It’s official. For the first time, P.S. 8 has a wait-list for Kindergarten. Placements were announced Tuesday morning and for many families it was a rude awakening. Just before Spring break there was a glimmer of hope. Sources suggested that public reaction to the decision to cut back to five Kindergarten classes had created enough blow-back for the “powers-that-be” to reconsider.
But it was not meant to be. This reporter confirmed with P. S. 8 Tuesday morning the number of Kindergarten classes will remain at five, totaling 125 seats. This means that 40% of the 207 zoned applicants have been placed elsewhere. Anecdotal evidence gleaned from the parent grape-vine suggests most have been offered spaces at P. S. 307 in Vinegar Hill regardless of their proximity to the school. So what is the parent of a wait-listed child to do?
- Contact the P. S. 8 Parent Coordinator and confirm your child’s position on their wait-list
- The deadline for Kindergarten pre-registration is May 6th. As parents accept offers to private, charter schools and later, G&T programs the lists will move. Through her blog, NYC School Help, Consultant, Joyce Szuflita advises parents to “remain calm,” that it is not uncommon for 40 children to be cleared from a wait-list.
- Ms. Szuflita suggests you pre-register your child at the school where they were offered placement. This acts as a place holder while the wait-lists are sorting themselves out. If you do not pre-register by May 6th, you will lose your assigned spot.
- Submit your application if your child has qualified for the District or City-Wide Gifted & Talented programs.
- While the deadline to apply for charter schools has past, you may always add your child’s name to a wait-list. Those lists will also clear as parents accept offers to their other choices.
- Local parents are organizing advocacy efforts. You may join their Facebook page “PS 8-Keep Six Kindergarten Classes and Move Every Child off the Waitlist.”
- Voice your concerns to your elected officials.
In response to the P.S. 8 wait-list Brooklyn electeds Senator, Daniel Squadron; Councilman, Steven Levin and Assemblymember, Jo Anne Simon released a joint press release. It states, in part, “This week, zoned, eligible families are receiving last minute rejections from PS 8, and DOE has no plan in place to fix the problem going forward. We want to work closely with them so this situation does not repeat itself.” It continues, “DOE’s failure to anticipate, plan, and communicate effectively is very troubling. We are committed to working with Principal Phillips, Principal Davenport, educators and families at both schools to address this situation, and to achieve an appropriate and positive outcome for every family at both schools as best we can.”
District 13 CEC President, David Goldsmith is currently working with Chief Executive of the DOE’s Space Management Group, Thomas Taratko to arrange a community meeting within the next week to ten days. The purpose of the meeting is to “provide families with all the information they need to find the right school for their child” and “to engage all in [District 13] to create the intermediate and long term solutions.” Stay tuned for more details on date and location.
PS8 Principal, Seth Phillips: firstname.lastname@example.org (718) 834-6740
P. S. 8 Parent Coordinator Leanne Mehno: LMehno@schools.nyc.gov (718) 834-6740, ex. 1061
State Senator, Daniel Squadron: email@example.com (718) 875-1517
Zeeshan Ott: Ott@nysenate.gov
Councilman, Steven Levin: firstname.lastname@example.org (718) 875-5200 (Ask for Casey Adams)
Assemblymember, Jo Anne Simon: email@example.com (718) 246-4889
Ptahra Jeppe: firstname.lastname@example.org
District 13 CEC President, David Goldsmith email@example.com
DOE Chief of Space Management Group, Thomas Taratko: TTaratk@schools.nyc.gov
Superintendent Barbara Freeman: firstname.lastname@example.org (718) 636-3284