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DCPS Preschool, Pre-K, Out-of-Boundary Lottery Opens Today

Monday, January 30, 2012
Annual process gives families the chance to apply to schools outside their neighborhoods

Today, District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) launched its annual Preschool/Pre-Kindergarten/Out-of-Boundary Lottery Application process that gives District families the opportunity to apply to preschool and pre-kindergarten programs in DCPS, as well as to schools that are different than the one they’ve been assigned for grades K-12.

“Parents and families in the District of Columbia deserve information and choices when it comes to their children’s education. The lottery gives parents the chance to look inside and outside their neighborhood  to find schools that best support their children’s academic strengths and needs, as well as their extracurricular and social interests,” said DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson.

“For our youngest students, we continue to offer compelling programs that better prepare them for kindergarten,” said Chancellor Henderson added, noting the expansion of the Tools of the Mind program to more than 150 classrooms in 28 schools. Tools of the Mind is a curriculum that helps children acquire the skills they need to set a foundation for long-term success in school.

The Preschool/Pre-K/Out-of-Boundary Lottery application period opens Jan. 30, 2012, and closes Feb. 27, 2012.  There is no advantage to applying early in the application period.  Families must log on to the DCPS website  to access the online Preschool/Pre-K/Out-of-Boundary application; paper applications will not be accepted.

DCPS is proud to offer a robust variety of academic programs that will appeal to students’ unique interests and talents, such as:

Families can begin investigating their options by visiting, an online tool that lists all DC Public Schools in profile and scorecard formats, gives users a chance to see what each school has to offer, and allows families to compare schools side-by-side.

Each applicant may apply to up to six schools.  All families applying for preschool or pre-K must apply through the online application, even if they are applying to their in-boundary school.  For help completing the application and for more information about schools, families are invited to call the Critical Response Team at 202-478-5738.

DCPS also offers five information sessions to help families navigate the lottery process. They are as follows:

  • Jan. 31 from 6-8 p.m. at Patterson Elementary School (4399 South Capitol Terrace SW);
  • An Online Live Chat on Feb. 6 from 2-3 p.m.;
  • Feb. 11 from 1-3 p.m. at the Dorothy I. Height/Benning DC Public Library (3935 Benning Road NE);
  • Feb. 15 from 6-8 p.m. at Powell Elementary School (1350 Upshur St. NW); and
  • Feb. 20 from 6-8 p.m. at Wheatley Education Campus (1299 Neal St. NE).     

The lottery process is part of DCPS’ goal of ensuring every student – from every school in every ward – has access to a top-notch education.

For more information on the Preschool/Pre-K/Out-of-Boundary lottery, upcoming Lottery Help Sessions, and scheduled Open Houses, visit the DCPS Out-of-Boundary Lottery webpage.

DCPS Preschool, Pre-K, and Out-of-Boundary Press Release in Spanish »

Preschool, Pre-K, and Out-of-Boundary Lottery Application in Spanish »

Contact: Melissa Salmanowitz | 202-535-1096