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School Choice application window closes next week

Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s school choice application window ends next week.


Delaware State law has allowed families to apply to send their child to any public school, charter school or technical school in the state since 1992.


The Department of Education says the goal was to increase access to educational opportunities regardless of geographical location.


Lindsay Lewis coordinates the choice program for the Department of Education. She says there are lots of reasons someone may choose a different school, such as proximity to work.


“There’s also a lot of availability for programs," said Lewis. "So there are charters or districts who specialize in a certain pathway or a certain initiative or focus.”


Lewis adds immersion programs are a big reason a parent may choose to put their child somewhere else, since those programs start in kindergarten.


The deadline for the 2021-2022 school years is midnight on Wednesday, January 13th.


Lewis says it can be hard for some families when thinking about applying, because the application time is so far out from the start of the school year, but parents can always choose to deny an offer after they apply.


“You know, it’s hard, almost to think, especially when our state of living right now, what we could anticipate in September of 2021,” said Lewis.


Not all who apply will get into the school, the process goes down a priority list, and most head into a lottery system if the school is at capacity.


Lewis says the applications this year have followed the same dip as statewide school enrollment, attributed to COVID-19.


Parents can fill out the short application online and should hear back from the school by the end of February.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.
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