Stop the presses—P.S. 32, the little elementary school in Carroll Gardens at Hoyt between President and Union, long neglected by the neighborhood but now undergoing a bright renaissance—has a wait list for kindergarten for the upcoming 2012/2013 school year.
The news comes on the heels of a wait list at PS 58, and the likely potential for a wait list at Cobble Hill’s PS 29, and 100 rising kindergarten kids in lower Manhattan on wait lists. No elementary schools in the greater Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill Beorum Hill area have had to turn away zoned kindergartners as of yet, but parents are concerned. The first wait lists here started last year, and they leave some parents all summer long wondering if their kindergartener will get into public school.
A PS 32 school official called South Brooklyn Post Thursday to confirm the news, which seems… spectacular, considering that just last year, the Department of Education said the school was underutilized when it proposed placing the Brooklyn Prospect Charter secondary school in P.S. 32.
The school has three kindergarten classes, though two of them are part of the school’s pioneering NEST-ASD program, the city’s program for kids on the autistic spectrum. These two kindergarten classes can hold a maximum of 15 kids, with 40 percent of the seats set aside for autistic children. In recent years there’s been as few as eight children in the classes, with two teachers and para-professionals who help out.
The third class is a CTT class, with seats set aside for kids with special needs, and also with two teachers. A fourth class is for the school’s new Gifted and Talented Program, which began last year.
The school’s small class sizes, proliferation of teachers and paras and tranquil class areas in red trailers behind the main school building for pre-K to 1st Grade have caught on with area parents as quality programs.
“We put in to see if we could get an additional [kindergarten] class,” said the PS 32 official, who wanted to remain unnamed.
As it’s gotten harder, or almost impossible, to sneak into PS 58 or PS 29 if you don’t live in those zones, demand for seats at PS 32 (particularly from families who live in that zone, which includes the area east of Smith Street (toward Hoyt)) is going up.
“We have people from out of zone and out of district, but now that rules are stricter, it’s forcing them to stay in their zoned schools,” said the official.
The school gets federal funding for its large percentage of low-income kids, and so has a full-time science, music and art teacher, and a state-of-the-art new children’s library, which also have upped it’s desirability.