Helpful guidance for registration and enrollment in the Rochester City School District (RCSD)
All children within the Rochester City School District who are 4 years old on or before December 1st of the school year are eligible for half-day (2 ½ hrs) Pre-K programs Monday to Friday for 180 days of that school year. At this point, most programs are full-day programs. There are spots available for all children who will be 3 years old on or before December 1st of the school year.
Registration Step 1:
Gather the following registration documents:
– Birth Certificate
– Proof of Address
– Immunization Record
– Picture ID (parent or guardian)
– Proof of Guardianship if not parent
– IEP (if applicable)
– If able, print and complete the registration forms in advance. (It is also available to fill out at the central office)
Registration Step 2:
Visit the Early Childhood Department at the RCSD Central Office at 131 West Broad Street, Rochester, NY 14614. Check-in with Student Registration on 1st floor.
- Six-hour daily program (school days)
- Breakfast and lunch provided
- Develops language, social and self-help skills
- Teachers use school-readiness curriculum
- Educational field trips
- Parent lending library in each classroom
- Free books to take home
- Daily outdoor activity, weather permitting
- Free monthly RTS bus passes
Students must be:
- A City resident
- 3 years of age on or by December 1 of the upcoming school year
Students must meet one of the following criteria to qualify for the program:
- Eligible for free or reduced-price lunch
- A language other than English spoken in the home
- Receives special education services
The program is available at some elementary schools and community-based agencies throughout Rochester.
Children who are 5 years old on or before December 1st of a given year must register for kindergarten for that year.
An application form is required to enter a child into kindergarten or into a new elementary school no matter where you live or what school you want your child to attend. You must fill out the application form that corresponds the Zone where you live.
There are two categories of schools: city-wide schools and Zone schools. City-wide schools are located around the city. These schools are available to you and everyone else in the Rochester City School District. Zone schools are located in the region where you live. These schools are available only to you and others in your Zone.
On your application, you will need to decide if a city-wide school is your first choice school or not. If it is, you choose one city-wide school as your top choice. Then you rank four schools in your Zone for alternative options. If a city-wide school is not your first choice, then you just rank four schools in your Zone.
All city-wide school placements occur through a computerized lottery system.
Zone school placements occur through a computerized lottery system unless you meet specific criteria for immediate placement at your first choice Zone school (eg. 1/2 mile from home, sibling at that school).
Registration Step 1:
Figure out your Zone.
The choices are Northeast (NE), Northwest (NW), or South (SZ) and they are based on your street address. If you don’t know your Zone, find your “home” school on RCSD Street Directory using your street address. Your Zone will be listed next to your “home” school.
Registration Step 2:
Based on your Zone, get the appropriate kindergarten application form (NE, NW, SZ).
Registration Step 3:
Follow the instructions and fill out the application form, which includes ranking the available schools according to your preference.
There are many secondary schools in the Rochester City School District. Some of them begin in 7th grade and some begin in 9th grade. There is no need to fill out a new application or file registration if you are staying in your same school next year. But once you are in the final year at your elementary or primary school, you should begin the process of deciding on a secondary school and start the secondary school application process.
You can apply to secondary school beginning as early as 6th grade no matter what RCSD elementary or primary school you go to. In 6th grade, people apply so they can start a new school in 7th grade. In 8th grade, people apply so they can start a new school in 9th grade.
Application Step 1:
Fill out the appropriate application for your grade including ranking your school preferences. Follow instructions on the application form. Application forms are also available in Spanish from the RCSD website.
Application Step 2:
Submit the application for 7th or 9th grade according to the instructions on the form.
Application Step 3:
A computer system places you in a school as close as possible to the top of your list of preferred choices. The computer system is used to ensure fair and equal access to schools.
If you do not submit an application and your child is the final year of elementary or primary school, then they will be put into a secondary school wherever there is available space after the computer selection process is over.