NHPS Announces Kindergarten Registration Adjustments

Thursday, April 19, 2012
New Haven Public Schools
Will Clark                                                                    Garth Harries
203-691-2681                                                              203-691-2678
          In response to parent feedback and growing interest in New Haven Public Schools, the New Haven Board of Education today announced adjustments to the process for kindergarten enrollment for the 2012-13 school year.  The adjustments build on the kindergarten lottery admission process instituted last year, incorporating an additional lottery for students enrolling in kindergarten at their neighborhood or attendance zone school.
            “We continue to see strong and growing interest in attending New Haven schools, both at neighborhood and magnet schools.  The adjustments to our kindergarten admission process are designed to make fair and transparent decisions when we have more eligible students in a school’s attendance zone than there are seats available – including for students coming from pre-kindergarten programs,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo. 
For the kindergarten admission process last year, the district responded to parent feedback by replacing the old “first-come first-served” admission process with a lottery when schools are over-subscribed. Instead of a “first-come first-serve” kindergarten admission process to schools with attendance zones, parents last year registered for a lottery during a defined registration period. The lottery process was designed to create a clear and transparent process for admission, and for populating the waitlists that form at attendance zone schools.
Kindergarten Registration will continue to be a two step process.  Step 1 is rollover registration.  Students in NHPS sponsored pre-kindergarten programs are admitted or rolled over into their applicable attendance zone kindergarten through the rollover process.  In the past this process has not required a lottery.  This year, due to anticipated interest in kindergarten enrollment from families currently enrolled in NHPS sponsored pre-kindergarten programs, the district will use a similar lottery process when necessary to select among pre-kindergarten students “rolling-over” into their attendance zone kindergarten.  That is, if schools are oversubscribed during the pre-kindergarten rollover admission process, the district will use a lottery to determine which students are admitted and which students will be on the waitlist.  That lottery will take place on April 26th.
After the pre-kindergarten rollover admission process, families new to NHPS will be enrolled through Step 2 of the Kindergarten Registration.  This is the open registration process which will begin May 1 and run through June 12, and all families registering in this period will be given the same priority.  As a result, there is no requirement to be first to the Registration Office in May, and parents may register at their convenience between May 1 and June 12. 
The admission lottery for students newly arriving will take place June 19th.  The district encourages families to file the appropriate paperwork for admission to kindergarten, including proof of age and proof of address, between May 1 and June 12th.  When families register, they will be told what neighborhood school they are eligible for, and how many seats are projected to be available in the school for which they are eligible.  These projections will be based on class size targets, pre-kindergarten admissions, retentions, and any other relevant factors.
As in previous years, once a school has filled, the district will maintain a wait list of those students eligible, which will be ordered according to the pre-kindergarten and the new admission lotteries.  Seats will be released from the waiting list periodically through the spring, summer and fall as admitted families change their enrollment plans.  Historically, this process has resulted in significant movement from the waitlists, and the district anticipates similar movement from waitlists this year.
Pre-kindergarten registration has been underway already, including for students in Headstart, School Readiness, and Magnet Pre-Kindergartens.  Details about the revised kindergarten admission process were shared with pre-Kindergarten providers last week, and have been updated on the district’s website at http://www.nhps.net/node/1582.  General information about registration in New Haven Public Schools is available at http://www.nhps.net/node/516 or simply go to the Board website http://www.nhps.net and click on the Registration tab for all of the relevant information including Registration Faqs, street listings of attendance zones, registration office hours and paperwork required for registration.