Preschool Admissions for Twins in Brooklyn

by Joyce Szuflita on January 31, 2010

Joyce SzuflitaI have heard all kinds of urban folklore about the difficulty of finding school seats for NYC twins. I have heard that a family of twins needs to apply to 10 to 12 preschool programs to gain entry. I just couldn’t reconcile that number with what I know about Brooklyn admissions. We all know that when it comes to admissions not all boroughs are created equal.

I decided to survey the Brooklyn Brownstone Parents of Twins Club to capture some real data. What I discovered surprised a lot of parents.

For the most part, preschool directors love twins and they do everything that they can to accommodate them. The twin situation is not the same as finding two singleton seats in a school. If you are looking at a lottery program you have an extra chance to gain entry because once one child is in, the other one gets sibling preference. Twins may get a few more waitlists than acceptances, but I found that they are usually at the very top of the waitlist and often gain their seats within a couple of weeks.

I had a small sample this year, but I think that it was significant because the results were so overwhelming. 19 families responded. 1 family was extremely unhappy and didn’t answer most of the questions and the rest were very clear. The ongoing independent schools in Brooklyn have nursery programs, but they also pull from many, many other preschool programs for their kindergartens. This survey represents families trying for both kinds of schools.

1. What genders are your twins?
girl/girl, 10 52.6%
girl/boy, 6 31.6%
boy/boy, 3 15.8%

2. What year did your children attend their first year of preschool? 2 skipped
2009, 10 58.8%
2008, 3 17.6%
2007, 3 17.6%
2006, 1 15.9%

3. What age level was your first preschool search? 1 skipped
Twos, 8 44%
Threes, 5 27.8%
Fours, 5 27.8%

4. How many schools did you apply to? 1 skipped
1 – 3, 14 77.8%
4 – 6, 4 22.2%

5. How many acceptances did you receive? 1 skipped
1, 12 66.7%
2, 4 22.2%
0, 2 11.1%

6. How many schools waitlisted you? 1 skipped
0, 9 50%
1, 4 22.2%
3+, 2 11.1%

7. How long were you on the waitlist before you got two seats?
7 skipped
0 – 2 weeks, 5 41.7%
2 wks – 1 month, 1 8.3 %
1 – 4 months, 2 16.7%
4+ months, 4 33.3%
never got off, 4 33.3%

8. Was the school that your children attended in your top three personal choices? 1 skipped
Yes, 16 88.9%
No, 2 11.1 %

9. Are you happy with their preschool experience?
Yes, 17 89.5%
No, 2 10.5%

10. Where you trying for independent schools?
1 Berkeley Carroll, 1 Brooklyn Friends, 1 ISB, 1 Poly Prep

Of the 2 people who aren’t happy:
1 skipped most questions, never got off the waitlist, didn’t get a top 3 choice
1 was accepted to a top 3 choice

Of the 3 people who got no acceptances:
1 skipped the question
2 were trying for threes programs (08,09):
1 was off the waitlist (3 waitlists) in less than a month, got a top 3 choice and is happy
1 was off the waitlist (2 waitlists) in 1 – 4 months got a top 3 choice and is happy

Of the 3 people who didn’t get a top three choice:
1 skipped almost all the questions except this one, never got off a waitlist and is unhappy
1 skipped the question and is happy with their school
1 was accepted to 1 school, waitlisted at 3 – never got off the waitlist and is happy at their school

Of the 4 families who applied to 4 – 6 schools:
3 were accepted to at least one school
1 that wasn’t accepted, was waitlisted to 3 schools, and was off the waitlist in under a month

Of the 8 families applying to twos programs:
7 got into 1 program
1 got into 2 programs
random gender mix

Of the 5 families applying to threes programs:
2 got into 0 programs, were waitlisted to 2 and 3 programs, got off in under a month and 1 – 4 months, both happy

2 got into 1 program
1 got into 2 programs

Of the 5 families applying to fours programs:
3 got into 1 program
2 got into 2 programs

2 of the 10 girl/girls did not get an acceptance right away but got in off the waitlist

1 of the 3 boy/boys did not get an acceptance, skipped most questions and was unhappy

All of the 6 girl/boys got an acceptance

About the Contributor: Joyce Szuflita is a regular contributor to the NYC Firm Schools Blog in the area of Brooklyn schools.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post:

Google+