Five elementary schools have waitlists of more than 50 zoned children after the first round of kindergarten admissions and a few schools have more than doubled their waitlistsfrom this time last year, according to a list issued by the Department of Education today. Although the number of schools that cannot accommodate all their zoned studentshas shrunk nearly in half since 2012 -- from 125 in 2012 to 63 this year -- overcrowding persists in some neighborhoods.
Once again,Pioneer Academy, PS 307 in Corona, Queens has the longest waitlist in the city, with 126 waitlisted zoned five-year-olds, as compared to 167 last year and 109 in 2012. PS 307, where nearly one-third of the students are new immigrants, was opened in 2008 to alleviate overcrowding in District 24.
On Manhattan's Upper West SidePS 199 has about 100 zoned students on its waitlist, up from 39 last year. PS/IS 276, one of a bevy of new downtown Manhattan schools opened over the past 10 years, has a waitlist of 52 students.
Thirty-eight schools have waitlists of more than 10 zoned students; the remaining 25 have fewer than 10 [exact numbers for those were not released in order to protect student privacy per FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act).] The good news for parents is that most waitlists will clear up by June, or even September, as families choose to send their children to charter and private schools, or accept a slot in a Gifted and Talented program.
This year for the first time parents did not apply for kindergarten directly at schools. Instead, they ranked their preferred schools on applications that they submitted online, over the telephone or at an enrollment office. More spots are likely to open up as schools check paperwork and proof of address when families go to their matched school to register this month, said parent coordinators familiar with the process.
The DOE data shows only the number of zoned students on a waitlist "who applied to any program at that school and did not receive [an] offer to that school or any higher choice on [the] application." All applicants automatically remain on a waitlist for schools they listed higher on their application than the school to which they were matched. There are many unzoned schools that also have waitlists but those numbers were not released.
Schools now have lists of all their applicants as well as those who were waitlisted -- both in-zone and out-of-zone. As spots open up, schools will assign them to waitlisted students, taking into account the different levels of admissions priorty.
Our advice to waitlisted parents: check in with the school office or parent coordinator to find out where you are on the waitlist. Then, stay in touch to let the school know of your continuing interest.
Download the list that shows the number of students waitlisted at 63 zoned schools. ( "S" means fewer than 10 students on the waitlist.)