Moving? You need to read the Chancellor's Regulations

From time to time, the Chancellor's Regulations are adjusted, and they make for pretty interesting reading (at least to me). I am interested mainly in Volume A which addresses student-related issues, from admissions to promotion. Issues covered range from safety, behavior and discipline, flea markets, transportation and naming public schools.

The 100 Series of the regulations covers admission, non-resident enrollment, home schooling, zone lines and change in utilization of school buildings. If you are moving, you want to read A-101 carefully.

Some changes that have been highlighted this year include a change in priority for prek applicants whose zoned school does not have a prek program, "Guidance Transfers" for high school students, and it "clarifies investigation of residency procedures".

The DoE's kindergarten application process takes place over about 9 months from Jan. to Sept. during the calendar year that a child will attend kindergarten. Application is made online with a deadline generally in mid. Jan. Placements are announced in early March and pre-registration where you present your documentation follows shortly after that. In the spring and summer, charter schools and gifted and talented program placements are announced and wait lists of all kinds move. If you are living in one zone for the 9 months that this transpires, you sit and wait to see what you get. If you are moving during that period it can be more stressful.

Many families have expressed anxiety about moving mid process. They are worried that since they are moving into a zone "late" in the process that they will be squeezed out of a seat in the zone. The DoE works in the present tense. There is no past or future in this process. There is only "now". What you plan to do doesn't really factor into it. What counts is exactly where you reside at each point in the process. If you apply when you live in one zone and you then move to another between mid Jan. and the beginning of kindergarten, you can easily let the DoE or your new local zoned school know (depending on whether pre-registration has begun or not). In this scenario, you are a zoned family with high priority to the school. The school just needs to determine how many seats they have before they can register you (and they almost always have enough). If you have been keeping in touch with the school as you transition through your move, you won't be surprised and neither will they.

If you begin attending a zoned school and then you have to move after school has begun (#18 pg. 3):
"Students in grades K-12 who change residence within New York City are entitled to remain in their current school until completion of the terminal grade. Students may not be transferred to their zoned school or district of residence because of disciplinary or academic problems except pursuant to the procedures set forth in Chancellor’s Regulation A-450."

In Section VII (page 15-17) you will find information about Verification of Residency; proof of address and Falsification and Investigation of Residency.

There is temptation to play fast and loose with addresses to ease your fears or wiggle into a popular zone. My advice. Don't do it. Everyone thinks that they know someone's cousin who is not playing fair, but I see the fraud letters go out, and then the situation is not pretty. Live where you say you live. Tell the schools if you move mid process.