The open period for applying to transfer from your current school to a different one runs from mid-April to early August each year. The decision to transfer to a new school is personal and may be based on a variety of reasons. Perhaps you are looking for a change in instructional focus, program options, a new school theme, a different principal or administrative tone, or just a more convenient location. If you wish to transfer, there are more opportunities available to you now than ever before.
Finding out about vacancies
All pedagogues — not just teachers — have the opportunity to transfer to a different school under the Open Market Transfer Plan. Principals will post anticipated as well as approved vacancies during the transfer period, which usually opens mid-April and closes in early August each year. During the open period, these vacancies are posted on the DOE website at this link.
The listings are revised as positions are filled and principals post new vacancies, so it’s good to regularly recheck the website. If you know that a vacancy is available but not posted, please contact your borough office and district representative as soon as possible with the details. Schools can advertise and select staff to all projected vacancies, but a transfer won’t become final until the vacancy is an approved vacancy and the transferring employee has been entered into the Galaxy budget of the new school.
How to apply through Open Market Transfer
The application process is straightforward. You’ll be asked to complete an online registration form. To do that, you’ll have to create a user ID and password. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to electronically apply for any and all vacancies in your current license area. All qualified teachers, including those who have been placed in excess, can apply for specific positions at job fairs or send applications to the schools they are interested in.
You can also send applications and resumes to schools that have not advertised vacancies so that, in the event a vacancy arises, principals will be aware of your interest. We recommend that in addition to filing an online application via the Open Market Transfer Plan system, you also submit a hard copy of your cover letter and resume via fax, mail or in person. Since principals may be receiving many online applications, it might be helpful for them to receive a paper copy of your materials as well as the electronic application.
The hiring process
School-based committees made up of supervisors and teachers will interview candidates. The committee is not required to interview all applicants. It will make a hiring recommendation, but the final decision rests with the principal. If you’re successful, the hiring principal will enter you into his or her Galaxy budget and you’ll receive a printed contract, which both you and the principal will sign, which makes the transfer official. Your current principal will be notified by the system at that point.
You don’t need a release from your current principal during the transfer period of April 15 to Aug. 7 to accept a position elsewhere. If you are offered a position after that date, the transfer cannot be completed unless you are released by your current principal. The plan places no limits on the percentage of staff who may transfer out of the same school.
If you apply for many positions and are not contacted at all and have had no opportunity to interview, please call the UFT at 212-331-6311.
Common questions about Open Market Transfers
- What happens if I transfer and then decide to return to my former school?
If, for some reason, the transfer fell through before the first day of school, you can return to your former school. Otherwise, there is not a right of return to your former school once you transfer and start working at the new school. At that point, the only way to leave your new school is to seek another transfer via the open market system.
- Can I transfer to a different grade level or subject?
Yes, but that may require a switch in appointment. If you have achieved tenure in one license appointment, when you switch appointments, be aware that you must serve a three-year probationary period in the new appointment. For excessing and layoff purposes, probationers are grouped separately from those who have completed probation.
- What happens to my seniority, pension, sick time, etc., when I transfer?
There are no changes to your citywide seniority, pension or sick time when you transfer to a new school. You lose the building seniority that you had in your former school, however. Building seniority is used in selecting among equally qualified applicants for certain school assignments.
Need more information about the Open Market Transfer Plan? Read our comprehensive Q&A »