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District 3

District 3, which covers the West Side of Manhattan from 59th Street to 122nd Street, has schools that vary significantly in quality. The district has some of the best schools in the city as well as some that are not ready for prime time.

Luckily, the district has a terrific family leadership coordinator, D.J. Sheppard, who knows the schools well and helps parents navigate the complex system of school choice. She can be reached at (212) 678-5857 or

Nearly all the elementary and middle schools in the district have open houses and tours, and the district has annual fairs at which parents may meet school representatives. The District 3 website has useful information with dates and times.

Parents who are not satisfied with their zoned elementary school may consider applying to gifted and talented programs, dual language programs (in which half the instruction is in Spanish or French and half is in English), or unzoned schools that accept children from across the district. See our page on gifted programs and other options.

Two programs for gifted children, The Special Music School and The Anderson School are open to children across the city.

Unlike District 2, District 3 does not have any high schools whose admission is limited to children in the district. The most popular high schools—including Beacon and LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts—are open to children citywide.

District contacts

The superintendent appoints principals, evaluates schools and approves budgets:

Elementary and middle school superintendent: Ilene Altschul, (212) 678-5857

High school superintendent: Fred Walsh, (212) 356-3754

For individual parent concerns, contact:

Elementary and middle school family support coordinator: Tracy McClaire, (212) 678-5857

High school family support coordinator: Tabatha Edwards, (212) 356-3754

For help with PTAs or district-wide events, contact:

Elementary and middle school family leadership coordinator: D.J. Sheppard, (212) 678-5857 Ext. 4

High school family leadership coordinator: TBD

The elected members of the Community Education Council (CEC) approve school zoning lines and advise on education policy:

CEC: Community Education Council 3, (212) 678-2782
District 3 office
154 W. 93 St.
New York, NY 10025 - Map
Special Education

Most questions about special education can be answered by your child's teacher or principal. If you are new to New York City or your child attends private or parochial school, contact the nearest Committee on Special Education for an evaluation.

Committee on Special Education
Mark Jacoby
388 W. 125th St.
New York, NY 10027 - Map

Phone: (212) 342-8300

To enroll your child, go to the school or the nearest Family Welcome Center.

Family Welcome Center
388 W. 125th St.
New York, NY 10027 - Map

Phone: (212) 342-8300

This center handles both general education and special education enrollment

If these offices can not answer your questions, see DOE contacts

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