Kindergarten

Three kindergarten students

In New York City, children enter kindergarten in September of the calendar year they turn five. Children are guaranteed a kindergarten seat at a public school. Once your child starts kindergarten, they can remain at the same school until its final elementary grade. Scroll down and watch our video series to learn more about kindergarten admissions.

 

 

Happening Now: 

If your child was born in 2019 and lives in New York City, they are eligible to attend kindergarten in fall 2024. The kindergarten application for Fall 2024 is closed. If you missed the deadline, you can still participate in admissions by adding yourself to the waitlist. Please visit Myschools.nyc to search and join waitlists. 

Gifted & Talented (G&T) 

Families were able to apply to kindergarten Gifted and Talented programs on the same general kindergarten application. If you listed G&T programs on your application, eligibility will be determined after you apply. Learn more about G&T programs on our G&T page

If you missed the kindergarten application deadline you will not be able to add yourself to G&T waitlists for consideration.

Sign up now for updates about the 2024 kindergarten admissions process.

Need an elementary school for your child now?

  • Learn if your child has a zoned school by entering your address at schoolsearch.schools.nyc (this website includes schools' contact information) or by calling 311.
  • Contact your zoned school directly to enroll.
  • If you don't have a zoned school, make an appointment with a Family Welcome Center for help finding a school. 

Fall 2024 Admissions Timeline*

Below are the application open, close, and offer release dates. These dates are for students who are applying during the 2023-2024 school year for admission in the 2024-2025 school year.

*Please note: These dates are subject to change. Any changes will be announced and communicated directly to families. Sign up for updates here.

Kindergarten (and Kindergarten Gifted & Talented) Admissions

  • Tuesday, December 5, 2023: Kindergarten Application Opens 
  • Friday, January 19, 2024: Kindergarten Application Closes 
  • Wednesday, March 27, 2024: Kindergarten Offer Release

Who Can Apply?

Every five-year-old New York City resident is guaranteed a seat in a public school kindergarten program beginning in September the calendar year they turn five. Children born in 2019 will be eligible for kindergarten in September 2024.

Find Elementary Schools

Start exploring kindergarten programs around the time your child starts pre-K.

School Types

There are two types of schools that you can add to your kindergarten application.

  1. Zoned Schools. Most NYC families have a zoned school, which means they live in an area zoned for a specific school and their children have priority to attend it. Your zoned school, if you have one, is the school where your child is most likely to go to kindergarten. Most zoned schools make kindergarten offers to all students living in the zone. Some zoned schools have room to make offers to children living outside of their zone. Please note that your zoned school may not be the school that is closest to your address. 
  2. Non-Zoned Schools. These schools do not have a zone. Most non-zoned schools give priority to students who have siblings attending, who are current pre-K students, or who live in the district.

New York City has 32 school districts. There are three districts in NYC where all the schools are nonzoned, and students living in these districts have priority to attend all schools in the district. These districts are:

  • District 1: Lower East Side, Manhattan
  • District 7: South Bronx
  • District 23: Brownsville, Brooklyn

To check if you have a zoned school, enter your address at schoolsearch.schools.nyc or call 311 to find your school district and learn about any zoned school(s). During the Kindergarten application period, you can also view your child's zoned school, if any, on MySchools.nyc.

Program Types 

When you apply to kindergarten, you are not just applying to schools—you are applying to programs. Think of a program as a “doorway” to get into the school. Most elementary schools have only one program, but some have more, such as Kindergarten program, Kindergarten Gifted & Talented (G&T) program, Kindergarten Dual Language program, or D24 Kindergarten STEM program. If a school has multiple programs, you can apply to more than one program at that school. In your kindergarten application, you will be able to see both the school and program name for each of your choices. 

Kindergarten

All schools offer a standard kindergarten program, serving all learners. Zoned programs have a specific geographic area assigned to them where families receive the highest priority. Non-zoned programs do not have a specific area assigned, but rather give priority to families who have siblings attending, who attend for pre-k, or reside in the district.

Kindergarten Gifted & Talented Programs (G&T) 

Gifted & Talented programs offer accelerated instruction to eligible elementary school students in New York City. You can add G&T programs to your kindergarten application, but not all applicants are eligible to attend. If you list G&T programs on your application, eligibility will be determined after you apply as follows.

  • Pre-K students at NYC public schools, Pre-K Centers, NYC Early Education Centers (NYCEECs), or charter schools are evaluated by their current pre-K teachers. The DOE will work with your pre-k program to collect the nomination after the application period. Parents do not need to get this from their school.
  • Pre-K students at private or parochial school programs, or for children who are not yet in school will be contacted by the Division of Early Childhood Education to set up interviews that will determine eligibility.

Only children who list G&T choices on their application will go through the eligibility determination process.

Kindergarten Dual Language Programs (DL)

In Dual Language programs, students are taught in two languages. The goal is for English proficient students and English Language Learners to not only develop new language skills and learn academic subjects in two languages, but also practice and share language and culture with each other, becoming bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural. If you are interested in a Dual Language program, be sure to add that specific program to your kindergarten application.

Charter Schools

Charter schools have a separate admissions process. Contact charter schools directly to learn how to apply.

New Schools for Fall 2024

  • Albee Square Montessori (13K482) The first Montessori district public school in NYC will embrace the Montessori method which encourages children to learn abstract concepts with concrete materials – along with embedded explicit teaching of the science of reading and non-routine problem solving in math. Committed to the time-tested method created by Dr. Maria Montessori that has been sparking children’s enthusiasm and fostering their independence since 1906, the curriculum allows children the freedom to explore their interests and discover who they are.The mixed age classrooms will nurture social skills from an early age as students build on a solid foundation, learning at their own pace in a carefully planned environment. Older children will teach concepts that they have mastered to younger students. 
  • P.S. 456 (15K456) Our educational framework and mission stem from our inquiry based curriculum, which enables students to problem solve and effect change. They apply knowledge gained in school to real life situations. Students develop projects with teachers in and outside of the classroom. This is a strong collaborative partnership with Brooklyn New School. This includes the sharing of resources to build capacity in staff with on-going professional development and inter-visitations. Project-based learning will be centered, and social justice practices and curriculum will be crucial to build off the powerful work and legacy of Brooklyn New School.
  • P.S. 331 (20K331) P.S. 331 is a new school opening in September 2024, serving students in kindergarten during the first year. Admissions will include a Zoned Program and a Mandarin Dual Language Program.
  • P.S. 413 (20K413) P.S. 413 is a new community elementary school in district 20 serving students in grades k-5. We believe that each culture adds a unique thread to our community fabric, and we encourage all students to embrace and share their heritage. As a community school, we serve all students and engage them in fun and strategically planned activities utilizing a multisensory approach to develop them as lifelong learners. The school offers a two-way Dual Language Arabic program. The Dual Language Program includes English Language Learners and English proficient students who are interested in learning the Arabic language. Graduates of the Dual Language Program will be on track to earn the New York State Seal of Biliteracy. Students will learn to speak, read and write in two languages which will afford them many valuable opportunities as future leaders.

Learn How Students Get Offers

How can you know your child’s chances of getting an offer from one of your favorite schools? It helps to start by learning how offers are made. Students get kindergarten offers based on four key factors:

1. Your application choices

The number of choices that you add to your child’s application AND the order in which you place them matter! Add up to 12 choices to your child’s application in your true order of preference. Then submit the application.

You can list up to 12 choices on the application. Be sure to list the programs in true preference order, even if the programs are located at the same school. For example, if you wish to attend the G&T program at a school more than the other kindergarten program, list it higher on the application. A child's admissions priority does not change no matter which order you place choices on the application. We aim to offer you the highest possible choice on your application.

2. Seat availability

  • Each kindergarten program has a certain number of available seats. 
  • Schools vary in size and demand. When a school has more applicants than seats, we can’t make offers to everyone who wants to attend it—in this case, offers are made first to the students who have the highest admissions priority to attend the school.

3. Your priority group for a program

  • Kindergarten programs give admissions priorities to specific groups of applicants before others, such as to students who live in a specific zone, who have siblings at the school, who live in the district, or who currently attend pre-K at the school. 
  • Your child has a better chance of getting an offer from some schools than others. A school’s admissions priorities determine the order in which groups of applicants are considered for offers.
  • All students in a program’s priority group 1 will be considered first for offers. Then, if seats are still available, students in that program’s priority group 2 will be considered next, and so on. You can find this information on the school card in MySchools. Under any schools program in MySchools, you can see their admissions priorities and which priority groups received offers last year. They will be in different priority groups for different programs.

4. Randomly assigned numbers

Each kindergarten applicant is also assigned a random number. If there are more applicants than available seats within a priority group, these random numbers determine the order in which students get offers. 

TIP: Use MySchools to learn about a school’s admissions priorities and who got offers last year. This information will help you know your child’s chances of getting an offer to a particular school. The higher priority your child has to attend a school, the higher the chance that your child will get an offer to that school. You can find this information under program card in MySchools.nyc. The section called " My Chances" will list the program's admissions priorities and if that priority group received offers the previous year.

If a school made offers to a specific group of students in 2023, they may be able to make offers to this group again. For example, if a school was able to make offers to applicants from the fourth priority group, they may be able to make offers to this group again this year.

There are several types of admissions priorities:

Zone Priority - Most NYC families have a zoned school, which is a school that gives priority to children in the geographic area ("zone").

Sibling Priority

Elementary schools prioritize applicants whose siblings attend the same school. If your child has an older sibling at a school that you’ve added to their application, your child may have a higher chance of getting an offer from that school than an applicant without an enrolled sibling. To make sure your child gets sibling priority, be sure to provide sibling information when you apply.

A sibling is defined as an applicant’s brother or sister, including half-brothers, half-sisters, step-brothers, step-sisters, foster brothers, and foster sisters who live in the same household and are currently pre-registered or enrolled at that school and who will be enrolled at that school in any grade level in September 2024. This includes students enrolled in District 75 programs in the same school building.

Pre-K Priority

If your child is currently enrolled in pre-K at a DOE public elementary school, they will have an admissions priority to attend kindergarten at that school. Not all elementary schools have pre-K.

Reminder: Students currently attending pre-K at a public elementary school still need to apply to kindergarten.

District Priority

Most schools give an admissions priority to students in their own district over students who live in other districts.

Admissions Priorities for Zoned Schools

All zoned elementary schools make offers to students in the following order:

  1. Students who live in the zone and have a sibling at the school

  2. Other students who live in the zone

If space allows, students living outside the zone may also be admitted, in the following order:

  1. Students with a sibling at the school who live in the district

  2. Students with a sibling at the school who live outside the district

  3. Students who live in the district and are currently enrolled at the school for preK

  4. Students who live outside the district and are currently enrolled at the school for preK

  5. Other students who live in the district

  6. Other students who live outside the district

Tip: Use MySchools to see which zoned schools admitted non-zoned students last year. These schools might be a good choice for your family if you want to explore options outside of your zone that you can easily commute to. 

Admissions Priorities for Non-Zoned Schools

Different non-zoned schools have different admissions priorities, but most non-zoned schools give an admissions priority to students who live in the same district as the school. When the application is open, you can look up any school’s admissions priorities in MySchools, find out which priority group your child is in for that school, and learn which groups of applicants received offers from that school last year.

Non-Zoned District-Specific Admissions Priorities

Some districts—such as Districts 1, 7, and 23 have district-specific admissions priorities.

Diversity in Admissions Priorities

Some elementary schools across the city participate in an initiative to increase diversity in their programs by giving admissions priorities to students who qualify for free and reduced lunch (FRL), students in temporary housing, English Language Learners, and other groups. Learn more about diversity in admissions (DIA) and the current list of schools participating in diversity initiatives.

Open Houses and Virtual Events

Many schools will list their open houses and tours in the centralized MySchools events calendar. You can also contact schools directly or check their websites to learn if they are holding virtual or in-person open houses or information sessions. To learn about elementary admissions information sessions please visit our Events Page.

How to Apply

When the application period is open:
  1. Choose up to 12 kindergarten programs that you’d like your child to attend.
  2. Add these programs to their kindergarten application.
  3. Order these school choices in the application in your order of preference, with your favorite school at the top as #1. 

Your child will get an offer to your highest possible choice considering the factors discussed in the “Learn How Students Get Offers” section above.

Please note:

  • Some elementary schools also offer Dual Language program or program(s) and/or Gifted & Talented programs. To apply to a Dual Language program, add it to your child’s application. 
  • If you’d like your child to attend your zoned school, be sure to add it to your application; however, you don’t have to place it as your first choice if you prefer other schools ahead of your zoned school.
  • Submit only one application per child. 

You can submit your kindergarten application one of three ways:

  • Online with MySchools in English, Spanish, Chinese, Bengali, Russian, Arabic, Urdu, Haitian Creole, Korean, or French. We’ll let you know when the application opens and you can apply online!
  • By phone at 718-935-2009. If you are applying by phone, interpretation services are available in more than 200 languages.
  • By visiting a Family Welcome Center. To learn more, please visit our Family Welcome Center webpage.

Kindergarten admissions is not first come, first served—all applications submitted online, by phone, or in person by the deadline will be treated the same based on admissions priorities.

Get Your Kindergarten Offer

Your offer states where your child will go to kindergarten in the fall. It also includes information about waitlists, if applicable.

G&T Offers 

Learn about how G&T kindergarten offers are made on our G&T page

Accept Your Offer and Register

First, accept your kindergarten offer to secure your child's seat by the deadline. You can accept your offer in one of the following ways:

  • If you applied online, you can accept your offer online at MySchools.nyc
  • If you applied by phone, you can accept your offer:

Then contact the school directly to learn how and when to register.

Students Who Move During the Admissions Process

If your family moves during the admissions process, call 718-935-2009 or contact your new zoned school to update your information and talk about changes to your kindergarten application. Additionally, you can email ESEnrollment@schools.nyc.gov for support.

  • If you're unsure what your new zoned school is, enter your home address here.
  • If you don't have a zoned school, learn what to do on the New Students page.
  • Your child’s priority to attend certain programs may change if you move.

Waitlist Offers

Schools use waitlists to fill seats that become available after kindergarten offers are made in the spring. Your child will automatically be on the waitlist for any school you listed higher on your kindergarten application than the school where your child got an offer. Additionally, you can add your child to waitlists of programs of interests. Schools will contact your directly if they are able to offer your child a seat from the waitlist. Please note that you are only put on the waitlist for G&T programs, if you listed it higher on your application and you were eligible. 

NYC Public Schools Admissions Guide

View or download the 2024 NYC Public Schools Admissions Guide! This book provides an overview of admissions processes and resources for Infants and Toddlers programs, 3-K, Pre-K, Kindergarten, Gifted and Talented (G&T) programs, middle school, and high school (including Specialized High Schools), including a section on how to use MySchools.

Print copies will be available in 10 languages at schools, early childhood programs, libraries, and other sites throughout September.