My School DC Parent Advisory Council Seeks Parents

The organization that runs our school lottery, My School DC, needs parent representatives from every city ward (except Ward 4) for its parent advisory council for the 2018-19 lottery. Applications are due next Friday September 14.

Here’s what parents do, per the application website:

“The Parent Advisory Council (PAC) supports My School DC by providing guidance and feedback on the My School DC application process, including design of the application and targeted engagement strategies; providing input on programmatic direction for My School DC, such as ways in which My School DC can continue to support families upon the conclusion of the lottery; acting as ambassadors of information to their respective communities; and advising the Common Lottery Board – My School DC’s governing body – on major policy decisions.”

There are four Monday meetings, from 6 pm-8 pm on the following dates: October 15; January 7; April 8; and July 8. All meetings take place at the headquarters of OSSE (state superintendent of education), 1050 First St. NE.

More information is available from Aryan Bocquet, at Aryan.Bocquet@dc.gov or at (202) 727-9306.

Should you apply (and get accepted!), perhaps you can address the mystery of Labor Day’s missing children:

Right now, there is no way for schools in summer to actually know *who* is going to school in the fall, despite the vaunted lottery cutoff date in the spring.

Here’s how this (generally unacknowledged) loophole works: a family already attending a school re-enrolls in spring for the next school year–as is their right–or claims an in bounds seat at their in boundary DCPS school (as also is their right).

But that same family has also played the lottery–and decided to accept a lottery offer for a seat at another school.

Technically, this means that the family is not eligible to be at the school where they re-enrolled.

Except that it doesn’t always actually work that way.

Short of these families reaching out to their (unchosen, but yet pre-enrolled) schools themselves and letting those schools know of their new (lottery) choice, or the unchosen schools calling the parents after school starts to ask what gives with the missing children on their rosters, where all the students on any school’s roster actually are enrolled on the first day of school remains, well, a mystery–which extends sometimes for weeks, affecting resources, morale, and staff time.

It doesn’t need to be this way:

Since My School DC has got this whole school choice thing down, the next logical frontier is making the lottery an enrollment system for all schools–and not just the shiny new schools a family might select in the lottery, but the ones kids already attend or are in bounds for.

(I know, I know, how unspeakably radical to ensure kids are actually enrolled at every school, not merely that schools are chosen! You’d think that school choice and waitlists are more important to our DC education leaders than kids actually being in school–oh, wait.)

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