Hey North Brooklyn Families! We spoke with Tiffany Taylor, a local mom of 3 and public school guru about applying to Pre-K. She compiled some of her tips below. Tiffany has little ones enrolled in public school in North Brooklyn and is an excellent local resource.
For more info, follow Tiffany at North Brooklyn Education on Facebook or Instagram. She posts helpful content about everything related to education in North Brooklyn.
Pre-K applications have opened for children born in 2018. Here are some tips if you are hoping for a seat at one of the local District 14 Schools.
Many local schools will be hosting virtual tours throughout the Spring. These tours will give you a look into the school and what they offer. Tour every program you are willing to commute to and check your local Facebook parent groups to connect with families at the school. Current families will give you the best inside scoop. Tiffany has a North Brooklyn School Info Spreadsheet that you can check with school tour info that gets continually updated.
PRO TIP: Certain aspects of NYC Public Schools are governed by the NYCDOE such as start time, end time, school holiday schedules, etc. Try and find out what it is that makes a school unique such as special programs.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Every family has their own checklist. A priority for my family is an open and inclusive administration that welcomes strong family involvement. We also favor schools that prioritize wellness, outdoor recess, and small class sizes in upper grades.
PRO TIP: The PreK curriculum is the same across the board and can be found on the Schools.nyc.gov website.
When applying you can rank up to 12 programs on your application. You want to list the programs in your true preferred order with number one being your top choice. If a school has a dual language program this will be ranked as a separate program on your list. For example, PS84 has a Spanish Dual Language Pre-k in addition to their general class. If you would like to be considered for both programs you will list both on your application. This will take up two of your twelve choices.
PRO TIP: Before you finalize your application, you have the option of switching the order of your school choices.
WHAT ARE YOUR ODDS
Applying at the beginning of the application window or putting less programs on your application does not increase your chances at your preferred school. A lot depends on your randomly assigned lottery number and where you fall on the priority list. Check your district’s priority list but most give priority to zoned families, then students with current siblings at the school, followed by families who live in district then out of district.
PRO TIP: Know your zoned school and that there is a good chance that this will be your first placement. If that is not the school you prefer, you still have a chance at the other placements. You can “reject” any offer.
After offers are made you will automatically be added to the waitlist of all programs you ranked above the school you were offered a seat. For example if you received an offer to school three you would be on the waitlist for school one and two. All schools below your offer will disappear. If you would like to be considered for those programs again you can add yourself to the waitlists on your myschools account.
Waitlist information can change and movement can happen even after the school year starts.