According to city regulations, your child may change schools if you move, or if there are significant safety or medical issues at your current school. Your child may also transfer if your school is on the state’s list of dangerous or low-performing schools.

An elementary school child may apply for a transfer if the school is located far from your work or childcare provider, or if a sibling is enrolled at another school. You’ll need to provide documentation and there is no guarantee of success.

Unofficially, your best bet may be to contact the school you want your child to attend directly. If there is no slot for him, ask to be put on a waitlist and make sure to follow-up regularly. Sometimes spaces open up during the school year.

How to Transfer to a New High School

If you are unhappy in your high school, you may want to transfer. The Department of Education doesn’t make it easy. If you are a 9th-grader, your best bet is to re-apply to another school for 10th grade.

After 10th grade, most transfers are granted due to a hardship such as travel distance from school, safety concerns like bullying, or medical issues. But, a “guidance transfer” may also be granted if the school is not a good fit academically or socially.

Here’s a rundown:

  • If you’re not progressing academically or socially, you or your parent can request a guidance transfer to a different school. It’s up to the Office of Student Enrollment and the superintendent to decide whether it will be granted.
  • For a medical transfer, you’ll need a note from your doctor.
  • For a safety transfer, you may need a police report that demonstrates your health or safety is at risk.
  • If you move during high school and you end up with a commute of more than 75 minutes each way, you may claim a “travel hardship” and transfer to a school closer to home.
  • If you have a zoned high school you may transfer there if there are available seats.

Go to your guidance counselor for help, or go to a Family Welcome Center. See the rundown of the types of transfers that the DOE is most likely to grant here.