What's new with public school Pre-K

Here is some early news about the Pre-K registration for 2008-2009. From a memo to Principals.

  • All applications for public school Pre-K will be handled in a centralized process through the Office of Student Enrollment. (CBO process is unchanged)
  • Applications for the DOE process will be available in schools and at the Enrollment Offices the week of March 24.
  • Any schools that have already made offers or accepted applications for Pre-k seats must notify parents that these offers are voided. Parents must submit a new Pre-K application to be considered for a seat.
  • April 11: all applications for public school Pre-K seats must be postmarked by this date.
  • Week of May 19: Parents will receive notification about their child’s placement in a public school Pre-K
  • Parents should apply directly to CBOs for spots in their programs. The CBOs will notify parents directly about their application status.
  • For Kindergarten and 1st grade apply directly to your zoned school.
  • For Unzoned schools such as The Brooklyn New School, The Children’s School and Charter Schools, apply directly to the schools for their lotteries.
  • Parents applying for a variance (placement exception request) should get the form from the Enrollment Office in the summer and submit it by the end of Sept. (the deadline was Sept. 28 this year) with lots of supporting documents. You will hear sometime in Oct. whether you receive a placement or not. You do this the year you are attending school, which means that your child will be attending classes at your zoned school while you wait for word about the PER.


    So it looks like this is bad news if you have been given a seat already in a Pre-K for next year because you go right back into the lottery. This is obviously an attempt to make the whole process fairer to the population at large because not all schools have Pre-Ks and if you were out of the zone for a prized Pre-K you had no chance of getting in. There have never been enough seats for everyone who wants one, but keep in mind that the DOE doesn’t have to provide Pre-K at all, and they are the first programs to be cut to make more room for the mandated grades. As the schools get more and more crowded (look no further than the giant sprouts going up all down 4th Ave.) I wonder how long the existing Pre-K classes will last. I don’t see many new elementary schools in the works.