This blog was specifically written in response to families asking me about prek and k admissions which have a geographic priority that factors into placement.
Your chances of getting into a school are NOT tied to how you rank them. RANK THE SCHOOLS IN THE ORDER THAT YOU LIKE THEM. You will not be disadvantaged by putting a long shot first or by putting your favored zoned school last.
Take this example:
Jill and Susan are both zoned for PS 5011 and it is crazy popular.
Jill puts it first. Susan likes two other district schools and lists PS 5011 third. Because they are both zoned they have the exact same chances of being placed in PS 5011 because they have the same geographic priority. The only reasons that Susan would not be placed in PS 5011 would be if she got into one of the schools that she ranked higher (liked better) OR if PS 5011 was over capacity and zoned families were subject to a random placement and she was unlucky in the lottery. Conversely, in that "over capacity" scenario: Jill, who placed the school first, could also be unlucky and not get 5011 in the random placement and Susan could be lucky and get it. Got it! Good!