Winning the Lottery

No, not that lottery. Got your attention, though.

Anna is starting Kindergarten in the fall. Her district school has a full-day kindergarten. While many parents would welcome this opportunity, we knew it wasn’t right for Anna. She currently attends preschool one afternoon a week—in a class tailored for children with speech delays—and the rest of the time we teach her at home. Five half days a week will be a big enough adjustment. There’s no way she’s ready for all day school.

Fortunately, our school district has a school choice lottery each year. Parents can list up to three schools, anywhere in the district, and as long as there’s room their child will be admitted.

So we entered the school choice lottery, choosing three nearby schools with half-day kindergarten. Our first choice was the elementary school closest to us, but just over the boundary line. It has a great academic reputation, language classes, music and theater programs at the older grades, and is the only school in our immediate area that offers an afternoon kindergarten. Our fall-backs were two alternative schools: one focused on arts and technology and the other emphasizing individual learning styles and parental involvement. Very different from each other, but both excellent schools.

I was confident she’d get into one of them, but I had the slight fear in the back of my mind that we’d be homeschooling her next year.

Tuesday I found out Anna was accepted at one of our fall-back schools and was fourth on the waiting list at the other. So we knew she’d be going somewhere this fall. Then on Wednesday we got a postcard from from our first choice.

She’s in.

Now there’s paperwork to fill out, an IEP to plan with her current therapists, and an orientation meeting on May 25th. We’ll meet her new teacher and her new speech therapist. Once that’s done, she’ll be registered for the fall.

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