Dozens of New York City schools have waitlists for the 2020-21 kindergarten class, including some campuses where attendance zones were recently redrawn to help relieve overcrowding.
P.S. 8 in Brooklyn Heights had 22 students on its waitlist, just a few years after a controversial rezoning shined a bright light on entrenched segregation in the country’s largest school system. The city shifted zone lines around the popular P.S. 8, where most students are white and affluent, sending some students to nearby P.S. 307, where most students are black or Hispanic and low-income.
The longest waitlist was at P.S. 40 in Manhattan’s District 2, with 27 students on it. The Gramercy school won a National Blue Ribbon this year for academic excellence, but enrolls disproportionately low numbers of students who are from low-income families, are learning English, or come from other backgrounds that could make them more likely to struggle in school.
In all, just over 200 students at 23 schools were placed on waitlists for the schools they are zoned to attend — surprising families since living within a school’s zone typically guarantees you a seat. (Almost 63,000 kindergarten applications were submitted this year.) Flushing’s District 25 had the largest number of schools with waitlists, with four.
Still, the number of students shut out of their zoned school has steadily declined since 2016, when more than 1,000 students were waitlisted at more than 60 schools.
There is often movement off of waitlists over the summer, as some families end up not taking seats, whether they end up moving or accepting other offers, including at gifted and talented programs. Offers for gifted programs are due out in June, according to the city’s website.
See the list of schools with waitlists below. An “s” means that fewer than six students were on the list.