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Understanding The Nyc School System


When searching for a new home, finding the right neighborhood is essential, one that fits your personal wants and needs. For families or individuals planning to start a family, this includes selecting a neighborhood with a great school district.

New York City’s Department of Education is the largest school district in the US, serving 1.1 million students in 1,800 schools. Within this, there are smaller districts that cover specific neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. For example, in Manhattan, there are six school districts and three types of school:

Public Schools: If you choose to enroll your student in public school, one’s street address dictates what elementary and middle school the child will be zoned to attend.

Charter Schools: Charter Schools are publicly funded institutions that employ unique learning models. Each school has its own application process, but charter schools are free and open to all children on a first-come, first served basis.

Private Schools: There are many private schools in NYC, including independent and religious schools. Because of independent funding, these schools can offer specialized curricula and differentiated learning. Each institution has unique admissions requirements. Tuition costs range, with financial aid options available for select students.

There are benefits to each type of school. Just like finding the right house, it comes down to figuring out what’s best for your family, specifically what’s best for your child. For questions about enrollment in NYC schools, visit your local Family Welcome Center.

Photo courtesy of District Administration.