‘Clerical error’ that left private school kids out of Maspeth HS will be fixed, Education officials say

MHS Principal
Photo by Anthony Giudice/QNS

The city’s Department of Education (DOE) has reversed what’s been called a “clerical error” that excluded scores of private school students from the Maspeth High School (MHS) admissions process, which had sparked anger from the ineligible students’ parents.

The error failed to designate a number of students from parochial schools that met the criteria for priority status for admission to MHS’ incoming freshman class this September. A DOE representative told QNS that it had marked an additional 207 of these students with priority, and 66 of them received admission offers from MHS.

“Every student who should have received an offer at Maspeth High School according to its admissions priorities has received an offer,” the DOE said in a statement.

Parents who are still concerned about the MHS enrollment process will get the chance to make their voices heard during the Community Education Council (CEC) 24 meeting scheduled for tomorrow night, Tuesday, March 28, at P.S. 88, located at 60-85 Catalpa Ave. in Ridgewood, at 7 p.m.

Anyone who wishes to speak during the meeting’s Open Discussion Period must sign in at the front table before the start of the meeting. Each speaker will be granted three minutes.

The snafu became public during the March 16 Juniper Park Civic Association (JPCA) meeting in Middle Village, where MHS Principal Khurshid Abdul-Mutakabbir admitted to outraged parents that there was an issue with the school’s enrollment. However, he downplayed any speculation that it was a targeted effort by the school to omit applicants from private schools.

“There was an error. There was a problem,” Abdul-Mutakabbir said. “So there is no vast conspiracy against any of the parochial schools. Some of our best students come from parochial schools.”

Maspeth High School is designated as a “limited unscreened” school in which students from District 24 are given the first priority. Students are selected through a random lottery in which eighth-grade students who ranked MHS as their first choice on the citywide high school application, and attended an open house/information session at MHS, were given priority in the drawing.

Nearly 4,000 prospective students applied for approximately 250 seats in the MHS class of 2021.

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