Does anyone have experience with NYC's Universal PreK process? - Mothering Forums
Learning at School > Does anyone have experience with NYC's Universal PreK process?
gypsyhips26's Avatar gypsyhips26 02:54 PM 01-14-2011

Hello there mamas:


Just thought I would ask around to see what other people's experiences have been with the lottery system here in NYC. I've been taking the tours and in talking with parents, hear stories of how they didn't get into any of their selected schools but had friends who did, etc.

Does anyone know if its better to indicate a school that may not be at the top of your list (but has more slots open and is a decent school) as your 1st choice, than take the chance that you're not going to get into any UPK program (if your first choice has almost no slots open due to sibling preference). Is this making sense? My head is spinning after all the school tours and wading through the DOE's website!



Altair's Avatar Altair 05:48 PM 01-14-2011

Well, I work in an NYC public school and I give our school's K and Pre-K tours to families.  As far as I've seen, there isn't a rhyme or reason to that.  Parents seem to have different theories, but as far as I know the DOE changes things every year (or month) and there's so easy way around it.  Officially everything is "fair" and done centrally, in practice there's a lot of backdoor dealings.  Welcome to the DOE.  ;-) 


gypsyhips26's Avatar gypsyhips26 09:48 AM 01-18-2011

ah, yes the DOE. *sigh* well, we'll just take our chances and hope for the best! thanks for the insight....(its almost as bad as trying to get an apt  in NYC, but I guess baking cookies and stalking the admissions staff won't help my chances! winky.gif )

umsami's Avatar umsami 06:53 AM 01-19-2011

I went through it about 3-4 years ago.  We lucked out in that our local public PreK in Brooklyn was actually pretty good and was actively trying to find native English speakers for the PreK program.  (Neighborhood was mainly Chinese and Russian immigrants.)  So, I applied and DS1 was accepted. We lucked out big time.  It was a full day Pre-K program... beautiful large classroom... and his teacher had 20+ years experience, including teaching at the UN's school.  Because it was full day, there was plenty of time for play.  The one thing I hated was the policy that you could not walk your kids to their class... actually, there was a big stairway leading up to the building and you were supposed to leave them there.  It was nerve wracking for DS for the first 2-3 weeks, but after that, no problem.  

gypsyhips26's Avatar gypsyhips26 08:45 AM 01-28-2011

Thanks for the insight into the the world of PreK. I keep getting mixed feed back about the process, but since its a lottery, not much we can do but hope for some good luck! Anyway, I've found some other mamas in the same situation as I am, so we're going to try & ride through the spring PreK process together. I'll let you know what happens!