The D.C. Public School lottery results came out this past week and revealed that new members have been admitted to the most-sought-after schools.
Frederick Lewis, a DCPS spokesman, said he expects the official overall statistics will be ready in the next day or two. In the meantime, individual school results tell an interesting story about the changing attitude toward, if not all, several schools.
A handful of elementary schools that had been traditionally accepting of out-of-boundary applicants for the pre-kindergarten programs are no longer. The pre-K numbers are of special interest because oftentimes if an out-of-boundary student is admitted in pre-K, he is promised a seat in the school thereafter. They also reflect how younger families feel about the school.
Pre-K programs in several schools, especially in Northwest and on Capitol Hill, have long been considered out of reach for out-of-boundary parents. Still, a few were considered strong options for parents who lived elsewhere and found their neighborhood option sub-par.
Last year, the unprecedented number of applications — 25 percent more than the previous year — tightened up those offerings. It seems that the trend continued and intensified this year.
In Ward 1, Bancroft Elementary waitlisted 139 pre-K families, 20 of them with a preference such as residing in-boundary or having a sibling at the school.
In Northwest pre-K programs: Ross waitlisted 121 students, and of those eight had a preference; Hearst waitlisted more than 150 students, three with preferences; Stoddert had more than 200 waitlisted, 26 of them with a preference.
Similarly, at Hyde-Addison, more than 200 were left without a seat. Of those, 32 had preferences. Fourteen of those waitlisted were in-boundary students, the highest preference — a fact that stunned many in the surrounding Georgetown neighborhood.
Taken together, the results reveal that more and more of the well-respected District elementary school are becoming off-limits, certainly in the early grades, for out-of-boundary families.
The good news is that as families embrace local schools and the schools improve, those families no longer need out-of-boundary options. Obviously, the results make clear, there’s still a large gap between the haves-seats-in-coveted-school and have-nots.
Did you apply through the lottery?
How do you feel about the changing attitude toward schools in the city?