What is the order of operations for the student selection process that will prioritize students furthest from opportunity?

The Student Selection Process will consist of running three different matching processes:

  • In-Person Instruction classrooms
  • Self-Contained classrooms
  • CARE classrooms

We are prioritizing classroom seats for our elementary students with the highest need based on current enrollment information. Through a random selection process, we will prioritize by grade level by school:

  • Students experiencing homelessness
  • Students who receive special education services or who are English Learners
  • Students who are designated as At-Risk
  • All other enrolled students 

Self-contained in-person learning classroom seats, for students receiving special education services with more intensive needs, will be prioritized by class by school in the following order:

  • Students experiencing homelessness
  • All other enrolled students in the class

We will also give siblings in the same school a preference in the process to keep them on the same schedule, where possible (first siblings in priority groups, then all other siblings). 

Students in the priority groups outlined above who are not initially matched with a seat for in-person learning will be put on a waitlist. Among priority students, siblings of students who have been matched will be at the top of the waitlist. After siblings, students in priority groups will be on the waitlist based on a random number assignment. Non-priority group students will be waitlisted last, based on random number assignment.

DCPS has partnered with OCTO to develop the requirements for the algorithm that will assign students based on eligibility and preference criteria. OCTO is using the software program that My School DC uses in order to ensure a fair and equitable process. Results of this selection process will be shared with parents who have been matched with a seat, but not posted publicly.