MANHATTAN — Two public schools are opening a total of 60 new free pre-K seats in response to a push by parents and politicians for more options on the Upper East Side.
For the first time, P.S. 183, the Robert Louis Stevenson School on East 66th Street, and P.S. 6, Lillie Devereaux Blake School on East 81st Street, will open 20 and 40 seat respectively for round two of applications this year, according to city officials.
In June, the DOE said that 668 Upper East Siders applied for the 380 pre-K seats available in the neighborhood during the first rounds of applications this year.
Now the neighborhood will have a total of 530 pre-k seats, including the most recently opened seats at P.S. 183 and P.S. 6 and 90 new seats that became available at the Manhattan Schoolhouse and the Roosevelt Island Day Nursery.
Families can still enroll for the program online by Aug. 1 and the DOE's pre-K outreach team will contact families who express interest. Offers will be made by lottery according to admissions priorities, officials said.
This year, many 4-year-olds on the Upper East Side were waitlisted in programs near their home and given options that were as far as 40 minutes away, parents said.
During a May 15 City Council education committee, Kallos pushed the city to open more grade schools in the neighborhood to create more space for additional pre-K students and suggested a pre-K center be built on an empty lot at East 78th Street and First Avenue.
The DOE said there wasn't a need for more grade schools but sent out an RFP the week of June 20, looking for new pre-K providers for the 2017-18 school year, according to the DOE.
Those proposals will be due Sept. 16.
"Together, we’ve more than quadrupled the number of free, full-day, high-quality pre-K seats in this area since 2013-14, and we look forward to continued partnership to continue to expand options," said Josh Wallack, the DOE's deputy chancellor. "There is a free, full-day, high-quality pre-K seat for every 4-year-old in New York City, and our pre-K outreach team is actively supporting any families continuing to explore their pre-K options.”