Contacting the Department of Education is hit-or-miss: some people who answer the telephones are knowledgeable and helpful while others are really not. Expect confusing and contradictory information. Our advice: pleasant persistence. Keep trying and you will eventually get the information you need. We've compiled a list of telephone numbers and emails that may be useful.
Parent support line
We have found this to be the most helpful number to call for general information about your school zone, enrollment, pre-kindergarten registration and gifted and talented programs. The operators are unfailingly polite and try their best to answer your questions. Hours: Monday–Friday, 8 am to 6 pm, phone: (718) 935-2009 or (212) 374-2363.
This is the main switchboard for the Department of Education. If you have the name of someone you want to reach, but not their telephone number, the operators may be able to connect you. Phone: (718) 935-2000.
Office of Pupil Transportation
For questions about school buses and Metrocards. The Office of Pupil Transportation has a particularly good website. Hours: Monday–Friday, 6 am to 7:30 pm, phone: (718) 392-8855.
Office of School Food
The Office of School Food provides menus and applications for free and reduced-price meals.
Routine enrollment issues should be resolved at one of the city’s 14 Family Welcome Centers. However, if you have a problem that the Family Welcome Center can’t solve, try these people:
- Director of elementary enrollment:
- Director of middle school enrollment: Sara McPhee
- Director of high school enrollment: Amy Basile
You could also contact the borough directors of enrollment:
- Bronx: Samantha Gounden
- Brooklyn: Judith Butcher
- Manhattan: Leonard Trerotola
- Queens: Margaret Rogers
- Staten Island: Judith Butcher
For information about pre-kindergarten, contact the Department of Education's Division of Early Childhood, phone: (212) 374-0351. For registration help you can call the outreach line, phone: (212) 637-8036.
Gifted and talented
Most questions about gifted and talented programs can be answered by the staff at the parent support line: (718) 935-2009.
Your child’s teacher or principal should be able to answer most questions about special education. If you are new to New York City, or if your child attends a private or parochial school, contact one of the city’s 10 Committees on Special Education. Parents of children with serious disabilities may contact the superintendent of District 75, Gary Hecht, (212) 802-1503.
To view the special education enrollment data for all NYC schools, the School Accountability Tools on the DOE website can help.
English language learners
The Department of English Language Learners and Student Support has information on programs for ELLs. The director of the office for English Language Learners is Milady Baez. Call (212) 374-6072 for the Division of English Language Learners.
View the DOE's demographic report on English Language Learners here.
Family and Community Engagement (FACE)
The Department of Education's Division of Family and Community Engagement (FACE) works with parents and parent coordinators to encourage family engagement throughout the city. You can contact FACE on (212) 374 4118 or at [email protected]. Yolanda Torres is executive superintendent of FACE.
Each district has a superintendent, family support coordinator, family leadership coordinator and elected members of a Community Education Council (CEC) who are there to answer questions and address parent concerns. Click on your district on the homepage for contact information.