no Round 2 for prekindergarten lottery

The DOE is changing it up this year. They have eliminated the Round 2 lottery for seats left vacant after Round 1. Was it too late for families, or too cumbersome or too expensive? We will never know. What we know now is that the responsibility for placing left over spots goes to the schools and they have not been given any protocol on how to proceed. I called a couple schools to see what they were planning on doing and they said that the DOE will probably send instructions to them in the principals' weekly newsletter but it would likely come just before the process begins (it is not uncommon for the DOE to dole out important information like this at the last minute). When I called Central Enrollment, they gave me the very unacceptable (and probably inaccurate) answer that the numbers of seats available at the schools would be posted in fall of 2012 - like parents would just wander in mid September to claim left over seats?! Clearly, they hadn't thought this through. I have talked with insideschools and they are digging for more a more accurate forecast of the process schools should be following.

Here is what we can guess; most schools will probably not be taking names for a wait list until after the last day of Round 1 registration - according to the DOE's current calendar registration ends on Friday, June 22 - so I would be ready to attack the wait lists on Monday June 25 bright and early. The schools won't know if they have seats available until that date and why bother collecting a list of names before the fact if some of those people may be placed elsewhere and you could lose the list in the many months before you can use it. How will they be assigning seats? Will they get a prioritized list of names? Will they collect names and do it first come first served or will the schools do their own lottery? Nobody knows.

What do you do now?

  • I would keep in close contact with the parent coordinator at each school that I am interested in for prek, to make sure that I don't miss what they are going to do in June.
  • Sign up for newsletter right on their home page below the large photo. If they have more news on the process they will blog about it and you will receive an update in your email.
  • I would sign up for the DOE's prekindergarten alerts (make sure that you check the appropriate boxes) so that you don't miss anything there.

When I hear of anything I will list it on the blog, in the newsletter and tweet about it.

If you want an idea of the Prek numbers available after Round 1 last year, the 2011-12 School Year Round 2 Directory is here.

high school choice 2012: round 2 and Brooklyn Prospect Charter

The DOE is distributing placement letters to middle schools today. Your child should receive it in school today or tomorrow. If your child gets a choice between a Specialized HS or LaGuardia and another option, you will be given instructions on how and by when to make that choice. In past years you would check the choice on your letter, sign it and return it to your guidance counselor, usually within a week. Make a copy of your letter with the choice on it before you return it to school and keep this copy in a safe place - just in case.

The Round 2 Fair is this weekend, Sat. March 3 and Sun. March 4 10am -2pm at Martin Luther King Jr. Educational Campus: 122 Amsterdam Ave. (btwn W. 65th adn W. 66th St.)

Details about Round 2 are on the DOE's website. But the highlights are:

Read More

public high school choice rant

Forgive me for too many CAPS ahead of time.

I have been hearing a lot about the "second round" this year, like you get another shot at the choice you want late in the spring. GUYS! the DOE doesn't work that way!! The "supplemental round" is for students who have NOT RECEIVED ANY CHOICE in the main round. Your placement in the main round is where your child will attend for freshman year, no ifs ands or buts. The students in the supplemental round get to choose from the schools that have seats still available.

But "ah ha!", you say, "what about the Specialized HS kids who get to choose between a two schools?! Aren't the schools that they don't take from the main round left over in the supplemental round?" NO!!! everyone (who has placed a seriously good number of good fit schools) is placed in the main round and all the schools get "over offers" -many more students than they can hold. The DOE has historical data from years of experience how many kids are going to take their Specialized HS seats (or private school, etc.) and how many are taking their 1-12 list seats. If a few more kids choose the Specialized HS, the classes are a little fuller there, but all the seats at the highly sought after, selective schools are still full, full, full. The process this year is NO DIFFERENT than previous years. The DOE always ran the WHOLE algorithm before the Specialized round placements where announced. They have always known in early Feb. where EVERYONE is placed. They just didn't release the info, because they did that New School Fair, and students had the option to add a new program to their list before they got their results. The problem was that the conspiracy theories abounded AND it pushed the supplemental and appeals process way too late in the year. This is a process that handles upwards of 90,000 kids a year. They will not entertain picking and chosing in a second round and if you are banking on getting no choice so that you can pick off Beacon or another favorite in a "second round" you are taking a bad gamble with your child's future.

waiting for round 2 prekindergarten numbers

We are waiting for the DOE to compile the numbers of registered seats from the Prekindergarten Round 1 and put together the Round 2 Directory with deadline dates and the new application.

What is happening: the DOE notifies families for the exact number of seats available. The notified families have been given a short period to register for a seat (by June 24). There is NO wait list. The DOE is now compiling a list of seats still left available and there will be a second, faster round to place families in those seats. You must put in a new application (new choices, different rankings) or if you didn't do the first round you can participate now. If you were offered a seat in the first round and you want to try for a different placement in the second round you are at a serious disadvantage. From last years 2nd Round Directory, "If you apply in Round 2 after having received an offer in Round 1, your application will only be considered after new applicants and applicants from Round 1 who did not receive an offer. All Round 2 prekindergarten applicants must submit a new Round 2 application to be considered for a Round 2 offer."

It is not uncommon for there to be a couple seats available even in highly sought after programs.

When information becomes available it will be here.

You should register to get DOE email alerts here.

If you want to look at last year's numbers in Round 2.

2010/2011 prek round 2 directory

I have found the PreK Round 2 Directory to be a useful resource when you are assessing your chances of gaining entry to a public prek program. The DOE has removed their file from the website, so I will link to it here. It is a bit large so it may take a minute to download.

So what are you looking at? This is just for research at this point. These numbers don't represent current seats available. In the "applicants" column they are showing you the numbers of ANYONE who ranked the school on their application that year; they may be out of district or out of borough and they are definitely not "first choice" numbers. Some of the numbers may be daunting, don't freak out. The "seats" column shows the numbers of seats available in the first round. What has happened in the first round is that the computer has placed the exact number of seats and no more (no waitlist). Because the list comes out on May 31, some families who have been offered seats have paid their deposits and decided to stay in their current private nursery schools, some families have gotten grossed out with the whole thing and moved to Jersey. The number of seats that haven't been scooped up by those families will be up for grabs in the second round, even in highly sought after schools. There will be a second lottery and the same "priorities" apply; siblings in the school first, then inzone families, then out of zone/in district, etc.

The first round prek directories for 2011/12 will not come out until Jan. (on the DOE's website and hard copies in the schools) and the deadline for the application has previously been in early March. You can start calling schools and checking their websites for tours now.

The DOE has announced the  kindergarten application timeline but they only have it listed under special needs for some unknown reason. I suspect that these dates will remain true for all students:

Kindergarten application period:            Jan. 10, 2011 - March 4, 2011
Families notified of assignment offers:   March 21, 2011 - March 25, 2011
Offer acceptance period:                      March 28, 2011 - April 15, 2011

Happy Hunting!

prek round 2! ding!

I love the Prek Round 2 Directory. The numbers fascinate me! What happens is that they don't "over offer" in the Prek process. If there are 18 seats they only pick 18. If a family declines the seat for whatever reason that seat goes to Round 2. So even schools like 321 which had 475 people placing it somewhere on their application for only 12 spots has a seat up for grabs in Round 2.

There are still many, many seats out there - often more than a handful in each of a lot of terrific schools in all the Brooklyn Districts that I cover.

The Directory is up today and you can submit your application online  through the deadline, 7/30/10 (if you submit online, you are notified by email as well as by snail mail). The second round offers will be out in late August.

The same lottery priorities apply; sibs get first priority and then in zone families, out of zone/in district, etc.
Good luck, one and all.

prek application update

I have been talking to a lot of families in brief phone consults about the PreK applications and the strategy of a Round 2 application is coming up a lot.

I just want to give you a heads up about the Second Round paragraph in the instructions:
"Round 2 will take place in July 2010; if you apply in Round 2 after having received a placement in Round 1, your application will only be considered after new applicants and applicants from Round 1 who did not receive an offer. We will use your Round 1 application choices during the Round 2 process. Additional details for the Round 2 application process will be available in the Round 2 directory which will become available in July 2010.
If you wish to appeal your Round 1 match, you must fill out the form which will be located online at Appeals will be considered based on factual errors that may occur during the application process. Appeal forms will be available after Round 1 offers are made in June 2010."

They don't want a lot of people trying to game the system. Put down your choices according to your preferences and keep the lottery priorities in mind. If you get a seat, that is great but it would serve you to take it because in the second round you will be at the end of the cue for being picky.

News for twins:
The online application and the paper app are different, in that there is no place online to enter that the first child is a mulitple. This is what the DOE told me today:

"If you are applying for twins online, you should first complete one child's application, and then click on the 'Submit Application for Another Child.' You will then be able to enter the second child's application. The two applications will automatically be linked."