Back to school – How to choose the perfect school for your children?

Starting a new school year is an exciting time. Below is a summary of key services and ways to track your child’s academic progress.



If you are new to New York City public schools, you can register for elementary and middle school at your zoned school. To find your zoned school, use the School Search tool at or call 311.

If you do not have a zoned school, you must visit a student registration center. All high school students must register at a student registration center. To find a center near your home, and to learn about the documents required for registration, call 311 or visit


Session Times

Returning families should verify the start and end time for their school.

Some schools may have adjusted their session time in order to provide more structured family engagement and staff professional development throughout the year. Contact your school or visit for session time information.



General education students in grades K-2, who live a half mile or more from their school, and general education students in grades 3-6, who live a mile or more away, are eligible to receive either yellow bus service or a full-fare MetroCard. General education students in grades 7-12, who live a mile and a half or more from their school, are eligible for a full-fare MetroCard.

If your child has an Individualized Education Program mandating yellow bus transportation, you should receive a transportation information letter in early September from the Office of Pupil Transportation.
To change your child’s transportation arrangements, contact your school and ask for the transportation coordinator. If your child is eligible for any of these programs but you do not receive a notice, call the Office of Pupil Transportation at 718-392-8855. Visit for more information.


Parent Coordinators

Your key point of contact is the parent coordinator. Parent coordinators are tasked with identifying families’ issues and concerns and working with school and community leaders to ensure that they are addressed in a timely manner. Call your school or use the School

Search tool at to find the contact information of your parent coordinator.


School Meals

Our schools provide healthy, nutritious meals every day. All students, regardless of household income, are eligible to receive lunch at no cost. To find out if your child qualifies, complete the School Meals Application Form at

This form is also sent home at the beginning of the school year. Completing it helps secure State funding for your child’s school.


Special Education

Students with disabilities have access to the same schools they would attend if they did not have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Federal law ensures that students with IEPs are provided the greatest access to the general education curriculum and are taught alongside students without disabilities, to the greatest extent possible (also referred to as the least restrictive environment). National research shows that when all students are educated together, students with disabilities are more likely to graduate ready for college and careers. More time spent educating all students together creates greater success for students without disabilities as well. For more information about special education, speak with your child’s principal or parent coordinator, or visit


Translation and Interpretation Services

Information about your child’s education is translated into Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu. In addition, schools offer over-the-phone interpretation services in more than 150 languages to help families and school staff communicate. To obtain language assistance, ask your school’s principal, parent coordinator, or language access coordinator.


English Language


In New York City, all English Language Learners (ELLs) students whose native language is not

English and who are identified as needing support learning English have access to rigorous Common Core-aligned instruction that will prepare them for college and careers. Families of ELLs can select from one of three programs: Dual Language, Transitional Bilingual Education, and English as a Second Language (ESL). For more information, visit, call the ELL office at 212-374-6072, or email


Physical and Health


Physical and Health education is required every year in grades K-12. In pre-k, children have daily opportunities for movement. Each year, K-12 students receive a NYC FITNESSGRAM report that includes suggestions about how to stay active and healthy. Schools provide opportunities to engage in a wide range of fitness activities before, during, and after school. Health education, including lessons on nutrition, safety, and self-care, is integrated throughout the elementary grades. A semester of daily health education, including sexual health lessons, is required in both middle and high schools. Schools should inform parents when their child is being scheduled for sexual health education.

Schools are also required to teach annual, age-appropriate lessons on HIV/

AIDS to every student. To learn more about available programs to support physical and health education, or to support wellness efforts in your child’s school, visit


Medical Care

Most elementary schools have nurses to evaluate health problems or help children take medication. If your child needs to take medication at school, complete the Medical Administration Form, available at the school or at Ask your school guidance counselor, social worker, or parent coordinator about medical services available to students regardless of health insurance or immigration status.


Students in Temporary


If your child does not have a permanent home, he or she is entitled to assistance with enrollment, transportation, school supplies, and more. For information, call 311 and ask for the Students in

Temporary Housing Liaison or visit


Tracking Your Child’s


The easiest way to stay informed about your child’s education is to get involved at his or her school.

Check in regularly with your child’s teacher, attend parent-teacher conferences, volunteer at school events, or join the parent association. You can also find information about your child’s academic progress at To log on, you will need an email address, your child’s ID number, and a temporary password. To obtain your temporary password, please bring your ID and visit the parent coordinator or family liaison at your child’s school. Visit:




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