Public School Choice News
- The 2017-18 Public School Choice (PSC) application period is closed. Students who applied for a PSC transfer were mailed decision letters in June 2017.
- PSC transfer offers for the 2017-18 school year have expired as of Tuesday, September 26, 2017.
Public School Choice Overview
The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) is committed to helping all schools reach higher standards of student achievement by giving every child in every school a quality education.
The Public School Choice (PSC) program gives students the opportunity to apply to transfer into schools currently NOT in Priority status as determined by the New York State Education Department (NYSED), and in accordance with the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA). Students who are identified as low-performing and low income have a higher priority to receive a PSC transfer offer.
In 2017, 1,115 families applied for a Public School Choice transfer. Citywide, there were 9,126 available seats, and 876 students received a transfer offer in accordance with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015.
Students can apply for a PSC transfer if they are in both of the following groups:
- Enrolled in a Priority School: Based on the 2016-2017 NYS Education Department (NYSED) school accountability data, schools identified as being in Priority status are among the lowest performing statewide in terms of overall performance, graduation rate, and/or other criteria.
- Eligible grades: Students who are enrolled in grades kindergarten to seven, or nine to eleven, at a Priority school, can apply for a PSC transfer. Students registered in the final grade of their school will not receive a PSC transfer application.
The NYSED determines the accountability status of schools based on its own set of measures. Please visit the NYSED Office of Accountability to find out about your school's status.
- A signed and completed PSC application must be submitted by Friday, March 24, 2017.
- Decision letters will be mailed to families in June 2017.
- PSC transfer offer letters expire on Tuesday, September 26, 2017.
Information Sessions for the 2017-18 school year have concluded. For information about dates, times, and locations of these sessions, click here.
Learn about the Application Process
Completing the PSC Application
Public School Choice (PSC) application deadline is Friday, March 24, 2017. Eligible students will have the PSC transfer application mailed to their home. There is no limit to the number of schools you can put on your child’s application. You are encouraged to choose at least four schools to increase your chances of receiving a PSC transfer offer. You can decide on any of the schools that are listed in the PSC transfer application. Please note that there is no order of preference in the application and your child may be matched to any school that you put on their application.
In addition to choosing schools listed on the application, you can choose the “Other Schools” option. By making this choice, you may get a transfer offer to a school with available seats if none of your chosen schools have seat availability.
Accepting a PSC Offer
Decision letters will be mailed to families on a rolling basis beginning in June 2017. Transfer offer letters are made according to seat availability and in accordance with the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), which requires that lower-performing and lower-income students have a higher priority at receiving a PSC transfer offer.
The PSC program has high demand and a limited number of seats available at each school. PSC transfer offers are not guaranteed.
PSC transfer offers are voluntary. If you do not want to accept the transfer offer, no action is necessary and your child will stay at his or her current school.
Making Informed Decisions
Consider the following school qualities before you apply:
- School size
- Academic focus
- Curriculum offerings and after-school programs
- Travel and distance time
- Climate and culture
There are many different types of schools listed on your application. Schools can vary by location, size, academic focus, and curriculum offerings. Information about the programs and activities available at the schools can be found here. You can also contact the selected schools on your application about curriculum offerings and after-school programs that interest you.
You can be matched to any school you put on your application so please consider travel time as you choose your schools. Use MTA Trip Planner to estimate the best route, time and distance from your home to each school you apply to. Students who transfer to a different school through PSC will receive transportation while enrolled at the school. PSC students not eligible for yellow bus transportation may be given a Metro Card that is valid on both MTA subway and buses.
The following Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT) eligibility and guidelines apply to PSC transfers:
| Who live less than 1/2 mile from their school
|| Full Fare MetroCard|
| Who live more than 1/2 mile from their school
|| Yellow Bus|
| Who live less than a mile from their school
|| Full Fare MetroCard|
| Who live more than a mile from their school
|| Yellow Bus|
| Are eligible to receive only full fare Metro Cards, regardless of distance
|| Full Fare MetroCard|
PSC Additional Resources
If you have questions about the PSC program please contact the Office of Student Enrollment at 718-935-2439 or email us at PSC@schools.nyc.gov
Persistently Dangerous Schools (PDS)
The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) is committed to providing the best education and a safe learning environment to all students. Schools identified as Persistently Dangerous Schools (PDS) must present a plan to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) for reducing incidents and increasing safety.
Under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), students enrolled at schools designated as persistently dangerous have the opportunity to request a transfer to a school that is NOT persistently dangerous. The Office of Student Enrollment (OSE) offers transfer programs to students where transfer options exist.
Students attending schools that are designated as persistently dangerous are eligible for an opportunity to transfer. Schools are designated persistently dangerous if they have two successive years of serious incidents that meet or exceed criteria established by the NYSED. Eligible families will be mailed a notification letter to their homes in September. The list of 2017-2018 PDS schools can be found on the NYSED website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I required to transfer my child?
No, participating in the program is optional students do not have to transfer. If parents are satisfied with their current school, they can decline the transfer option and remain at their current school.
Do I get to choose my transfer school and how are transfer offers determined?
Students are offered a transfer if there is an appropriate transfer option available for the student. PDS is not a choice-based process and there is no student priority. Transfer offers are based on seat availability and are not guaranteed.
If my child requires related services or has an IEP, what transfer options exist?
Transfer options are available for students with special needs. If a student is given a transfer option, students will continue to get their services at their new school. When considering whether to apply for a PDS transfer, parents should consider their level of satisfaction with the student’s current program. Parents may also wish to contact their current school to ask about the school’s designation and to discuss how they are addressing specific concerns.
PDS Additional Resources