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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Kindergarten Admissions for Families in Brooklyn

In an effort to keep us all on our toes the DOE has announced a new process and timetable for Kindergarten registration. We don’t know exactly how this process will shake out. It is good for parents that the process is standardized and that it is still being handled at the school level. A child who turns 5 by Dec. 31, 2009 and is a resident of NYC at the time of pre-registration is eligible for this process. You can find your zoned school by calling 311 and giving your address.

Families may apply directly to schools beginning on Jan. 12, 2009 and continuing through March 2, 2009. It seems that if you apply in a timely manner within this time frame that you will have an equal chance for placement in the school according to the priorities set below.

You may apply individually to multiple schools. You should make sure to apply to your zoned school as a safety even if you are more interested in another school. It doesn’t appear to adversely affect your chances of getting in, as the process is being handled at the school level rather than centrally. The process and timetable have been standardized but the individual schools will be responsible for administering their own applications.

All students currently enrolled in public preK MUST reapply for Kindergarten. There is no guarantee that they will continue in their current school unless they have sibling or zoning priorities and apply before March 2.

To apply bring proof of your child’s birth, two proofs of residence, and the name, date of birth and school registration number (OSIS) of any sibling who will be attending the school in 09-10 (K-5). This establishes your student’s admissions priority.

Pre-Registration priority:
1. Zoned students with a sibling enrolled in the school in Sept. 2009.
2. Zoned students without a sibling in the school.
3. Unzoned students who have siblings in the school in Sept. 2009 (first to students in the District, then to students outside of the District)
4. Students who are not zoned for the school (prioity to students in the District then to students outside of the District)

If more students apply than there are spaces, a lottery will be held and a waiting list will be created.

The schools will notify families whether or not they have been accepted on March 16. They will have until April 13 to accept the seat and pre-register at school. On April 20 schools can pre-register other students from the waiting list.

Families who haven’t applied or move to the city or a new zone after March 2 can apply to their zoned school although there is no guarantee that they will be admitted. They can be added to the waitlist.

This process is separate from the Gifted and Talented process. The letters about testing dates should be out shortly. Testing begins in January. Notification about whether your child qualifies is sometime in April and placement offers will be in May. Undoubtedly there will be movement by some families who opt for the G&T programs.

Mural art by PS 29 students.

Friday, December 26, 2008

13 is the new 18

My friend, Beth Harpaz has just written a great new book called, "13 is the new 18, and other things my children taught me while I was having a nervous breakdown being their mother".
She is doing a reading at Barnes and Noble in Park Slope on Feb. 5 at 7:30. It is sure to be very funny, judging from her youtube videos.

Parents and kids at my house gathered around the computer laughing at how funny (and true) her commentary was. It did bring up an issue for us. I friended my kids when they got their Facebook pages. We are not unhappy with the things that we occasionally see, but the unintended complication comes from their looking at OUR pages. Our friends' status shows up on our kids' homepages. Beth, the fact that you are addicted to cheese is the funniest thing that my kids extended network has heard in a long time. Apparently, it is SO "park slope mom" - I am addicted to cheese as well. The fact that Beth - someone we know - could youtube a song about her teen's behavior sent a chill around the neighborhood. Don't push your mom too far or she could go public. Good job Beth!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Calling All School Auctions

Eleanor Traubman, professional organizer to busy Brooklyn families, is looking for 10 schools - public or private - to which to donate her services for school auctions.

Eleanor helps parents de-clutter and set up user-friendly organizing systems for home offices, filing cabinets,
closets, children's rooms and more. Her motto: less clutter equals more room for you and your family!

Each donation will consist of 3 hours of Eleanor's services.

To contact Eleanor about her offer, please email and also visit her blog at

Please note: Eleanor will only be able to select 10 schools; after your initial email to her, she will contact you only if you fall within that 10.