DCPS and Public Charter Schools Launch Unified Application and Lottery System


From a press release:

“This week, the District launched a common application and lottery system for D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) and public charter schools. My School DC provides a single online application where families can apply for spots at all DCPS out-of-boundary schools (K–12), all DCPS PK3 and PK4 programs, DCPS specialized high schools, and nearly every public charter school program. Families can go to and submit an application to as many as 12 schools. The application is open through February 3 for grades 9 – 12 and March 3 for grades PK – 8.

“This past summer, I committed to families that I would work to simplify the process for getting their students into the District’s public schools,” said Mayor Vincent C. Gray. “The launch of the common lottery system is a giant leap in this direction. The common lottery will not only make it easier for families to apply, but it will also increase the number of families who get a seat at a school of their choice well in advance of next school year.”

My School DC replaces an application process that was often cumbersome and overwhelming for families. My School DC is working proactively to connect parents to all the necessary information about each school so that they can understand all the options available to them and make an informed decision. In addition to the comprehensive and searchable information available on, there will be a targeted media campaign and extensive grass-roots community outreach.

The planning process for this system began over six months ago and has been a joint effort among the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education, DCPS, the Public Charter School Board, and representatives from charter schools.

“A common lottery process for all public school options just makes sense. This is a great example of how District agencies and public schools in both sectors can work together to implement a system that benefits all District families,” said Deputy Mayor for Education Abigail Smith.

There is no advantage to applying early. However, the system launched successfully on the first day, with more than 1,000 applications submitted. More than 10,000 individuals have visited the website to learn more about the process and school options.

“The common lottery and My Schools DC represents collaboration that is great for DCPS and great for our city. It makes the out-of-boundary process more clear and eliminates duplication on waitlists, which often creates stress for schools and families,” said DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson. “I am hopeful this will allow more families who choose to participate in the lottery to get a seat at a school of their choice and have the information they need to help ensure a successful school year for their student.”

“We’re excited that so many D.C. charter schools have chosen to participate in a common lottery,” said Public Charter School Board Executive Director Scott Pearson. “I expect that My School DC will simultaneously make enrollment season easier for families and for schools.

For more information on the process and how to submit an application, please visit”

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