Monday was the beginning of the out of boundary lottery process for DC public schools. This is the process by which students who don’t want to attend their designated local school can get a slot at another school.
As discussed here before, for several decades Hyde has been a school mostly filled with students from other neighborhoods. This started to change over the past decade as more Georgetowners decided to send their children to the local school. This has, in turn, reduced the number of slots available to students from other neighborhoods trying to attend Hyde.
One thing parents new to the system might not realize is that even children in the neighborhood have to apply through the lottery for a slot in the pre-Kindergarten program. They are not guaranteed a slot. They do, however, get priority in the lottery. And last year there was such a groundswell of interest from neighborhood parents for the pre-K program that all the slots went to neighborhood kids. Some neighborhood kids didn’t even get a slot in the lottery, but all neighborhood kids that wanted a pre-K slot eventually got one off the waitlist.
Last year there were 19 slots in pre-K. This year there are only 17. And beside those 17 slots, which will likely all go to neighborhood children, there is only one more slot in the whole school that is open to the lottery: a seat in the second grade.
There is no advantage to signing up for the lottery early, but if you’re interested in sending your child to Hyde for pre-K, you need to sign up for the lottery by February 27th. (Again, just to be clear, if you live in Georgetown and you want to send your child to Hyde for any grade beside pre-K, you don’t need to enter the lottery; your slot is guaranteed. That said, it helps the school plan class size to know how many neighborhood kids are attending, so if you’re planning to send you children to Hyde for the first time next year, let the school know by this summer).