District Planning

District Planning addresses the changing needs of communities across the city and supports schools in providing an excellent education to all students. The Department of Education has an office dedicated to this work, which collaborates with Superintendents, school communities, and other stakeholders to prioritize the department’s efforts on the following key areas:

  • Reducing overcrowding;
  • Assessing school size and sustainability;
  • Opening and siting new District and Charter schools;
  • Reconfiguring existing schools; and
  • Identifying programmatic needs.

The District Planning Process and Proposal Development

The Office of District Planning (ODP) creates annual strategic plans for all 32 Community School Districts through ongoing conversations with input from school communities and stakeholders. This cyclical process, known as the District Planning Process, entails:

  • Engaging communities and stakeholders to identify needs and priorities;
  • Reviewing district data and space in buildings;
  • Convening planning committees;
  • Creating district-level strategic plans; and
  • Developing scenarios and proposals to address district needs and priorities.

State Education Law provides certain new and expanding charter schools with access to facilities. Charter schools requesting space in a DOE facility, must fill out the Charter School Space Request Form.

The Citywide Instructional Footprint is a tool used for the analysis and assessment of space usage in DOE buildings.

Potential Actions to Address District Needs

ODP manages and/or supports the following processes that help address district needs:

  • Re-zoning and unzoning;
  • School Closures and Consolidations;
  • Siting of new district and charter schools;
  • Grade truncations and expansions;
  • Re-siting of existing schools or programs; and
  • Siting or expanding programs.

Space Over-Utilization Report

The Space Over-Utilization Report provides a comprehensive view of current over-utilization in buildings and the strategies available to reduce over-utilization. It serves as a benchmark for further reporting and enables the DOE to track the results of our efforts moving forward.

The Enrollment, Capacity, and Utilization Report (Blue Book)

The Enrollment, Capacity and Utilization Report is an annual document that provides information on school organization and school building utilization. The utilization data is derived by using information from the Principal Annual Space Survey where principals report on how spaces are being used during a given school year. This Report is designed to provide a standardized assessment of capacity for each school and school building and assist decision-making relative to space utilization.

Under-Utilized Space Memorandum

Building space is scarce in many New York City neighborhoods. Limited space availability, coupled with the changing needs of NYC’s students, requires that the Department of Education (DOE) use existing public school buildings in the most efficient manner possible. It is also the DOE’s mission to ensure that students and families in every community have high-quality educational options. Therefore, the DOE looks to use under-utilized space in buildings that can be used to meet these needs, which can include siting new school options, including District 75, opening new or expanded programs such as ASD Nest and Horizon, G&T, 3K, or Pre-K, and expanding the grade spans of existing schools. Read the report:

Chancellor’s Regulation A-190

Chancellor’s Regulation A-190 governs the public review process for any proposal resulting in a significant change in school utilization, including:

  • Grade expansions and truncations;
  • Co-locations of new or existing schools;
  • Closures;
  • Consolidations; and
  • Re-sitings.

Every proposal must be published at least six months prior to the start of the school year. Each proposal requires:

  • An Educational Impact Statement and, where applicable, a Building Utilization Plan
  • A Joint Public Hearing
  • An Analysis of Public Comment
  • A vote by the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP)

Visit the PEP pages to view A-190 proposals.

Chancellor’s Regulation A-185

Chancellor’s Regulation A-185 governs the process to change zone lines for elementary and middle schools. Under A-185, Community Education Councils (CECs) approve zone lines for their respective Community School District. Superintendents submit rezoning proposals to CECs, in coordination with ODP, and CECs must vote on the proposal with 45 days of its submission.

Visit the District Planning folders to view current rezoning proposals under consideration in:

For information about previously proposed rezoning proposals, please send an email to one of the addresses below, depending on your borough:

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