New York is a great city and raising kids here is an amazing gift in so many ways. This is the shitty part (why mince words?).
It really sucks to be the last one not asked to the dance. Most of you will get a placement that will satisfy in the end, and a few if you will have to come up with plan B. If you choose to accept the challenge, Plan B is how change occurs. It is how worthy schools begin to emerge and it is how new schools spring to life. The people who take this challenge may begin as reluctant heros, but they may also find ample rewards... or they can wait for next year.
For the kindergarten parents it is not nearly over, so don't sweat quite yet, just stop listening to your happy friends for a while. Good seats are still trickling out every day. G&T placements (in whatever crazy form) will come in June. Word from "on high" is that alternate placements for wait listed in-zone families will come down in mid June (most if not all of you in the north part of district 15 should be in your zoned schools by then). They are not saying where the placements will be.
For middle school families: the way it usually works is that the DoE makes "over-offers" to the schools using historical data about how many families will opt out (for private or charter or citywide) and how many will take the district offer. When someone takes Brooklyn Prospect instead of 51 for example, it doesn't necessarily mean that there is now an empty seat at 51. It just means that they are not as horribly overcrowded as they might have been. You have probably all filed your "appeals" with your guidance counselors. No matter what district you are in, you should consider putting your name on the wait list for BUGS Charter School. As a new school they will probably go through most if not all of their wait list this year (this is not uncommon for a first year school).
Something amazing is happening at Park Slope Collegiate. This could be the year that after decades of neglect, Park Slope families embrace a middle school program in John Jay. There is a core group of a dozen 5th grade families from PS 321 who are taking advantage of the opportunity that is housed there. They have identified a school leader, Jill Bloomberg, who understands and embraces the challenges and benefits of a truly differentiated classroom. Talented leaders are not a dime a dozen and these parents are very excited by what they have seen and heard from Ms. Bloomberg and her staff. If you want to talk further about the committment these parents have made about attending this program next year you can contact: Melissa or Katie.