New Waitlist Number Shows More Demand for Public Charter Schools

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Washington, DC — For the fourth consecutive year, demand for a seat at a quality public charter school continues to grow as evidenced by the waitlist analysis released today by the DC Public Charter School Board (DC PCSB).  Overall, there are 9,703 individual students on waitlists to attend one or more PK-12 public charter schools in the 2017-18 school year, an 12.3% increase over last year’s 8,640 students. In total 23,448 students are on a waitlist at any PK-12 school, this is an increase from 20,880 last year. 

The Demand

  • The greatest demand continues to be in grades pre-kindergarten (ages 3 and 4) and kindergarten, with waitlists across public charter schools totaling 12,143, an increase of 841 over last year. Since many students are on multiple waiting lists, the total represents an unknown number of duplicates.
  • Most applicants on waitlists (about 60%) are waiting for a spot at a Tier 1 public charter school.
  • Twelve public charter schools have waitlists that are at least twice as long as current enrollment; most of these schools offer language immersion, Montessori, or expeditionary learning programs

Results by Grade and School

Total Waitlists by Grade

Grade SY17-18 total waitlist length across charter campuses
Sum of waitlists for Grade PK3 5,390
Sum of waitlists for Grade PK4 3,822
Sum of waitlists for Grade K 2,931
Sum of waitlists for Grade 1 1,719
Sum of waitlists for Grade 2 1,251
Sum of waitlists for Grade 3 1,232
Sum of waitlists for Grade 4 1,059
Sum of waitlists for Grade 5 934
Sum of waitlists for Grade 6 1,945
Sum of waitlists for Grade 7 897
Sum of waitlists for Grade 8 675
Sum of waitlists for Grade 9 1,066
Sum of waitlists for Grade 10 250
Sum of waitlists for Grade 11 210
Sum of waitlists for Grade 12 67
Sum of all waitlists  23,448

Schools with SY17-18 waitlists at least twice as long as SY16-17 enrollment

  • Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom PCS
  • Lee Montessori PCS
  • Creative Minds International PCS
  • Breakthrough Montessori PCS
  • DC Bilingual PCS
  • AppleTree Early Learning Center PCS - Lincoln Park
  • Latin American Montessori Bilingual PCS
  • Two Rivers PCS - 4th Street
  • Mundo Verde Bilingual PCS
  • Washington Latin PCS - Middle School
  • Two Rivers PCS - Young
  • Shining Stars Montessori Academy PCS

The full waitlist dataset is available for download. 

  • Some schools with improvements in PMF Tier experienced larage waitlist increases
  • New locations do not affect waitlists
Campuses with waitlists of 1,000 or more Total SY17-18 waitlist
Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom PCS 1,595
\Two Rivers PCS - 4th Street ]> 1,438 
Mundo Verde Bilingual PCS 1,435 
Creative Minds International PCS 1,286 
Latin American Montessori Bilingual PCS 1,184
DC Bilingual PCS 1,176
Washington Yu Ying PCS 1,002