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Back on the Charter School Lottery Roller Coaster

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I really thought that my eight-year-old would get in my favorite charter school this year. He started out the school year as #1 on the waiting list for his grade but no one left in the first month, and they don't HAVE to fill vacancies after that point. DD was #68 on the kindergarten waiting list, so I knew she wouldn't get in.

We're reapplyong for this year, but unless they get higher lottery scores, they likely won't get in. The school is hoping to add grades 6-8 in the next few years, which would be wonderful for my kids. The school is project-based and year-round. There aren't any slots open at this point, but some should open up between now and July. The lottery is next week. For the first time, the school is able to weight the lottery to increase economic diversity. We qualify but this year's goal isn't that big, so it's not much of a priority.

The lottery for another charter is tomorrow. I like the school but not as much as the other. This lottery will be waiting list only so I hope my kids get low numbers. This school is K-12th grade and is also project based. Not year-round, though.

Ahhhhhh. I loved my kids public school until this year. I still love it for DD but it hasn't been a good fit for my DS.

And for local peeps, neither charter is THAT charter. Just in case you couldn't tell.
post #2 of 21

Why are you reapplying for the lottery if youre already #1 on the waitlist?

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
State law requires a new lottery every year.
post #4 of 21
I don't know whether THAT one is Woods or the SXPH one, but I tell you, lottery is just that. I am amazed when people get in. I hope you get the school you want. We are home schooling right next to Woods! Lol.
post #5 of 21

Oh wow. That is tough. Sending you some lucky lottery vibes.

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Neither one. THAT school is the new for-profit school that's opening in the fall. Totally not my kind of school. My two are in Durham. I was really interested in the STEM charter that was supposed to open in July, but they pushed that one back a year.
post #7 of 21
Interesting how different charter schools work differently. In our district, there is one lottery in kindergarten and after the 36 slots are filled, the rest go On the waitlist in the order that they were drawn and it gets just passed on to the next grade. I can see the beauty of having a lottery every year but I also see the emotional roller coaster that it puts participants in
post #8 of 21
Also while the school DS is at is not legally required to fill a spot past the count date (sometime in October, I think), they fill the spot anyway since technically, they have received funding for that particular spot.
post #9 of 21

CPSC? It seems like a great school. Hope you hear good news soon!


grumpybear, just to clarify, in our state once you're in, you're in and you don't have to go through the lottery again, but the wait list doesn't carry over from year to year. It's statewide as far as I know.

post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yes, CPSC. It's been my first choice school since last year.My kids placed 92 and 49 on Saturday's VA lottery so I'm hoping for better luck tomorrow.

The new economic diversity lottery priority is apparently causing controversy. It's "taking away" eight kindergarten slots leaving only sixteen available for the general lottery (after sibling, staff, and economic priority.) This year's economic priority goal is 15% but they will be increasing that over the next few years (to 40%.) We actually qualify,for the new lottery priority, but since 1st-5th grade slots aren't even available at this point, I don't really have high hopes.
post #11 of 21

We're in Baltimore and are in the same boat for middle school for my DC. The difference here is that for middle they have really done away with a lot of neighborhood schools so there are so, so many options for kids. I have ID'd 11 public schools that I think are an "ok" fit for my DC. Lottery results are trickling in...so far so good but it's heart breaking to hear of my DC's friends who are still waiting to hear from ANY good choice. Sigh.  For now, DC has gotten into my 5th place pick (not her's) and an odd ball that we didn't expect. She's also high on the wait list for two other top choices. But, we're still  waiting on the the top 4 choices...it sucks! 

post #12 of 21

Oh, and good luck, Pollywog!!!  dust.gif

post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
My kids got fairly high lottery scores so I was positive that neither one would get in. However, I got an email last week from the school. My daughter was offered a slot and school starts in 3 1/2 weeks. She leapfrogged over MANY children on the waiting list because of the new economic diversity percentages. I am a little worried about the after effects of that.

DS will remain at their current school, but hopefully he'll get in next year with sibling priority. I hope we don't qualify income-wise next year.
post #14 of 21

What's the economic diversity percentage? Is it to ensure that there is a sufficient population for the school to qualify for title 1 funding?

post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by grumpybear View Post

What's the economic diversity percentage? Is it to ensure that there is a sufficient population for the school to qualify for title 1 funding?

The school has always wanted more diversity in the school. In their original charter, they said they wanted to reflect the diversity in its urban neighborhood (residential and commercial.) but state charter school law has never allowed for any weighting in lotteries. This school got permission to add some priority for children who qualify for free and reduced lunch, for the upcoming school year. It's the first in the state. This year, the percentage is 15% but will go up to 40% within about 5 years (not including those low-income children who get slots through the general lottery.)
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Apparently, their previous percentage of children eligible for free/reduced lunch was 3%. The lottery has a lot to
do with that, I'm sure, but the fact that it's year-round and doesn't provide transportation makes it more difficult, too.

I'm starting to feel a little guilty/awkward. We are definitely a lower-income family, but we function like a middle-class family. DD has nice clothes (many bought with consignment sale profits) and even has a Pottery Barn Kids Planetbox Lunchbox she received as a gift last year. I know DD leapfrogged over a LOT of kids to get her slot. I'm thrilled she was offered a space, and happy we accepted it, but it still is an awkward position to be in.
post #17 of 21
Why is it awkward? The only kids who can attend charters have parents who have it together, regardless of income.

I work in a title one school, and I can't tell which kids are below the poverty line based on how they are dressed. Some kids get nice clothes for gifts, or have moms who are great at thrift shopping.
post #18 of 21

Eh. Lost post.


To summarize, enjoy. There is nothing to feel ackward about.

post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Brief Update: DD started first grade yesterday and is LOVING her new school. I'm so glad that I accepted the slot.
post #20 of 21

So glad. I saw several facebook pix of kids off to CPSC on my newsfeed this week. I think it sounds like a great school. 

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