From Insideschools.org by Judy Baum:
Dear Judy,

My son has been assigned to a high school he doesn’t want to attend. How does the appeals process work?

Queens Mom.

Dear Queens Mom

While the initial high school placements are made by computer, appeals are handled by human beings. If you have not already done so, enlist the help of your son’s 8th grade guidance counselor. The guidance counselor is a key player, while an appeals committee makes the final decision. The counselor is responsible for entering data from the appeals form into the Student Enrollment Management System (SEMS) data base and also adds a confidential recommendation. So get her on board. It doesn’t hurt to speak to the school that you are requesting, but the decision is not up to them.

In the past, appeals have been pretty successful. In 2008 – the latest year for which we have data – out of 3,722 appeals, 3, 234 were granted.

The grounds for appeal include travel hardship (when there is a more than 90 minutes commute, the student has moved, the school has relocated); documented health and safety problems; unmet special education needs such as a non accessibile site or lack of needed services.

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