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Q: Why do we have a lottery?

A: Any student regardless of where s/he lives, academic standing, or income has an equal opportunity to be accepted to an IDEA school. Lotteries are held to randomly select students to fill spots for the upcoming school year.

Q: I’ve heard that my student will be entered into a lottery for a spot at an IDEA campus. Is this true?
A: Any IDEA school with spots available will host a lottery on April 2, 2016 . During the lottery, names will be drawn at random, by grade, with spots offered in the order of names drawn. After the lottery, remaining applications completed before the deadline are assigned a position on our waiting list in randomized order, while applications completed after the deadline are added to the waiting list by date and time of application.

Q: When is the lottery? How is it conducted?
A: For the 2016-2017 school year, the lottery will be held on Saturday, April 2, 2016. During the lottery, names will be drawn at random, by grade, with spots offered in the order of names drawn. When the capacity for each grade level is reached, the remaining applications are assigned a position on our waiting list in randomized order (only applications completed before the deadline participate in the lottery). The lottery is open to the public and is overseen by IDEA Public Schools officials.

Q: When is the deadline to participate in the lottery?
A: The deadline to submit an application for the 2016-2017 school year is April 1, 2016. Any application submitted after the deadline will be placed on the wait list until August 31, 2016. Students who are not selected by August 31 will need to re-apply October 1, 2016 through April 2017 for the 2017-2018 school year.

Q: Who do I contact to ask questions about the lottery?
A: Parents can contact the campus directly or visit our website at www.ideapublicschools.org for updates.

Q: Where does the lottery take place?
A: Each school is responsible for its lottery. Please contact the school directly or visit the individual campus website.

Q: Is anyone given preference in the lottery?
A: Yes. Texas charter school law requires charter schools to give preference to existing students and siblings of students currently enrolled at IDEA Public Schools.

Q: Do I have to be present at the lottery for my child to be accepted?
A: No, neither you nor your child needs to be present at the lottery to be accepted. IDEA Public Schools officials will contact the family directly with a phone call, an email, and a letter to let you know if your child has been accepted.

Q: How do I know if my child was chosen at the lottery?
A: IDEA Public Schools officials will contact the family directly with a phone call, an email, and a letter to let you know your child has been accepted. Parents and students will then be required to attend a mandatory orientation session and submit a signed commitment letter to the school.

Q: If my child is accepted, will he/she have to participate in the lottery each year?
A: No, students who are accepted through the lottery will be enrolled in the school and be able to remain there in future years. Parents must let the school know that they plan to return each year.

Q: If my child is enrolled, will his/her younger siblings also be able to attend that school?
A: Siblings of children accepted into IDEA Public Schools receive preference in the lottery and are likely to get in if there is space in the school.

Q: If my child gets accepted at the lottery, can I transfer to another IDEA school?
A: No. You must be at an IDEA school for one school year before transferring to another school UNLESS there is a change of address since the application date. Transfers are contingent upon spot availability.

Q: After my child has attended an IDEA school for onee year, how can I transfer to another IDEA school?
A: You must complete a student transfer form. Please contact your current campus if you are interested in completing a transfer.

Q: If my child is not chosen at the lottery what are the chances that they will be accepted later?
A: Do not get discouraged if your child was not selected during the lottery. If a student is not admitted immediately, they are automatically placed on the wait list. Throughout the year spots may become available. Enrollment is offered to the next student on the wait list as soon as we have notice of a withdrawal. If a parent declines an offer, we move to the next student on the wait list until the position is filled.

Q: If my child does not get selected at the lottery or throughout the year, do I have to apply again?
A: Yes. If your child has not been admitted to an IDEA school by August 31, 2015, you must submit a new application. Applications for the 2016-2017 school year will be accepted from October 1, 2015 through April 1, 2016. The lottery will be held on April 2, 2016.

Q: I was wondering why we have not received a Lottery Postcard Invitation as I did last year?
A. This year we have posted lottery notifications on our website, www.ideapublicschools.org, and social media in lieu of mailing invitations.