Open Enrollment FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions

When is Open Enrollment?

February 1, 2021 – February 12, 2021

When is the lottery?

TBD

How does the lottery work?

After the two week Open Enrollment period, we get more applications than we have space available, so a lottery is conducted. During the lottery, numbers are randomly drawn by the priority you applied under and individually assigned to an alphabetical list of students. Parents are welcome to join us virtually during this process. Afterwards, we will re-order the list numerically and this will create our waiting list. We will be able to determine who is accepted into the school from this numerical list according to the number of openings in each grade level.

How do the priority levels work?

There are five (5) priorities:
  • Priority 1: Incoming siblings of currently enrolled students and any student whose parent is assigned to Downtown School as their primary place of employment.
  • Priority 2: A student who resides within safe walking distance regardless of employment as defined by BP/AR 602.16.
    • The boundaries for a safe walking distance defined in BP/AR 602.16 are residences located on and within the region bounded as follows: (1) West to “F” Street; (2) East to Union Avenue; (3) North to 24th Street; (4) South to Truxtun Avenue.
  • Priority 3: A student whose parent resides within the District’s attendance boundaries, works within the designated downtown business area, and who needs EduCare.
    • The boundaries for the downtown business area includes the area of all businesses operating on: (1) California Avenue and north of California Avenue to 34th Street including all businesses on 34th Street which are bounded on the east and west by Oak Street and Union Avenue; and (2) Oak Street and east of Oak Street to Union Avenue including those businesses on Union Avenue which are bounded on the north and south by the above.
  • Priority 4: A student whose parent works in the designated downtown business area, resides outside the District attendance boundaries, and who needs EduCare.
    • The boundaries for the downtown business area includes the area of all businesses operating on: (1) California Avenue and north of California Avenue to 34th Street including all businesses on 34th Street which are bounded on the east and west by Oak Street and Union Avenue; and (2) Oak Street and east of Oak Street to Union Avenue including those businesses on Union Avenue which are bounded on the north and south by the above.
  • Priority 5: All other students who reside, or have established residency, based upon employment, anywhere in the District’s boundaries regardless of EduCare needs.

My child currently has a brother/sister enrolled at Downtown Elementary. Since that gives me 1st priority, don’t I automatically get in?

Not necessarily. Although you would have 1st priority, a lottery is still conducted. There is always a possibility that we would have more 1st priority applicants than space available – if that were the case then not all the 1st priority students would be accepted for enrollment.

I work downtown – is my child automatically enrolled?

No – You still have to participate in the Open Enrollment and Lottery process. There are many people who will apply and we have to conduct the lottery to ensure fairness to all applicants.

I live near Downtown School - is my child automatically enrolled?

No – You still have to participate in the Open Enrollment and Lottery process. There are many people who will apply and we have to conduct the lottery to ensure fairness to all applicants.

When I fill out the Enrollment Agreement, what grade do I apply under?

Remember, you are applying for next school year. You need to be sure to indicate the grade level your child will be in for the 2021-2022 school year.

What boundaries determine “Downtown?”

The boundaries are like a square: 34th Street, Oak Street, California Avenue, and Union Avenue. If your employer’s address is within or on these boundaries, you are considered to work “Downtown.”

What boundaries determine a safe walking distance?

The boundaries for a safe walking distance defined in BP/AR 602.16 are residences located on and within the region bounded as follows: (1) West to “F” Street; (2) East to Union Avenue; (3) North to 24th Street; (4) South to Truxtun Avenue.

How do I know what kind of transfer to file?

Once you have completed the online application we will contact you for an appointment to bring in supporting documentation and will include the appropriate transfer. 

If I have children currently attending Downtown Elementary, do I still have to apply for their siblings during Open Enrollment?

YES! Just because your older children are already here, does not mean that we will assume their brothers/sisters will be coming too. BE SURE TO APPLY during Open Enrollment. You will still have to file the application and appropriate transfer request.

Is it possible for a student in a grade higher than Kindergarten to be accepted?

YES! Students in grades 1-8 are accepted depending on changes in currently enrolled students. Some may move out of town or change schools creating openings for lottery students. Remember, you have to apply to be accepted so don’t forget to turn your paperwork in by 3:30 p.m. on Friday, February 12.

If I have more than one student, what happens if one gets in but the other doesn’t?

The lottery is by definition a gamble. It is very possible that one child would get in and the other would be on the waiting list for their grade. However, don’t forget that siblings get first priority for enrollment. So if one sibling gets in, the other would have first priority next year!

If my student is enrolled in Downtown School, are they guaranteed a place in all future grades?

Not guaranteed, but generally a child beginning in Kindergarten is eligible to continue through all grades offered at Downtown School. Enrollment in Downtown School is based upon an Intradistrict, Interdistrict Permit, or parent employment. If the reasons on which initial enrollment was granted changes (e.g., no longer work within District boundaries, criteria for Interdistrict permit no longer applicable), the District will try hard to help you find another legally acceptable reason to permit continued attendance of your student.