Infinity and McNair Applications for Fall 2023 Entrance Now Available

McNair Academic and Infinity Institute applications for admission for the 2023-2024 school year are now available. Applications are online and a PSAT score is still a required part of the application. You can view our posts on McNair or Infinity to see how PSAT scores (from the PSAT taken October 2022) affect how applications are evaluated.

Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard (and how the case has affected JC High Schools admissions systems)

In 2014, the Students for Fair Admissions filed a claim that Harvard discriminated against Asian Americans using race in their admissions process. The courts heard the case in October, and Harvard won. Judges claimed that the system Harvard uses ensures diversity in the school.

What was the end result of the case?

The end result of the case was that Harvard’s admissions system was claimed fair by the judges. One stating that there are, “not currently any available or workable race-neutral alternatives. Finally, there is nothing about Harvard’s admissions process that is at odds with the reason for subjecting racial classifications to strict scrutiny—to ensure ““little or no possibility that the motive for the classification was illegitimate racial prejudice or stereotype.”” (Lawyer Committee Summary of Case – Harvard v. SFFA) To read more about why a federal court ruled in favor of Harvard, you can read the case conclusion (pg. 127-130).

How about Jersey City: Admissions policy at McNair and Infinity high schools are changing?

Around the same time as the SFFA v Harvard case, JCBOE questioned changing the admissions systems for McNair Academic High School and Infinity Institute. If you aren’t familiar with McNair and Infinity, they are two selective high schools in Jersey City. They are competitive public schools that you have to apply to. In 2021, the Jersey City Board of Education looked into changing the admissions policies for the two schools in order to “create more socio-economic diversity.” (JCBOE Aiming to Change the Admissions Policy) Right now, race plays a huge role in the admissions policy, but it may play a less vital role for future applicants. The selection process includes race on top of other major things including middle school grades and your PSAT 8/9 score. To read more about what JCBOE has been brainstorming, click here: Moving to Wealth Based Admissions at McNair and Infinity

Facts about Jersey City’s top high schools 

  • Former board President Mussab Ali said in June, statistics show a downward trend of economically disadvantaged students being admitted to the two schools. 
  • The Department of Education’s school performance reports showed the number of economically disadvantaged students attending the schools decreased by about 10% between the 2017-18 school year and the 2019-2020 school year. 
  • More than half of the 427 students at the Infinity Institute fall under the economically disadvantaged category, meanwhile, at McNair slightly more than a third of the 692 students are considered to be economically disadvantaged.

Illnesses Spreading Among N.J. Students, Including LCCS in Jersey City

According to NJ.com, “…Kids are pouring in, coughing and wheezing and conjested. First it was enterovirus and rhinovirus. Now RSV has become the dominant infection, with flu cases also growing.” To further support this analysis, CNN Health posted an article titled, “An ‘unprecedented’ rise in respiratory viruses in children is overwhelming some hospitals.” The article states that hospitals are seeing a rise of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). RSV is a common cold virus and the cases are rising in many US regions. There is a big possibility, according to health officials, of a possible “tripledemic.” According to patch.com, “Respiratory syncytial virus is surging early across the nation. Its peak could coincide with the seasonal peaks of the flu and COVID-19.” On nextdoorneighbor, only 2 weeks ago, LCCS reported 193 cases of respiratory viruses in one day amongst staff and students. LCCS has been taking careful procedures however. Parents on nextdoor commented under the post that they are sending kids home quite frequently. In fact, LCCS sent an email to parents stating that the Jersey City Department of Health and Human Services visited the school and is planning to take further precautions to ensure the school’s safety.

Illnesses spreading right now:

  1. Upper respiratory infections
  2. Enterovirus
  3. Rhinovirus
  4. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)

More than COVID-19

Although COVID-19 is a major illness to watch out for, lately children in the U.S. have been coming to the hospital with respiratory viruses. While COVID-19 took the headlines in the past, this year respiratory viruses have been more common in children. Typically, respiratory viruses often start in November and end around late March. However, this year the cases have surged as early as October.

Was this unexpected?

This wasn’t entirely unexpected, as some countries like Australia, have experienced a severe and earlier flu season this year. (You can read more into this here: CDC Reports Early Increases in Seasonal Flu Activity)

What should you do?

  1. Avoid close contact
  2. Drink enough fluids because it prevents sickness. It is also important for people with RSV infection to drink water to prevent a loss of body fluids.
  3. Cover your mouth and nose
  4. Clean your hands/wash well when necessary
  5. Wear a mask to school if your classmates seem sick
  6. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  7. Find out about plans your child’s school has if an outbreak of flu or another illness occurs and whether flu vaccinations are offered on-site.
  8. Note that RSV is very contagious so if you feel sick or slightly ill, it’s better to keep your child at home.

(The list is based on cdc.gov)

Allergies or RSV?

Sometimes it is hard to tell whether you should keep your kid at home or not, especially if their symptoms are really minor. It could be allergies, so how can you tell whether your symptoms are the beginning of RSV? Something that makes it difficult to differentiate is that both cause nasal congestion. However, unlike seasonal allergies, RSV symptoms may include a slight cough, a low-grade fever, and a decrease in appetite. If you are further into having RSV, you will feel it rech down into the “lower respiratory tract (bronchial tubes and lungs. A sign that the infection is worsening is when symptoms get more severe (coughing turning into wheezing, for example).” (How is RSV transmitted?)

More symptoms of RSV include:

  • Short, shallow and rapid breathing
  • Struggling to breathe (chest muscles and skin pull inward with each breath)
  • Unusual tiredness
  • A runny nose

Four Key Tips For Success in High School

Ronald E. McNair and High Tech are two great schools you may be attending as a freshman this year. At first, it may seem overwhelming, especially the schedule and having much more homework to manage than in middle school. However, we asked 10 kids from McNair that told us about the difficulties they experienced and have created a list of suggestions they have for anyone going into a challenging high school in or around Jersey City.

  • Do your homework first. Having a schedule helps. If you have a sports practice, do your homework as soon as you come home. Two rising sophmores at McNair claim that the work load gets very heavy, and they wish they could go back in time as tell their freshman-self not to wait until the last minute to start homework. One claims she used to come home, play video games after sports practice, eat dinner, and only after dinner start homework. She wouldn’t finish her homework until 2am, so she decided to make a schedule for herself to ensure that she did what she had to do before what she wanted to do.
  • Make connections. If you have a friend group, managing everything at school becomes easier. Talk to people. In fact, eight out of the ten McNair students claimed they were part of an app where they were connected with friends and could see their schedule more easily.
  • Join a sport or club. For many McNair sports and clubs, you attend meetings or practices every day after school. According to the students (all were part of at least one club/sport), you become extremely close with the peers around you. Your coaches and advisors become a support group for you, especially when you need advice. They also feel it helps improve their mental health and gives them a social group.
  • Study without a phone. Research shows that cellphone use, overall, has a negative effect on students’ ability to focus and results in lower grades. According to a study cited in an article in The Echo from SNU, “Depending on their responses, the subjects were placed into either a high social media use group or a low social media use group based on their in-class cell phone habits. Those in the high use group consistently scored lower on tests, in class, than the low use group.” The tendency to multitask while doing homework seems to be the culprit, so keep your phone out of reach to get the most benefit from your homework and study time.

2022 PSAT 8/9 Testing and Registration Info Available for Private and Charter School Families

Jersey City Public Schools posted information about the PSAT 8/9 exam scheduled for October 15, 2022 at MS #7 at 222 Laidlaw Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07306. There is also an FAQ for parents and students.

A few highlights:

  • You must register by October 3 at 3pm; details on registration can be received from your private school counselor
  • October 15, 2022 is the only test date for students applying for the Fall 2023 school year
  • Registration fee is $22, check or money order, by October 7 at 5pm (more details on the FAQ link above)
  • The exam is required for students applying to McNair Academic High School and Infinity Institute

Curious about preparing for the PSAT? Check out our test prep page for more information about the PSAT 8/9.

Departing from Jersey City

We are leaving Jersey City, but we would love to find someone to continue to maintain and grow Jersey City Ed as an educational resource for the community. It needs a little maintenance to ensure the information stays up to date (and we have ideas on new content), and it would be a perfect community service project for a high school student or a group of friends. If you know of anyone who might be interested, please reach out to us! It could even be a great way to boost a college application 🙂

Test Dates Announced for AEP and Infinity Institute Applicants for the 2022-2023 School Year

Jersey City Public Schools announced that April 2, 2022 and April 9, 2022 will be the two OLSAT test dates for students applying to Infinity Institute or to the AEP program. Testing will be at the same location as in previous years: Franklin L. Williams MS#7, 222 Laidlaw Avenue.

Public school students have received or will receive information about the program via their school guidance counselor. Families of students who have not received information about the application process and test dates are advised to have their student’s guidance counselor contact Ellen Ruane at eruane@jcboe.org or call (201-915-6209).

Similar testing information about the 2022-2023 AEP program and Infinity Institute was also announced earlier this week.