Village Pre-K Spots Set to be Sparse Again This Fall
GREENWICH VILLAGE — Families hoping to land a pre-K seat for their child at one West Village public school had less than a 1 in 10 chance of succeeding in 2012 — and the coming school year is shaping up to be just as competitive.
The principals of the two elementary schools that serve Greenwich Village, the West Village, the Meatpacking District and SoHo said they're expecting the same number of pre-K seats as last year, which will likely mean lots of disappointed parents.
P.S. 3, located on Hudson Street, is expecting to have a total of 54 seats, with 18 all-day spots, 18 morning spots and and 18 afternoon spots, Principal Lisa Siegman said.
In 2012, the Department of Education received a whopping 609 applications for the 54 seats, meaning fewer than 9 percent of youngsters got in.
"There are definitely way more families who want pre-K than there are spots," Siegman said.
P.S. 41 Principal Kelly Shannon said the West 11th Street school's pre-K seats are in similar demand, with many available spots set to go to children whose older siblings are already students at the school.
P.S. 41 will have 18 seats for the morning session and 18 seats for the afternoon session, like last year.
The number of families who requested P.S. 41 seats last year was not immediately available.
Applications to public pre-K programs are due April 5. Families fill out a centralized citywide application that allows them to select up to a dozen potential choices. All children who were born in 2009 are eligible to apply.
Families will find out if their child was accepted to a program in early June, and then they will have until June 19 to pre-register at that school.
Siegman said some pre-K seats will likely open up later in the year, as some families move or opt to send their kids to private schools.
At P.S. 41, afternoon seats are sometimes vacated, but morning seats fill immediately and stay filled, Shannon said.
Siegman said that even though the cost-of-living in the Village is high, there are plenty of locals who can't pay top dollar for private pre-K.
"There are people who live here who really need this," she said.
P.S. 3, Charrette School, 490 Hudson St.
This arts-integrated school values creativity and active learning. It has art and dance teachers, a room full of instruments and a PTA-funded music instructor.
P.S. 41, Greenwich Village School, 116 W. 11th St.
Known as a more traditional school than P.S. 3, this school has a classic pre-K curriculum that focuses on basic academic and social skills.
"You want them to feel a sense of community, learn to share and get familiar with the school," Shannon said.