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Downtown Kindergartens Flooded With Even More Applicants Than Last Year

By Irene Plagianos | February 28, 2014 9:47am | Updated on February 28, 2014 1:42pm
 Students and parents head into TriBeCa's P.S. 234 in November.
Students and parents head into TriBeCa's P.S. 234 in November.
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DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evely

LOWER MANHATTAN — Downtown’s elementary schools have once again been flooded with more kindergarten applications than available seats — with an even larger overflow than last year.

TriBeCa’s P.S. 234 and Battery Park City’s P.S. 276 had the highest application numbers. P.S. 234 saw 177 zoned students apply for 125 kindergarten seats, while 157 youngsters applied for P.S. 276’s 100 seats, the schools’ principals said.

Last year, P.S. 234 had 173 zoned applicants, while P.S. 276 had 140.

For the first time, the Spruce Street School has received more applicants than it can hold, with 89 applications for its 75 seats, the principal said.

The Peck Slip School, currently housed in Tweed Courthouse while its permanent South Street Seaport building is under construction, has gotten 86 applications for its 50 kindergarten spots, the principal said.

The schools' application numbers were revealed Thursday at a meeting of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s School Overcrowding Task Force.

A lottery for the seats will be held in March, and parents will receive acceptance, or waitlist, letters soon after, officials said.

Principals of local schools, parents and community board members emphasized the need for more schools Downtown as the number of young families in the neighborhood continues to grow — thanks, in large part, to the reputation of the good public schools, they said.

Parents worry that overcrowding issues will continue to displace schools' science, music, art and other programs.

Department of Education officials have proposed that an additional 456-seat school be added Downtown, but parents have long said another 1,000 seats are needed.