Tips For Using The New Kindergarten Connect

As we discussed last week, the DoE’s new Kindergarten Connect enrollment process launched this past Monday. We still have our reservations, but the new system is here, and we’re all going to have to make the best of it. So, we thought we’d cover a few tips for new users (which is pretty much everyone).

  • Enrollment is open from January 13th through February 14th. You will be able to sign in to the system and make as many changes as you want during this period. So continue your research and make adjustments to your school selections as needed.

  • As you know from last week's post, we are huge proponents of seeing potential schools in-person. The new system obviates those visits since parents no longer have to go to a school to file an application.  Do not let that stop you! Tours and meetings with administrators are a key to understanding the culture, philosophy and day-to-day functioning of a school.

  • While you can list up to 20 schools, it is best to list only those schools that you would actually like your child to attend. Do not feel obligated to list all 20. At the same time, you should try to come up with at least 5-10 reasonable candidates.

  • Since we don’t know the specifics of the algorithm used to match students with schools, don’t try to “game” the system when making your list. Rank your schools in genuine order of preference.

  • Priority for students in zone and in district (and siblings) remain in place so concentrate on your local schools and work outward. Listing the top schools across NYC (which already have waiting lists for priority students every year) will likely leave you without a match.

  • Your zone school is where you have the best chance of getting a spot so be sure to include it in the application if you consider it a viable option for your child. If there are many others that you prefer, make sure you put it far down on your list.

  • The new process does NOT apply to gifted and talented programs or to charter schools. Even if you plan to attend one of these, you should definitely still submit an application through Kindergarten Connect to cover all of your bases.

  • If you are interested in dual language programs, be sure to select the code that corresponds with that option. You may apply to both the dual language and general education programs at a given school as two separate entries on your list.

In the end, the new system will best benefit those who use it wisely. Careful research and shoe leather are going to be, as ever, the most valuable tools at your disposal.

Tags: Kindergarten, Elementary School, Elementary School Admissions, Public School, DoE
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