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Parents Rush to Get Kindergarten Applications in Before Deadline

 Those wanting to register for public school kindergarten must do so by Friday.
Those wanting to register for public school kindergarten must do so by Friday.
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DNAinfo/Serena Solomon

CHELSEA — Last minute stragglers filed into the city's Department of Education admission office to register their children for public school kindergarten this fall to beat Friday's deadline.

While many parents in the city's zoned districts can apply directly to their allocated school, those in the city's three so-called choice districts are required to apply at their borough's Department of Education admissions office or online or over the phone.

Three school districts that allow parents to make preferences for their child's school: District 1 on the Lower East Side, District 7 in the South Bronx and District 23 in Brownsville.

"I just found out yesterday today was the last day," said Justin Rodriguez, 23, who registered his four-year-old son at the Manhattan admission's office. "I said ‘Oh my God I have to come in tomorrow.'"

"This is my first time doing this," said Rodriguez, who as a District 2 parent could have applied at the school, but went to the Manhattan's admissions office to ensure his application was correct.

Rodriguez, a Kips Bay resident, is hoping that his child will go to the same school he did – P.S. 116 on East 33rd Street.

DOE spokesman Devon Puglia said strategic outreach to parents had meant more kindergarten applications this year than at the same time last year. As of 2 p.m. more than 900 applications had been received for District 1 since they opened in January. 

Parents are also experimenting with the DOE's new online application system that is only for District 1, 7 and 23. So far more than 1,600 applications have come through the web, according to Puglia.

The deadline for parents who want to hand in their application is a 3 p.m. when admission offices close. Online registrations close at 11:59 p.m. Friday night.