Middle School Lottery Features A Little Less Drama This Year

March 31, 2017
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By Seth Daniel

When the annual Middle School Lottery takes place next month, it will likely be far less disappointing than in the past, as the numbers of fifth grade students oversubscribed to each school has taken a sharp downturn this year.

“It’s really balanced off consistently, which is a good thing,” said Supt. Dianne Kelly. “Hopefully, we will not need a lottery soon. Also, it’s important to note that because of the lower numbers in the lottery, a lot of the students who do not get picked in the lottery should get their second-choice school…The lower numbers mean there won’t be as many people upset about their assignment. The still not finalized and could change a little bit, but not dramatically.”

The Lottery will take place on Wednesday, April 12, at 6 p.m., in the School Committee room at Revere High School. Parents are welcome to come in person or watch on Cable Channel 22. Children are not allowed to attend the lottery.

The Middle School Lottery emerged some years ago after the schools began building new middle schools, starting with the Susan B. Anthony (SBA) Middle School about 10 years ago. That followed with the new Rumney Marsh Academy (RMA) afterward. Those two new middle schools joined the existing Garfield Middle School, while the former Beachmont Middle School was discontinued.

The new middle school configuration sparked a controversy that, on an annual basis, had become quite spirited and contentious at the 5th grade middle school lottery. The basis for that was that many parents wanted their kids to go to the newer schools, or they wanted them to be closer to their homes on the west side of the city. Previously, both middle schools were on the east side of Revere.

The result was scores of children annually oversubscribing the two new middle schools – the SBA and RMA – while the Garfield Middle had excess seats. That required a lottery process where some got the school they wanted, and others were forced to go to the Garfield.

This year, though, it seems the numbers who have oversubscribed the new schools is down, and Kelly said they hope that’s a trend that continues as the “newness” of the middle schools continues to wear off.

This year, several elementary schools only needed one lottery.

For example, the Paul Revere School only needed one lottery for an oversubscription to the RMA. The same was true of the Lincoln School, which only need one lottery for the RMA.

The Beachmont School only needed one lottery as well, but for the Garfield Middle. Even so, the amounts of kids who oversubscribed to the Garfield were only two.

The Hill School, Whelan School and Garfield Elementary will all require two lotteries in the following breakdown.

  • Hill School, two lotteries from RMA and SBA. The RMA choice is over by eight students, and the SBA choice is over by 12 students.
  • Garfield Elementary, two lotteries for Garfield Middle and SBA. The Garfield Middle choice is over by seven, and the SBA is over by five.
  • The Whelan School, two lotteries for the RMA and SBA. Numbers for the Whelan weren’t finalized yet.

“It’s very unusual we have three schools with only one lottery,” said Kelly. “Usually it’s two schools.”

The School Committee heard the report from Kelly on the Lottery at its March 21 meeting, and has approved the process.

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