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City Mails Out First Round of Pre-K Acceptance, and Rejection, Letters

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The city has mailed out acceptance, or rejection, letters to the first group of families applying to send their kids to one of the city's expanded pre-K programs. Nearly 40 percent didn't get in. But the city says, parents shouldn't worry yet. NY1’s Lindsey Christ filed the following report.

Odianne Cadogan is about to turn four.

Her father opened her pre-K acceptance letter Thursday in front of reporters and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"I'm on the edge of my seat,” said de Blasio.

While there really wasn't much suspense about it, Cadogan got an offer to attend pre-K at PS 203 in Flatbush.

About 41,000 families applied for pre-k in public schools. Odianne was one of about 19,700 offered a spot in a full-day program, another 6,000 were offered half day seats. About 15,500 did not get in at all.

“We know there's going to be some really happy families today. We know there's going to be other families who are looking for the next step in the process,” said de Blasio.

Now more than half the available pre-K seats this year, as in years past, are not in public schools, but community based organizations. There's a rolling admissions deadline for those 25,000 seats. Parents can go online to apply.

So far, the city's focus on pre-k seems to be paying off.

Usually after round one of the application process, about 10-percent of pre-K seats are unfilled.

But this year, only 3 percent of the public school seats are still open, which means that even with thousands more spots, officials have, so far, been doing a better job with recruiting and matching.

This will be the Cadogans' second child to attend pre-k, but their older daughter was only in a half day program, in a class lasting two-and-a-half hours. Now PS 203 is able to convert those two classes into full-day programs.

“I think full-day is better because they are going to learn so much more. It's more organized, the structure is there, there's a full curriculum,” said mother Onika Cadogan.

This first round of offers is just the start to a complex admissions process that will play out over the next few months, with the goal that, by September, more than 50,000 four-year-olds have a spot.

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