If you live in New York City and your child is turning five years old in 2016, your child should begin kindergarten in December 2015.
New York City families can apply to kindergarten online, over-the-phone, or in person at a Family Welcome Center.
This page will help to guide you through every step of Kindergarten Admissions. If you have any questions about applying to kindergarten, call 718-935-2009 or visit: www.nyc.gov/schools/kindergarten.
Kindergarten Admissions Timeline
• Application period begins on December 7, 2015
• Application deadline is January 15, 2016
• Placement offers distributed in early March 2016
• Pre-registration starts in March 2016
The Kindergarten Admissions Process
All New York City students turning five years old in 2015 should apply to kindergarten. This includes students with disabilities and English Language Learners.
There are four steps in the admissions process in the year leading up to kindergarten:
1. Explore Your Options and Make Your List of Schools
2. Submit Your Application
3. Receive a Placement Offer
Here are a few important facts you should know before you start exploring your kindergarten options.
• Admission is not first-come, first-served. All applications received by the deadline will be treated the same, based on schools’ admissions priorities.
• Students are considered for placement at each school based on a priority order called Admissions Priorities. Review the Admissions Priorities in each section, and the groups that were admitted to each school last year, to understand whether your child has a good chance of being admitted to particular schools.
• Most kindergarten students attend their zoned school, as that is where they have the highest priority to attend. Your zoned school is determined by your home address. If you don’t know which school is your zoned school, call 311 or visit: nyc.gov/schools/schoolsearch. Even if you are planning to attend your zoned school, you need to submit an application.
• All five-year-olds are entitled to a kindergarten placement, so even if you miss the application deadline, your child will be able to enroll in kindergarten for the 2016-2017 school year.
1. Explore Your Options and Make Your List of Schools
You should use the Kindergarten directory to find out more about the process and school options for your child, then visit schools of interest to learn more. To find open house and tour schedules, contact schools or visit nyc.gov/schools/kindergarten.
You can list multiple schools on the application, including your zoned school. As you prepare your application, make sure to rank programs in order of your preference. Rank the schools you prefer the most first, but also include other schools in case your child cannot be placed at your most preferred school(s). There is no right or wrong approach when ranking schools on your application. Your child’s priority to a school is dependent on the school’s Admissions Priorities.
For example, if you rank three schools ahead of your zoned school and you don’t get an offer at any of those three schools, your child may still get an offer to his or her zoned school, because that’s where your child has a high priority. Similarly, if you only rank three schools but do not list your zoned school, and you don’t get an offer at any of those three schools, your child may still get an offer to another school, mostly likely his or her zoned school. For more details on Admissions Priorities, see below.
2. Submit Your Application
From December 7, 2015 through January 15, 2016, you can apply to your zoned school and any other schools that you believe would be a good fit for your child. You can apply online by visiting nyc.gov/schools/kindergarten, in person at a Family Welcome Center, or over the phone by calling 718-935-2400. For a full description of the application methods, see pages 3-4.
Please note: Only one application can be processed per child. Where there are joint custody agreements, only the primary custodial parent/guardian can submit an application. If there is no specific provision addressing school decision-making, the parent who has primary physical custody of the child during the school week is considered to be the custodial parent.
3. Receive a Placement Offer
You will receive notification about your placement offer in early April.
In order to accept your kindergarten offer, you must contact the school to make an appointment to pre-register starting in March. If you pre-register your child at the school where you receive an offer, you can still receive and accept an offer from a school where your child is waitlisted. Please note that if your address has changed since you applied, your child’s priority to attend may have changed, and the offer may no longer be valid.
When pre-registering, you must bring your child with you, as well as:
• Proof of your child’s age (child’s birth certificate, passport, or record of baptism which includes the date of birth, or other official document of age; see Chancellor’s Regulation A-101 for documents accepted for proof of age)
• Two documents verifying proof of residence. Acceptable documents are listed below:
– Lease agreement, deed or mortgage statement for the residence;
– A residential utility bill (gas or electric) in the resident’s name issued by a utility company (e.g., National Grid or Con Edison); must be dated within the past 60 days;
– A bill for cable television services provided to the residence; must include the name of the parent and the address of the residence and be dated within the past 60 days;
– Documentation or letter on letterhead from a federal, state, or local government agency, including the IRS, the City Housing Authority, the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement, the Human Resources Administration, or the
Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), or an ACS subcontractor, indicating the resident’s name and address; must be dated within the past 60 days;
– A current property tax bill for the residence;
– A water bill for the residence; must be dated within the past 90 days;
– Rent receipt which includes the address of residence; must be dated within the past 60 days;
– State, city, or other government issued identification (including an IDNYC card), which has not expired and includes the address of residence;
– Income tax form for the last calendar year;
– Official NYS Driver’s License or learner’s permit, which has not expired;
– Official payroll documentation from an employer issued within the past 60 days such as a pay stub with home address, a form submitted for tax withholding purposes or payroll receipt (a letter on the employer’s letterhead is not adequate); must include home address and be dated within the past 60 days;
– Voter registration documents, which include the name of the parent and the address of residence;
– Unexpired membership documents based upon residency (e.g., neighborhood residents’ association), which include the name of the parent and the address of residence;
– Evidence of custody of the child, including but not limited to judicial custody orders or guardianship papers; documents must have been issued within the past 60 days and include name of student and address of residence.
The Kindergarten Application
You can apply for kindergarten from December 7, 2015 through January 15, 2016 in one of three ways: online, in person, or over the phone. Please do not submit your application by mail or to a school. No matter how you apply, make sure you get a receipt. If you do not receive a receipt, there may have been a problem with your application submission.
Visit nyc.gov/schools/kindergarten to create an account and submit your application. After you submit the application, we will email you a receipt. We recommend that you apply online, so you can access your account and receipt at any time. You’ll also receive notifications via email, which is faster than information sent by mail.
Please note: Parents and guardians must use their own email address to apply online. If you do not have an email address and/or do not wish to provide an email address, please apply over the phone or in person.
If you do not have a computer at home and would like to apply online, you can use a computer at any New York City public library with a free library card. To sign up for a free library card, you need to provide proof of address. To find a library in your area, call 311.
The deadline to apply online is Friday, January 15, 2016 at 11:59 PM.
• Call between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday.
• If you speak a language other than English, be sure to request an interpreter.
• You will receive your application receipt by mail.
The deadline to apply over the phone is Friday, s Friday, January 15, 2016 at 6:00 PM.
Apply In Person
Visit the counselors at the Family Welcome Center located at at 715 Ocean Terrace, Building A, Staten Island, NY 10301
• Counselors are available to help you complete your application.
• Offices are open from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Monday through Friday.
• You will receive your receipt from the counselor when you submit your application.
The deadline to apply in person at a Family Welcome Center is Friday, January 15, 2016 at 3:00 PM.
Whether you are planning to submit your kindergarten application online, over the phone, or in person at a Family Welcome Center, make sure you have the following information with you when you apply:
1. Child’s name
2. Child’s OSIS (student ID number, if available)
3. Child’s date of birth
4. Parent/guardian name
5. Child’s address
6. Your telephone number
7. Your email address, if available
8. Sibling information,* if your child has a sibling attending one of the schools that you are going to list on your application:
-Sibling’s date of birth
-Sibling’s current grade
-Sibling’s current school
-Sibling’s OSIS (student ID number)
9. Child’s current pre-kindergarten program, if applicable
10. Child’s language information, if applying for a dual language program
11. The programs you are applying to, in order of your preference
* A sibling is defined as a brother or sister – including half-brothers, half-sisters, stepbrothers, stepsisters, foster brothers, and foster sisters – of the applicant, who lives in the same household and will be enrolled in grades K- 5 in September 2016 at that school. You must list the older sibling’s information on the application for your child to be considered for sibling priority. All sibling information is verified by the school before offers are made.
Applying in Languages other than English
The kindergarten application is available, both online and in person, in the DOE’s standard languages: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu. Interpretation is available over-the-phone in over 200 languages. Call 718-935-2400 for assistance. Translated materials are available at: www.nyc.gov/schools/kindergarten.
Kindergarten Admissions Priorities
Standard Admissions Priorities exist for zoned schools and non-zoned schools. While there are some schools with Admissions Priorities that are different, most zoned and non-zoned schools use the priorities described below.
Most students attend their zoned school for kindergarten. A zoned school admits students who are zoned to the school (those who live in a designated area surrounding the school). Your zoned school is determined by your home address. If you don’t know your zoned school, call 311 or visit the Department of Education “School Search” (nyc.gov/schools/schoolsearch) and enter your home address in the search bar.
Students who live within a school’s zone are prioritized for admission to that school. Most zoned schools can enroll all students residing in the zone, but there are some exceptions. If the zoned school has more zoned applicants than available seats, siblings are admitted first, then remaining seats are offered based on a random selection from other zoned applicants. If the zoned school has room after all zoned students are enrolled, students in the priority groups listed below may be offered placement, starting with non-zoned
Students must continue to reside in the zone both at the time of pre-registration and at the start of the school year in order to retain their entitlement to attend.
In general, students who reside in the school’s district have a higher priority than students residing outside the district. New York City is divided into 32 Community School Districts (often referred to in this directory as “district”). Your district is determined by your child’s home address. Y You can also find your district, by calling 311 or visiting the Department of Education School Search site: www.nyc.gov/schools/schoolsearch.
Standard Admissions Priorities for Zoned Schools
1. Students residing in the zone, who have a sibling at the school in grades K-5 in September 2016;*
2. Students residing in the zone, who do not have a sibling at the school. If space allows, students residing outside the zone may also be admitted, in the following priority order:
3. Students residing in the district, who have a sibling at the school in grades K-5 in September 2016;*
4. Students residing outside the district, who have a sibling at the school in grades K-5 in September 2016;*
5. Students residing in the district, who currently attend the school’s pre-kindergarten program;**
6. Students residing outside the district, who currently attend the school’s pre-kindergarten program;**
7. Students who reside in the district, other than those in (3) and (5) above;
8. Students who reside outside the district, other than those in (4) and (6) above.
* A sibling is defined as a brother or sister—including half-brothers, half-sisters, stepbrothers, stepsisters, foster brothers, foster sisters—of the applicant, who lives in the same household. Schools offer a priority to applicants with verified siblings in the school.
** Students who are currently enrolled in pre-k and want to apply to the same school for kindergarten will receive priority for admission in kindergarten, but only in the school they are now attending. This priority only applies to students who do not receive zoned and sibling priority. Not all schools have pre -k.
Throughout New York City, there are schools without a zone that give priority to applicants based on sibling priority, district of residence, and in some cases, other criteria. While most non-zoned schools follow the standard Admissions Priorities below, you should review the school pages to learn about each school’s Admissions Priorities.
In general, students who reside in the school’s district have a higher priority than students residing outside the district. New York City is divided into 32 Community School Districts (often referred to in this directory as “district”). Your district is determined by your child’s home address. You can also find your district, by calling 311 or visiting the Department of Education School Search site: www.nyc.gov/schools/schoolsearch.
Standard Admissions Priorities for Non-Zoned Schools
1. Students residing in the district whose verified siblings will be enrolled in grades K -5 in the school in September 2016;*
2. Students residing outside the district whose verified siblings will be enrolled in grades K-5 in the school in September 2016;*
3. Students residing in the district who are currently enrolled at the school for pre-k;**
4. Students residing outside the district who are currently enrolled at the school for pre-k;**
5. Students who reside in the district, other than those in (1) and (3) above;
6. Students who reside outside the district, other than those in (2) and (4) above.
* A sibling is defined as a brother or sister—including half-brothers, half-sisters, stepbrothers, stepsisters, fosterbrothers, foster sisters—of the applicant, who lives in the same household. Schools offer a priority to applicants with verified siblings in the school.
** Students who are currently enrolled in pre-k and want to apply to the same school for kindergarten will receive priority for admission in kindergarten, but only in the school they are now attending. This priority only applies to students who do not receive zoned and sibling priority. Not all schools have pre-k.
Meeting Your Child’s Needs
There are many different types of programs and services provided in kindergarten to support your child’s unique academic needs. Not all schools offer the services and programs listed below, so if you have questions about what programs are offered at a particular school, please contact each school for more information.
Gifted & Talented Programs
Gifted & Talented (G&T) programs are one way the New York City Department of Education supports the educational needs of students with unique academic ability. G&T programs aim to deliver accelerated, rigorous, and specialized instruction aligned to the Common Core Learning Standards. Children who are New York City residents in pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade are eligible to participate in G&T Admissions.
There is a separate application for Gifted & Talented programs. Families interested in applying for a kindergarten G&T program should have submitted their Request for Testing (RFT) form by November 9, 2015. Students who became New York City residents after the RFT deadline on November 9, 2015 may request summer testing. You can also request that your child be tested for first grade placement in early fall 2016.
If you have completed a RFT form and your child is taking the Gifted & Talented test, you will receive notification of eligibility in April. If your child meets the eligibility criteria, you will have the opportunity to apply to Gifted & Talented programs. For more information about Gifted & Talented admissions, please visit nyc.gov/schools/gt.
A magnet school is a public school that offers a school-wide curriculum designed around a specific theme. While some schools have the word “magnet” in their school’s name, only those schools that received Magnet Schools Assistance Program (M.S.A.P) funding will be designated as “magnet.”
For more information on students learning English, students with disabilities transitioning to kindergarten, transportation and charter schools please visit the 2016-2017 Kindergarten Directory.
The New York City Department of Education collects information about school practices and student outcomes, which can help identify each school’s strengths and areas for improvement. This Directory contains some of this information, which is listed on school pages and explained in more detail below. If you have any questions about this section, please speak to your school’s guidance counselor or visit nyc.gov/schools/accountability, where you can find more detailed information on each school’s performance in their School Quality Reports. All citywide and district averages are for the 2014-2015 school year.
New York State Accountability: The New York State Education Department (NYSED) determines the accountability status of schools based on its own set of measures. For more information about this school’s New York State Accountability status, visit the NYSED website: data.nysed.gov.
Quality Review: The Quality Review is an evaluation of the school by an experienced educator based on a formal school visit. The educator observes classrooms and engages in conversations with parents, students, teachers and school leaders to assess schoolwide practices. The Quality Review report provides specific feedback to support the school’s efforts. The Quality Review ratings on each school page reflect the most recent year that a Quality Review was conducted at that particular school. Ratings are not available for schools that opened after June 2015 and for schools whose ratings were not finalized at the time of printing. For more information, please visit http://schools.nyc.gov/Accountability/tools/review/default.htm.
For more information on individual schools in Staten Island please visit the 2016-2017 Kindergarten Directory.