Manhattan Borough President Wants to Improve NYC Kindergarten Admission Process

An email on one of my parent listserves a few weeks ago said "Help!  Confused about the K admissions process."  This is not uncommon feeling  at this time of year as many parents are knee deep in the private school applications process.   However, many are surprised to hear that, with the exception of Hunter and G&T programs, the public school application process doesn't happen until the beginning of the next year, long after the private school process has ended.

The public elementary admissions timeline for 2012 is:

January 9, 2012 – March 2, 2012 Kindergarten Application Period
March 19, 2012 – March 23, 2012 Families Notified About Assignment Offers
March 26, 2012 – April 20, 2012 Offer Acceptance Period

Recently, Scott Stringer, Manhattan's Borough President, has  undertaken an initiative to help simplify the kindergarten admission process, something near and dear to all New York City parents.   Nothing casues more anxiety to NYC parents than where to send their child(ren) to kindergarten and how to go about getting in and registering.  In a letter to School Chancellor, Dennis Walcott, Mr. Stringer provides suggestions about how to simplify the process for  both families and schools.  These include adjusting admissions timelines to eliminate waitlists, automating admissions, standardizing applications and offering school directories tailored to each district.

Full story and copy of letter can be found at Gotham Schools, here.

We want to hear your comments.  Tell us your suggestions on how to make the process better for all involved below in our comments section.

New York City Schools institute sensible bed bug policy

Bed bug infestations are a huge problem in New York City. Major hotels, retail shops and corporations have been affected in the past few years.   I think it's only a matter of when, and not if, your individual school will be infested.  That's why the city's previous bed bug policy didn't go very far in resolving instances of bed bugs in schools.  In fact, the city says that bed bugs are not a major problem for schools, but many parents and teachers say otherwise.

Prior policy was that a school official had to collect physical evidence of bed bugs and mail them to an office in Queens, in order to initiate a treatment in their affected school.  With the new procedure, The Department of Education has set up a new email address,, for complaints about bed bugs in NYC schools.  School officials now have the option of emailing photographic evidence of bedbugs to the DOE for a much quicker response, instead of mailing them and waiting days for an answer.

Manhattan Borough President, Scott Stringer, pushed for these changes and hails the win as, "An important victory in the fight to rid NYC schools of bed bugs."

Have you had instances of bed bugs in your school?  Let us know how it was handled.