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Gabriel needed an appropriate placement and special education services for kindergarten.

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04.24.2014 | On the evening of May 18, the ARISE Coalition (which is coordinated by AFC) will be sponsoring a panel and parent speak out on literacy instruction for students with disabilities. Download a larger version of the flyer in English and Spanish.

event flyer

04.22.2015 | Families with children born in 2011 may apply to Pre-K by Friday, April 24th. To apply to full-day Pre-K for All programs at public schools and New York City Early Education Centers (community-based organizations), you should use the Department of Education’s centralized application form. You can list up to 12 Pre-K for All programs on your application and should list programs in order of your true preference. There are three ways to apply: 

  1. Apply online at www.nyc.gov/prek until midnight on 4/24; or 
  2. Visit a Family Welcome Center in person, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., until 3 p.m. on 4/24; or 
  3. Call (718) 935-2067, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., until 6 p.m. on 4/24. 

The application is available online in ten languages: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu. The DOE will also provide interpreters in more than 200 languages to help families who apply in person at a Family Welcome Center or over the phone.

You can use the Pre-K Finder on your computer or mobile device to help you find nearby Pre-K programs. If you would like assistance in finding Pre-K programs, you can also complete the form on the Pre-K Finder (“I would like a call about Pre-K”) to receive a call from the DOE.

To learn about the Pre-K options and admissions priorities, you should review the Pre-K Directory. Directories are available in ten languages.

Dual Language Learners
All families with children born in 2011 may apply to Pre-K programs. The DOE directory updates state which public schools offer Dual Language Pre-K for All programs. If you wish to apply to a Dual Language program, you must list the specific Dual Language program on your application. The DOE directory updates also indicate which NYC Early Education Centers offer Enhanced Language Instruction (ELI) programming in a language other than English. An ELI program may offer books in the target language and a staff member who speaks the target language.

Students with Disabilities
All families with children born in 2011 may apply to Pre-K programs. Preschool students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) that recommend Special Education Itinerant Teacher (SEIT) services or related services only can receive these recommended services at the Pre-K program site. Preschool students whose IEPs recommend a half-day special class or half-day special class in an integrated setting may participate in a Pre-K class for the rest of the day. For more information about preschool special education services, see AFC’s Guide to Preschool Special Education in English or Spanish.

04.14.2015 | Today AFC is testifying before the New York City Council Committee on Public Safety, the Committee on Education, and the Sub-Committee on Non-Public Schools regarding school climate and discipline. AFC supports the passage of both Introduction Number 730, amending the Student Safety Act, and Introduction Number 719, requiring the DOE to report on the ratio of School Safety Officers (“SSOs”) to Guidance Counselors in each school. View testimony

03.30.2015 | Today, AFC submitted testimony to the City Council Education Committee on resolutions regarding school funding, the charter school cap, and parents’ ability to opt out of standardized tests. View testimony

03.25.2015 | Today, AFC is testifying before the City Council Education Committee about the education proposals in the Fiscal Year 2016 Preliminary Budget. We are heartened that the Preliminary Budget includes increased funding for a literacy initiative to support students with disabilities, interpretation services for immigrant families, behavioral supports, and Pre-K. However, more funding is needed to have a significant impact. View AFC's testimony 

The ARISE Coalition, which is coordinated by AFC, is also testifying at today's hearing, urging the Council to fund the proposed literacy initiative as a down payment on what we hope will be a longer-term commitment to ensuring that every student in NYC learns to read proficiently. View the ARISE Coalition's testimony 

03.09.2015 | On March 24, AFC's Junior Board and NYU Law School's Education Law and Policy Society will hold a panel discussing the experiences of undocumented young people, particularly those who arrived recently, as they enter the City and try to access their right to a public education. RSVP by March 17

invitation 

03.05.2015 | Families wanting to apply to charter schools for the 2015-16 school year must submit their applications by April 1st. Here are 7 things you should know about the charter school admissions process.

  1. Families have to apply to any charter school that they want their children to attend. Schools must provide applications to parents upon request. Some schools post applications online. The New York City Charter School Center has a common application on its website that many schools use. You can find the application here.
     
  2. Charter schools must make the application available in languages predominately spoken in the community in which the charter school is located.
     
  3. After the deadline, charter schools must conduct a lottery to randomly select students for admission. Schools must publicize the date, time and location of the lottery, but parents are NOT required to be present at the lottery to win admission to the charter school. Families are not required to indicate that their child has an IEP or is an English Language Learner (ELL) on the application but may want to do so if the school gives an enrollment preference to students with disabilities and/or ELLs in the lottery. Schools must give an enrollment preference to students living in the community school district where the school is located and to siblings of current students at the school. However, these students are NOT guaranteed a seat at the charter school.

  4. If a student is selected in the lottery, the charter school will have a deadline by which the parent(s) must accept the seat. Therefore, families are encouraged to visit and research schools before April 1st, if possible.

  5. Families can research schools by reviewing school quality reports, visiting Insideschools.org, and visiting the NYC Charter School Center’s data webpage. In addition, parents are encouraged to attend open houses, speak with school staff, and request a copy of the charter school’s family handbook.

  6. Charter schools cannot discriminate against students on the basis of intellectual ability, standardized test scores or grades, disability, race, gender (same-sex schools are allowed), national origin, or religion, among other things. Charter schools must accept students with disabilities and ELLs. Parents are encouraged to ask schools about services and programs for these students.

  7. More information about the charter school admissions process, including sample questions to ask charter school staff, is available on the charter schools page of our website.

03.03.2015 | Today, AFC is testifying before the City Council Education Committee about the problem of overcrowding in schools and about the charter school cap. We believe it is premature to raise the cap on the number of charter schools before putting laws and practices in place that protect students’ civil rights in the context of school discipline and ensure that charter schools serve high-needs populations. View testimony

03.02.2015 | Today AFC will be testifying at the DOE Office of Safety and Youth Development hearing on the draft school discipline code for 2014-2015. AFC is a member of the Dignity in Schools Campaign New York (DSC-NY) and supports DSC’s goals of mandating guidance interventions prior to resorting to suspensions, expanding staff trainings that promote positive school environments, and eliminating suspensions for B21—“Defying or Disobeying Authority.” Our testimony focuses on the DOE’s revision to Infraction Code B21 and the importance of addressing the behavioral needs of Pre-K students. View testimony

02.27.2015 | Today, AFC is testifying at the New York City Council Committee on General Welfare hearing on interagency collaboration between the Administration for Children's Services (ACS) and the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to protect children in temporary housing. We urge ACS and DHS to create a long-term plan to enroll all eligible children living in the City’s shelters in early childhood education programs. View testimony