DOE Sets Pre-K Timeline
The New York City Department of Education has announced that families interested in enrolling children in pre-kindergarten for the 2009-10 school year can apply beginning March 6. Children must turn four years old by December 31, 2009, to be eligible. Beginning March 6, families can obtain the 2009 Pre-Kindergarten Directory, which includes the application for public school programs, at any public elementary school, borough enrollment office, community school district office, or pre-kindergarten program run by a community-based organization (CBO). For the first time this year, families can complete the application either on paper or online. The application deadline is April 3. The Department also announced that it will hold information sessions beginning next week about the application process.
The directory contains a list of public school and CBO pre-kindergarten programs. It also includes the public school pre-kindergarten application, which allows families to list up to 12 programs in order of preference. These materials will also be available in nine languages on the Department's Web site at www.nyc.gov/schools/PreK.
Starting March 6, families can also complete their public school pre-kindergarten application on the Department's Web site. The online application helps families verify that the information they enter is accurate, and families will receive a confirmation e-mail after they submit an application online. Families who do not have Internet access at home can visit their local public library branch to complete the online application after they sign up for a free library card. Parents can call 311 for the hours and location of their neighborhood's library branch.
Families should either return the paper application in the envelope provided with the directory or submit an application online by April 3. Like last year, students with siblings who will attend a school in 2009-10 will receive preference over applicants who do not have siblings in the school. The Department will notify families the week of May 18 about placements. Families whose children receive a placement will also receive instructions about how to pre-register their child at their assigned school.
Although a public school prekindergarten placement is not guaranteed, the Department will try to accommodate every child who applies for a seat. Placement in a public school pre-kindergarten program does not guarantee admission to kindergarten at that school for the following year. All pre-kindergarten students must apply for admission to kindergarten.
The application for CBO programs will be available at CBO program sites and on the Department's Web site. Families should return applications for CBO programs directly to the providers they choose. Families are encouraged to contact CBOs about seat availability since they may continue to accept applications as long as they have openings. CBOs will notify families directly about placements.
Over the coming weeks, the Department is hosting eleven information sessions about the prekindergarten admissions process for families at locations throughout the City. At each session, representatives from the Office of Student Enrollment and the Office of Early Childhood Education will present an overview of the admissions process and answer questions. Translation and interpretation services will be provided. The list of sessions is below. All sessions will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The same information will be presented at each session, so families do not need to attend more than one.