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Help! Applying for NYC public schools before we relocate

Help! Applying for NYC public schools before we relocate

Old Feb 17th 2012, 2:40 am
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Default Help! Applying for NYC public schools before we relocate

Hi all,

I have an offer for a job in manhattan and I have worked through all issues except my son's school!

After much thought we have decided that we would put him in public school (Kindergarten) in Brooklyn. HOWEVER, we are in a chicken and egg situation. In order to be admitted to the school we need to be resident. If I accept the job we will not be out there until July, with my son starting school in Sept.

We want to get the right school for him and want to apply immediately. I can't accept the job with the risk that he might not get a place.

I have tried to contact a shortlist of about 5 schools over the last two days and have only made it to voicemail. I can see that there is such thing as non-resident application for a tuition fee and if that is the best option I will take it - but it is designed for people who are not going to be NYC residents and we will be.

I would be extremely grateful to anyone who might have any advice, information, anecdotes, that might help - surely expats have this issue quite regularly when they don't have a 12-18 month heads up on the move?

I am desperately trying to pool information, while travelling on business, and with the clock ticking on the offer!
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Old Feb 17th 2012, 2:56 am
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Default Re: Help! Applying for NYC public schools before we relocate

Half term for some schools at the moment...

But anyway, are we talking public school in the UK sense (private) or in the US sense (state)?

If it's state school, you don't chose, it's down to the street address you live in. If it's private, then every school will have their own criteria.
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Old Feb 17th 2012, 11:37 am
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Default Re: Help! Applying for NYC public schools before we relocate

Hi Bob,

Half term would explain all the voicemail!

I am talking about US state/public school. And my issue is that I won't have a street address there until July(ish - June if we are aggressive). I am concerned that this will rule us out of the more selective or noteworthy public schools in Brooklyn.

Schooling is the big issue for us with this job. We currently send our son to a private school in the UK. It's outside London so relatively "down to earth", but there is no doubt he's going to be shell-shocked by some of the larger and underperforming NYC public schools. We have considered the private route and were pretty much told that it's WAY too late to apply for 2012/13 and he's best dropping a year and trying again for 13/14 - not an acceptable option for us bearing in mind that the US system at this age is already the equivalent of a dropped year and we would likely return to the UK in 2-5 years. In truth we would have decimated our budget with this route so I am happy and keen to go public, for it to be a walk from our apartment in Park Slope or Brooklyn Heights etc, and ideally one of the smaller and nicer ones! Now I am guessing that those few schools that I am describing are very oversubscribed and a new family turning up in July would be laughed at.


I will keep calling schools and will try some government routes for further info but I have the horrible feeling I will need to commit to the job before I have absolute comfort on this topic - so that's where one of you kind chaps fit in!!! There must be someone out there who had a similar experience?
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Old Feb 17th 2012, 11:52 am
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Default Re: Help! Applying for NYC public schools before we relocate

Hi there, welcome to BE!!

We moved to Connecticut in February 2010, and the school was dictated by where our home was located. Getting the kids in to the Middle and Elementary Schools was no problem. I had already contacted both schools before we left the UK, so they knew we were coming. The kids had to go sit an exam, so that the school could make sure they were getting placed at the right level. Both of them were placed with kids the same age and the transition was definitely easier for the youngest one.

I can't comment on the underachieving schools in NYC, I have found the school system in CT actually, to be better than the UK, this is a personal opinion of course. If you accept the position, how are you going to find somewhere to live. Have you sorted out a relocation package?? If you are definitely going down the State school route, then you should probably research different areas that interest you and research the schools associated with the location. Sorry, don't think this will be much help to you, but good luck with whatever you decide. I'm sure you would love living in Brooklyn, and being so near all that Manhattan has to offer. Good luck
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Old Feb 17th 2012, 11:58 am
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Default Re: Help! Applying for NYC public schools before we relocate

IMO, and although we moved over here 11 years ago, we have also moved within the US, schools will only accept you once you have proof of your address, no ifs, buts or maybes. You can hunt out potential housing and before you sign the rental agreement check with the school district which catchment area the house is in, but I don't see any way around your dilemma. Unless your wife wants to home school
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Old Feb 17th 2012, 12:46 pm
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Default Re: Help! Applying for NYC public schools before we relocate

Originally Posted by ryanayr View Post

I am talking about US state/public school. And my issue is that I won't have a street address there until July(ish - June if we are aggressive). I am concerned that this will rule us out of the more selective or noteworthy public schools in Brooklyn.
If you go to a state school, you don't have to worry as there isn't a choice, you live in a particular street that is covered by the school, you go to that school. A few exceptions, but that's pretty much just the way it is.

No idea what kindergarten is like in NY, but down my way, unless it's private, it does matter where you live and it's not really cheap either.
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Old Feb 17th 2012, 12:53 pm
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Default Re: Help! Applying for NYC public schools before we relocate

Unfortunately, even though they don't live in NYS, they have told you the truth, at least as it pertains to schooling in the majority of NYS. Here in Yonkers, the child is sent to whichever school the school district decides needs to be intergrated. No such animal as neighborhood schooling any longer.

Brooklyn, however, is considered a New York City school area and I don't believe it has the same criteria.

One suggestion is for you to accept the job and get yourself over here in April or May, find your apartment and have an address to register your son for school. The cost of the apartment for the few months you won't be using it is worth the peace of mind for you to have him enrolled in a catchment area of your preference.
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Old Feb 17th 2012, 1:26 pm
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Default Re: Help! Applying for NYC public schools before we relocate

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
One suggestion is for you to accept the job and get yourself over here in April or May, find your apartment and have an address to register your son for school. The cost of the apartment for the few months you won't be using it is worth the peace of mind for you to have him enrolled in a catchment area of your preference.
This is a good suggestion. It won't necessarily be easy, as the rental market in Brooklyn (depending on the area & your funds) is highly competitive, especially in the catchments of good neighborhood schools.

I would say visit schools, on that visit, before you look at flats. Get school recommendations from your future work colleagues in the NYC office first, then go see them. Pick out your school *first*, then take any flat you can inside the catchment area. Maybe later you can change to another flat in the catchment, but schools are far more important than flats when you're an expat with kids, IMO . . . .
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Old Feb 17th 2012, 1:39 pm
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Default Re: Help! Applying for NYC public schools before we relocate

Really appreciating the feedback. It's this practical info that is just what I need.

I have a three month notice period here so we would physically move in June earliest. But I like the idea of getting out there and looking at homes/schools even before my notice period ends - I am hoping for a bit of gardenning leave.

I will try and find out how much difference it will make being able to enrol in April vs May vs June and consider taking the hit on the property sooner. I might blackmail my mother to take us in for a couple months before we move to save mortgage costs and she can spend some time with the kids before we hit the big apple!

The company that I will move out with will provide some superficial support, but if I accept the offer I will tap into their HR dept and try to get more physical help.
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Old Feb 17th 2012, 1:48 pm
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Default Re: Help! Applying for NYC public schools before we relocate

Just to clarify, schools do not have caps on numbers of pupils. So the school does not say it is full.

If you move into catchment, you go to that school. The school has to jiggle the teachers/classes if this is an issue.

It usually evens out and the schools have a lot of experience in this.

HTH
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Old Feb 17th 2012, 1:52 pm
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Default Re: Help! Applying for NYC public schools before we relocate

Originally Posted by ryanayr View Post

The company that I will move out with will provide some superficial support, but if I accept the offer I will tap into their HR dept and try to get more physical help.
Check out the wiki on relocation packages....get everything in writing, everything!
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Old Feb 17th 2012, 2:15 pm
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Default Re: Help! Applying for NYC public schools before we relocate

As others have pointed out, it's all down to location. This will also answer a question you will soon be asking of "why is this house of this size and this condition $XXX,XXX more than a similar house 1km away?" The answer is the school districts are based on geography and the difference between a good school and a bad school can be reflected in the housing prices.

We have a wiki on the things you need to be thinking about (i.e. vaccinations and the like). There are some shots your kid will need that are NOT part of the NHS system, so best to get started on those while they are still relatively low cost.

http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Educat...s_in_school%3F
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Old Feb 17th 2012, 2:48 pm
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Default Re: Help! Applying for NYC public schools before we relocate

It's going to be difficult. I used to live near Park Slope and had friends with kids. Try asking your question at this forum:

http://brooklynian.com/forum/park-slope/
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Old Feb 17th 2012, 3:15 pm
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Default Re: Help! Applying for NYC public schools before we relocate

Hello "Ryanyr"

You know who this is ;-)

Glad you made it to the forum, don't forget re living in CT and commuting into NYC.

Looks like you are getting a lot of good info here.

"Garden Leave" - LOL, you'll be lucky!
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Old Feb 17th 2012, 3:19 pm
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Default Re: Help! Applying for NYC public schools before we relocate

Also check out city-data.com.

http://www.city-data.com/forum/new-york-city/
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