ps 191
The current home of PS 191 on West 61st Street.

The city Department of Education has released the first stats about applications for local public schools since the Upper West Side school district went through a large and controversial rezoning late last year.

Exact comparisons to previous years are difficult, because the zone sizes have changed. But from a first look at the numbers, it appears that PS 191 on West 61st Street attracted enough interest to fill the intended number of Kindergarten classes.

That’s significant because affluent parents had previously shunned PS 191, whose students mostly came from the Amsterdam Houses projects. The rezoning made that school’s district more diverse, and school leaders were hoping that enrollment would rise. PS 191 will also be in a new building starting in September, another perk.

The Department of Ed had projected that the new zone size for 191 would accommodate 110-120 kids for Kindergarten, and 126 students have received offers to the school. It’s not 100% clear if that means it will be more diverse, but it’s a positive early sign that the classes will be filled.

Another significant stat: PS 199 on 70th and PS 87 on 78th both have waiting lists, which could raise concerns from parents who had hoped the rezoning would reduce waiting lists at popular schools. At PS 199, the waiting list may have to do with the simple fact that there is one fewer Kindergarten class this year. At 87, it appears to be a result of some parents who had previously been zoned for PS 452 attempting to now get into PS 87, because PS 452 is moving to the old PS 191 building it’s not immediately clear why there’s still a waiting list. (It’s all quite confusing but is explained in detail in a previous article.)

We received the following stats from the Department of Ed:

2017 Kindergarten Admissions
Zoned Waitlist Data

*Includes students who have more than one zoned school and received an offer to one of their zoned schools that they ranked lower or did not apply to, as well as students who are waitlisted at a dual language program at their zoned school but were accommodated at another school of their choice that is not their zoned school.

03M009 23
03M084 Below 10
03M087 30
03M163 Below 10
03M199 34
(The DOE says they can’t share exact numbers below 10 because of state law.)

-787 students put M199 on their application, up from 688 last year.

-129 students received offers, down from 150 last year. There is one fewer K section at M199 this year due to space constraints.

-There is a zoned waitlist of 34 students, compared to 30 last year.

– This year, 26 applicants were grandfathered as zoned siblings, and the number of students receiving grandfathered sibling priority will decrease over the course of several years.


– 171 students put M191 on their application, up from 97 last year.

– 126 students received offers, down from 163 last year.

– This is driven entirely by 50 fewer “overflow” offers to M191 – 32 “overflow” offers rather than 82.

– Following conversations with the District 3 Superintendent, students who were otherwise waitlisted were given offers to multiple schools in the district this year, including M452, given its additional capacity.


– 604 students put M452 on their application, down from 658 last year.

– 128 students received offers, up from 76 last year. We were able to increase the number of offers, given the additional capacity.

– This is also driven partially by 24 zoned students who are waitlisted at M087 and will receive offers to M452.

NEWS, SCHOOLS | 33 comments | permalink
    1. Sherman says:

      If PS 191attracted enough applicants to fill its kindergarten classes this doesn’t answer who these applicants are.

      Are they from “affluent” families or are the kids from lower income families?

      If these kids are from lower income families then all this rezoning and scrambling of schools have failed in their objective to promote diversity.

      We are back to square one.

      • Local Parent says:

        Looks like the doom and gloom forecasts by naysayers on this board was premature.

        Of course they are middle class / affluent. Nearly all of the underprivileged students in Lincoln Square come from the Amsterdam Houses. There is not a spike in the participation of these students happening here. In fact, about 2/3 of the Amsterdam Housing kids who do not have older siblings at 191 right now need to go to 199 or 452. The rate of underprivileged kids is dropping, not rising.

        The new influx is from the nearly two dozen luxury high rise buildings surrounding the brand new building in this zone. Let’s not tread on the beginning of a rise in success that so many schools in our city have already shown is possible with increased diversity.

        • Sherman says:

          I agree that the “rise in success” you allege in city schools might actually be happening.

          But this success is only happening to underperforming schools when middle class and affluent kids begin to enroll in them.

          It is not happening when poor kids get transferred to schools that are already successful, i.e. PS 199.

          So yes, I guess “diversity” does have an upside – just not the way liberal idealists think it does.

          • Local Parent says:


            You know very well that two things are happening here. More Amsterdam kids will be going to high performing schools than before (452 and 199) while more middle class / affluent kids will be going to the 191 Riverside School than before.

            This is a great beginning for them. Please stop denying that there is way more middle class support here than before – just because the numbers do not fit with your long preconceived ideas about the impending failure of integration efforts. Just be happy for them already and please stop trying to put a monkey wrench in it.

            Not everyone thinks like you. Just because you wouldn’t send a child to the school does not mean that nobody else will or should. This is happening and our community should be proud of what it is accomplishing.

        • Pigeon says:

          “Local Parent” writes “Looks like the doom and gloom forecasts by naysayers on this board was premature. Of course the (191 students) are middle class / affluent.”

          You’re assuming all the 191 kids are from parents who live in the Lincoln Square neighborhood. This is not a safe assumption. The WSR article says 32 of the 171 students are overflow. Doesn’t this mean they’re not from the Lincoln Square neighborhood?

          • Local Parent says:

            There is currently only overflow from popular schools such as 199, 87, and 9 as explained above. Not much poverty in those zones.

    2. Juan says:

      Thanks – this is very interesting. Could you provide more detail on PS9? I’m surprised its waitlist is so big. PS9 bumped to a 5th K class in 2015-2016 but I doubt they want to do that again.

      Also, historically I don’t think 163 has ever had a waitlist so though small, its waitlist is also surprising.

    3. Christine E says:

      What about PS9,166,84… which also were reshuffled. Are the newly zoned PS84 families accepting the rezoning to their 3rd closest school and with low test scores??

      • Drew says:

        What’s with the passive aggressiveness (or not so passive) Christine E? I know several families with children in PS 84 who feel it is a wonderful and nurturing school that has only gotten better with every passing year.

        Not sure I see the logic in taking swipes at schools. Just make the best of your situation.

    4. Anon1 says:

      I don’t think one of the lines in the article is quite accurate. It implies that the reason PS 87 may have a waitlist is because formerly zoned 452 families are attempting to get into PS 87. They may be accurate for the upper grades, but does not apply to the Kindergarten process. Anyone applying to Kindergarten at PS 87 is now zoned for PS 87.

      The DOE and CEC both cited that overcrowding was one of the factors in the rezoning exercise. This first look at numbers seems to indicate that the mark was certainly missed.

      • West Sider says:

        That’s a good point. It probably wouldn’t impact the Kindergarten class. WSR

      • Carlos says:

        I agree that there shouldn’t be overcrowding and/or zoned kids not getting into their zoned school immediately after rezoning. And I think the rezoning process was handled very poorly so I have little faith in the DOE. But I am hesitant to pass judgment at this point.

        This will obviously create stress for those on the waitlist, but at this point, there is a lot of movement as families who decided to go private or move to the suburbs withdraw, and there will be further movement when G&T placements come out. So if the waitlists fully clear, then they have done their job in this respect. None of these numbers appear so huge that they definitely won’t clear.

      • JoeFeld says:

        Of course it was missed. We just didnt realize how badly it was missed and how quickly we would find out.

    5. Eln says:

      I went to both P.S.87 & JHS 44 back in the day when life was simple No over crowding, no wait lists

    6. Rachel says:

      Thank you for sharing, especially the breakdowns. I grew up across town, and plan to send my son to public school when he’s older (only 2 now), just as I did when I was little!

    7. Oh my says:

      I’m not sure how happy I would be if I was waitlisted at PS 87 but given a spot at PS452. That’s certainly not the neighborhood school…..

    8. Toomuchdogpoopuws says:

      Parents making 500k a year who dont want to spend 50k for private school cause overcrowding

      • RCP says:

        So, are you saying parents who make $500,000 per year have no right to send their children to public schools? Would love to understand your line of thinking here.

      • MichaelW says:

        Thats just a dog poop statement.

    9. AD says:

      Isn’t PS 191 still labeled a Focus School? This hard-to-find link shows it as such: That means parents have until March 24 to request a transfer:

    10. formerwaitlisted parent says:

      Well – the waitlists are essentially negligible. Once G&T offers, Charter School Offer and Private School Offers come in, all those kids on the waitlist will get spots in their zoned school.

      Compare that to 3 years ago with a waitlist of 130+ zoned kids at PS199 and I would say that at least on that front – progress has been made.

      • Anon2 says:

        The waitlists are similar to last year I believe. The CEC claimed that any waitlists were unacceptable when they began the zoning exercise. Of course then they got caught up in becoming the saviors of “diversity” and forgot about the whole reason for the re-zoning in the first place…

        • uswdad says:

          If you had no waitlists in March, you will have a severely underutilized Kindergarten in September as 20-30% reject their places in favor pf private, charter and G&T options.

          These waitlists are healthy numbers. A blanket “zero waitlist” situation (across all schools) at this point would mean a significant overcapacity issue that should be of equal concern.

          • Anon says:

            That is pure nonsense.

            Most Upper East schools have not had waitlists since the area was rezoned a few years ago (no UES schools had waitlists this year). Are PS 290, PS 6, PS 158 etc, etc “severely under-utilized?” Hardly!

            This comment sounds like a D3 CEC member trying to justify her actions.

            • Anon1 says:

              Anon – I like your answer. To put things in perspective, here are the waitlist numbers from the past 2 years (all determined in March):

              March 2016 – PS 199 (30), PS 87 (34), PS 9 (19)

              March 2015 – PS 199 (93), PS 87 (25), PS 9 (no waitlist)

              Very comparable to this year. Makes me wonder if this grand rezoning had any positive impact on overcrowding….

            • anon says:

              Anon and Anon1, isn’t there 1 fewer sections of K in 199 next year? That does reduce overcrowding.

    11. Anon says:

      Can someone explain the 24 kids zoned for ps 87 given spots at 452 — are the included in the 30 on the PS 87 waitlist or are the now ineligible for ps 87? As above posters have noted 30 isn’t a long waitlist for a school where many of the parents can afford private school and may take that options. It will probably clear.

    12. NewUWSdad says:

      Can anyone explain how a child (mine) can be waitlisted at her zoned school but be given an offer for a school that also has a waitlist of zoned students? it’s very confusing. How can we have been offered a seat in a school out of our zone that has a waitlist of zoned students? An can we presume that students who are not zoned for our zoned school have been offered seats while we’ve been waitlisted? It doesn’t make any sense to me.

      • Anon2 says:

        NewUWSdad – that doesn’t make any sense at all. What school are you zoned for and where have you been offered a spot? Sounds to me like some games are being played or this list is the DOE is not being completely forthcoming with this list.

    13. Uws mom says:

      126 kids offered slots at 191. We were one of them – but we want our zoned school and will pass on 191. I don’t think they’ll fill those k seats.

    14. uwsresident says:

      If I’m reading the asterisked note, the waitlist data includes students who were waitlisted for higher-ranked zoned schools but instead received offers for lower-ranked zoned schools.

      PS84 is special because it actually has 3 programs that would count as multiple zoned schools: Spanish DL, French DL and English monolingual.

      What makes this data extremely interesting is that I know of at least 2 zoned families living in the *same building* who must make up that “less than 10” number for which this situation applies – unless the asterisked fine print means something else that I’m not completely understanding.

    15. Has anyone considered? says:

      Has anyone considered the possibility the new school where 191 is moving will not be ready by the start of the school year? I pass the new building everyday and it doesn’t look ready. There are still voer five months to get it ready, but does anyone know how prepared the DOE is? Has the furniture been ordered or delivered, are the classrooms going to be available. Will the building and the school space be approved for children, and all the safety and health permits a school needs be issued on time?

      Has the DOE prepared this. I doubt it knowing they way they function. People might disregard this post now, but wait until June and then it will be a big concern. Remember, the new school wasn’t supposed to be ready until September, 2018. Could the Mayor and the DOE rushed this because of the pressure they were under with a dangerous school that lacked diversity?

    16. Overcrowding isn't just based on K enrollment says:

      Nobody knows how this is going to shake out until it is seen how many of the current 452 children transfer to their newly zoned school of either PS 199 or PS 87. This article and wait list is only about kindergarten. The overcrowding at PS 87 and PS 199 won’t be known until we see how many children in grades above k, leave 452 to go to 199 or 87. If it’s a lot, then moving 452 will be a terrible mistake, and as many people thought, done just for the benefit of 199.