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Now's the time to move to a better school zone

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Here's a PSA for the PTA set: kindergarten applications open today for kids born in 2010. (You can sign up online). The enrollment period for the 2015-2016 school year ends Feb. 13, which gives you exactly 38 days to move into a better school district--and get first dibs on a spot in the school you want.  

Since real estate brokers are legally prevented from naming good schools (or shaming bad ones), we've assembled a few resources to help you make an, ahem, educated choice on your next apartment:

  • To read reviews of individual schools and school zones, or brush up on the application process, check out InsideSchools.org
  • If you have an apartment in mind, you can see which schools (from elementary through college, private and public) are nearby with a $10 report from real estate data provider PropertyShark
  • Before you commit to a new abode for its nearby school, reconfirm that the apartment is actually in the school zone you think it is, or risk sending your child to a subpar school (or at least one that's not your first choice).  We suggest calling the parent coordinator at the school itself to double check that the address is, in fact, zoned for the school you want.  (Remember that many of the most popular zoned schools are over-enrolled and most don't take kids from outside the zone, so unless you move into the zone it's unlikely there will be a spot for your child at that school).
  • And for information on which parts of the city are most kid-friendly (since parks and large apartments are important, too), check out our ranking of the best 'hoods for young families. We also take  you through the process of renting and buying with an eye on schools in "The buyer and renter's guide to the NYC elementary school game."

Related:

The parent's guide to buying and renting in NYC

Real estate with kids: find a place, make nice with the neighbors, and more

How to find a family friendly building

The buyer's and renter's guide to the NYC school game

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