Monday, April 2, 2018

What to do if your child has been waitlisted

Notification letters went out a couple of weeks ago, meaning that you know by now if your child was admitted to or waitlisted at a magnet program for the 2018-2019 school year. If your child was admitted, you must accept or decline his or her spot in the magnet program by this Friday, April 6.

But what should you do if your child was waitlisted?

If your child is waitlisted, and that is the outcome you wanted because you're just building up points for the future, then you don't need to do anything.

But if you wanted your child to get in and you're now dealing with the disappointment and frustration of being waitlisted, there are some things you can do:

First, contact the magnet school's magnet coordinator and ask him or her to share the following information:
  • What is your child's position on the waitlist? In other words, how many children would have to be admitted before your child would get in? 
  • Historically, how far down the waitlist do they get before school starts in August?
  • Historically, how far down the waitlist do they get after school has started?
Next, consider what you've learned. If your child is at the top of the waitlist, his or her chances of being admitted are probably quite high and you may just want to wait for a call. As you make this decision, remember that magnet schools must maintain a specific ratio of minority students to white students, and therefore, the order in which students are admitted off the waitlist depends on the race of the students declining spots.

Another factor to keep in mind is that if your child is in the area of the waitlist that often is admitted around the start of school, you might get a call a few weeks after the school year has started, or around the time of the start of the second semester (December or January). If that happens, you will have to make the possibly difficult choice of whether to send your child to a new school in the middle of the school year.

If you decide that you need an alternative plan in case you don't get a call saying that your child has been admitted off the waitlist, you should check out the options for Continuous Enrollment. Even though you can't apply for next year right now, these schools are likely to have openings at the end of summer vacation/beginning of the school year and you may be able to get your child in right as the school year starts. 

You can also attempt to get your child into a non-magnet program via Open Enrollment starting in June.

Finally, check in regularly with the magnet coordinator at the school where your child was waitlisted. He or she can keep you updated on your child's position on the waitlist, and if your child is admitted off the waitlist, you won't miss the notification.

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