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Beginning a journey, building a foundation

A guide to prekindergarten in Albany public schools
No step is more important in your child's education than the first one.
That's why the City School District of Albany offers some 725 full-day prekindergarten seats in all 12 elementary schools, in its bilingual Dual-Language Program and at several community agencies.


Lottery to fill pre-K seats for 3-year olds in 2015-16

Applications are available for a lottery to fill limited spots in the City School District of Albany’s new program to provide prekindergarten to 3-year olds.


There also are additional spots for 4-year olds.


Click here to download an application. You also can pick up an application at any district elementary school or Central Registration, located at 75 Watervliet Ave. (MORE)


2016-17 prekindergarten enrollment

A child must be 4 by Dec. 1, 2015, in order to qualify for prekindergarten during the 2015-16 school year. Classes have a maximum of 18 children to make sure each child gets the individual attention that makes the prekindergarten experience meaningful.


Prekindergarteners are enrolled through a lottery designed to provide equal access for all Albany children. You must enter your child into the lottery to get a seat in the program of your choice; the district held the lottery for 2015-16 on March 3.


If you missed the lottery and would like to apply for your child to be in a waiting pool for prekindergarten, download and complete this application and return it to Central Registration, 75 Watervliet Ave., Albany, 12206. 


For more information about what you need to register your child, visit our Required Documents section. You also can call Central Registration at 475-6125 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Central Registration is located at 75 Watervliet Ave.


The district does not provide bus transportation to any prekindergarten program.


How does the prekindergarten lottery work?

You must enter your child into the lottery to get a seat in the program of your choice. The lottery is conducted by an independent national firm to assure fairness and impartiality.


On the lottery application, you will be asked to select your first, second and third choices. Student selection is random, but certain factors take priority when determining where your child will be enrolled:

  • Sibling preference. A child with a brother or sister already in elementary school receives first preference at that school.

  • Neighborhood preference. Second preference is given to a child who lives within a half-mile of a magnet school or within a given neighborhood school’s attendance zone.

  • Open enrollment. This option allows parents to choose a non-magnet school outside their attendance zone.

If you are selected for a prekindergarten seat through the lottery and accept that seat for your child, you will be removed from the waiting pool for any other school or program. Please follow this link for more information about waiting pools and next steps for families following the initial lottery.

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