NYC school application website crashes one day before the deadline

Parents in New York City were furious on Wednesday after the website that accepts their children’s applications for public schools collapsed under heavy traffic — a day before the deadline.

Thousands of incoming middle and high school students have until the end of Thursday to submit their applications for next school year – but numerous parents told The Post they were unable to load the website to upload the correct documents.

“The site just doesn’t work for me. I think there’s just heavy usage. It’s the equivalent of trying to buy Taylor Swift tickets now,” a concerned mom, Lindsay Owen, told the Post.

Owen said Wednesday night that she spent hours at her computer trying to fill out a high school application for her son through the DOE’s MySchools web platform, which she said would only take a few minutes.

Students queue to enter a New York City public high school on Monday, March 22, 2021 in New York, the United States.
Applications for middle and high school students in New York City public schools are due by December 1st.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

“The site runs at a snail’s pace and can’t handle the traffic. Obviously a lot of parents like me gave it up until the last minute, but a deadline is a deadline and if you do it on time the process should be easy,” she said.

“I’m stressed because there doesn’t seem to be any comment from the DOE on what happens if I can’t submit this,” she said, adding that she may have to submit a paper application to the guidance counselor on Thursday.

The DOE did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment, but released a statement confirming the site was struggling due to heavy traffic.

“Families applying for middle or high school: Delays are occurring due to high website traffic: We are currently working on it,” the department tweeted. “Please note that applicants have until December 9th. Have time to submit additional requirements such as auditions or ratings.”

When trying to log into MySchools, parents received a message: “Traffic is currently high and you will shortly have access to your account. We appreciate your patience.”

According to the DOE, applications can be submitted online — which has been recommended — or through a school counselor or at a Family Welcome Center.

Robin Kelleher, a Manhattan parent who has an eighth-grader applying to high schools, said the crash was unsurprising but a frustrating experience nonetheless.

She said on Wednesday that she had to check the site about seven times before it finally started working again.

“It always crashes when results are coming out or when a lot of traffic is expected at a time,” said Kelleher, a member of the Community Education Council for District 2.

She noted that parents who don’t have endless hours to review the site are poorly served by the DOE.

Message on the MySchools website.
The Department of Education recommended parents to apply through online platform MySchools, which crashed on Wednesday due to heavy traffic.
NYC MySchools

Many questioned whether the deadline would be extended if the issue was not resolved by Thursday’s deadline.

“Myschools is still down, if not fixed before applications are due will there be an extension? Heavy traffic should have been expected,” said one parent asked the department on Twitter.

“As of yesterday, Myschools does not allow you to upload the additional materials (essay, wmv video file for audition) that certain high schools require in an application. The completed applications are due in 2 days. Can the deadline be extended because of this glitch?” tweeted another parent, Abdul Sheir.

The DOE announced in September that it would overhaul its controversial pandemic-era high school admissions process and put academic merit back in priority when selecting applicants for some of the city’s most selective public high schools.

Bill de Blasio
Former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s policy, announced last year, placed less emphasis on good grades.

The announcement marked a departure from the controversial policy introduced last year under former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration that placed less emphasis on good grades. Officials said the changes were aimed at acknowledging that traditional metrics used in the admissions process, such as attendance and test scores, had been impacted by the closure of COVID-19 schools.

Critics said this has resulted in students being placed in schools that weren’t up to their abilities – and sometimes far from their homes and across boroughs.

Additionally, screening has been reinstated in middle schools for the first time since the pandemic, when principals decide to do so based on parent and school feedback. NYC school application website crashes one day before the deadline


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