Applying to elementary school in NYC has been compared to having a second job, but things may just have gotten a bit easier for families. For the first time, the Department of Education is staging “It’s Elementary!” admissions events in all 32 city school districts beginning on Tuesday, Nov. 1. Enrollment officials will cover the major elementary admissions entry points in one evening—pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and gifted and talented programs. How the DOE manages this more complicated format remains to be seen, but it’s quite a boost from the handful of borough-wide admissions events offered last year.
Families may begin applying to kindergarten on Nov. 30.
“We’re committed to making it easier for families to find and enroll in the school that’s right for them,” Deputy Chancellor for Strategy and Policy Josh Wallack said in a DOE press release. “We are confident the It’s Elementary! events are a real step forward—they’ll bring all the information families need for Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Gifted & Talented under one roof, and into every neighborhood—and we look forward to building on this progress.”
Events will be divided into stations, where parents will be able to find their zoned and non-zoned school choices and sign up for G&T testing. (The announced cut-off date for G&T registration is Nov. 14). Staffers from the DOE will answer parents’ questions and offer advice. Interpreters will offer translation in 10 different languages and specialists will talk to families about services like special education, English language learner programs, SchoolFood and transportation.
InsideSchools can help too! Kindergarten applications will be available in December, according to the DOE website, so now is the time to start visiting schools. Check school websites—or call the parent coordinator—to sign up for a tour or open house. Wondering how to assess whether the school is right for your child? Watch our video: What to look for on a school tour. Read our elementary school profiles and parent comments.
Pre-kindergarten application season comes right after kindergarten; last year applications were due in early March for parents whose children turned four during the calendar year. Watch our video, What to look for in a pre-kindergarten program and read our elementary and pre-k profiles.
For a list of all 32 district elementary admissions events, visit the DOE website. Parents may also call 718-935-2009, or go to a Family Welcome Center.