Public School Choice
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Public School Choice transfer program?
Public School Choice provides students in Focus Schools, Priority Schools and Phase Out Schools with the opportunity to apply to transfer into schools In Good Standing.
How can I get help with the PSC process?
If you have any questions about the Public School Choice program, contact the Office of Student Enrollment by phone at 718-935-2439, or contact the Public School Choice Team by email at NCLB_PSC@schools.nyc.gov.
Application Process FAQs
Who is eligible for a Public School Choice transfer?
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) determine which students can participate in the Public School Choice (PSC) Program. This year, students are eligible for a PSC transfer if their school is in the following categories:
All students currently attending Priority, Focus and/or Phase-out schools may apply. However, fifth grade students at a K-5 school, eighth grade students, and current high school seniors on track to graduate in June 2013 are not eligible to apply for a transfer. Students in fifth grade at a K-5 school will be moving on to another school in September 2013, and all eighth grade students participate in the High School Admissions Process.
- Phase Out: NYCDOE decides which schools should phase out due to low performance and/or low demand. Phase out is a process of gradual closure over a two- to three-year period.
- Priority or Focus: NYSED identifies schools as Priority or Focus if they are among the lowest performing statewide in terms of overall performance, graduation rate, and/or other criteria.
How do I request a Public School Choice transfer?
Families of students that are eligible to apply for the Public School Choice transfer will receive transfer application materials by mail in early March. The completed application form must be returned by mail postmarked by Friday, April 19, 2013.
What schools are available for my child?
You can apply only to schools listed on the Transfer Application Form. In addition to choosing schools on your application, you can select the “Other Schools” option. By making this selection, you may receive a transfer offer to another school with available seats if none of your selected schools have open seats.
Is this a mandatory program?
No, you are being provided with the option to request a transfer for your child. If you want your child to stay at his or her current school, check “No, I would not like to request a transfer” in the “Requesting a Transfer” section of the Transfer Application Form.
Can I rank my school choices?
No, there is no ranking order on the application. Your child may be matched to any school that you select, so choose only those schools that you are willing to have your child attend.
How is my child matched to a school?
After reviewing the schools you have selected for your child, matches are made according to seat availability and in accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act, which requires that the lowest-performing and lowest-income students have first priority.
Am I guaranteed a transfer offer?
No, there are a limited number of seats available at each school.
If I receive a transfer offer, do I have to accept it?
No, you do not have to accept the transfer offer.
What happens if I miss the deadline?
If you do not submit the Transfer Application Form by the deadline, we will conclude that you have chosen not to request a transfer. Your child will remain enrolled in his or her current school
What can I do if I haven’t received an application for my child?
Please confirm your eligibility by checking your child's school and grade here. If you have not received your PSC application by Wednesday, April 10, 2013, please go to your nearest Borough Enrollment center. You can find your closest location by clicking here. Additionally, please try to bring the white postcard you received in March.
Will my child receive transportation?
Yes. Your child will receive transportation. Transportation could be a yellow school bus or could be a full fare MetroCard.
What transportation rules apply to Public School Choice transfers?
Will my child keep the same transportation every year?
- Students in grades K-2 who live less than ½ mile from their school are eligible for a full-fare Metro Card.
- Students in grades K-2 who live more than ½ mile from their school are eligible for yellow school bus transportation.
- Students in grades 3-6 who live less than a mile from their school are eligible to receive a full-fare MetroCard.
- Students in grades 3-6 who live more than a mile or more from their school are eligible to receive yellow bus service.
- Students in grades 7-12 are eligible to receive full-fare Metro Cards, regardless of the distance they must travel to school.
Eligibility for PSC Transportation is dependent upon your child’s grade level and distance between your home and the new school. For example, a Grade 2 student that transfers through the Public School Choice program and resides more than ½ mile but less than 1 mile from the new school is eligible for General Education transportation Yellow School Bus. When this student begins Grade 3 he or she would be eligible for a Full fare MetroCard for public transportation.
If I accept a transfer for my child, when will I be informed about transportation
If you accept your offer, Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT) staff will contact you over the summer to ask if you are requesting yellow bus transportation. If your child is eligible for yellow busing we will confirm your information and busing will be available at the beginning of the school year. You can contact OPT during the last week of August for yellow bus information at 718-392-8855. If your child receives a MetroCard, it will be distributed by the school at the beginning of the school year.
What if we move after my child has transferred to a school through Public School Choice?
If your family moves after your child has transferred to a school through Public School Choice, your child will receive transportation based on the new address using the eligibility requirements listed above. Please be sure to notify the school of your new address.
What if my child leaves the school he or she transferred into through Public School Choice?
The General Education transportation provided under PSC would no longer be guaranteed. If a student leaves the school, transportation eligibility is determined by current NYCDOE transportation guidelines. To find the NYCDOE transportation guidelines, please visit OPT’s website at www.nyc.gov/schools/Offices/Transportation.
How can I figure out the distance from my home to a school?
Use the MTA Trip Planner at www.mta.info to estimate the best route and the time and distance from your home to a school. Remember, you can be matched to any school on your application so make sure you are comfortable with the time it takes to get from your home to the schools you select on your application.
What if I have questions about my child’s transportation?
If you have questions about transportation, contact the Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT) at 718-392-8855 or visit the OPT website at www.nyc.gov/schools/Offices/Transportation.