2008-04-11 / School News

DOE Sets New Regulations For Pre-K

The Department of Education has begun to implement its new streamlined and standardized application process for families enrolling children in pre- Kindergarten in the 2008-09 school year.

To enroll students in public school pre-Kindergarten programs, parents must complete applications that became available last week at all public elementary schools and on the Department of Education's website. Applications must be postmarked by April 18. Registration for Kindergarten and first grade has also begun, and parents should enroll their children at their zoned elementary school- the same process as in previous years.

To apply for pre-Kindergarten, parents should visit any public elementary school to obtain an application packet. The packet contains a directory of public school pre-Kindergarten programs and programs run by community-based organizations (CBOs). It also includes the public school pre-Kindergarten application, on which parents can list up to five public school programs in order of preference. Parents should return the public school application in the envelope provided in the directory, postmarked by April 18. Parents will be notified the week of May 19 about placements.

The application for CBO programs is available at CBO program sites. Parents should return CBO applications directly to the providers they choose. Parents are encouraged to contact CBOs directly about seat availability, since they may continue to accept applications as long as they have openings. CBOs will notify parents directly about placements.

The directory, public school application, and CBO application are also available at borough enrollment offices and district offices. Application materials are available in nine languages on the DOE's website at www.nyc.gov/ schools/ChoicesEnrollment/PreK.

Under the new pre-Kindergarten admissions process, every public school pre-Kindergarten program will admit students according to the priorities listed below. Based on feedback received from parents, the DOE will give siblings of students already enrolled at a school highest admissions priority, regardless of whether they live in the school's zone or district. The complete list of priorities is as follows:

1. Siblings of students already enrolled at the school (highest priority)

2. Students applying to a program at their zoned school;

3. In-district students with no zoned school or whose zoned school has no pre-Kindergarten program;

4. In-district students applying to a program at a school other than their zoned school;

5. Out-of-district students applying to a program at a school in their borough;

6. Out-of-district students applying to a program at a school outside their borough (lowest priority).

Once students are assigned to a public school pre-Kindergarten program parents need to register them at their assigned school. Parents will not need to provide proof of citizenship or a green card, but will need to have proof of the child's age and proof of their New York City address. The child must meet all health requirements for entry into the public schools.

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