Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Tactical PPSD School Choice

The salient points in the PPSD school choice process are:

  • You can apply for any school in the district.
  • 80% of the seats in the school are reserved for children for whom it is a "neighborhood" school.
  • A school is a neighborhood school for a child if it is within 1 mile of the home or is one of the two closest (if there aren't two within a mile).
  • If a school is oversubscribed, placements are determined by lottery.
  • The placement algorithm is that in the first round they attempt to place everyone in their first choice. They then attempt to put the remaining students in their second choices, etc.

The upshot of this is that there is no point in choosing two oversubscribed schools. You have 0% chance of getting an oversubscribed school as anything other than your first choice. There is no point in our putting, say Gregorian as #1, and Reservoir #2, because that just makes it more likely that we wouldn't get our #3, #4, #5 choices with zero chance of getting into the perpetually oversubscribed Reservoir (with a max of 27 regular ed kindergarten seats a year) as a #2.

This is going to get tricky.

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