Schools that are interested in expanding or truncating the grade levels they serve can initiate a request for a grade reconfiguration by taking the following steps:
Step 1: Complete and submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) by March 15th. Complete your LOI in consultation with your School Leadership Team and/or your Cluster team.
If your school is interested in truncating or expanding within the school's current grade level (e.g. K-2 to K-5), you need only to satisfactorily complete the LOI part of the process to obtain approval.
If your school is interested in an expansion where expanded grades include a new school level (e.g. K-5 to K-8), you must satisfactorily complete the LOI part of the process and advance to Step 2 (see below).
Your LOI will be assessed through careful analysis of resources (budget and physical space), demographic need, and enrollment demand. Since capital dollars are a limited resource, grade reconfigurations cannot be contingent on facilities investment. Schools wishing to expand must have received at least a "C" on their most recent Progress Report to be eligible to apply, and approved schools must receive a "C" to maintain eligibility.
Step 2: Submit a Grade Expansion Application Portfolio, followed by a site visit and panel interview in order to assess your school's instructional capacity to serve the expanded school level. Schools advancing to this step will recieve application materials direct from the Office of New Schools.
Step 3: After a grade reconfiguration proposal receives approval from the NYCDOE's Division of Portfolio Planning, the proposal is then submitted to the Panel for Educational Policy for approval. To learn about the Panel for Educational Policy Approval Process, please visit http://schools.nyc.gov/AboutUs/leadership/PEP/default.htm.
Requests to add or remove programs (such as Pre-K or Gifted & Talented) or to change the number of sections per grade at a school are not considered grade reconfigurations.
The Office of New Schools in the Division of Portfolio Planning (Portfolio) manages the process for determining any changes to schools’ current grade levels in consultation with the Office of Student Enrollment, Community Superintendents, Children's First Networks, Clusters, Community Education Councils, District Leadership Teams and other members of school communities. Portfolio enables the reconfiguration of grade levels in schools in order to:
- Increase student access to high-quality school options
- Alleviate situations that may hinder student progress
All grade reconfigurations are assessed via the following decision factors: school quality, physical space, demographic needs, impact on enrollment, and community input. Additionally, only reconfiguration proposals that align with city-wide articulation patterns for middle and high school entry will be considered.