PS 8's overcrowding

It is not new news that PS 8 is very very crowded and their kindergarten class may be "capped" in fall of 2015. That means that there may not be enough seats available for all in zone families at K. I have found, in other neighborhoods where this has been a problem (look to Park Slope and Kensington for Brooklyn prototypes), that the families who have the best outcomes are the ones who stop shaking their fists in frustration and try to affect change and/or avail themselves of the system which may also provide them with a wide range of school options. The DoE will do what the DoE will do, but they are not against listening and numbers will always get attention. You will feel frustrated through this process and rezoning (which will happen with a new plan or building) is always painful for someone.

There have already been some public meetings with the DoE and PS 8 PTA. In answer to the "Frustrated Mom" piece: all the people involved can't say anything specific, because if they did, they would be flayed when it didn't happen (or did). It would be imprudent and misleading. This is a process. First they need current numbers which they will get in Feb. with the Kindergarten Connect application process. The Office of Planning will go away with the numbers, work out a plan and come back for input. You will not like any of it. Change sucks... in the beginning, but sometimes it ends up well. The people that spoke at the meeting are really your advocates and they aren't stupid or insensitive, they just can't make promises in a preliminary meeting. If you alienate them or turn away from them, you lose your muscle.
The PTA is being very proactive in starting this conversation, and galvanizing community interest in this issue is the way to go, but they have no power over this. The DoE Office of Planning and the Community Education Council are the ones that deal with the capacity issues at schools. Rezoning, if it happens, wouldn't be on the table until next fall to go into effect for fall of 2016. Any new construction will be years in the making, but when the capital funds have been assigned, it is utilized faster than you would think (but it still can be years and you guys don't have that). This will be worked out as quickly as possible, but that means at least a year and a half, probably longer for an long term solution.
Daniel Squadron post on Brooklyn Heights Blog
I applaud your efforts and they will bring relief eventually.

If you would like to know about the kindergarten application process and the other options available for k that are out there, I am giving my Intro to Public School: Prek and Kindergarten talk on Thurs. Dec. 11 at 7:30 at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music in Park Slope. Tickets and information is here:

I won't be talking about individual schools at this event, but you will come away with an understanding of how to apply out of zone to g&t, dual language, magnet, unzoned, out of zone and charter schools.