For our kids, and our democracy too: great & diverse Kindergarten & Pre-K choices
Few things matter more for our kids’ life-chances than getting a great start in their education. That’s why we’ve worked so hard in NYC to expand pre-Kindergarten, and to make sure families have strong public school options.
And few things matter more for our democracy than bringing kids together, across lines of race & class, to learn, play, and work together. That’s why I’ve been working hard with advocates, educators, and colleagues to fight school segregation and promote more diverse schools.
Fortunately, in our community, these two things can come together: we have a set of great elementary schools that celebrate and strive for diverse school communities. And parents can apply for seats in Kindergarten (right now, application deadline is Friday, January 13) & pre-Kindergarten (application process opens on January 17). While most NYC public school students attend Kindergarten at their zoned school, several other options in our community (in District 15 & 13) are available.
After strong advocacy by our community and others, the NYC Department of Education created its “Diversity in Admissions” pilot program to allow schools to work for more diverse student bodies. Five of the 19 schools in the pilot are in our community: three elementary schools (Brooklyn New School, Brooklyn Children’s School, and PS 133) as well as two middle schools (Math & Science/MS 447, and MS 839). And we also have a couple of good magnet & zoned options (PS 282 & PS 15) that offer seats to parents outside their zones.
My office has put together the attached flyers (in English, Spanish, Bengali, and Chinese) with an overview of these great pro-diversity options for Kindergarten & Pre-K. All of these schools help kids thrive, work hard to achieve diverse and supportive student bodies, and might be a great choice for a kid you know:
- P.S. 133 (610 Baltic Street, Park Slope) offers Spanish & French dual language programs, and a curriculum rich in language and culture, with seats reserved for low-income and ELL students in D13 and D15.
- The Children's School/P.S. 372 (512 Carroll Street, Gowanus) features “inclusion” classrooms, small class sizes, and a full range of special education services, with a priority for low-income & ELL students in D15.
- P.S. 15 (1 Sullivan Street, Red Hook) offers a growing STEM program, strong arts education, community partnerships, and dual language programs, with zoned admissions plus a magnet program to which any family can apply.
- Brooklyn New School/P.S. 146 (610 Henry Street, Carroll Gardens) is committed to a diverse group of students engaged in active learning to achieve academic and personal success, with a priority for low-income students in D15.
- P.S. 282 (180 6th Avenue, Park Slope) is a zoned school in District 13 with expanding kindergarten seats and a strong Pre-K program, dedicated to developing excellent readers, writers, and problem solvers.
The deadline (especially for Kindergarten) is tight, so please help us spread the word by sharing this information, and talking to friends & neighbors.
It’s not too often we get the chance to help both our kids and our democracy – let’s not miss it!
P.S. While the Diversity in Admission pilot is a good start, there is still a long, long way to go to promote more integrated schools – and we aren’t letting up in our advocacy. The NYC DOE recently committed to putting forward a more comprehensive plan for school diversity, and we are pushing hard with advocates and educators citywide to hold them accountable.
One thing I am advocating is a District 15-wide plan that would require all middles schools to serve a minimum percentage of low-income students (at least 30%). You can read more about our proposal here, and get in touch with Vicki Sell in our office (vsell [at] council [dot] nyc [dot] gov) if you’d like to join the growing conversation about it.