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EdFEST to Host School Choice FairMy School DC Kicks Off Lottery Season

Editor’s Note: This article appeared in last week’s edition but with several inconsistencies. It is being run again with corrections in order to ensure that readers have the proper information needed to make informed choices as it relates to schools for their children.

More than 180 public and charter schools in the District will participate in My School DC’s annual EdFEST to empower families to find the best fit for their child by providing direct access to school choice.

Serving as the kickoff to the common lottery application, EdFEST will take place Saturday, Dec. 12, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the DC Armory in Southeast.

“We think families will find the fair to be very helpful, because they will get to see directly the schools they are interested in,” Cat Peretti, executive director of My School DC, said. “Families have many public school options in the District. They can directly enroll their children at their right-to-attend school for grades K through 12, but they can also choose to apply to attend PK programs, out-of-boundary schools, charter schools, and selective high schools. We want parents to be informed.”

Peretti states that families will find the common lottery application online much easier than in years before, with one application and deadline: February 1 for grades 9-12; March 1 for grades PK3-8.

“Families can apply to up to 12 schools in the order they prefer. The lottery algorithm is programmed to try to match students with their most preferred school,” she said.

The application for the 2016-17 school year opens on Dec.14.

For those in attendance, they can expect a plethora of activities for families to engage in such as story time courtesy of the D.C. Public Library, sports activities provided by DC Department of Parks and Recreation, and flu shots and immunizations courtesy of the D.C. Department of Health.

“We want families to be informed about the school selection process while also having a good time and receiving critical services,” Peretti said.

Families are set to receive full assistance. Interpreters in sign language, Spanish, Amharic, Mandarin, Vietnamese and French will be available.

In partnership with District of Columbia Public Schools and the majority of D.C. charter schools, My School DC, a random school choice lottery, makes it easier for families to take advantage of their options.

“We’re hoping to take a lot of the stress out of the process for families,” Peretti said. Prior to My School DC the process was confusing, but now we are hoping it will be easy for parents to go online and pick the right school for them.”

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Sarafina Wright –Washington Informer Staff Writer

Sarafina Wright is a staff writer at the Washington Informer where she covers business, community events, education, health and politics. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of the WI Bridge, the Informer’s millennial publication. A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, she attended Howard University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. A proud southern girl, her lineage can be traced to the Gullah people inhabiting the low-country of South Carolina. The history of the Gullah people and the Geechee Dialect can be found on the top floor of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. In her spare time she enjoys watching either college football or the Food Channel and experimenting with make-up. When she’s not writing professionally she can be found blogging at www.sarafinasaid.com. E-mail: Swright@washingtoninformer.com Social Media Handles: Twitter: @dreamersexpress, Instagram: @Sarafinasaid, Snapchat: @Sarafinasaid

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