Nearly 1,000 kindergartners won't get a spot at zoned school

Kindergartners-to-be jilted by neighborhood elementary schools too crowded to hold them will receive a new school assignment in the mail this weekend, the Department of Education announced today.

Some of the new assignments will send families to less-coveted schools just down the block. Others will send the 5- and 6-year-olds on treks as arduous as a nearly 3-mile hike from Sunset Park to Red Hook, in the case of four unlucky Brooklyn families.

Letters with alternate matches are going out to 980 families, more than double the number that received them last year. But the matches are a better option than what seemed possible in March, when 1,885 families were told they would be on a waiting list. Schools have since found spots for many of those families.

None of the decisions are final, and all families will remain on their wait lists even while they receive their new assignment. The city expects some spots will open up as children are admitted to gifted and talented programs and private schools, schools spokesman Jack Zarin-Rosenfeld said.

The vast bulk of redirected children live in Queens, where 432 families zoned for 16 schools will be re-routed to a group of 18 less-crowded alternatives. (Brooklyn comes next with 220 redirected families, then Manhattan with 179, 101 in the Bronx, and 48 in Staten Island.)


  • 37 children zoned for the Upper West Side’s coveted P.S. 87 will go to nearby P.S. 75 and P.S. 84 instead.
  • One giant batch of 200 Queens children will be shipped to a new school opening in September in Elmhurst. They are being sent by schools including A-rated P.S. 143 in the Corona section of Queens.
  • Four kindergartners-to-be zoned for P.S. 169 in Sunset Park are being told to report instead to the Red Hook Neighborhood School, nearly three miles away in Brooklyn. They are part of a group of 67 children crowded out of P.S. 169. Others will report to P.S. 32, P.S. 94, P.S. 124, and P.S. 172 — all in Brooklyn. (See graph above.)

Zarin-Rosenfeld said the doubling in the number of alternate assignments does not necessarily mean more kindergartners will be going to a school that’s not their zoned school. He said that the increase is at least partly due to the fact that the department is releasing alternate assignments six weeks earlier this year than last.

Here’s a chart showing the number of new assignments made for each zoned school. Below is another chart showing the new schools zoned school are sending their extra children to.

The chart showing which schools each school is re-routing to: