NYC DOE Events

It's Elementary! School Admissions Help for Families

Updated 3 years ago Peter McCarthy
Time for Admissions in New York City
Time for Admissions in New York City
Photo Credit: Pixabay / Creative Commons CCO License
Insideschools Meredith Kolodner compares it to "working a second job, but New York City's Dept. of Education launched It's Elementary, this month, and that can make the work a whole lot easier.

There's no question that being a parent has gotten harder.

If you can indulge a "back in my day" story, let me tell you what my first day of school was like.

I still remember it. My mom introduced me to my teacher in the back of a classroom electric with other five year olds. She sweetly confided my special issue (none of your business) and, then, left. Honest to God, that was it.

Now you have an idea about why some of us miss the old days.

But that was in the country upstate, in an actual two room (not counting the basement) schoolhouse, not New York City, which was probably more of a trial, even then, but not like now.

Recently, Kolodner described the challenges in getting youngsters into their first school:

"They are zoned for schools that are failing, overcrowded or unsafe. They make phone calls, search websites and seek advice in hurried conversations at pre-school pick-up or on playgrounds to find out what schools are good and have space for out-of-zone kids. They make appointments to go on an overwhelming number of school tours and arrive at work late. They traverse the district, the borough and sometimes the city trying to find a good school that has available seats."

It's enough to make heads spin as nerves frazzle and shoes wear out.

But here in New York, where applications can be submitted starting November 30th, help is at hand. Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced a citywide series of school admissions events. (For PS/IS 217 and the rest of District 02, the event is on Wednesday, November 9th, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at M.S. 260 Clinton School for Writers and Artists, 10 East 15th Street.)

"For the first time," Fariña announced, "the events will include all three elementary admissions processes; previously, separate events were held for Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Gifted & Talented."

She continued, "The events will include stations where families can find their zoned and non-zoned school options, sign up to test for Gifted & Talented, and prepare to apply to pre-K and Kindergarten. Every Elementary! event will have DOE staff – as well as interpreters and resources in all ten DOE languages – on hand to answer families’ questions."

RI Parents' Network Event

It's Elementary's series of meetings dovetails nicely with last weekend's local Choosing a Kindergarten, organized by the Roosevelt Island Parents' Network. (Read Rick O'Conor's RooseveltIslander blog post, including videos, about the event here.)

"Three parents introduced three unzoned school options for Roosevelt Island parents: Pamela Stark the Ella Baker school, Magda Orlicka-So the Tribeca Learning Center, and Jax Schott Midtown West, including information about the Individualized Education Program (IEP), which was supplemented through Nina Lublin in the audience, and through materials sent in by Sarah Birnbaum," Coordinator Eva Bosbach was quoted on the blog.

Adding this gem from the RI Parents' Network to the DOE's It's Elementary events may make Roosevelt Island's parents the best informed in town. And the least exhausted.

Note: The Daily thanks the RI Parents' Network for providing source information about these events. 

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