School Registration and Enrollment

  1. Can my child attend public school?

    In New York City, children have the right to start school in September of the year they turn five. They can stay in school until June of the year they turn 21 or until they get a high school diploma, whichever comes first.

  2. How quickly should my child get a school placement?

    School-age students seeking admission to a New York City public school must be placed within five school days of their application.

  3. How do I enroll my child in a DOE Pre-Kindergarten program?

    The Department of Education runs a small number of Pre-Kindergarten programs at select schools throughout the city. Children can start Pre-Kindergarten in September of the year they turn four. Admission is not guaranteed and depends upon whether there is space in the program. Click here for information about Pre-Kindergarten programs.

  4. How do I enroll my child in Kindergarten?

    Children can start Kindergarten in September of the year they turn five. Families should apply directly to the schools they are interested in, including their home zone school. Children who live within the school zone and children who have siblings at the school receive priority for admission. Kindergarten applications are usually due in early March. Click here for information about Kindergarten programs.

  5. How do I enroll my child in Elementary or Middle School?

    Children in elementary school or middle school usually enroll at their “home zone school,” which is based on the child’s address. In some districts, middle school students have a choice of schools. They must fill out an application form and rank their choices, or apply directly to the school, depending on the school’s requirements. The deadline for middle school applications is usually in mid-December. Families will receive decision letters in May.
  6. How do I enroll my child in High School?

    In New York City there is an application process for enrollment in high school. Eighth and ninth grade students who have met all promotional requirements and are residents of New York City can participate in the high school application process. During the Main Round, students choose up to 12 high schools and list them in order of preference. If a student is not matched to one of his/her 12 choices during the Main Round, then the student must enter the Supplementary Round and choose a new set of 12 schools. If a student is again not matched with a school during the Supplementary Round, then the student is assigned to a high school that has space and is as close to his/her home as possible. Students who want to go to specialized schools may also have to take separate entrance exams or audition. Applications are due in early December, and acceptances are issued between February and April. Students who have missed the regular application process should go to the Borough Enrollment Office in the borough where they live. Click here for more information.

  7. What documents are required for school enrollment?

    1. Proof of Address, including two of the following:
      • Utility bill (gas or electric) within the last 60 days
      • Documentation from a federal, state, or local government agency within the last 60 days
      • An original lease agreement, deed, or mortgage agreement
      • A property tax bill
      • A water bill, or
      • Payroll documentation from an employer within the past 60 days
    2. Child’s birth certificate or passport
    3. Child’s immunization history
    4. Child’s transcript or latest report card
    5. Child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or any other special education records, if applicable
    Schools may not ask for proof of citizenship or immigration status. If a child does not have all the documents listed above, the school must admit the student temporarily and must help the family find the required documents.

  8. What if I have problems during registration?

    If you have trouble registering your child for school, go to your district’s Borough Enrollment Office (BEO). The BEO can help you if there is no zoned school for your address, if your zoned school is full, or if your zoned school turns you away for reasons that you think are not justified. Click here to view a directory of BEOs.

(January 12, 2012)