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'12 Days of School Choice': About the 'School Choice Lottery'

posted Dec 24, 2019, 2:02 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Dec 26, 2019, 4:26 PM ]

In an effort to inform District 60 parents and others about the school choice process, this is the third of 12 blog posts explaining the process and helping guide parents with helpful tips along the way. Open enrollment for the 2020-21 school year begins Jan. 13, 2020. 

When The Rolling Stones wrote their classic rock song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” it’s possible that it was about the realities of the school choice process.

Okay, probably not. 

However, it’s an unfortunate reality that not every child will win a spot at their school of choice. Some schools are more popular than others, and as a result, only limited space is available. 

Let’s pretend that 50 students want to enroll into “The Greatest School in Pueblo,” but because of building size and teacher availability, only 31 spots exist at that school. The only truly fair way to determine who gets one of those 31 spots is to have a “lottery.” 

During the school choice “open enrollment” process, many students get into their chosen school with no problem at all. If there’s any room at the school in which you applied, you’ll get in. It only gets complicated if there are more applicants than there are open spots. That’s when the “lottery” comes in.

How the lottery works

Once the School Choice lottery period ends on Feb. 9, 2020, each school that has more applicants than available spots will hold a lottery. 

However, it’s not as simple as throwing everybody’s name into a proverbial hat, and drawing a name at random. To foster educational continuity and convenience for families, preference is given to some applicants over others at each school.

Some examples of individuals that get preference over others include:

  • Individuals that reside within the District 60 boundaries (This is Colorado law)

  • Students returning to their neighborhood school after attending elsewhere

  • Children living near IB schools (less than 1.5 miles to and from that school)

  • Students with a sibling already expected at the selected school

  • For a complete list, check out our blog post about these preferences

It’s important to note that the lottery is not “first-come, first-served.” Whether you filled out your application on the first day of the School Choice lottery period or the final day, there is no difference in the chances of winning a seat in a preferred school..

Names will be drawn on Feb. 27, and you will be notified if your child has won a spot at your chosen school, or if he will be added to a waitlist.  Please be sure to monitor your email at the address you provided in the application at the end of February..

If you have more questions, read one of the blog posts below or contact the District 60 School Choice team at (719) 253-6014 or

12 Days of School Choice
#2: How do I apply? (Dec. 26, 2019)
#12: How does the wait list work? (Jan. 5, 2020)