Optional Attendance Zone FAQs
Parents/guardians of 5th grade students who reside in the Optional Attendance Zone catchment area may choose to have their children attend North Middle School instead of South Middle School beginning in 6th grade. Once this choice is made, students remain at North Middle School through 8th grade and continue at North High School for grades 9-12. Requests for the 2021-2022 school year must be submitted to Dr. Stephen C. Lando, Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education, by Friday, February 5, 2021. The questions and asnwers that follow provide pertinent information to assist parents/guardians in making this decision.
The Great Neck Public Schools Optional Attendance Zone is an area of the District where families of current 5th grade students who are living in the Baker and Saddle Rock catchment areas and zoned for South Middle School may elect to have their elementary school age children attend North Middle School beginning in 6th grade. It was established by the Board of Education in order to balance the enrollments among the secondary schools and is reviewed on an annual basis. Ideally, each year between 35 and 40 5th grade students choose to attend North Middle School the following year. Please note that older siblings who are not presently enrolled at North Middle School or North High School are not eligible. A map of the Optional Attendance Zone appears below.
The Board of Education regularly reviews school enrollments and, on an annual basis, determines whether or not the Optional Attendance Zone will continue. Although there is no assurance that the practice will continue in future years, those Baker and Saddle Rock families that choose North Middle School for their current 5th grade children are assured that younger siblings will have the opportunity to attend the same secondary school as their older siblings. (Please note that older siblings who are not presently enrolled at North Middle School or North High School are not eligible.)
The instructional programs at North Middle School and South Middle School are substantially the same. Each school follows the required New York State curriculum for middle school students which includes units of study in Art, English, Family and Consumer Sciences, Foreign Language (Chinese, French, Latin, Spanish, and Hebrew*), Health, Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, Science, Social Studies, and Technology. Both schools assign students to a grade-level instructional team which has common teachers for the four core subjects. All 8th grade students take Regents Earth Science for high school credit. Both schools provide the opportunity for acceleration in mathematics (Algebra I) for qualified 8th grade students. Both schools offer a variety of encore/elective courses which are typically available to 8th grade students.
*Hebrew is only offered at North Middle School
The most significant differences in the programs are:
-In 6th grade, North Middle School dedicates two periods of instruction to English/Language Arts/Reading while South Middle School has one period of English/Languages Arts and "a daily flex period in which different areas of study are emphasized based upon team needs."
-South Middle School currently places students into small advisory groups which meet every other week throughout the year.
For more specific program information, see:
The instructional programs at North High School and South High School are also very similar, with each school offering opportunities that effectively meet students' interests and prepare them for their post-secondary lives. At present, some of the differences are:
-The sequence of science offerings. (North High School students begin with Physics while South High School students begin with Biology.)
-The availability of "AP Human Geography" at South High School in place of "9th Grade Global History Honors."
-North High School offers "Community School".
-South High School offers "hands on" technology classes such as woodworking.
-North High School students are permitted to walk to and purchase lunch from nearby establishments.
Course descriptions may be accessed by clicking on the links below:
Our secondary schools provide activities, clubs and interscholastic opportunities that support student interests outside the classroom. These offerings may vary from year to year based on participation levels.
Please see the links below:
Unfortunately, our schools are not currently accepting visitors, and spectators are not being admitted to the very limited number of student activities that are currently taking place. However, parents/guardians may "virtually" visit our secondary schools for any of the public events that each school hosts throughout the year. (Please see the interactive calendar.) We are not able to accommodate requests for tours or classroom visits as these present interruptions to the instructional process. Likewise, we choose not to host informational meetings about the Optional Zone because:
-The District does not wish to foster a situation which places our secondary settings in competition with each other for student enrollment;
-The middle school and high school websites and this FAQ are informative and contain the information needed to make an Optional Zone decision;
-Most years, the wide variety of performance and information events at our secondary schools, including concerts, plays, musicals, PTA meetings, international nights, athletic contests, etc., are open to parents and students and provide the opportunity to get to know the culture of our schools first hand (and we recognize that such gatherings are not currently permitted.)
-Curricular, co-curricular, and athletic programs at our secondary schools adapt and grow over time based on Department of Education requirements, and student interests and needs. As such, one should not assume a “status quo” with regard to course offerings, activities, clubs, and athletic teams in any of our secondary school settings.
Please also visit the informational and social media pages shown below:
You may access, print, and return a generic copy of the Optional Attendance Zone letter that is sent to parents/guardians of eligible students by clicking on this link: Optional Attendance Zone Letter.
Important Information about the Optional Attendance Zone
January 8, 2021
The Board of Education of the Great Neck Public Schools is pleased to offer an “Optional Attendance Zone” choice to current 5th grade students who live in the E.M. Baker and Saddle Rock attendance areas, who are zoned to attend South Middle School, and who are fully registered and enrolled in 6th grade by September 30, 2021. Ideally, 35-40 students will elect to attend North Middle School. All students who exercise this option are eligible for transportation if they reside beyond North Middle School’s “walker” limits, and their younger siblings will be provided with the same “Optional Zone” choice when they reach 6th grade. Please note that older siblings who are not presently enrolled at North Middle School or North High School are not eligible.
The Optional Attendance Zone FAQ (https://www.greatneck.k12.ny.us/OptionalZone) can provide you with more information about each of our secondary schools prior to making your Optional Attendance Zone decision. In addition, you may “virtually” attend public events as shown on the District calendar at https://www.greatneck.k12.ny.us/Page/2#calendar21069/20210104/month.
If you meet the “Optional Attendance Zone” requirements listed above and elect to have your child attend North Middle School, please use the Google Form, or complete, sign, and return this form to Dr. Stephen C. Lando, Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education by February 5, 2021.
- Google Form (preferred): CLICK HERE to complete the form on-line
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- US Mail to Stephen C. Lando
Phipps Administration Building
345 Lakeville Road
Great Neck, NY 11020
Note that you must submit a request even if your child’s older sibling(s) already attend North High School or North Middle School. Written confirmation approving your request will be sent on or about February 12, 2021. Please contact Dr. Lando (516-441-4009) if you have any questions.
Very truly yours,
Dr. Teresa Prendergast
Superintendent of Schools
Very truly yours,
I request that my child attend North Middle School beginning with the 2021-2022 school year.
Student Name (First and Last)
Current School and Grade
Parent/Guardian Name (Print)
Parent/Guardian Phone Number