D.C. parents await school lottery results

Thousands of D.C. parents are anxiously awaiting the results of the city’s school enrollment lottery, which are expected to be posted online Monday and will determine where children are able to enroll next fall.

“I’m hopeful. I did my part,” said Tekia Harrod, a Southeast D.C. mother who is seeking a preschool spot for her three-year-old daughter. “I did as much research as I could.”

More than 17,000 students entered the lottery, which for the first time this year included all traditional schools and most charter schools. In the past, each of the District’s dozens of charter schools conducted its own lottery, and traditional schools held a separate lottery for students seeking preschool and out-of-boundary seats.

This year, parents ranked up to 12 schools in order of preference. D.C. officials used a computer algorithm, patterned on the work of a Nobel Prize-winning economist, to match each child with only one school and to match as many children as possible with their highest-ranked choice.

Families can log onto myschooldc.org on Monday to find out where they have been admitted, and they have until May 1 to submit enrollment paperwork in order to secure their seats. They will also be able to see Monday where they have been waitlisted and how far down the waiting list they are.

Families who don’t get admitted anywhere, or who did not complete an application earlier this year, can apply for the lottery’s second round by May 15. The second round allows schools to fill seats that are still open or add to their waitling lists.

D.C. residents who are in kindergarten or older also have a right to attend their assigned neighborhood school without entering the lottery.

Emma Brown writes about D.C. education and about people with a stake in schools, including teachers, parents and kids.
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