Posts tagged "kindergarten"
September 12, 2013
Parents applying for spots in kindergarten across the city next year will be able to complete the process online through what Department of Education officials today called a “transformative” change to the enrollment process.
The changes also include the beginning of a long-term project to integrate charter school admissions into the city’s general enrollment process.
The new, online kindergarten admissions system will affect the parents of the more than 70,000 students entering kindergarten this year, reducing the hassle associated with applying to multiple schools. The city called it an effort “to make enrollment more family friendly.”
“Right now, parents must go from school to school to school, submitting applications at each school in order to apply to multiple schools, and that really is something we don’t want to have happen to our parents,” Chancellor Dennis Walcott said at a press conference today after an appearance at the Peck Slip School, which like many downtown Manhattan schools had a wait list for kindergarten this year.
“So if you’re a single parent, and you’re balancing a job and a child, this is something we want to definitely avoid,” Walcott said. “It’s really tough for parents, whether you’re single or not.” (more…)
April 6, 2012
Nearly 2,500 children are on wait lists for their zoned kindergarten programs this year, according to data released by the Department of Education today.
Their parents will have to wait until the end of June to find out where they will be offered a kindergarten seat instead. Last year, families received alternate spots in mid-April, but the wait lists tend fluctuate so much that the department decided to delay making assignments that would likely have to change families will away, enroll their children in private or parochial schools, or win lotteries for charter school admission.
About 600 more students than last year have applied for kindergarten. But there are about 600 fewer children on waiting lists than last year at this time.
The wait list numbers reflect an annual rite of spring as parents register at their nearby elementary schools but land on wait lists because there are more zoned applicants than there are kindergarten spots.
The phenomenon is highly stressful for families who are told they cannot be accommodated. But it is not widespread: Of the total number of families that have applied for kindergarten so far this year, just 4 percent were placed on wait lists. (more…)
October 20, 2011
Starting in 2014, children will have to take a test when they start kindergarten, according to a commitment New York State has made to boost its chance of winning up to $100 million in the federal “Early Learning Challenge.”
Currently, New York City administers a school readiness exam, called Bracken, to children applying for gifted programs. But in most schools across the city and state, kindergarten teachers learn about their students’ strengths and weaknesses over the course of the year. Now they will have a standard “kindergarten readiness measurement tool” to help them.
The new test will let schools identify a “baseline” for each student who enrolls against which they can measure progress — or lack of progress. But children won’t be barred from enrollment or sent to special education on the basis of poor scores, and the scores won’t be factored into teacher evaluations, according to the state’s press release.
The tool is one promise in New York State’s application to this year’s lower-key Race to the Top competition, which focused on early childhood education. The application also promises that New York will create Common Core-aligned pre-kindergarten standards and introduce a quality rating for early childhood programs.
The rating system named in the state’s application, QUALITYStarsNY, is the same one being used in New York City to rate programs as part of a local bid to improve early childhood education. (more…)
March 30, 2011
Over 3,000 soon-to-be kindergarteners are on wait-lists for elementary school this year — a marked increase over last year and one that’s hitting schools in Queens and Manhattan particularly hard.
Every spring, in what has become a ritual in recent years, parents register for kindergarten at their nearby elementary schools for the following year ,and every spring, thousands are wait-listed. Department of Education officials said they received 8,000 more kindergarten applications this year than last year. While more than 92 percent of those families have been accepted to their zoned schools, 3,195 of them are still waiting for a placement.
DOE officials emphasized that between now and the end of May the wait list numbers could fluctuate. During the intervening months, some families will move away, enroll their children in private or parochial schools, or win lotteries for charter school admission. Officials said they would open more kindergarten classes where they could find space.
But come the end of May, families who still don’t have seats in their zoned schools will be sent new schools to choose from. Last year, nearly 1,000 kindergarteners did not get spots in their zoned schools. Some of the new assignments sent families to less-coveted schools just down the block. Others sent the 5- and 6-year-olds on treks as arduous as a nearly 3-mile hike from Sunset Park to Red Hook, in the case of four unlucky Brooklyn families. (more…)
May 21, 2010
Kindergartners-to-be jilted by neighborhood elementary schools too crowded to hold them will receive a new school assignment in the mail this weekend, the Department of Education announced today.
Some of the new assignments will send families to less-coveted schools just down the block. Others will send the 5- and 6-year-olds on treks as arduous as a nearly 3-mile hike from Sunset Park to Red Hook, in the case of four unlucky Brooklyn families.
Letters with alternate matches are going out to 980 families, more than double the number that received them last year. But the matches are a better option than what seemed possible in March, when 1,885 families were told they would be on a waiting list. Schools have since found spots for many of those families.
None of the decisions are final, and all families will remain on their wait lists even while they receive their new assignment. The city expects some spots will open up as children are admitted to gifted and talented programs and private schools, schools spokesman Jack Zarin-Rosenfeld said.
The vast bulk of redirected children live in Queens, where 432 families zoned for 16 schools will be re-routed to a group of 18 less-crowded alternatives. (Brooklyn comes next with 220 redirected families, then Manhattan with 179, 101 in the Bronx, and 48 in Staten Island.) (more…)
March 23, 2010
It’s becoming a New York City spring ritual: thousands of parents sign up their children for kindergarten only to find that the school they’re zoned for is all out of room. This year, the early enrollment period ended with about 2,000 soon-to-be kindergartners on waiting lists, city officials said today.
Those students and their families represent less than five percent of all the city’s entering kindergartners, but they’re not easy to ignore. Last year, parents of wait listed kindergartners staged a protest in front of City Hall, drawing press coverage and a new name for their predicament: the kindergarten crisis. This year, despite the introduction of new schools in some neighborhoods and rezonings, 104 public elementary schools have wait lists, and many of them are more than fifty names deep.
DOE spokesman David Cantor said this year, the department was tracking the problem earlier than in the past in hopes of easing parents’ anxiety. (more…)
March 8, 2010
As dust settles on a months-long school rezoning battle in Tribeca, State Senator Daniel Squadron said he would introduce a new bill today that would force the Department of Education to give community leaders more information before they sit down to draw new zoning lines.
Standing outside the epicenter of that zoning battle, P.S. 234, Squadron said members of the parent council for District 2 had been asked to chose a rezoning plan — but hadn’t been given any information about how many kindergarten students to expect. As a result, P.S. 234 still has too many new students zoned for it, leaving families to take their chances in a lottery.
Shino Tanikawa, a member of the Community Education Council for District 2, said DOE officials gave the council numbers for how many kindergarten and first-grade students are enrolled in Tribeca schools, but not projections for how many were coming down the pipeline.
“We kept asking for enrollment projections and the number they had was an aggregate number based on historical trends,” she said. “For the actual zoning we had to do, there was nothing.” (more…)
December 10, 2009
Lower East Side parents who want to ensure their pre-k students stay in the same school for kindergarten will now be able to do so, though a citywide policy bans schools from giving admissions preference to their own pre-k students.
Parents in Manhattan’s District 1 have been lobbying for the exemption for more than a year. The district’s parent council, elected officials and the Department of Education have hammered out a nearly-final deal, presented to parents at a public meeting last night.
Last school year the DOE began barring schools from giving admissions preference to students already enrolled in their own pre-k programs.
Lisa Donlan, the president of the parent’s council, said that the policy ran counter to the district’s historical commitment to having full-day pre-k programs that are considered fully integrated into the school’s culture, whereas many districts have half-day pre-k programs that are almost considered separate from the school itself. (more…)
October 21, 2009
Members of the Upper West Side’s district school board are meeting tonight to warn Department of Education officials that if they don’t build more classrooms, next year’s kindergarten crisis will be in their district.
In an interview this afternoon, Community Education Council president Noah Gotbaum said that though the DOE’s data shows a district-wide decrease in enrollment, many schools were hit with an influx of kindergartners this year. P.S. 87 had to create three more kindergarten classes than the department had projected, while P.S. 199 had to create two more to accommodate children who live in the zone.
Pointing to the rapid construction of housing developments in the district and the increase in parents who can no longer afford private school, Gotbaum said the numbers for next year look worse, but there’s no room for the schools to grow.
“These are pretty significant trends that need to be taken into consideration and addressed immediately, otherwise there will be real chaos in September and I think the DOE recognizes that,” he said. (more…)
May 26, 2009
Overcrowding in Manhattan schools seems to be more acute than usual this year. But in the rest of the city, Manhattan’s overcrowding story isn’t news: For years, many schools in the outer boroughs haven’t been able to accommodate all of the children who live near them for years.
So writes Jeff Coplon in next week’s New York Magazine:
The DOE perennially “caps” the enrollments of dozens of schools in the Bronx and Queens and Brooklyn, busing hundreds of kindergartners out of places like Elmhurst or Norwood. In the northwest corner of the Bronx, the poorest urban county in the nation, District 10 leads the city in capped schools-seven by the count of the DOE, nine by that of Marvin Shelton, the president of the district’s Community Education Council. (The crush can only worsen this fall, given the closure of kindergartens at city-run day-care centers: more than 3,000 of the city’s least-advantaged 5-year-olds, thrown into the DOE’s Mixmaster.) The children are bused miles east to west in rush-hour traffic and arrive home so exhausted they take two-hour naps. More than a dozen other schools dodge formal caps by shunting students to annexes blocks away or hauling makeshift “mini-schools” or double-wides onto their properties.
Coplon’s report jives with data made available online last week by the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, which show that Manhattan is far from having the most crowded schools.