Elementary Schools


Children are not required to attend school until they are 6 years old; however, any child whose 5th birthday is before December 31st of the year he or she starts school is entitled to attend a public kindergarten program. If you are interested in sending your child to a kindergarten program that is not housed in your neighborhood public school, we recommend that you start your search for private schools and/or alternative public elementary schools a full year before s/he will start kindergarten. There are over 900 public and private elementary schools, all of which have their own personalities. You will need a great deal of time to tour different schools to identify the schools to which you want to apply and complete the application process which may involve writing an essay, student and parent interviews as well as an entrance exam.

The remainder of the elementary school parent guide will help you:

  • Understand the public and private elementary school admissions process
  • Identify your child's educational profile as well as your family's academic goals and practical concerns
  • Learn about the differences among New York City's 900 public and private elementary schools
  • Obtain handouts to help prepare for the school tours, entrance exams and child and parent interviews