Lottery Preferences and Designated Seats

 

Some schools provide applicants with an increased likelihood of getting a lottery match or waitlist offer. This benefit is implemented in one of two ways:

  • Lottery Preferences
  • Designated Seats

Schools may offer lottery preferences and designated seats, only offer lottery preferences, only offer designated seats, or may not offer either. Visit a school’s profile to learn what preferences they offer or who they may designate seats for.

 

 

Lottery Preferences

All applicants with a preference at a particular school are offered a space at that school before applicants who don’t have a preference, and receive a higher waitlist placement than applicants without a preference. The number of lottery preferences offered are school-specific; not every school offers the same preferences or places those preferences in the same order.

  • Visit a school's profile to learn what preferences they offer, and how they order those preferences.
  • Click here to view past years’ lottery results broken down by school, grade and preference.

 

The preferences some schools offer are:

  • Sibling preferences: Sibling Attending , Sibling Offered , Twin Offered (charter only), In-boundary with Sibling Attending (DCPS only), and In-boundary with Sibling Offered (DCPS only) 
  • Geographic preferences (DCPS only): In-boundary preference and proximity preference 
  • Transfer Preference (Charter only)
  • Children of Staff Preference (Charter only)
  • Special Education Preference (Charter only)
  • Military Preference (Charter only)
  • Equitable Access preference (Charter only) for students who are:
    • Experiencing homelessness
    • In the District’s foster care system,
    • Receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, ​
    • In high school and are one year older, or more, than the expected age for the grade in which they are currently enrolled

 

 

Designated Seats

A set amount of a school’s available seats at each grade level are designated for a specific group of students (as defined below). Only applicants that have applied to the school and meet the criteria of that specific group are entered into the lottery for the designated seats. All applicants (including those that meet the criteria for the specific group) are entered into the lottery for the remaining general seats.

 

Applications are updated by My School DC so that eligible students are considered first for the designated seats. If a match can’t be made, they will be waitlisted for designated seats and entered into the lottery for the general seats.

 

If the designated seats do not fill in the lottery, they will not be automatically filled with applicants outside of the defined group. This allows a school to ensure the seats remain open for post-lottery applicants who meet the specific group criteria.

 

 

Types of Designated Seats:

  • Special Education: Eligible applicants are those that are identified as having a high level of need in their Individual Education Program (IEP) as measured on March 1, 2022 (Currently, Bridges Public Charter School is the only school that designates these seats.)
  • Military: Eligible applicants are children of active duty members of the United States Armed Forces (This applies to Learn DC Public Charter School only.)
  • Equitable Access: Eligible applicants are those who meet at least one of the following criteria:
    • Experiencing homelessness
    • In the District’s foster care system,
    • Receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits,
    • In high school and are one year older, or more, than the expected age for the grade in which they are currently enrolled.

 

Questions? Contact the My School DC Hotline at (202) 888-6336 or at [email protected].