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Answering Parent Questions About Getting Into NYC Kindergarten 2021: COVID-19 Edition

A post that I wrote this past August receiving as many new hits per day as more recent updates suggests that New York City parents are desperate for information about how to apply their children for Kindergarten in 2021. Here are where matters stand as of Monday, December 21, 2020.

General Education Public Schools:

Unlike Middle and High School applications, which were postponed from being due in early December to as yet to be determined dates in February 2021, General Educational Public School Kindergarten applications opened on schedule. Parents currently have until Tuesday, January 19, 2021 to rank their preferences for zoned, unzoned, magnet, and Dual Language programs in the Department of Education’s Parent Portal.

Read about 5 Mistakes Parents Make When Ranking, here.

Read about previous year’s technical glitches and how to get around them, here.

Watch the below for more helpful tips:

Public Charter Schools:

The New York City Charter School Center’s Common Online Charter School Application is now open. Most charter schools are included, but not all. You apply to charter schools separately and do not need to rank your choices against traditional public school ones.

For details on how charter schools are different from traditional public schools, click here.

For how charter schools perform compared to traditional public schools, click here.

Public School Gifted & Talented Programs:

I’ve been receiving about a dozen emails a day from parents frantic that they’ve missed their chance to sign their child up for Gifted & Talented testing. You have not missed your chance. Even though, in past years, Request for Testing Forms opened in October for January testing, this year, there has been no word whether the programs will even be available in 2021, much less how and when testing would happen. One thing I’ve been telling parents to reassure them is that there is still time. The process has always started needlessly early. There is no reason why children can’t be tested in March or even April, results be available in May and placement to happen in June. So all hope is not yet lost!

Read about your odds of getting into a G&T program, here.

It is true that the current administration has repeatedly proven hostile to G&T programing, and has been looking to get rid of it even prior to COVID-19.

This is what they’ve suggested instead.

Hunter College Elementary School:

HCES opened their application much later this year than they have in the past. Round One is now completed. Hunter promised all those who qualified for moving onto Second Round would be notified by the end of December. There is no word yet on how Second Round testing will be conducted.

With G&T programs on the chopping block, might Hunter be on its way out, as well?

Special Music School:

After saying that they would not be conducting auditions for Elementary School entry this year, SMS changed course recently and directed those who are interested in auditioning for September 2021 Kindergarten admissions to rank SMS on their General Ed Kindergarten form. Families would be contacted for an audition in either January of February.

Tips from Been There Done That parents on the audition process, here.

Private Schools:

Private schools opened their applications even earlier this year, to make the process more convenient for families.

While many applications are due before the end of the year, due to the unprecedented demand, some schools have extended their deadlines so that there is still time to apply. Contact the school you are interested in directly to find out if they will accept an application and schedule an assessment for your child, as well as an interview for you.

For those who have written to ask me about public pre-K admissions, those traditionally don’t start until the Spring.

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What do you think?

3 thoughts on “Answering Parent Questions About Getting Into NYC Kindergarten 2021: COVID-19 Edition

  1. This is a good article. I posted this question to the DOE during the open forums but they didn’t include it for answering. If I rank an out of zone school as priority 1 but then decide against it, can I change my mind and opt for my zoned elementary school? Thanks

      1. One more if you don’t mind – which kids are likely going to get into kindergarten at all the citywide G&T schools if they don’t hold the test? Thanks

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