on the map to jump to jump to a district page
- when you search for a school by number you will get a long list of any school that has that number within it. You can find your specific school more easily in two ways: put "PS" or "MS" etc. in front of the number and it will a short list of that specific number or you can do the search by borough/district or neighborhood/level and get a short list.
- If you are searching for high schools, which all have very specific and sometimes confusing names ("high school for" rather than "high school of") use a word or even portion of a word and you will get a short list (if you misspell Millennium you won't find it, but if you enter "mill" you will)
- "ask judy" is under "news and views"
- if you were previously registered for the forum (more than a year ago), you may need to update your password, they sent out an email, but if you (like me) used an old email address you might not have seen it.