Decatur School Board considering changes to Pre-K lottery

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt January 13, 2014

Icon_SchoolsCity Schools of Decatur Board of Education will meet on Jan. 14, and will consider making some tweaks to the school system’s pre-kindergarten lottery system.

CSD holds a lottery for parents to get on a waiting list to attend College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center. This year’s lottery is scheduled for March 3, 2014, according to the CSD website.

The proposed changes concerns how multiple-birth siblings – twins, triplets etc. – are treated under the lottery system.

According to the proposed change, “Multiple birth children will have one ticket submitted in the lottery. If this ticket is selected, then all multiple birth siblings will go on the wait list.”

“The edits regarding the lottery process and the application procedures for multiple birth children (e.g.,twins) is an effort to provide more clarity to the PreK enrollment process and to craft policies and procedures that are sensitive to the unique circumstances of families with multiple birth children,” CSD Curriculum Director Joe Austin wrote in his notes to the School Board about the proposed changes.

UPDATED 2:45 p.m.: Just saw this in the 4/5 Academy news letter and thought it provided some useful info about the Pre-K registration process.

Registration for CSD 2014-2015 Pre-Kindergarten begins on Monday, February 3, 2014 from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm at the Central Offices at Westchester, 758 Scott Boulevard.

Families whose child is currently enrolled in College Heights’ preschool program will have an enrollment packet sent home with their child to complete and return to the school by 3:00 pm on February 28th. College Heights’ preschool students are automatically placed in the Pre-K program and if needed, the after-school program.

Pre-Kindergarten slots are assigned based on a phased lottery: all “new family” registrations received at Westchester during the month of February will be considered in one lottery on March 3. Therefore, it is not necessary to be first in line! New families who register after the March 3rd lottery will be placed on the wait list according to date and time of registration. Similarly, all courtesy and non-resident registrations received during the month of March will be considered in one lottery on April 1st and future applicants will be placed on the wait list.

To access a checklist of necessary documents needed for registration, please visit our school website. Please spread the word to your neighbors!

Also worth mentioning: Superintendent Phyllis Edwards is sending out a letter this month to parents of rising third graders who want to remain in their current elementary school if their attendance zones recently changed. In December, the BOE approved new maps for K-3 attendance to accommodate the the reopening of Westchester Elementary in 2014.

“While this means the addition of teachers and more space at each school, it is something that the Superintendent has done in the past to help ease the transition,” Edwards wrote in her comments to the School Board.

The deadline for parents to apply for grandfathered status is Feb. 15.

The BOE meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 6:30 p.m. at the Board of Education Central office located at 758 Scott Boulevard, Decatur, GA 30030.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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  • I feel the lottery system is the worst way to give spaces for incoming students/parents!

    • I have no frame of reference there. What system do you think would work better?

      • Well, to keep a long story short, one of the best elementary schools in Dekalb county, in the 90’s, Marbut Theme School, went from a waiting in line system to the lottery system, and the entire fabric of the school went down the tubes in less than 5 years!! During the 5 years my daughters went there the entire PTA board was made up of and run by 10-15 of the people that were willing to wait in the entrance line for days for their kids spot! When you let luck and not a work ethic win a spot, you’ll allow a great system, that was built with a work ethic, to be brought down by the same lucky people! You can’t make a lucky lazy person get a work ethic!!! Nor will our Govt kick them out for being lazy and not caring either!!

  • erb

    So, in your mind, (1) transition from waiting in line system to lottery system at Marbut = Marbut school failure in less than 5 years, and (2) parents with the time and ability to wait in line for days = better work ethic than those unable to do so. That’s absurd.

    • No Dan, unlike your opinion, what I’m saying isn’t my opinion, it is history and a fact! Lottery = less involved parents in the long haul! Parents that make it happen will teach their kids to sacrifice for the important things in life! An education and a work ethic are 2 of the biggest items you can teach your kids!

      • erb

        Well, I’m sorry, but despite your assurance that “it is history and a fact!” I’m still not sold that “Lottery = less involved parents in the long haul!”

  • erb
  • erb

    I’m not Dan.

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