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Posted: March 23, 2013 7:20 p.m.

Pre-K Lottery: Who's in and out

Parents of soon-to-be pre-kindergarten students crossed their fingers in hopes their child would be selected during the Newton County School System’s Pre-K Lottery. The lottery selected children to attend local elementary schools for the next school year, but some now sit on a waiting list.

The NCSS held registration for the district’s Georgia lottery funded pre-kindergarten program Feb. 25 through March 1, where parents registered their children into elementary schools in their zoned areas to attend next school year.
The school system had only 586 Pre-K slots at its 13 elementary schools available for the 2013-14 school year. In some instances, there may be more children in assigned school zones, which causes some children not to get selected to attend their appropriate elementary school.

During registration, parents were instructed to fill out required documentation, and then were placed on a roster for possible selection of a slot in the Pre-K program. Once registration was completed, names were placed in a lottery drawing for the school zone for possible selection.

When all the slots were filled, the remaining names were placed on a waiting list in the order they were drawn. Those names would be called if and when spaces become available.

In this case, the school system collects the parents’ name, address and contact number, as well as the child’s name and date of birth. The information is then placed at the bottom of a waiting list of the child’s assigned school.

If a slot does become available, parents are instructed to visit the Board of Education in order to complete a registration packet. During this time, parents are asked to bring all required documentation in order to register their child.

Though some children may not make the cut, there still remains an option for those children who weren’t selected. Pre-K slots may be available that aren’t in the child’s zone school.

When slots are available at other schools, parents may have the opportunity to fill those slots if they are willing to provide transportation to and from their child’s selected school. According to the NCSS, driving time is another factor that will be taken into consideration before offering a slot out of zone.

According to the 2013-2014 Pre-K lottery waiting list released on Friday, a total of 96 children are waiting to be selected into their zoned elementary schools. Flint Hill and Heard-Mixon elementary schools are tied — each having 24 students — with the most number of children waiting to attend Pre-K.

Available Pre-K slots remain at East Newton, with four; Fairview has one slot open; Livingston and Mansfield elementary schools each have seven slots available; and the Newton County Career Academy has two available slots.

Officials with the NCSS say the list is susceptible to change at any given moment and that slots are filled immediately as parents call to inquire about availability.

Children must be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1, to qualify for enrollment.

Parents who are selected to fill an open slot should bring a certified birth certificate and two proofs of residence/address — Category 1: Electric, gas, garbage or water bill in the name of the person enrolling the child; and Category 2: current lease, rental agreement or mortgage statement from the purchase of a home.

Telephone bills, mortgage payment books, post office addresses, car licenses, credit cards and Medicaid cards will not be accepted as proof of residence.

For more information on Pre-K registration, visit newtoncountyschools.org.

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