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Cracking the Kindergarten Code

Many pre-Ks take kids for an extra year of nursery school, especially when their birthdays run into the second half of the year. Schools like the vaunted 92nd Street Y and the Weekday School often have spaces because so many kids leave for kindergarten at K-8 schools. “Having that extra year with us to mature and do more academic work has been very successful with families that come to us for kindergarten, in terms of placement at elementary schools,” says Linda Herman, director of the Weekday School. “The selective schools like having a child who’s had that extra year of seasoning,” she says.

One downtown mother found that applying after the kindergarten crush was a much easier process. “Instead of 500 applicants, we were one of ten, applying for two spots. It was a much calmer feel,” she says. Her daughter applied to four schools and was accepted at two.

And a mom on the Upper West Side who’s applying for a second time at Trinity this year says, “I know the admissions person now. She’s very sympathetic. I get the feeling she’s pulling for me, because she knows how much I want to get in.”