Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee has made some changes in the annual out-of boundary enrollment process that began last week. The application deadline has been extended from Feb. 28 to March 13, and parents who want to send their children some place other than their neighborhood school can now apply to five schools instead of three. Parents who already have children in elementary schools outside their immediate neighborhoods are automatically guaranteed that they can continue to the out-of-boundary middle school.
An electronic lottery will be held on March 18, with the results posted within 24 hours. The District will fill available spaces by giving preference to students with siblings who attend the requested school and to students who live within reasonable walking distance of the requested school.
The changes, which were outlined in a notice of emergency rulemaking posted on the District of Columbia Register last month, also appear to reinforce Rhee as the sole authority for granting discretionary transfers. Existing language in Title 5 of the D.C. Municipal Regulations specifies school principals as the key figures in such decisions.
"The Chancellor, and only the Chancellor, is authorized to grant a discretionary transfer...when the Chancellor determines that the transfer would be in the best interests of the student, and...would promote the overall interests of the school system."
Applications for out-of-boundary enrollment will be accepted through the DCPS website (www.k12.dc.us/options) or can be completed at any school.