The Aspen School District, which recently announced it will hold a lottery for out-of-district students to bolster class sizes in some grades, on Friday released more information about the process.
“We felt it was important to provide some process information since accepting out-of-district students through a lottery has not been done for over a decade,” the release says.
In order to maintain classroom diversity and richness, the district is seeking approximately 25 new students. Enrollment is to be limited to the following grade levels: kindergarten, first grade, second grade, sixth grade, eighth grade and the 11th grade IB diploma program.
So if the elementary school accepts five new students for second grade, the class average would increase from 16 to 17 students per class.
“This still keeps us within the class-size limitations set by board policy …,” the release says. “We hope the following information will assist in clarifying any misconceptions about class sizes and the lottery process.”
The district press release has the following questions and answers:
Q. With the district accepting new out-of-district students, will class sizes at the elementary and middle schools exceed the board’s recommended class-size ranges or averages?
A. The loss in student enrollment provided impetus for the district to consider replacing a few of the students. The district will follow the board’s recommendations for class-size ranges or averages. As noted in policy, at the primary level (Grades K-2) the range is 16 to 18 students per class, and at the secondary level (Grades 5-12) an average of 20 to 22 students per class. Through the lottery process, it is the district’s plan to not exceed the top-range number when accepting new out-of-district students for next year.
Q. What qualifies a student to enter the lottery for the 2019-20 school year?
A. Any current out-of-district student who is not enrolled in the Aspen schools and is applying for a grade level that is accepting out-of-district students for next year qualifies for the lottery.
Q. Will priority be given to any applicants?
A. Priority will not be based on current policy (JF Admission and Denial of Admission), which is set up for enrollment at all grade levels. Instead, there are only two considerations:
• Does the applicant have a current sibling attending one of the Aspen schools (AES, AMS or AHS)? Any applicants with a sibling currently attending an Aspen school will be in the first lottery; all remaining openings will then be filled by a second lottery of qualified applicants.
• If an applicant is selected who has another sibling who qualifies for the lottery, both students will automatically get in. Multiple spots may be filled by one family.
Q. How will the district determine the lottery selections?
A. Applicants will be assigned a random three-digit number in no particular order. Once the numbers have been assigned, an electronic random-number generator will be used to select the winning number until all openings are filled.
Q. If my family and/or child is selected, when will I be notified?
A. Lottery winners will be notified in the late morning and afternoon on Thursday. Winners will need to decide at the time of notification if they are accepting the invitation to enroll their child/children in the Aspen schools.
Q. What if someone selected decides not to accept the invitation to attend the Aspen schools?
A. If a lottery winner decides not to accept the invitation, we will move to the next randomly selected lottery winner until all designated openings have been filled.
Q. When will the lottery take place?
A. The lottery will take place in the district offices on Thursday from 8:30 to 10 a.m.
Q. Who will be present during the lottery process?
A. Present during the selection process will be the building principal, technology representative, the administrative assistant to the superintendent and the superintendent.