Public School Choice


News and Updates

  • Participating families in the Persistently Dangerous Schools (PDS) transfer process have been mailed decision letters beginning Friday, October 17, 2014.
  • Students who receive a PDS transfer offer have until Thursday, October 30, 2014 to register their acceptance. 
  • Please continue to check this page for regular updates. 

Persistently Dangerous Schools

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 No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), students enrolled at schools designated 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. 

Public School Choice Program Eligibility

The Public School Choice (PSC) program gives families of students who attend an eligible lower-performing school an opportunity to request a transfer to a school in good standing starting the following school year. Priority is given to the lowest-performing and lowest income students.

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 to request a PSC transfer if they attend a school in one of the following categories:

1. 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.

2. Focus or Priority: NYSED identifies schools as Focus or Priority if they are among the lowest performing statewide in terms of overall performance, graduation rate, and/or other criteria.

Fifth grade students enrolled at a K-5 school, eighth grade students, and high school seniors on track to graduate in June 2014 are not eligible to apply for a transfer.

You can confirm eligibility by checking your child's school and grade here.

Last year, 8,086 families applied for transfers through the Public School Choice process. Citywide, there were 5,983 available seats, and 4,194 students received a transfer offer to a school in good standing. Review the helpful links below to learn how your child can take advantage of this opportunity.
For more information about New York State Accountability, please visit the Office of Accountability.