School District 4 Manhattan

Manhattan schools that (might) have room

PS 63 is one of several District 1 schools that may have room for out of district applicants.We’ve heard a lot of scary stories about kindergarten waitlists at very popular schools, but what about good schools that aren’t hopelessly oversubscribed? Insideschools has compiled a list of Manhattan schools that accept children from outside their immediate neighborhoods. We’ll be posting similar lists for other boroughs soon.

For this list, we have concentrated on schools that don’t require a "gifted and talented" exam. All a parent has to do is apply between now and March 2-and hope there are seats available. Call the schools directly for details. These schools fall in a couple of categories:

-Magnet programs. These schools receive federal money to develop a theme, such as science or technology. They give first preference to children who live in their attendance zone, but usually have room for children from across a district. Some also have room for children outside the district.

-Dual language programs. These programs are designed to make children fluent readers and writers of English and another language: Spanish, French or Chinese. Instruction alternates between the two languages. Typically, half the children speak English at home and half speak the other language. Zoned children get preference, but others may apply.

-Unzoned schools. These schools accept children from a particular district. A few accept children from all five boroughs.

-Good neighborhood schools. Children who are zoned for the school get preference, but sometimes there are extra seats, even though you may not find out until August.

-Charter schools. These accept children by lottery. (You have until April to apply.)

Lower East Side

In District 1 on the Lower East Side, there are no zoned neighborhood schools. Everybody has to make a choice. Preference goes to children who live in the district, but there are sometimes spots for out-of-district children, including Brooklynites.

Long-time favorites are The Neighborhood School, The Earth School, and PS 184—which will most likely fill up with District 1 kids this year. (Note: out-of-district families who are willing to wait until August may snag a seat). Out-of-district children may have a better chance at the Children’s Workshop School and East Village Community School. Also consider PS 20, which has a nice dual language program in English and Mandarin. PS 63 is gaining in popularity. The Girls Preparatory Charter School offers a single-sex option.

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