Rude Awakening-P. S. 8 Waitlists 40% of Kindergarten Applicants

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: (718) 834-6740

P. S. 8 Parent Coordinator Leanne Mehno: (718) 834-6740, ex. 1061

State Senator, Daniel Squadron: (718) 875-1517
Zeeshan Ott:

Councilman, Steven Levin: (718) 875-5200 (Ask for Casey Adams)

Assemblymember, Jo Anne Simon: (718) 246-4889
Ptahra Jeppe:

District 13 CEC President, David Goldsmith

DOE Chief of Space Management Group, Thomas Taratko:

Superintendent Barbara Freeman: (718) 636-3284

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  • Checo

    Good thing there are no huge condo developments in the works that would exacerbate the shortage of resources in our neighborhood. Well, aside from the 50 story development replacing the library, and all of the condos in BBP, of course. But why worry about that until it’s too late?

  • Lucky PS8 Parent

    Don’t worry about new residential development causing a lack of spots. There are strict rules for the number of PARKING SPOTS that a new development must provide.

    How about a school barge a la the Bronx Prison Barge? (Only semi joking) Perhaps the barge could even be positioned to block the views from Pierhouse — now that might approach justice.

  • Hopeful?

    Does anyone know how the wait list works? How is it decided who is first on the list and who is last? Also has the DOE released what percentage of the seats went to students with siblings already in the school? Are any of those students wait listed? Just trying to gauge how hopeful I should be.

    Can anyone explain how the districts work? It is a much easier commute for us to travel to PS29, even PS 261 than it is to PS307. I’ve been told I will likely not get into schools out of our assigned district. Does anyone know if 29,261 or even 58 takes out of district students? After reading the open thread I now know some of our neighborhood is in district 15, which would have made more sense for my family.

  • Checo

    A barge would be better than nothing- but if they are going to tear down the library to build something new, a school would be an ideal use of the space. It would prevent further overpopulation, and address the lack of space in schools for current residents.

  • DoBroSchools

    I recommend that you call the parent coordinator at 261 Jerry Piper ASAP and get on their waitlist. The parent coordinator is given a list by the DOE but can add to it. As an out-of-district applicant, you will be low on the list but we live in D13 and were offered a K spot at 261 (D15) off the waitlist at the beginning of fall (after the school year had started) this year. Both 29 and 58 have had waitlists for zoned kids in the past and you are very unlikely to get into those schools out of district.

  • Hopeful?

    How far into the year were you offered a seat? I would switch schools as you did but find it a little heartbreaking for my child to start somewhere and then a short time later have to have his first day again somewhere new where he is the “new” kid. A teacher friend told me she would get new kids through the month of September and even into October from changes with spots opening up.

  • Banet

    The article here:

    Says there are only 50 students on the wait list, not the 87 cited above.

    Does anyone know which it is?

  • memeadjuster
  • Guest

    You forgot the condos at LICH and the Shell Station….

  • Joe 2

    Factually inaccurate article. A lot of misinformation being passed around.

  • BHMommy

    Yes – the waitlist keeps moving through October

  • BHMommy

    Even current PTA parents don’t know the answer to that question. There is NO transparency at all in this process

  • Poplar

    At the PTA meeting this morning the principal said the waiting list is 50 children.