[Celia Hensey] was a straight-A student who aced the selective enrollment high school entrance exam. She scored in the 90th percentile on her middle school tests and tallied 984 points out of 1,000 on the overall admissions scale.
But Celia did not get in.
Her likely downfall? A nasty flu bug in 7th grade that kept her out of school for five days. In the complex and competitive world of selective enrollment scoring, Celia was docked 10 points for five absences.
The years that students are earning their way into the top high schools are 4th through 7th grade. When my daughter began kindergarten last fall, there were stories about kids not getting into a selective high school due to one sick day.