Incredible as it seems, we've had some follow-up from the DOE on pre-K sibling applications.
The DOE has reviewed "about 9,000 sibling applications by hand, " according to Andy Jacob, and found "issues we might need to address" in about 200, some of which are still under review. Some scenarios are clear, as when one twin was sent to one school and another twin to another school. "That's a mistake on our end, and we will address it," says Jacob. Address matching issues persist, as do some questions about sibling verification (when sibling ID numbers were incomplete on the application, for example). And he says some parents thought the sibling preference pertained even when the older sib was graduating, or when the big-sib's school wasn't listed first -- no dice.
Jacobs' bottom line: "In any of these cases, where we are able to verify a sibling that meets the criteria we set, we will contact the parents directly to work out a suitable placement." Read those tea leaves for a mixed message: A younger sibling will get a pre-K seat, but 'suitable placement' doesn't really guarantee that seat will be at the same school.
It's worth noting that of 20,000 pre-K applications submitted, 17,000 children were offered seats, 15,000 at their first-choice schools. The DOE's count of 200 possible sibling errors works out to 1%, which doesn't sound so extreme in the abstract -- unless and until it's your kid. And it's cold comfort to the 3,000 families whose applications were denied altogether.
Waiting for deadline info on second-round applications; a slight bit of good news is that parents will receive application materials by mail, if they don't want to trek to the OSEPO offices -- but after the ongoing postal misadventures, a little snail-mail wariness is fully understandable.
good night -