2014-2015 NYC School Calendar
Today, 12/20/2014
High: 40 Low: 32
Mostly cloudy
14% chance of precipitation.
Tomorrow, 12/21/2014
High: 41 Low: 33
Slight chance rain/snow
20% chance of precipitation.

Inside Schools

Child born in 2010? Here's how to apply to kindergarten - Read Full Article

Child born in 2010? Here's how to apply to kindergarten

If you have a child born in 2010, now is the time to be thinking about kindergarten: Applications are due between Jan. 7 and Feb. 13. You may apply online, on the telephone or in person at a Department of Education Family Welcome Center (formerly known as an enrollment office). You'll find out in April where your child has been assigned.

Unlike pre-kindergarten for 4-year-olds, full-day kindergarten is guaranteed—and required—for all children who turn 5 during the calendar year. Children have the right to attend their zoned school (space permitting) and most do, but you may apply to other schools as well. The Kindergarten Connect application, in its second year, allows parents to apply to up to 12 schools and submit the form online. Welcome news for parents who don't speak English: This year applications are available in nine languages and translators are on-hand for those who apply in person, or by calling 718-935-2009 between 8 am and 6 pm.

This year's elementary school directories are also better organized than previous years', neatly broken down by districts, zoned schools and unzoned schools. (Charter schools are listed in the back. They require a separate application and have a different due date: April 1, 2015).

Here are answers to some common questions.

What should I do before I apply?

There's no advantage to applying early—all applications received between Jan. 7 and Feb. 13 are considered equally. Visit the school! You want to see the school to see if it's a good fit. Before visiting, watch our short video: "What to look for on a school tour." Check a school's website or call the parent coordinator to see when tours and open houses are scheduled. The DOE lists some tour dates here. Read the school's profile on Insideschools and check out InsideStats. Do teachers recommend the school to parents? What's the average class size? Is bullying a problem?

How many schools should I apply to?

Apply to as many schools as you are interested in. There's no strategic advantage in listing just one school. The key is to rank the schools in the order that you like them. Do not list any schools you are wary about. If you want your child to attend your zoned school, list that first—or just list the zoned school. If you are concerned about overcrowding and being sent to another school, list your next favorite school to ensure that you are not assigned to a school you did not select. Keep in mind that all schools first accommodate their own zoned kids before accepting others. (The eight admissions priorities for zoned schools are spelled out in the directories and in the Chancellor's Regulation 101.

Most schools are able to accept all zoned students and if you are not accepted in the first round, you are automatically placed on a waitlist. In fact, if you list other schools, and do not get an offer from any of them, you will remain on a waitlist of schools you ranked higher than the school where you were placed. Last year some waitlisted families got offers from out-of-zone and out-of-district schools starting in June and continuing into October. If you do your research, remain persistent and are willing to wait, you may end up with several choices.

What if I don't like my zoned school?

Most students in New York City attend kindergarten at their zoned schools but there are other options as well, including non-zoned and charter schools. (There are three districts which have no zoned schools: District 1 on the Lower East Side, District 7 in the South Bronx and District 23 in Brownsville.)

You don't have to apply to your zoned school but keep in mind that if you are not accepted by any other school, you will most likely be assigned to your zoned school. However you will be waitlisted at the other schools and there is usually lots of movement in the spring as families accept offers to gifted programs, private schools or move. Keep in touch with schools you are interested in to make sure they know you still want a spot.

You can see in the school listings which schools had space for students outside of the zone last year and which had a waitlist after the first round of admissions; it's not likely to be much different this year.

How do I apply to a dual language program?

More than 80 schools offer dual language programs, where students receive instruction in both English and another language. If your child is a native speaker of the target language—such as Spanish, French or Chinese, for example—there's a place to indicate that on the application. If you are interested in both the dual language and the general education program at a school, you apply to both. Schools may call your child in to verify that she is fluent in that language. The goal for dual language is for half of the students to be native speakers of another language, so while zoned students receive preference in admission, unzoned students who are native speakers of another language may have a chance of admittance, space permitting.

What about gifted and talented programs?

The admissions timeline for gifted and talented programs is different than general kindergarten admissions. Families signed up in November for G&T testing in January and February. The results of the tests will not be sent to families until early April. Qualifying students then apply to programs and will find out in late May if they have got a spot.

Regardless of whether you are applying to a G&T program for your child, you must still apply through Kindergarten Connect between Jan. 7 and Feb. 13. If your child is later accepted to a G&T program and you decide to attend, you can inform the other school.

What if my child has special education needs?

Children with special needs also go through the general application process; every school is supposed to offer needed special education services, although in practice this doesn't always happen. Watch our video: "Touring schools for your special needs child." If your child needs a wheelchair accessible site, you can note that on the application.

What if I move after the application due date or I miss the deadline?

If you move after you submit your application but before kindergarten offers are made, you may call the Department of Education, or visit a welcome center, to give them your new address. You will not be able to submit a new application at that time but the DOE will most likely assign you to your new zoned school. If you don't like that placement, you can reach out to other schools in the late spring to ask to be placed on a waiting list.

If you miss the deadline for applying, late applications will be accepted online, over the phone, and in person for several weeks after Feb. 13, but families who apply late will receive an offer later in the spring. Those who wait until later in the spring or summer to apply, will go directly to their zoned school, or school of interest to register.

Got more questions?

The information in the directory is pretty comprehensive and straightforward but if you still have questions, or want to talk to a DOE official in person, consider attending one of the kindergarten information sessions which will be held in every borough in January, from Jan. 8 to 13. They all begin at 6 pm. See the schedule here. You can also call the DOE's enrollment office at 718-935-2009 and see the DOE's kindergarten page for more information.

Specialized schools take center stage at hearing on diversity - Read Full Article

Specialized schools take center stage at hearing on diversity

The New York City Council took up the issue of racial segregation in the city's public schools today, but concern about the lack of diversity at eight schools—the academically elite specialized high schools that admit students solely on the basis of one exam—all but drowned out discussion about 1,700 other schools.

Most of the debate at the education committee hearing centered around a nonbinding resolution, offered by City Councilwoman Inez Barron, calling for the state government to change the 1971 law that makes the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) the sole criteria for admission to StuyvesantBronx High School of Science and Brooklyn Tech. (The city also uses the test to determine who gets accepted by five other specialized high schools created since the law was passed.) Instead, it says, the city should use "multiple objective measures of student merit," such as grade point average, attendance and state test scores, as well as some type of exam.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for changes in the admissions procedures for the specialized schools, which have only a small number of black and Latino students. Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña has been more cautious, saying on Staten Island last spring that she wanted to improve diversity at the schools without "diluting the experience."

At the hearing, Department of Education officials continued to be vague. Ursulina Ramirez, chief of staff to the chancellor, declined to tell the committee today whether she supported Barron's resolution. "We generally don't comment on resolutions," she said.

In her prepared remarks, Ramirez said the Dream program, a 22-month curriculum designed to help promising low-income middle school students prepare for the test, had good results but that, because of funding issues, it would not expand beyond the current 1,450 seats. Department officials also said the Department of Education sought to tell more students and their families about the specialized high schools and the test, focusing on the top 15 percent of students at each school in the city.

Beyond that, there were few, if any specifics. "This administration is taking a deep assessment of what we want to do" about specialized high school admission, Ramirez said. Later she said the DOE is doing a lot of research on the best methods to select students. "There are pros and cons of whatever decision is made," she said. And when Councilmember Mark Weprin proposed that all students take the SHSAT—they now must register for it—Ramirez said, "It's a possibility."

Proponents argued the test is a fair, objective and transparent means to find high performing students. Those calling for multiple criteria countered that it is wrong to rely on a single test for such an important decision. They charged that this particular test is not aligned to what students learn and favors children who take classes to prepare for it. 

Regarding the test, much debate focused on what other criteria might come into play and how that might affect demographics at the schools. "It really depends upon the criteria we look at," said Ainsley Rudolf, of DOE's Office of Equity and Access. He added that the criteria should not be subjective.

But many of those supporting the tests said they feared that the multiple criteria might include such items as teacher recommendations and extracurricular activities—neither of which is mentioned in the resolution. Others mentioned that many schools that do use multiple criteria also do not have large numbers of black and Latino students. "I want to make sure we don't do a quick fix but actually address the problem," said Councilmember Jumaane Williams, a Brooklyn Tech alumnus.

The hearing by the Education Committee also considered two other measures. One would require the department to report annually on its efforts to promote diversity and the results of its effort at charter schools as well as regular district schools. Ramirez said the administration supports that because the reports "will be a useful tool." Another, a nonbinding resolution, calls for DOE to make diversity a priority in making decisions on such issues as admissions and zoning for schools.

The focus on diversity comes in the wake of findings that about half of the city's public schools are at least 90 percent black and Hispanic and a report by the Civil Right Project at UCLA which concluded that New York state has the most segregated schools in the country.


Parents, advocates call for guidelines for city's new community schools - Read Full Article

Parents, advocates call for guidelines for city's new community schools

(Originally posted on Chalkbeat by Patrick Wall on December 10, 2014)  

The same advocates who helped convince the de Blasio administration to saturate dozens of needy schools with support services now want to make sure the city pulls off its plan.

Even as they applauded Mayor Bill de Blasio for promising to convert 128 schools into service-rich “community schools,” they urged the city on Wednesday to adopt formal guidelines to make sure the schools have similar standards and practices. Other cities that have embraced this model, such as Cincinnati and San Francisco, set official community-school policies, the advocates said.

The call for guidelines, which advocates wrote themselves and said they will ask the city’s education-policy board to adopt if agency officials do not, reflects the delicate position that community school proponents find themselves in. After failing to sell the previous administration on this model, they want to show their support for one that has finally embraced it, while making sure that it is rolled out successfully and with the input of parents and advocates. And they want to guarantee that the community school model continues even after their ally leaves office.

“The community school train has left the station and is moving, and we need a policy to codify it,” said Claudette Agard, a member of the Coalition for Educational Justice, an alliance of advocacy groups that unveiled the guidelines during a press conference Wednesday outside City Hall. “It would serve to validate and uphold community schools as a model for this administration and beyond.”

Laid out in a one-page policy paper that was endorsed by two-dozen community groups and the city teachers union, the guidelines list three principles of the community school model: strong academics, support services, and parent participation. They also list certain features that advocates say are essential for every community school, such as decision-making committees that include parents and students, and a full-time service coordinator.

The city has official policies around student promotion and translation services for parents who don’t speak English, for example, and advocates want matching policies for community schools. CEJ members are discussing that possibility with education department officials, they said, but if the agency does not adopt them then the advocates said they will ask the city’s Panel for Educational Policy to do so next month. They are also considering a push for new community school-focused Chancellor’s Regulations.

A spokesperson said the education department would partner with various stakeholders as it expands the number of community schools, but did not say whether the city would consider adopting CEJ’s guidelines. In a statement, Deputy Mayor Richard Buery called community schools “a cornerstone” of the administration’s education agenda.

“We look forward to working with parents and advocates across the city to make community schools work for all of New York’s kids,” said Buery, who is overseeing the expansion.

In some ways, de Blasio’s plan has already surpassed advocates’ expectations, not least because he is in the process of creating more community schools now than he initially promised for his entire first term. The plan also calls for the schools to receive full-time site coordinators and for the majority of the services to go to struggling schools — two of CEJ’s key demands.

Still, some advocates have expressed concern about how rapidly the city is rolling out the initiative, and have called for a larger role in the planning process. Most worrying to some is that city officials have not gone into detail about they will make sure the new community schools have strong academic programs to go along with the extra support services.

“We love social services,” said Zakiyah Ansari, advocacy director of the Alliance for Quality Education who is part of the city’s community-school advisory board. “But at the same time, we want to make sure our children are reading and writing.”

Other community school proponents have raised questions about the city’s plan to apply the model to 94 of its lowest performing schools, which few other districts have tried. Besides the fact that the model has a mixed record of improving student performance, the city’s plan would compel struggling school leaders to carry out a time-consuming strategy that requires close partnerships with service providers and parents.

Esperanza Vazquez said she and other parents helped plan every aspect of M.S. 327, a recently opened Bronx community school, from the building design to the after-school program to the lunch menu. But she said such collaboration is rare, and wondered whether the leaders of low-performing schools who are told they must develop community schools will be so welcoming.

“I am worried about that,” Vazquez, whose son is in eighth-grade at M.S. 327, said through an interpreter. “Because it’s really hard to develop that kind of relationship between parents and principals.”

Click here to read the guidelines proposed by the Coalition for Educational Justice.

Chalkbeat New York is a nonprofit news site covering educational change in public schools.

School Book

NYS Schools Are Barring Immigrant Students - Read Full Article

After reviewing the enrollment policies of 139 school districts (out of almost 700) in New York State, the New York Civil Liberties Union found that more than 20 percent may have denied access to immigrant students.

The NYCLU issued a letter to New York State education officials calling this a "crisis point," saying schools asked for unnecessary documents, like original birth certificates and social security numbers, which are not required for school enrollment.

“The NYCLU has presented data to the State Education Department for years showing that many districts across the state are discriminating against immigrant children and preventing them from enrolling in schools," Donna Lieberman, the executive director of the NYCLU, wrote in a statement. "It’s shocking that the SED has not acted sooner or more decisively to guarantee the right of all New York children to an education.”

Four years ago, the NYCLU released a similar report, which prompted state education officials to issue a state-wide memo reminding them of the enrollment procedures. 

"The fact that things are still in place four years later is really problematic; we have no way of knowing how many kids in those four years have been denied entry to a school," Johanna Miller, an NYCLU spokeswoman said.

"We're always on top of this," Dennis Tompkins, a spokesman for the State Education Department told WNYC. "It's a very important issue to the commissioner and the chancellor and we're on top of this."  

Tompkins denied the NYCLU's accusations. "We have not received any complaints at all about a student being denied enrollment in the last four years since the last time the Civil Liberties Union took this survey," he said. "If there are any allegations out there or any information that could help us we'd like the Civil Liberties Union to inform us immediately so we can move forward."

Earlier this month, The New York Times found immigrant students in Hempstead and other Long Island towns were being barred from entering. The state said it's launching a review of enrollment procedures there.




Coalition Calls for Co-Location Moratorium
Letter to Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña

School Quality Reports

As a part of her vision for New York City’s schools, Chancellor Fariña has introduced two new ways for the public to evaluate New York City public schools:

  • The School Quality Snapshot is designed specifically for families and provides a concise picture of the quality of each school.
  • The School Quality Guide provides a more robust set of information about each school, including multiple years of data so that schools’ progress over time can be more easily tracked.

You can find a school’s 2013-14 School Quality Snapshot, School Quality Guide, and NYC School Survey Report by going to NYCDOE  School Quality Report search at http://schools.nyc.gov/Accountability/tools/report/FindASchoolQualityReport/default.htm  

For more information go to: http://schools.nyc.gov/Accountability/tools/report/default.htm

For a Safer NYC - Speed Limit 25 - VisionZero

Parents, administrators weigh in
on potential Manhattan charter openings



Individual School’s Score
 for 2014 ELA and Math State Test Results

 Click here

District 3 schools: Pages 321-329

New York State Department of Education
 Releases 2014 State Test Scores

Click here for more information


New Blue Book Reflects Improvements Recommended by City Agencies, Public and Charter Schools, Advocacy Organizations, and Community Councils

Families, educators and interested community members can access the new Blue Book here.


Parent-Teacher Conferences  
Below please find the dates for 4 parent teacher conferences.   













Elementary School

Sep 16

Nov 12

Nov 13

Mar 18

Mar 19

May 13

Middle School

Sep 18

Nov 19

Nov 20

Mar 11

Mar 12

May 6

High School

Sep 17

Nov 5

Nov 7

Mar 26

Mar 27

May 7

D75 School Programs


Nov 17

Nov 18

Mar 2

Mar 3


*Multi-session schools and District 75 School Programs are exempt from these additional conferences. Schools will notify families accordingly if they are holding these events at their site.

June Clerical Shortened Days
citywide June Clerical Shortened Days for elementary and intermediate/junior high schools as well as D75 schools.

  • Tuesday, June 9, 2015
  • Monday, June 15, 2015

School Admissions News

High School Directories Notice

Students applying to a NYC public high school for the 2015-2016 school year can now access the 2014-2015 High School Directory online in nine languages: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu.

All non-native English speakers who will participate in the admissions process are encouraged to review the directories.  Visit http://schools.nyc.gov/ChoicesEnrollment/High/Resources/default.htm for complete information and the English directory. Questions regarding the 2014-2015 High School Directory may be directed to the High School Admissions Team at HS_Enrollment@schools.nyc.gov

Upcoming Events

Wed, Dec 24 - Fri, Jan 2
Winter Recess
Schools closed
(Dec. 24- Jan. 2)
Monday, January 5
School Resumes



Wednesday, January 7
Business Meeting
6:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Joan of Arc Complex
154 W. 93rd St.
Special Calendar Meeting
7:00 PM
SCA Capital Plan Presentation
Joan of Arc Complex
154 W. 93rd St.

District 3 Common Core Parent Survey

Encuesta para padres del CEC3 del Distrito 3, sobre estándares básicos comunes

CEC3 News

Take the CEC3 Common Survey 
Available Online 
from December 12, 2014 through February 21, 2015
Click to take survey in English
Click to take in Spanish

We want to hear directly from D3 parents on how to better support D3 children/families with the transition of the new CCLS in school. In January 2014, your D3 CEC3 established the Common Core Standards, Implementation & Testing Committee to monitor and examine the policies and implementation of the CCLS, in order to ensure that the requisite support, communications and resources are deployed to assist and progress students in meeting and exceeding state NYS Common Core Standards.

June 11, 2014
District 3 Town Hall with Chancellor Carmen Fariña 
& Deputy Chancellor Kathleen Grimm

To join the CEC3 Email List, 

please send your name and email address to


CEC3 2013-2014 Strategic Plan Document

Adopted at January Joint CSD3 Presidents' Council/CEC3 Calendar Meeting

CEC3 Vacancy! 
Applications are now being accepted to fill the vacant ELL seat on the District 3 Community Education Council

All applicants must be a parent/guardian of  an ELL student currently attending a District 3 elementary and middle school

Contact the CEC3 Office for more information at cec3@schools.nyc.gov or (212) 678-2782