Applying to NYC MySchools? Here’s what you need to know

NYC MySchools

NYC families can use MySchools data to apply to public schools from 3-K to high school. Get started by creating an account. Then explore your children’s personalized school options and get guidance on the admissions process from start to finish.

The New York City Department of Education is made up of more than 1800 public schools, and your child will apply for public school several times in their education. So what all goes into the NYC MySchools application process and when do you need to apply for each grade? Read on for a primer on what you need to know about pre-K, kindergarten, middle school, high school, and specialized high school applications in NYC MySchools.

Creating a NYC MySchools AccountNYC MySchools account

Your best starting point is NYC MySchools, which provides the most up-to-date information about New York City’s 1,800 schools in 32 school districts. Once you create an account and log in, you are on track to begin the journey—and you can use the same account for all of your child’s NYC public myschool data applications through high school.

In addition to submitting your child’s NYC MySchools applications via MySchools, you can submit by phone or in person at a Family Welcome Center.

How are students assigned to public schools in NYC?

Students are placed based on:

  • The schools’ admissions priorities. These include siblings of current students, current students, students who live within the school’s zone, students in temporary housing, English language learners, and students who qualify for free or reduced lunch
  • The number of seats available in a program/school.
  • The applicant’s preferences. Regardless of what grade or school you’re applying to, you can choose up to 12 programs, listed in order of preference.
  • The applicant’s assigned number. For most programs, the applicant’s number is assigned by a random lottery, though some programs assign numbers based on the student’s academic records or other measures.

How to Choose a School in NYCNYC MySchools

NYC MySchools has information about schools in all 32 districts, categorized by neighborhood, accessibility for children with disabilities, and admission methods. School Quality Snapshots provide background information and performance metrics for each public school in NYC MySchools, and school counselors and Family Welcome Centers can provide useful information. Plus, visiting schools, attending information sessions, and talking to current parents and students can help you make an informed decision. You can also browse the schools near you at

NYC Pre-K and Kindergarten Application Process

If you’re ready to enroll your kids in pre-K or kindergarten in New York City, there are a few things you should know about the process. Kids are eligible to apply to pre-K in the calendar year in which they turn 4 and kindergarten in the year in which they turn 5.

There is also a diversity initiative at some schools where priority is given to kids who qualify for free and reduced lunch, are in temporary housing (STH), or are Emergent Multilingual Learners (EMLLs).

Types of Pre-K Programs

Although there are some half-day options and a few places, like Head Start, that offer qualifying lower income families care all year round for up to 10 hours a day, most DOE-sponsored programs run five days a week, September-June, on a full-day schedule.

The three types of pre-K programs are:

  • NYC MySchools Early Education Centers (NYCEECs): community-based associations that partner with the DOE to provide pre-K programs
  • District schools: public elementary schools with Pre-K programs, which are the best option if your child currently attends preschool at the school, has an older sibling already in the school, or if you want your child to have a more academic curriculum in an elementary myschool data setting
  • Pre-K centers: administered by DOE staff and great for children who currently attend preschool, or if you prefer your kid to participate in a program with only young children

Types of Kindergarten ProgramsTypes of Kindergarten Programs

For kindergarten, there are two types of schools: zoned schools (if you live in the zone, your kids have priority) and non-zoned schools (which anyone in the district or borough can attend).

Beginning in kindergarten, kids can apply to the Gifted and Talented program. The test is administered in the spring and those that score high enough can apply to G&T programs, which will notify families in June of their acceptance. This is a different process than regular kindergarten applications.

NYC Middle School Application Process

You finally have elementary myschool data figured out, but middle school in NYC MySchools data is a whole new ballgame. For example, your elementary school district might differ from your middle school district, and if you live in the Bronx, your child is eligible to apply to all Bronx middle schools. Your child can also apply to a charter school for middle school, or one of several alternative programs.

Selecting a Middle School in NYC MySchools

The first step is to find your child’s middle school district, which might differ from her elementary school district. If this is the case, your child can apply to the middle schools in both districts. Your child might also have guaranteed or priority admission at her zoned schools.

You can then explore the schools available to your child through the MySchools nyc middle school directory. You can search for schools by name if you know what’s in your district, or explore options based on what they offer. For example, if your child is a science whiz, you can filter schools based on which ones offer science clubs. You can also filter school options based on what your family needs, such as proximity to bus or subway lines, accessible classrooms, and more. Keep in mind that some schools have specific application rules or admissions methods

Applying to NYC Middle Schools

 You can apply to up to 12 middle schools and must rank the choices in order of preference. The DOE suggests adding your child’s zoned programs to the list (though they don’t have to be your child’s first choice). It’s also a good idea to talk to your child’s current guidance counselor to discuss how your child will rank his prospects. The application is available in several languages, and you can call the DOE and ask for an interpreter.

NYC High School & Specialized High School Application Process

Can you believe it? Your child is ready for high school! And while you might have already made it through several school admissions by now, it’s time for the big and most complicated one. There are more than 700 high school programs at over 400 schools in New York City and any current eighth grade student or first-time ninth grade student can apply to any of them.

If you’ve already attended public school in the city, you likely have a MySchools nyc account which is a great place to start exploring your high school options. The searchable directory contains the most up-to-date information about the city’s many programs. The DOE’s new video series will also take you through the steps you need to take to apply to high schools in New York City.

Your first step is deciding whether you are applying to a public school, a specialized high school, or a charter school (in which case the process doesn’t involve the DOE). You will be able to rank your 12 choices and submit your application online or through a school counselor.

How Different NYC High Schools Admit StudentsHow Different NYC High Schools Admit Students

There are several different types of admission processes:

Educational Option schools use the English Language Arts (ELA) state test scores from seventh grade and identify the top 16 percent of scores, the middle 68 percent, and the lowest 16 percent. Half of the students who gain admission to an Ed. Opt. myschool datal will be matched based on their rank of that school, while the other half will be selected randomly.

Screened Programs rank applicants based on their final seventh-grade report card grades and reading and math standardized test scores. There may also be other items that schools require to screen applicants such as an interview, essay, or additional diagnostic test scores.

Unscreened Programs select randomly from the pool of applicants.

Zoned Programs give priority to students who live in the geographic zoned area of the high school.

Specialized High Schools include Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, which requires students to audition for up to six programs: dance, drama, fine and visual art, instrumental music, technical theater, and vocal music.

The other eight specialized schools require students to take the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test to qualify for admission. (Register for the SHSAT online at MySchools or with a school counselor.) 

Wrap Up

Your NYC Schools Account is your gateway to family-facing technology to support and track your children’s progress through public school education at the NYC Department of Education. Open an account today to apply to schools, track your children’s progress from Pre-K through high school graduation, and get access to other digital content for New York City families exclusively available to NYC Schools Account holders!

Opening a NYC Schools Account is the first step towards becoming more involved in your student’s education. Receive updates via text messages or email about school closures, emergencies, and upcoming events. Link your students and start monitoring things like grades, test scores, attendance.


Nayab Kiran

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A highly skilled and professional WordPress developer and publisher. My expertise lies in creating visually stunning and functional websites that captivate users. Furthermore, I excel as a content writer, crafting unique and engaging content across various niches. Through my entrepreneurial skills, I assist businesses in achieving professional growth and success.

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