The NYC Department of Education’s Special Education Office has sent out an important letter to parents of children who will be “turning 5” during the 2017 calendar year, and who are expected to enter kindergarten in September 2017.
This letter clarifies that the parents of all children turning five, including those with IEPs, must apply to kindergarten through the NYC application process. This obligation applies regardless of whether you feel that your child’s needs could ever be met in your local public school.
Applications for kindergarten are open from November 30, 2016 to January 13, 2017. Parents can apply in one of 3 ways:
1) Apply online at schools.nyc.gov/ApplyOnline
2) Apply over the phone by calling 718-935-2400 (M-F, 8 am – 6 pm)
3) Apply in person at a Family Welcome Center (see schools.nyc.gov/WelcomeCenters for locations and hours)
All families with children receiving CPSE services who have a 2012 birth date are also expected to attend a kindergarten orientation meeting. These meetings are happening all over the five boroughs beginning mid-November and running through mid-December. A full list of dates, times, and locations is posted on the DOE website.
Despite the fact that the kindergarten placement process is different for children with IEPs, this DOE letter makes it very clear that parents of children who receive special education services through the CPSE are required to participate in the NYC kindergarten application process.
If you have not received a letter on this topic from the Department of Education, it is still important to be an active participant in the kindergarten application process. For important updates and more information regarding the transition to kindergarten for special education students, please visit schools.nyc.gov/Academics/SpecialEducation/AcrossGrades/Kindergarten.