written by Jen #supermom
For those parents with a child entering kindergarten in the Fall of 2015, it is imperative that you start thinking NOW about applying. Especially for those of us unfamiliar with the process, it can seem a bit daunting and stressful. Here is my attempt to alleviate a bit of that stress and ambiguity. These are general guidelines in regards to the application process, along with resources to help answer whatever questions you may have.
1) Important Dates:
The application process starts January 7th, 2015 and runs through February 13th, 2015. Placement offers are given in early April 2015 and pre-registration is in late April 2015. As of January 7th you can apply online, over the phone or at a Family Welcome Center.
2) How to Apply:
Go to a local Family Welcome Center:
Call the Office of Student Enrollment: 718.935.2009
Here is the Brooklyn 2015 Kindergarten Directory, which can help explain the ins and outs of the process as well as full listings of all elementary schools and important information on each school: http://schools.nyc.gov/NR/rdonlyres/951D2800-BC77-411D-8879-4B2E8CE66972/0/2015KindergartenDirectory_Brooklyn_121214.pdf
You can also subscribe to updates on the NYC Kindergarten Admissions here: http://schools.nyc.gov/Subscribe/default.htm
3) Before Applying, a Few Things to Consider:
– Enrollment is not based on first come, first serve. If you submit an application within the period noted above, offers are made on “standardized admission priorities” (DOE).
– Decide where you want to apply (do your homework). Are you happy with the school you are zoned for, or will you consider other schools? Note that schools give priority to those that are zoned for that particular school. Keep in mind that if you aren’t accepted to one of these “other” schools, most likely you will be assigned to your zoned school. Perhaps you will be waitlisted at your school of choice – keep in touch with those schools to ensure they know you are still interested so that they offer a spot when one opens up.
Here are a couple of online resources where you can read reviews on a particular school:
For those interested in learning about charter, magnet, dual language and gifted/talented programs, Joyce Szuflita (NYC School Help) will be discussing these options at the Hootenanny Art House on January 26th. Tickets can be purchased here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1045290
And for parents of children with special needs, this page can offer a bit of guidance: http://schools.nyc.gov/ChoicesEnrollment/PreK/SpecialEducation.htm
As we’re just a couple weeks out until we can begin submitting applications, this is a good time to start thinking about how happy you are with the school you are zoned for. Talk to other parents whose children attend these schools, read online reviews, look at the school’s website. Call the school, set up a time to tour it. Remember your child will most likely be attending this school for years to come – so think past the kindergarten year. How do you feel about school size, class size? How strong are the art & music programs? Does the school have a “mission statement” or philosophy that you can get behind? Is there child care offered for before and/or after school? There are a plethora of questions that can be asked. Prioritize what is most important to you so you can find the school that is the best fit for you AND your child!