March 07, 2011

DCPS Receives Record Number of Applications for Annual Lottery 

Number of unique applicants increases by more than 25 percent over 2010

Contact: Fred Lewis | 202.442.5919

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District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) received a record 6,661 applications for the annual Preschool, Pre-Kindergarten, and K-12 Out-of-Boundary lottery. Families could apply to the lottery between Jan. 28 and Feb. 28. Results were available online March 3 at and will be mailed home this week.

Out of Boundaries Applications 2011

The overall number of unique applicants increased by more than 25 percent over 2010, reflecting a significant increase in families interested in DCPS programs. Despite nearly doubling the number of applicants since 2009, DCPS was able to offer seats to the same percentage of applicants as it did two years ago, as families consider a broader range of schools.

Fifty-nine percent of all applicants were placed in one of their requested schools. At the preschool level, 81 percent of applicants were offered a seat through the lottery. A significant number of additional students will be offered seats off school waitlists in the coming months.

“The lottery application process helps us gauge public interest in our schools and programs. Last year, we received an overwhelming number of applicants, which resulted in our first enrollment increase in 40 years,” said DCPS Interim Chancellor Kaya Henderson. “This year, we exceeded that number, proving that our programs continue to offer exciting options for thousands of families seeking a quality education for their children.”

Every school that had seats available received applications and some schools nearly doubled the number of applications they received over the prior year, including Garrison, Ludlow-Taylor, and Marie Reed elementary schools.

The bulk of the increase reflects continued strong interest in programs at the preschool and pre-K levels with 1,949 applying for preschool seats and 1,858 submitting applications for pre-K seats.

These preschool and pre-K increases reflect a coordinated effort led by the DCPS Office of Early Childhood Education to engage families and caregivers about the importance of enrolling our youngest learners in quality education programs and to explain and assist them with the application process.

Eastern High School, which is re-opening in August with an incoming ninth-grade class, received 130 out-of-boundary applications for 100 seats. In-boundary students and those who attend Eastern’s feeder schools are guaranteed seats.

DCPS attributes increases in participation in the Out-of-Boundary lottery process to academic improvements in our schools; the variety of compelling programs offered at all grade levels; building modernizations; a more user-friendly application process, and a greater emphasis on outreach efforts, which included online initiatives as well as tradition face-to-face interactions.

Applicants who received a seat in the lottery must accept the offer by April 1 and enroll by May 2 in order to secure a seat. Information on next steps for those who received a seat and those who were waitlisted is available on the DCPS website,, as are documents related to acceptance, enrollment and residency verification.

Inside DCPS Highlights.


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