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DCPS Expands Access for Pre-K Students Furthest from Opportunity at Nine Schools

Monday, December 6, 2021

(Washington, DC) DC Public Schools (DCPS) announced today students furthest from opportunity applying to early childhood education programs will receive additional consideration within the My School DC application lottery system at nine schools across the District.

Through the Equitable Access Designated Seats Program, eligible students from all 8 wards will receive additional considerations in the lottery when they apply to four of the citywide Pre-K programs open to all DC students. Additionally, students who meet the criteria and who live in the school boundaries at five selected neighborhood schools will be eligible for additional considerations when they apply through the My School DC lottery.

Students are eligible if they are experiencing homelessness, are in the District’s foster care system, or receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) benefits.

DCPS is committed to supporting our youngest learners with joyful, enriching academic opportunities,” said Chancellor Lewis Ferebee. “DCPS has led the way nationally with our investments in prekindergarten programs, which has been a key driver in our success as the fastest improving urban school district in the nation. The expansion of our equitable access program means that students who are most in need and gain the greatest benefit from early childhood educational receive additional consideration.

Washington, DC has a long history as a leader in providing early childhood education dating back to the 1960s and leads the nation in access to Pre-K for both 3- and 4-year-old children. Access to high-quality, affordable childcare is a critical need for families across the District, and DCPS is proud to provide free Pre-K at every one of our elementary schools to ensure all of our young learners are ready for kindergarten. Each year, DCPS enrolls more than 5,000 preschool students.

There is no special application for Equitable Access seats outside of the My School DC application. All PK3 and PK4 students must apply via the My School DC lottery to access a seat. Eligible students apply just as they would otherwise to their preferred choices on their My School DC application. As part of the My School DC application process, families will have an opportunity to indicate whether they consent to have their application reviewed to determine if they are eligible for the reserved seats. Families must check the box to give consent if they wish to be considered and the system will automatically check whether the student is eligible for an Equitable Access seat. The family does not need to take any additional action.

There are nine DCPS schools participating in the Equitable Access Designated Seats program in the upcoming 2022-2023 School Year:

  • Barnard Elementary School (neighborhood school)
  • Garrison Elementary School (neighborhood school)
  • H.D. Cooke Elementary School (neighborhood school)
  • Van Ness Elementary School (neighborhood school)
  • West (soon to be John Lewis) Elementary School (neighborhood school) 
  • Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan (citywide school)
  • Dorothy I. Height Elementary School (citywide school)
  • Military Road Early Learning Center (citywide school)
  • Stevens Early Learning Center (citywide school)