DC Public School (DCPS) lottery results are in for the 2019-20 school year and applications for 19 spots in Stoddert pre-K surged again, up 14% to 342 applications. This is a more evidence of a growing problem of affordable care and schooling for youngsters in highly rated school systems bursting at the seams, such as our Stoddert Elementary School. A few years ago Stoddert needed to cut it's second pre-K class due to lack of space at the school. Already, four trailers are being used as classrooms in the parking lot, and enrollment for the younger grades continues to increase.
DCPS gives priority to pre-K applicants who have a sibling in the school already, so again this year all 19 slots were taken by in-boundary students with a sibling at the school. Four others with a sibling were waitlisted and 34 in-boundary applicants without a sibling at the school did not have a prayer. 185 out-of-boundary applicants were wait-listed as well.
Pre-K in Washington DC public elementary schools is not guaranteed at one's in-boundary school, unlike kindergarten and beyond, and is vastly under-resourced in terms of money, space, teachers and commitment from DC officials. This drives parents to other high-cost daycare options while forcing more drivers out on the road for their daycare commutes. KinderCare Learning Center will be opening a daycare next year in the IUOE building at the corner of Wisconsin and Calver Street in Glover Park. They say they will accommodate 128 children from infancy through kindergarten (see prior blog article). Stoddert Elementary will not be expanded again for many years to come, so what is the answer to this conundrum?