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Ask Judy: Waitlisted! What next?

Hi Judy,

Please help! My daughter is wait-listed for kindergarten at her zoned school. We will be calling the school to find out where she is on the wait list. Until we know she's in a school, what do we do next?  She also scored in the 90th percentile for G&T. By looking at the stats it doesn't seem like she will be guaranteed a seat. Please let me know if you have any advice on what any parents in our position should do next as we can't afford private school. Any help is appreciated.

Thank you!


Dear Winnie,

Don't fret and do be patient. I assume you plan to apply to a Gifted and Talented program, so wait until you find out if she got a spot. By the way, the deadline for G&T placement was extended until May 10 to accommodate those whose tests were temporarily misplaced and whose tests were mis-scored. That in turn will make notification of placements later than expected.  It also means that your daughter's score may have changed for the better.. On the other hand, so many more children qualified that seats may be scarcer.

If she does not get a spot in a gifted class, you’ll still need patience. As a rule, when all the kids who do have a G&T placement get off the line at your zoned school, your daughter will move up on the list. She'll also move up a place each time someone decides to accept an unzoned school, a private school or a charter, or whose family moves within NYC or to another city altogether. Remember, the DOE has said that all schools have to accommodate zoned kids, so I believe that you will eventually get a place in the zoned school, or they will find a spot for your daughter elsewhere. 

Sometimes parents don't know where their kindergartner will start school until September, but if your zoned school has a history of overflow, you can find out where the alternative assignments have been in the past. If it's too far from child care arrangements, or from your work, discuss the problem at the enrollment office where you can file a PER – a Placement Exception Request, detailing your reasons for needing her to be in the zoned school.

By the way, you are not alone in waiting anxiously to be placed.  In the past there have been waiting lists in both kindergarten and gifted and talented programs. This time around, a kindergarten seat, whether in your zoned school or an "overflow" school, is guaranteed but a gifted and talented seat, whether in a citywide or a district program, is not.

In any case, an exciting journey from  kindergarten to graduation starts in September. Here's to as smooth a ride as possible. 




Last modified on Wednesday, 24 April 2013 13:16

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