Boulder Valley School District has typically used a lottery system to grant access to students who want to use the open enrollment system to change schools.
Locally, students who may have a desire to attend a school which is different from their “home” school apply for a switch using the open enrollment program. Historically it’s a lottery system and as schools fill up to capacity or 0ver capacity, more and more students find they can’t get into the school of their choice.
Now the school district is changing the process, and it has some students and parents, especially in east Boulder County frustrated.
The new deal beginning next year is different because BVSD is going to first process all incoming 9th grade students who wish to switch (most specifically those between Fairview High and Boulder High), and then will process the remaining student applicants.
For example if there are 100 students from Boulder High who want to go to Fairview, and vice versa, those 200 students will get to switch. Only after that procedure will BVSD look at applicants who want other options.
While it leaves some people frustrated, the net amount of seats available at each school doesn’t change when phase one is done, and the district begins the typical lottery process.
The district says that the way they see it, with fewer students competing for the remaining open seats, it’s more likely that lottery students will get into their preferred school.
Parents in Lafayette’s Centaurus High and Louisville’s Monarch High who have students interested in attending FHS or BHS feel that the new system gives an unfair advantage to those students who are already in one of the two Boulder schools.
When we look purely at the numbers, it seems that it’s a bit of a non issue, but if you’re on the other end thinking that your student might be part of an ‘equal opportunity’ lottery and then some students get prioritized, it could certainly be confusing, and frustrating.
There are still 48 “first choice” students who wish to get into Fairview High, and the district is trying to determine how to make this work well.
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