Charleston schools using lottery system to decide which students return

VIDEO: Charleston schools using lottery system to decide which students return

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Some Charleston County schools are now using objective criteria and a lottery system to decide which students get a spot in the classroom and which ones have to start the year virtually.

“Some schools have more children that want to come back in person than they have availability. Some schools have plenty of room to bring back all the children that want to come back. So, the lottery system will be used in some schools,” Superintendent Dr. Gerrita Postlewait said. “This is a short-term measure.”

Postlewait said half of the available seats at a school will be assigned by the lottery system while the other half will be determined by “objective criteria.”

That criteria includes, but is not limited to, seniors who need a certain number of credits to graduate, elementary school students learning to read, and children who need a specific kind of therapy that they can only get through school.

“The set of guidelines is the same, but portions of it apply differently to different schools,” Postlewait said. “Each school is responsible for looking at their own school population going by the set of guidelines the district provided and then making those decisions.”

By Friday, all parents should be notified about how their child will be starting the year and what their schedule will look like. The first day of school is still set for Sept. 8 at which point the district will only be welcoming back about 25-percent of its students in person.

“By the end of September, we’ll be able to bring back all of the students who at this time have indicated they wish to return in person,” Postlewait said.

The metrics the district is using to make that call can be found here.

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