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March 28, 2019
Happy, frustrated, or wait-listed: New York City families get kindergarten offers
The kindergarten waiting game is finally over — for most families, at least. New York City’s education department released placement…
June 29, 2018
Denver’s new plan gives its neediest students a shot at coveted schools, but waitlists could grow
“This is a real big step forward in enrollment equity,” Superintendent Tom Boasberg said.
By the numbers
May 10, 2018
Here are the more than 100 New York City schools with pre-K waitlists this year
Most families applying to pre-K got good news yesterday: A record 75 percent were accepted to their first choice school. But for others, there’s an…
April 24, 2014
Reductions in kindergarten waitlists spread across city, minus the Bronx
New data on kindergarten waiting lists released Wednesday show that most school districts saw some relief.
September 5, 2013
Many teachers still waiting on textbooks for new city curriculum
Teachers across the city said they still haven't received all of the textbooks and teaching materials for the new city curriculum aligned with Common Core standards. During the two days of professional development this week, some teachers were told to use old books and curricular materials or to find content online until new materials arrive. "Without the curriculum set up, and no professional development for it, I have no idea what I'm walking into," said Ellen Driesen, a teachers union representative for District 20 in Brooklyn. In August, NY1's Lindsey Christ reported that most of the new teaching materials had not arrived at schools and that "several teaching guides are scheduled to arrive after schools should have used them," frustrating teachers' attempts to plan lessons before the start of the year.
April 12, 2013
Annual tally of soon-to-be kindergartners on wait lists is 2,361
The city Department of Education has placed slightly fewer incoming kindergarteners on wait lists than it did last year, despite receiving over 2,000 more kindergarten applications. But the news is unlikely to console the thousands of families who don't yet have kindergarten seats for September. Wait lists at 105 schools contain 2,361 students, meaning that the average wait list is 25 percent longer than it was last year.
April 6, 2012
City urges calm as 2,500 children put on kindergarten wait lists
Nearly 2,500 children are on wait lists for their zoned kindergarten programs this year, according to data released by the Department of Education today. Their parents will have to wait until the end of June to find out where they will be offered a kindergarten seat instead. Last year, families received alternate spots in mid-April, but the wait lists tend fluctuate so much that the department decided to delay making assignments that would likely have to change families will away, enroll their children in private or parochial schools, or win lotteries for charter school admission. About 600 more students than last year have applied for kindergarten. But there are about 600 fewer children on waiting lists than last year at this time. The wait list numbers reflect an annual rite of spring as parents register at their nearby elementary schools but land on wait lists because there are more zoned applicants than there are kindergarten spots. The phenomenon is highly stressful for families who are told they cannot be accommodated. But it is not widespread: Of the total number of families that have applied for kindergarten so far this year, just 4 percent were placed on wait lists.
November 17, 2011
Stringer to Walcott: We can fix "fictional" kindergarten wait lists
The start of the city's eight-month kindergarten admissions season isn't until January, but Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer already has kindergarten on his mind. Today, Stringer is sending a letter to Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott with suggestions for making the anxiety-producing admissions process easier on families and schools. The current kindergarten admissions process has families registering for their local schools starting in January. By March, many schools are already maintaining wait lists. Between then and the first day of school, the lists thin out as families move, choose private school, or win admission to charter schools or specialized programs at other schools, which have different application deadlines. Most of the time, families that stay on the wait lists end up being able to attend their zoned schools — but only after months of worry and searching for back-up options. "This is particularly problematic in school zones that are historically overcrowded because parents can experience months of unnecessary anxiety as their children sit on waitlists that often turn out to be, for lack of a better term, 'fictional,' Stringer writes in the letter. The letter outlines steps the city could take to streamline the admissions process, for many families a first contact with the DOE's bureaucracy.
March 30, 2011
Kindergarten wait lists lengthen as more families apply
Over 3,000 soon-to-be kindergarteners are on wait-lists for elementary school this year — a marked increase over last year and one that's hitting schools in Queens and Manhattan particularly hard. Every spring, in what has become a ritual in recent years, parents register for kindergarten at their nearby elementary schools for the following year ,and every spring, thousands are wait-listed. Department of Education officials said they received 8,000 more kindergarten applications this year than last year. While more than 92 percent of those families have been accepted to their zoned schools, 3,195 of them are still waiting for a placement. DOE officials emphasized that between now and the end of May the wait list numbers could fluctuate. During the intervening months, some families will move away, enroll their children in private or parochial schools, or win lotteries for charter school admission. Officials said they would open more kindergarten classes where they could find space. But come the end of May, families who still don't have seats in their zoned schools will be sent new schools to choose from. Last year, nearly 1,000 kindergarteners did not get spots in their zoned schools. Some of the new assignments sent families to less-coveted schools just down the block. Others sent 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.
May 21, 2010
Nearly 1,000 kindergartners won't get a spot at zoned school
The distance that 67 students re-routed from P.S. 169 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, (marked A) to a mix of five other schools will trek. 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.)
May 19, 2009
Lawsuit seeks to reverse multiple school zoning decisions
Elected parent leaders in Manhattan are asking the city to reverse multiple school decisions, including ones that the city has used to manage severe overcrowding in many neighborhood schools, because they say they should have been involved in making the decisions. The demand comes in a lawsuit filed yesterday, the second in three months against the Department of Education over its adherence to state law that requires parent groups to be consulted before some decisions are made. Members of the Community Education Council for District 2, which includes the Upper East Side and most of Manhattan below Central Park, say the city violated the law by not consulting them when it made decisions about opening and closing schools and how students were assigned to district schools. With the city teachers union, they filed a lawsuit yesterday over about a dozen cases in recent years where the DOE failed to consult the CEC about major zoning changes (one case dates back to 2001). The suit details the ways council members say the DOE brusquely informed them of its "unilateral" decisions after they had been made. Among them: The parent council learned about the closing of Bayard Rustin High School in Chelsea by looking at the DOE's Web site, parents allege. It learned of the opening of another school via an e-mail from DOE official John White: "Good morning. Please see new addition of Quest to Learn School."
May 15, 2009
To kindergarten shutouts, top schools official says, "I'm sorry"
Anyone who stayed until the bitter end of a three-hour meeting last night about kindergarten waitlists in Manhattan got a surprise: an uncharacteristic apology from a top DOE official. Hundreds of parents turned out for a meeting of the parent council for District 2 to vent about having been shut out, at least for now, of their neighborhood schools. Last week, Manhattan parents protested at City Hall after 273 children were put on waiting lists at many elementary schools. Deputy Chancellor Kathleen Grimm arrived late to the meeting after spending her afternoon dealing with the swine flu outbreak in Queens. She sat quietly in the audience and listened to a tense back and forth between school officials and angry parents. The auditorium had mostly emptied and council members were preparing to adjourn when Grimm approached the microphone to make a surprise statement, which I captured on video above. Here's a key part of what she said: I also want to say something that I thought I heard people from the DOE say tonight, but just in case you didn't, I want to say, I'm sorry. We're sorry. We have stumbled on some of this planning. The two officials leading the meeting told parents during the meeting that most schools should be able to eliminate their wait lists by the middle of June, after families find out where they've been offered seats in gifted and talented programs. John White, who heads the Department of Education's efforts to manage school space, said that more children in each area qualified for gifted admissions than there are children on the waiting list.
January 6, 2009
With no firm notification date, an aspiring Teaching Fellow frets
Bronx 2020, a career-changer who wants nothing more than to become a New York City public school teacher, has applied to the city’s Teaching…
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