Make sure your child is truly passionate about the art — not just you.Photo: Khara Woods on Unsplash

For those who have done their fair share of research involving NYC schools, the name Alina Adams probably rings bells. An OG in all things schools, Adams has even contributed some in-depth knowledge to our education coverage at Epicenter. So, if your soon-to-be high schooler has an interest in the arts, you may want to check out this interview on WNYC where Adams gives host Brian Lehrer some tips on applying to an arts-focused high school.

You can listen to the recording or read the full transcript here, but here are some takeaways:

  • Make sure your child is truly passionate about the subject — not just you.
  • The process is now centralized- you can send the same video or portfolio to multiple schools.
  • It’s not cheap- investing in your child’s passions to get into art-focused schools can be a lot more expensive than preparing them academically for specialized schools. 
  • It’s more subjective- a score on the SHSAT exam is clear, versus a portfolio which is judged by a person.
  • While some middle schools do help students prepare for these schools, unfortunately a majority do not. Free programs and scholarships do exist, but parents need to know about them and find out how to access them. 

Nicole Perrino is the founder of, a hyperlocal website for Bronx families where she use her influence to celebrate the beauty that the Bronx has to offer. In addition to her role at Bronxmama,...

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