misunderstanding how the K application works

I have been getting a lot of emails and two questions have come up continually.
1. I put my zoned school first on my application and my friend who is also zoned put it third. We are in an overcapacity school and she got the placement and I didn't. Why did that happen?

This is a great example of how the algorithm works and more generally, why you should list schools in the order that you like them. Putting a school first doesn't give you special priority to that program. Your priority comes from being zoned, not how you ranked the schools. In this scenario: The school was over capacity. All zoned families are equal. There are more families than seats at the zoned school, so the computer randomly ranks families within the zoned priority (essentially a lottery among them that has nothing to do with their application's ranking). The family that ranked the school first was unlucky in the computer's ranking and didn't get a placement. The family that put the school third, didn't get a place at the two schools that they put first and second, but when the computer went to place them at their third choice (their zoned school) they were high in the lottery and got a seat. This is how the algorithm is meant to run.
RANK SCHOOLS IN THE ORDER THAT YOU LIKE THEM. This will be on my grave.

2. I put 7 other schools on my list besides my zoned school. Why wasn't I placed at any of them?
It is good to put a solid number of choices as an alternative, but if those schools are super popular zoned programs that never take anyone from out of zone, they will be very, very unlikely to be able to offer you a seat from out side of zone/within district priority at least in the initial offer (and probably never). if you just listed 4 super popular zoned schools and three super popular un-zoned schools, you just applied to Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Brown and bought 3 Powerball tickets. Miracles can happen and no one expects to be turned away from their zoned school (which is awful!) but having a minor safety in there somewhere (a school that might take you from out of zone sometimes) is never a bad idea.

These families will still be on the wait lists for any school that they ranked higher than the school that they were placed in. If they were placed in a school that they didn't list- they will be wait listed for ALL the schools. Miracles happen and as the lists move, they may get an offer from one of these, or even better, an offer back at their zoned school. Best of luck to everyone.

 

tale of two waitlists: there are too many people at your beloved zoned school

tale of two waitlists: there are too many people at your beloved zoned school

If you wanted your zoned school and there were too many other zoned families for the school to take everyone, and you received a placement at a school other than a school on your app or your zoned school, you may be on the Capped Zoned School wait list. It is a totally different animal from the wait lists that I described previously. Here is how it works.

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Update on Prek for fall 2016

Update on Prek for fall 2016

Public prek application season has started. Applications can be submitted online from 1/25 through 3/4 as well as in person or by phone. This is NOT a first come, first served process (it is crazy how that rumor persists). You are placed in early to mid May and then you are automatically placed on a wait list for any school that you ranked higher than the school you are placed in. There may be some new programs added during the late spring and you can apply to them in Round 2 (May2-20).

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Applying for Elementary School: Chapter 1, Ranking

Applying for Elementary School: Chapter 1, Ranking

Let the games begin. The application period opened on Dec. 7 and will close on Jan. 15. This is NOT a first come, first served process. You can rank up to 12 programs on your application. You do not need to rank your zoned school, but that DOES NOT improve your chances at one of your other choices AND if you don't rank it and if your zoned school is popular with other people, you run the very slight risk of not being placed there and getting sent somewhere you like less. Don't strategize or monkey around. Be straight with this process and it will work for you.

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2015 prek round up

2015 prek round up

You have until Fri. April 24 to apply for Universal Prek.
You can apply online here or at a Family Welcome Center or by phone 718-935-2067
You can find the Prek Directories here but there are also Updated Directories with many new seats available.
I have listed some notable changes below. This is not a comprehensive guide. You need to scour the lists for yourself.

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ranking - I am only going to say this one more time!!!

ranking - I am only going to say this one more time!!!

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.

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kindergarten connect numbers

We may have lots of numbers later (we hope), but this is what is out there so far from the DoE:

  • 47,725 students (71 percent) received an offer to their first choice
  • 8,601 students (12.8 percent) received an offer to one of their second or third choices
  • 3,670 students (5.5 percent) received an offer to a school not listed among their top three
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disappointed!

Seems like the Kindergarten Connect notification is coming out today. This is what I expect to hear a lot of -

"I put down 15 choices! My zoned school was my last choice! I got my zoned school! "Choice" is not choice! Everybody and everything s#@*ks!"

This is exactly what I anticipated. Give yourself a moment to be disappointed, but then move on. Your hopes seemed to be dashed in an instant. What you need to understand is that this is how this system works for most people and you need to be patient for it to work for you. This is the starting pistol in a marathon. It is too early to freak. This is the baseline.

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"kindergarten connect" conspiracy theories

It is beginning.

I am starting to hear the inevitable creative, crazy, uninformed ways to strategise the Kindergarten Connect process to totally mess up the ranking of your potential kindergarten options. Can we all stop and take a breath? If the city wanted to create an elaborate, passive-aggressive algorithm that was designed to screw you, why would they go to all this trouble? Couldn't they just do that on their own? Frankly, if they were that diabolically dedicated to ruining your life, the whole city would run way better. See this for what it is - a very blunt instrument that assigns seats with certain priorities by random. Do you feel lucky? The vast majority of zoned kids will have a seat in their zoned schools if they want them. Most of you looking for out of zone seats will be lucky if you just keep your heads and stay in the game until the last wait list placements are made.

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Kindergarten Connect update. Hot off the presses!

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Lots of questions are answered!

Here is the DoE's School Directory information.

First, the DoE has two different application deadlines listed. March 1 and Feb.14 - I guess we will find out which one is correct in due time.

Here are some things we now know:

  • Charter Schools will not be included on the ranked 1-20 Kindergarten Connect list this year. You apply to them separately through their websites or open houses. The deadlines to apply for their lotteries are usually in late March and lotteries are often held right around the April 1. Remember schools like: Brooklyn New School, The Children's School, Arts and Letters, PS 133 and New American Academy are NOT charter schools. They are un zoned DoE programs. They are different.
  • G&T schools will not be listed on the 1-20 list (you need to test in and do the ranked list if your child gets a qualifying score in late spring)
  • You rank up to 20 DoE programs on the online Kindergarten Connect list, in the order that you like them.
  • When you get a placement in early April, you should pre register at the school, but you will automatically be placed on a waitlist for schools that you have ranked above that school. You will not be penalized on the wait list for registering at the school you have been assigned to. You don't need to take any action to get a seat from the wait list, if there is a seat for you, it will be offered by the school at the time that it becomes available.
  • If you are interested in a Dual Language program, you will be able to list that program separately from the the general ed program in that school. They will have separate code numbers and be listed as separate choices on your 1-20 list.
  • There will be priorities given to siblings, zoned students and current prek students according to the DoE's priority rankings.

giant sea change in kindergarten application procedures

The DoE announced late last week that they are changing the kindergarten application process up in a big way.
The old way that families would apply to various kindergarten programs was to physically go individually to each zoned school in and out of their district and apply in person (drag). They could also register for the charter and unzoned school lotteries and go through the city's g&t process all separately (what! something else to do!?). They would hear individually throughout the spring and summer and sometimes into the fall in a slow round robin as choices in individual schools shifted (get an offer here, get an offer there, offers offers everywhere). Families could get multiple offers to several schools (nice). It was a process that was handled on the local level and there was a lot of wiggle room (you don't have to decide which schools you liked best, you just waited for a better offer to trade up).
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wait listed for kindergarten

It is that time of year again. The DoE's official list of numbers of waitlisted zoned students is online.
Check out the very wise "Ask Judy".

Here are a couple things that you need to know. This is a giant game of musical chairs and it is still early days. It is definitely not time to panic. There will likely be some movement this week as zoned schools tally the number of zoned students who actually came in to pre-register. Some of those families got places at charter, un-zoned, dual language and private programs and will take those places, leaving seats at their zoned schools open. As people vacate seats, others will take those spots which will leave more vacancies. Everyone has a different 'favorite' school, so lots of seats in many different schools will be in play. The seats at those schools will slowly and steadily trickle out.

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public prek primer 2013

Public Prek is the fours year. They are housed in public schools and they are free for everyone, no matter your income (the "universal" in UPK). Some programs are half day and some are full day (it depends on what the school provides) and they are all 5 days programs.

When the DoE releases this year's information it will be located here.
The application period for prek begins March 4, 2013.
The application deadline is April 5, 2013.
You will hear about your placement in early June.
Registration for prek will be June 5 - June 19.

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new years resolutions for parents of 2008 birthday children

1. Don't panic. There is no need and people who panic drown. Stay calm and centered and when "that mom" at the playground tells you that you are screwed because you didn't do this-and-such or didn't get into "the" school. Drop her. She is trouble and she is not correct, and your poor spouse will have to spend a week talking you down, when you should have been laughing with your child.
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kindergarten news 2013

The DoE has just put up a bare bones calendar:
The application period for K begins on Jan.22, 2013 and ends March 1, 2013. Placement offers will be distributed in early April and "pre-registration" (when you go to the school with your child, proofs of residency, immunization records and birth records) is April 8- April 26, 2013.

Prek info is even barer bones - Early March Application period begins (directories and applications available) Early April is the deadline to submit applications. The offers are made in early June. Pre-register in Mid-June.

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