EDUCATION INSIDER: Universal Pre-K enrollment secrets

Mom jailed for sending child to better school( – This is a tale of two children, two school districts, four schools, a single African-American Ohio mom, and injustice. It is also a tale about how No Child Left Behind has failed. But more than all of that, it’s about how our educational system, our economy, and our society is failing the poor and disadvantaged, regardless of race. It’s about urban and suburban, about the fierce love and protectiveness of a single mom, about her efforts to better her own life as much as it is about her dream that her children would have a better life, and a cautionary tale about what will happen if school vouchers replace the public education system. It’s also about racism and exclusivity. About segregation and separate, but certainly not equal.

As the deadline nears for this fall’s universal pre-K programs, many schools and community-based organizations around the city still have vacant seats, New York City Department of Education officials said.

Families — who have until December 31, 2013 to sign up for public pre-K — may still be able to snag a spot in some of the most highly coveted programs, including Greenwich Village’s P.S. 41, Downtown’s Spruce Street School and Prospect Heights’ Montessori Day School of Brooklyn, which still had seats available as of last week, according to the DOE’s website.


Competition has been fierce for pre-K seats in many New York City neighborhoods, with acceptance rates at the most popular programs lower than Ivy League schools: less than 5 percent of the 4-year-olds who apply.

At P.S. 3 in Greenwich Village, for instance, an astounding 575 children applied for a pre-K seat in 2012, more than at any other school in Manhattan, DNAinfo reported. But as of Friday, P.S. 3 still had a few last-minute spots available for kids who want to enroll in this fall’s program, the DOE’s site said.

Children who are turning four years old in 2014 are eligible to participate in NYC Department of Education (DOE) pre-k programs for the 2014-2015 school year. In New York City:

Pre-k is free. Families do not have to pay to attend programs offered by the NYC DOE.
Programs can be half-day (2 hours and 30 minutes) or full day (6 hours and 20 minutes). Half-day programs may take place in the morning or afternoon.
Programs are available at public schools and community-based organizations (CBOs). There are separate applications for public schools and CBOs.
Your child will learn basic reading and math skills and more in pre-k.
Pre-kindergarten Admissions for the 2014-2015 school year will begin in March 2014. You can start preparing now by:
Reading the 2013-2014 Pre-Kindergarten Directory for details about applying to pre-k programs. The 2014-2015 directory will be available in March.
Reviewing other pre-k resources for additional information.

Office of Early Childhood Education
52 Chambers Street, Rm. 213
New York, NY 10007
Tel: 212-374-0351
Fax: 212-374-5760
Sophia E. Pappas, Executive Director
Alycia Rhinehart, Director of Instruction and Performance, I.A.
Nana Ofosu Amaah, Director of Family Engagement
Danielle Kolker, Director of Operations
Danielle Kassow, Director of Strategy and Policy
Michael Greenberg, Chief of Staff


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