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NYC Kindergarten Waiting Lists Cut Almost in Half

Monday, April 21, 2014 - 04:13 PM

School photos, classroom, hallway, welcome sign (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Kindergarten waiting lists were cut almost in half this year, and education officials on Monday credited the change to the new application process.

For the 2014-15 school year, there are currently 1,242 students on a zoned school wait list compared to 2,361 the previous school year. Sixty three schools have wait lists, down from 105 last year, according to the Department of Education.

"We're proud the wait lists have shortened and will continue our work to connect students with their zoned schools. Today, we share our families' excitement as their children take one of their first steps into the future," D.O.E. spokesman Harry Hartfield said in a written statement.

Offer letters were sent on Monday to those who applied through the new application process. The D.O.E. said 71 percent of the more than 62,000 young students received their first choice while almost 13 percent received an offer to their second or third choices. About 5 percent got an offer on their list but not in the top three, and just under 11 percent were offered seats at schools not ranked on their applications. 

The application allowed families to rank up to 20 schools, according to their preferences and including their zoned school. This meant that those who matched with one of their top-ranked schools, other than their zoned school, freed up a seat at their zoned school which, in turn, reduced wait lists.

Editors:

Patricia Willens

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Comments [4]

malika green from Brooklyn

We did not get any of our selections, instead we were assigned to our zoned school. I did not apply to our zoned school because there is no way I would ever send my daughter there. It is horrible. Instead I applied to 8 other schools either in our district or Choice schools. We feel very bitter over the process, since after all the school tours and educating ourselves about different school options, the DOE just assigned us to a school. This has been a horrible experience. Where is the choice? I can only hope my daughter will get off the waitlist at one of the schools we applied for, otherwise I don't know what we will do next year since we will not be sending her to the school the DOE assigned to us.

Apr. 28 2014 06:46 PM
TM from Bronx

I chose a really good district school that I had heard of as my #1 choice and the zoned school as number 2. My child got a seat in our 1st choice school. I'm counting my blessings right now because as for what I have been hearing, we really lucked out!

Apr. 22 2014 08:22 PM
JB from NYC

I have not heard of anyone so far that was given an option other than their zoned school. Many that I know put the zoned school as the 3rd of 4th choice, and that is what we got. I'd be curious to know if anyone got their first choice school that was NOT their zoned school. The statistics seem to say that most got their first choice, but this is not what I am hearing.

Apr. 22 2014 01:04 PM
Leonie Haimson from NYC

I find this article very confusing. If a parent got one of their top choices, but their #1 choice was their zoned school and their child didn't get in, are they no longer considered to be on a waiting list for that school? How many parents did NOT get into their zoned elementary school despite ranking in #1 on their list?

Moreover, if 11% of more than 62,000 children did not get into any of their top choices, this means more than 6,200 children were left out of the cold -- which is an exceedingly high number. Why aren't these children considered to be on waiting lists for Kindergarten?

Apr. 21 2014 08:27 PM

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