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Public, Charter & Parochial School Information

Public Schools

Public schools are tuition free schools funded and operated by three levels of government:  the United States Department of Education on the federal level, the state-level departments, and the local school district level.  The New York City Department of Education (DOE) operates the largest school district in the United States, serving 1.1 million students in over 1,800 schools.  

For more information about New York City public schools visit the following websites:

New York City Department of Education (DOE)

Find your zoned school in New York City or call 311.  For admissions questions, call 718-935-3500

Insideschools:  A project of the Center of New York City Affairs at The New School, Insideschools provides independent information about New York City public schools. Phone: 212-229-5471

Universal Pre-K: New York City offers free, full-day Pre-K programs, Pre-K for All, throughout the city.

Gifted and Talented:  New York City Department of Education offers accelerated and specialized instruction to support the needs of exceptional students. Testing is required for entry.

Hunter College Campus Schools:  Publicly funded elementary (kindergarten to sixth grade) and high school (seventh to twelfth grades), Hunter College campus schools are coeducational laboratory schools for children who exhibit superior cognitive ability. Testing is required for entry.

Special Education:  New York City Department of Education offers support and programs for children with special needs. 

Charter schools

Charter schools are free independent public schools of choice. Because they are independent of the Department of Education, charter schools have more freedom and flexibility with educational approaches than traditional public schools.  Charter schools operate under a contract or “charter” and are held accountable for student learning and achievement.  There are nearly two hundred charter schools in New York City’s five boroughs. To find out more about charter schools visit the following websites:

New York City Department of Education

New York City Charter School Center: A resource for parents, educators, schools and policymakers about charter schools

Parochial Schools

A parochial school is a private primary or secondary school maintained and supported by a religious body, such as Roman Catholic parishes, Protestant churches or Jewish organizations.  Parochial schools are separate from the public school system and religious instruction is included in the curriculum.  Schools attached to Roman Catholic parishes make up the largest number of parochial schools.

Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York