Mentally sort elementary schools into three different catagories:
- DoE programs (zoned, un-zoned, out of zone)
- Charter schools
- Gifted and Talented programs
You will be applying to these programs in 3 different ways.
Kindergarten Enrollment Website (deadline 2/13/15)
You get to rank up to 12 choices. Don't try and strategize - rank schools in the order that you like them. You can rank any public gen ed school in the city, but you will be sorted according to the geographic priorites that the DoE has laid out (in-zone siblings, in-zone families, out of zone sibs - within district and outside of district, prek kids...). When you are assigned to a school, you will be automatically placed on a wait list for any school that you have ranked higher on your list, and you could possibly receive a placement in that school from the wait list through Oct. You can accept or reject the offer when it comes.
Charter lottery registration(deadline 4/1/15)
You can apply now through the individual schools' websites (name, address, child's birthday - easy!) or you can apply to most (but not all) of your charter choices with the "common app". You may get an offer or two if you are lucky in their lotteries and you can accept or reject those offers as they come.
Gifted & Talented Application(deadline way later in the spring)
You are not listing ANY g&t programs on your apps now - you don't know if you are eligible yet! If your child is eligible according to the score that you will receive in the spring, then you will be able to fill out an app for the schools you are eligible for.If you are placed in one of these programs late in the spring you can accept or reject the offer that comes.
Remember, it doesn't matter that these offers may come at different times. You are always trading up. The last school that you pre-register at is the one that you will attend. Happy Hunting.