BALTIMORE (WJZ) — School search. While many students are waiting for the holiday break, others are selecting new schools to attend next year. This weekend, Baltimore schools hosted a School Choice Fair.

As Gigi Barnett reports, this year, the event featured four new schools.

Eager and interested students swarm the Baltimore Convention Center looking for a new school. This is the City School Choice Fair where students can learn about middle and high schools that offer programs on everything from robotics to music programs.

“We’re looking at choice as an option for these kids to really think about and invest in their education. What are you interested in? What do you want to do in the future?” said Lara O’Hanian, Enrollment Choice Director.

Students have 55 schools to check out at the fair, including four new schools opening up next year.

“It can be quite difficult picking your school because you don’t know which is where and you can’t really get a perspective from what someone tells you,” said Javontay Briggs, who’s currently a student at Frederick Douglass High School.

That’s why Briggs and Di’Mond Thompson are school ambassadors from Frederick Douglass High School.

“Actually meeting the students here is much better and it gives you an opportunity to see `Hey, yeah.’ I know I can tell you from student to student that this is what it is and it makes it a lot easier,” Briggs said.

Zoned neighborhood schools still exist in the city but thousands of students choose which school they want to attend. The choice fair targets fifth graders rising to middle school and eighth graders looking to enroll in high school next year. School leaders say by the time students get through this school fair, they are better able to handle college fairs.

“Our kids have an advantage because they are thinking about choice as early as fifth grade so they are used to taking ownership of what they want to do with their lives,” said O’Hanian.

Baltimore City has nearly 12,000 fifth and eighth graders eligible to enroll in a choice school next year.

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