Question for parents. How does the school system work in NYC? Do most people pay for preschool, then are there decent public K-elementary schools? Is it sorted by neighborhood or does your kid test into them?

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I’m not a parent but went to NYC public school.

Pre-k you pay for
You go to the school you’re zoned for so where you live will determine which school
For high school, your child can go to the zoned high school or test into different schools like the SHSAT (specialized high schools), the catholic school version which you’ll pay for, and the private school version that you’ll pay for

There are also some high schools that have their own process such as testing or interviewing like beacon or bard high school I think. It’s been a long time

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You don’t need to get butt hurt that I don’t think stuy is the best lol

I went to Bronx sci. Stuy is a great school and very well known. Hunter college high school is often overlooked because it’s not as well known even to New Yorkers because it starts at 7th grade and doesn’t get the coverage like Stuy does with the SHSAT exams

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For pre-K: NYC does offer free pre-K for 3 and 4 year olds, you do have to apply bc spots are limited (open til April 30 every year last I read)

Some middle schools are separate and considered “specialized” and have an application process, but still free school. Same for some high schools, like D1 mentioned, but also ones that are considered “specialized” but don’t have to take a test, you apply and it’s based on grades, and still free.

All schools will have “rankings” of some sort, so you can do whatever research is needed, but if you plan to go the public school route (which I did and most other kids do), you will be mostly limited by your address and what schools you’re zoned for.

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I believe it shouldn’t be income-limited (I even went on their website to see if 2 spouses making 100k+ each per year would be eligible) . Do the programs typically get less money bc they’re government funded compared to private/paid pre-K? Yes, take from that what you will

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NYC offers free Pre K. It's easier to apply and get into schools you aren't zoned for in Pre K than Kindergarten. It also makes it easier to continue on in the same school for kindergarten since kids in pre K get higher priority than kids than kids who aren't zoned for that area. Best if you're targeting selective district 2 or 3 schools. Separate testing exists for G&T schools.

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Oh and also check out the DOE website to see what school an apartment is zoned for. Don't rely on the realtor since schools get rezoned based on how many people moved over the course of the year.

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Get the Clara Hemphill books and refer to the insideschools.org site

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