TR's Waitlist makes The Washington Post

Byline: Longest waitlist at Two Rivers

Posted: June 27, 2013

D.C. charter school waitlists vary widely
By Emma Brown, Published: May 6

Charter school waiting lists vary widely across the District, according to data released Monday by the D.C. Public Charter School Board that suggests demand tends to be greatest for early childhood programs and schools rated high-performing.

The highest-performing charter schools, ranked “Tier 1” by the charter board, together have the longest waitlists for admission next fall: nearly 14,000 combined names, including duplicates. In contrast, there are only 230 names on waiting lists for low-performing “Tier 3” schools.


“There is clearly a need for more high-quality education programs,” charter board spokeswoman Theola Labbé-DeBose wrote in an e-mail.

Some schools have built strong word-of-mouth reputations among parents despite being too new to be ranked by the charter board. Creative Minds International in Mount Pleasant, for example, is only in its first year of operations but has a waitlist next year of 868 students.

More than two dozen schools, meanwhile, still have empty seats and are seeking more students.

The Amos 3 campus of Community Academy Public Charter School has the most available space with 208 empty seats. It is ranked on the low end of Tier 2. Other schools with empty seats include brand-new schools that have yet to establish a reputation among parents, such as the Hebrew-immersion school Sela, and new campuses of established charter networks, including KIPP DC’s new location at the renovated Webb Elementary School in Ward 5.

Citywide, there are about 1,400 open seats.

This is the second year that the charter board has released waitlist numbers by school and by grade level. The data was collected between April 19 and May 3.

“We want to give parents not only information about where there are available slots but also the number of waitlists in each grade at each school, so that parents can make their own estimate of how likely or unlikely it might be to gain entry in the school were they to submit an application now,” Labbé-DeBose wrote.

Charter schools are open to students across the city, with lotteries conducted when demand exceeds space. The intense competition for the most sought-after schools has fueled debate about giving admissions preference to children who live nearby, but many charter advocates argue that would limit access for children from poor neighborhoods.

Altogether D.C. charter schools carry waitlists of more than 22,000 names, but it is not clear how many individual children that represents because the number includes duplicates. Families can apply to an unlimited number of charters, and many parents keep their children on more than one waiting list over the summer and into the fall.

Parents of the youngest children face some of the most intense competition: More than 12,000 names — again, including duplicates — appear on waitlists for kindergarten and public preschool for three- and four-year-olds.

The shortest waitlist for a charter school is one student at the Riverside campus of Appleseed, an early childhood education school. The longest is 1,776 students at Two Rivers, a pre-kindergarten-8th grade expeditionary learning school.

For a complete list of school waitlists, click here. Here's a snapshot of campuses with the longest waitlists:

1. Two Rivers: 1,776 students

2. Capital City (Lower): 1,563 students

3. EL Haynes (Elementary campus): 1,442 students

4. Mundo Verde Bilingual: 1,226 students

5. Creative Minds: 868 students

Access the orignial article here.

Past Headlines

  • Two Rivers Students and Staff Meet US House Leadership

    Posted 05.8.2014
  • Lottery Results

    Posted 04.11.2014

    Sixty-one new students were matched through 2014-2015 Round 1 Lottery of the My School DC common application process.

  • We Are Tier One!

    Posted 11.11.2013

    Two Rivers has been named a Tier One, high-performing school by DC's Public Charter School Board! Two Rivers is one of only 11 schools to be Tier One for three years in a row, every year since the Tier system has been in place.

  • Senator Landrieu visits TR!

    Posted 10.16.2013

    This morning we were happy to host our friend, United States Senator Mary Landrieu! Senator Landrieu - who represents the state of Louisiana - played a key role in helping Two Rivers obtain our first facility.

  • Two Rivers Will Be Open Even if Fall Payment is Delayed

    Posted 10.11.2013

    The government shutdown may mean the payment to DC charter schools will be delayed. While deeply problematic, Two Rivers has reserve funds to continue school and services for several months, uninterrupted.

  • Two Rivers Wins New Building for Expansion

    Posted 09.18.2013

    Today Two Rivers was awarded the historic Charles E. Young School Building for the expansion of our school.

  • Two Rivers Goes to The White House

    Posted 09.12.2013

    On Tuesday, August 27, Two Rivers middle school students attended a film screening introduced by Michelle Obama at The White House.

  • Congressional Leadership Visits TR!

    Posted 07.17.2013

    Two Rivers was honored to have hosted five members from the U.S. House of Representatives, including House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor!

  • TR's Waitlist makes The Washington Post

    Longest waitlist at Two Rivers
    Posted 06.27.2013

    Two Rivers mentioned in the Washington Post! We have the longest waitlist of any charter school in DC! This article was published May 6, 2013.

  • Jeff Heyck-Williams in the Washington Examiner

    This story was published in the Washington Examiner on February 3, 2013.
    Posted 06.27.2013

    Instructional Guide, and friend of the Mathemagical Wizard, Jeff Heyck-Williams, is featured in the Examiner's Three Minute Interview!