Pre-K Lottery Update:
We heard from several moms recently who were surprised by changes to the pre-K wait list this year for Savannah-Chatham public schools. Basically, if your child was accepted to one of your school choices, then he/she was not put on the waiting list for your other choices. In the past, students who were not accepted to their choices were automatically put on the waiting list. You can read parents’ concerns on the SouthernMamas.com Facebook page.
This change negatively affects those parents whose neighborhood school is not a good school, but they were required to make it one of their choices. Now they’ve been accepted to their neighborhood school & were not even put on the waiting list for their school of choice.
District 1 Savannah-Chatham County School Board Member Julie Wade looked into parents’ complaints & below are the answers she received.
Below are responses to Julie Wade’s questions about this year’s changes in the pre-K waiting list process. The repsonses are from David Feliciano, Chief Data and Accountability Officer for Savannah-Chatham Public School System:
There are two places we provided information on choice scenarios for parents to review and be aware of. One was above the choice selection list on the online application. The other reference was on our public website FAQ for Lottery. Since the lottery has completed, the FAQs have been replaced with FAQ for Registration. Below is a copy of the information that was posted:
Pre-K school choice scenarios:
1. The family lives in a school attendance zone that has a Pre-K Program.
• If the family only wants to attend the Pre-K program in their school attendance zone, select the school as the first choice selection and leave the other two blank.
• If the family wants to attend a Pre-K program that is not in their school attendance zone, select the school as the first choice selection and select the attendance zone school as the second choice. The third choice can be left blank.
• If the family wants to maximize their opportunity for entry into a Pre-K program, enter three choices with one of them being the attendance zone school.
2. The family lives in a school attendance zone that does not have a Pre-K program.
• If the family only wants to attend a specific Pre-K program, select the school as the first choice selection and leave the other two blank.
• If the family wants to maximize their opportunity for entry into a Pre-K program, enter three choices.
Note: If a family is selected for a Pre-K slot, they will no longer be on any wait list.
When the lottery was designed, it was designed to support community schools. Two specific rules impacted parent choices in the lottery:
• Priority is to be given to families that live within the Pre-K Center attendance zone.
• Families are required to list their attendance zone Pre-K Center as one of three choices.
Once a Pre-K slot is provided within the county, families are taken off of any other wait list. This was done to prevent families from holding wait list positions when they are already attending a Pre-K program within SCCPSS.
Q: For those that were not placed anywhere and are on two or three wait lists, can they withdraw from some of the wait lists?
A: Parents can remove their child from any wait list and still remain on others. Only when they accept a slot into a Pre-K program they are removed from others. The family that is on Shuman’s list can call the school and have their child pulled from the wait list. The child will still be listed on the other Pre-K program wait list. We will post this information on the website and provide it to the schools as this particular scenario was not covered.
Options for consideration:
The second rule listed above can be removed from the system. In doing so, families can pick and choose any Pre-K center of their choice, have the option of only entering one, two, or up to three Pre-K center, and don’t have to list their attendance zone school.
The above are responses to District 1 Savannah-Chatham County School Board Member Julie Wade’s questions about this year’s changes in the Pre-K waiting list process. The responses are from David Feliciano, Chief Data and Accountability Officer Savannah-Chatham Public School System.