The vote on the District 15 rezoning and admission changes for 7 elementary schools for PS 15, PS 29, PS 32, PS 38, PS 58, PS 261 and PS 676 might get delayed due to the COVID-19 situation in New York City. Before the outbreak of COVID-19, a Participatory Action Research (PAR) process was underway in District 15 to empower the community in conversations around potential rezoning. The goal of the original delay was to engage further with affected communities in an equitable way this spring and vote in September 2020.

“The Department of Education is now exploring ways they can continue this important work while safeguarding the health of the District 15 community. They remain committed to a robust engagement process over the next several months and continuing dialogue with the community about a potential rezoning proposal for 2021-22 implementation addresses shared goals and accounts for the new landscape in which we are currently operating.”

The Department of Education has not shared a date or timeline for when the vote will take place. The upcoming rezoning – assuming a vote will still take place before December 2020 – will most likely affect families with children entering Kindergarten in 2021/2022 or later living in these schools zones.

The newly constructed addition to PS 32 might open in September of 2020 with 436 seats anyway and PS 32 most likely will accept out-of-zone students for Pre-K, Kindergarten and up. “Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the State required the shutdown of all non-essential construction projects. We are determining how this will impact the timing of all projects currently underway, including the K032 addition. The community will be notified should the timeline change for any reason.”

The goals of this rezoning for the sub-district:

  • Address overcrowding at PS 29 and PS 58 which are both working at 125% capacity
  • Equalize building utilization across schools in the surrounding areas and fill the new school building at PS 32
  • Promote integration and address demographic disparities in schools across this area of District 15

Two approaches has been presented so far. However, with the delayed vote additional approaches and new ideas could be developed once the project is picked up again.

Approach 1: New individual geographic zones

Schools would continue to have individual geographic zones and each school would set aside around 25 – 35% of its seats for students who qualify for free lunch etc. This plan would significantly decrease the school zones of PS 58 and PS 29 and significantly increase the school zones of PS 32, PS 38 and PS 15. PS 58 and PS 29 would set aside around 30% of the seats for out-of-zone students who qualify for free lunch, are English Language Learners or live in temporary housing to achieve diversity criteria. The school zones would remain approximately the same for PS 261 and PS 676. The colors in the map are the existing zones, the thick black lines are the proposed new zone lines.

Approach 2: New shared zone (“unzoning”)

Current zone lines between the impacted schools would be removed and a shared zone would be created across the seven schools in the area. Schools would admit students through a choice admissions process that would include a priority for kids who qualify for free lunch and English Language Learners for 25 – 35% of available seats at each school. Students would have entitlement to a seat at one of the 7 schools but not any individual school within the zone. Transportation would be available according to the existing guidelines for busing.

PS 29 had no wait list and PS 58 had a wait list of 5 or less students this year. Read more about local waitlists for Kindergarten here. To find out all about Pre-K and Kindergarten in zoned, unzoned public schools, Charter Schools and private schools attend our upcoming virtual Pre-K and Kindergarten Info Session.

Affected families with their oldest child entering Kindergarten in school year 21/22 or later are continuously asked to provide feedback per email: