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Want To Know What The Most Sought-After Charter Schools Are? Check Wait-Lists

Want to attend Two Rivers Public Charter School in D.C.? So do lots of other people.

Last week the D.C. Public Charter School Board released data on available seats and wait-lists for the city's charter schools. The data offers an insight into where demand is highest for charter schools, which enroll 43 percent of the city's students.

Take Two Rivers, located along Florida Avenue NE in Ward 6: Its wait-list has 1,722 students on it, more than any other charter school in the city. Mundo Verde Bilingual came in second at 1,031 students, and Washington Yu Ying took third place with 1,028 students hoping to get in. (Mundo Verde is moving from Mt. Pleasant to a bigger space in Truxton Circle for the upcoming school year.)

Other long wait-lists belonged to Elsie Whitlow Stokes (889), Creative Minds International (870), Capital City's lower school (733), E.L. Haynes elementary (711), D.C. Bilingual (671), and Latin American Montessori Bilingual (633). The number of students on the wait-list for KIPP D.C.'s 15 campuses totaled 2,704.

The charter school board said that despite long wait-lists for many top-performing schools, others still have available seats for the upcoming school year.

The data from the charter school board comes a month after similar numbers were released by D.C. Public Schools, which showed parents opting for a small sampling of select schools.

This year was the first time that D.C. rolled out a single lottery for out-of-boundary public schools and most charter schools; in the past, parents had to manage multiple applications and deadlines for different schools. Over 17,000 students used the common lottery to apply for school seats in the upcoming academic year.

City officials say that data from the lottery and enrollment shows that while D.C. parents enjoy more schooling options than in years past, the number of high-quality seats remains limited. In Mayor Vincent Gray's 2015 budget, more money is being put towards at-risk students and improving programming and instruction at low-performing schools.

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