DOE Announces Big Changes to Kindergarten Admissions

200901070042.jpgThe DOE announced a totally new process for Kindergarten admissions for New York City Public schools for September 2009. I feel bad for this poor crop of parents who had to go through the comedy of errors that was the newly centralized Pre-K admissions system and now have to go through a completely different, but also new Kindergarten admissions system. Perhaps Joel Klein's arch nemesis has a child in the class of 2023.

Just when parents think they've figured out how to secure a decent public school education in this city, the industrial grade carpet has been pulled out from under them. The new kindergarten admissions policy will begin much earlier this year, on January 12th and also end much earlier, March 2.

In one major change, families that move into a zone after the deadline of March 2 will not get priority for their zoned school if there is a waitlist. So if you were planning on moving into a different zone before the Fall, congrats, you've got 6 weeks to find your dream home.

Some other significant details:

Sibling policy: Applicants will get priority if they have a sibling returning to the school in September 2009.

Current Pre-K students must reapply for Kindergarten and meet the criteria. They are not guaranteed a spot in their school's Kindergarten.

I don't really think the DOE is trying to torture us just for their own sadistic fun, well except for that one family that they hate (You know who you are.) I do believe the City is trying to make school admissions more equitable for everyone, especially the children who need it most. I assume this system is designed to make the whole kindergarten admissions process more transparent for parents, with one uniform process and open up more spots, giving parents more opportunities to find a good school if they are not zoned for one.

What I think this administration has done wrong again, however, is the way that they seem to throw these radical changes at us repeatedly and with very little warning causing lots of anxiety and possibly worse. But hey, we're used to this type of behavior. After all, anyone applying to Kindergarten for next year deals with a 4 year old every day. If only we could give the DOE a time out.

Go to to read more about the Kindergarten admissions policy, the exact priority matrix and what you need to bring with you when you go to apply for Kindergarten 2009.