It's not just us. Some New York City public schools have very long wait lists too, according to this New York Times article. In fact, they're growing longer, owing to a fewer parents being able to afford private school tuition in a down economy and fewer families moving to the burbs.
One school on the Upper West Side has room for 130 kindergartners, and 111 are on the wait list. Compare that with the Lyndon or Kilmer, which each have space for only 44 K1 students and their wait lists easily top those of the New York schools. Based on the Kindergarten Demand Report, 282 families listed Kilmer as one of their top 3 picks in 2009-10 for K1. So that would leave a wait list of 238 if I'm figuring that right. The Lyndon's wait list went up to 242.
Some K2 wait lists in Boston can be even longer because most schools start at K1, leaving fewer open seats at K2.
We laugh at your puny wait-list numbers, New York. (And yet we share your pain.)
I've heard a few big wait-list numbers through the West Zone Parents Group. Someone commented here that they were #149 for an East Zone K0 spot. Anyone else care to share?