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NYC Public Schools at a Glance

  • There are over 1,700 public schools in NYC serving more than 1.1 million students in pre-kindergarten through high school.
  • The NYC Department of Education (DOE) sets policies for the City's 32 schools districts which oversee and support the elementary and middle schools in their area. The City's high schools are grouped and managed borough by borough.
  • Generally speaking, children in elementary are assigned to schools based on their home address; this school is referred to as your "zoned school." Middle school enrollment varies from School District to School District and students may enroll in a zoned school or participate in a choice process. High school placement is offered through a citywide choice process.
  • You can find your zoned school by using the NYC Department of Education mapping tool or calling NYC's Information Line, 311.
  • Families may also investigate and apply to other schools within their school district as well as schools outside their home district. Acceptance is not guaranteed and is dependent upon space and approval from the local School District Office in the form of a "placement exception," also commonly known as a variance.
  • Families may also visit and apply to other public schools which have their own admission process including: option schools, charter schools, gifted and talented, and bi-lingual or dual language programs.
  • Curriculum goals are set for all schools by New York State Education Department and articulated in the NYC Family Guide published by the NYC Department of Education.
  • Transportation to and from school, on a free public school bus or with a subsidized Metro Card, is dependent upon the age of the student and the distance between home and school. Detailed information is available on the NYC Department of Education website.
  • The average class size is: 18 children (Pre-K), 25 children (K-3rd grade), 32 children (4th-12th grade).
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