One of the best ways to stay active and get more involved in the school setting is to join a sports team! Being on a sports team has numerous benefits. It gives you extracurricular activities to build your profile, the ability to create friendships through spending time with a group, and a chance to simply relax and unwind after a full day in the classroom.
The Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) is the NYC public school system’s very own organization for sports teams all over the five boroughs. All of the types of sports available in the PSAL are the following: Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cricket, Cross Country, Double Dutch, Fencing, Flag Football, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Rugby, Soccer, Softball, Stunt, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, and Wrestling. Essentially, you have a lot of options!
All schools offer some teams for you to join, but every school has a different selection. Ask your guidance counselor what teams your school offers. The sports are also sorted by seasons, so keep in mind that not all of them will be running at all times of the year.
So now that you know your options, how exactly do you join a sports team? Some teams will hold tryouts, while for others all you have to do is sign up. After you get accepted or sign up, several consent forms are needed for you to be able to fully participate. The first is a recent Physical Examination form filled out by your doctor saying you are healthy and capable of physical activity, the second is an Interval Health History Form which should be completed within 30 days of starting your PSAL sport, the third is a parent consent and medical form, and the final piece (a new policy as of 2021) is a Covid-19 testing consent form. All of these forms can be found here on the NYC DOE website.
Joining a sports team is something middle and high school students should think about doing! There are a number of positive qualities to gain from the experience, ranging from leadership and responsibility to self-confidence and better health.
Oliwia Caes is a sophomore at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Music, Art, and Performing Arts. She is a dance major, an editor of the school magazine, and spends her time reading mystery and science fiction.
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Volunteering and extracurriculars are activities that can benefit both the community and yourself. For middle school students, volunteering and doing extracurriculars provide opportunities to develop new skills and interests and demonstrate to high schools that you are well-rounded and hardworking. High Schools are always looking for capable students willing to do more than what is required. So if you’re not doing extracurriculars and/or volunteering, getting the headstart and being a part of a club or helping out your community is the best way to demonstrate to schools that you are a hardworking and all-around person.
Public high school admissions decisions came out on March 9th, and families have until April 5th to accept an offer. Many high schools are now offering information sessions, open houses, and virtual events for accepted students. These events are the perfect opportunity to ask students and teachers detailed questions about the schools, so you can decide which one is the best fit for you. If you have trouble getting started thinking of questions to ask, asking these sample questions (divided by topic) can help you to consider a broad range of factors to decide on a school to attend!
The highschool admission process is very stressful. With all of its different required parts, the essay section of the application can be really overlooked. The essays are a chance for the admission officer’s to get an insight into who the applicant really is. Numerous people can have very similar transcripts, but a creative and charismatic essay will make an application stand out.
Recommendation letters are a key aspect of high school applications and are a great way to demonstrate your character and abilities from another perspective. While not mandatory in some schools, it’s highly encouraged and should be seen as a requirement. But, who do you ask for a recommendation letter? Choosing who to ask is very important and should be someone that has seen your growth as a student. Most schools usually require at least one recommendation letter from a core teacher (Math, Science, Social Studies, etc) and one letter from either another teacher, mentor, coach, or counselor. So after making a list of potential candidates take some time to consider a very important question. “Who knows you the most?”. If you choose a candidate that barely knows you, their letter may sound disingenuous and phony. So when selecting a recommender, you should consider someone who has had a significant impact on your life and should be someone who knows you both academically and personally and can attest to your abilities, interests, achievements, and growth.
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