District’s school choice lottery results ‘prematurely’ published

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An error within Duval County Public Schools’ School Choice Office on Tuesday caused the results of the annual lottery process to be published and delivered to families across the district before a final audit of the results was completed.

The mistake, described by DCPS staff as a “human IT error,” means that hundreds of families who received their student’s school choice placement on Monday, April 4, may have received inaccurate information about that student’s status.

“School choice lottery results are typically released in mid-April,” district spokesperson Sonya Duke-Bolden said in a statement to News4JAX Thursday. “This year, families were able to view their lottery results prematurely before notifications were sent electronically. School Choice is working to resolve the situation, and updated notifications will be sent on or before April 15. Keep in mind that we are still very early in the lottery process.”

According to several parents, they learned the results via a message from the school choice office’s auto-generated email notification system.

A computer-generated message was disseminated to the parents of a waitlisted DCPS student on April 4, 2023. (Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.)

The district had initially told parents that they will “receive the 2023-2024 School Choice Lottery results no later than April 15th.”

On Thursday, DCPS did not have any additional information about the number of families that received premature results or about the cause of the error.

Two parents told News4JAX, they initially became alarmed and suspicious when the younger of two siblings had applied to attend the same school as their older sibling, but was “waitlisted.” This stood out to these parents, because the school choice system typically prioritizes matching siblings to the same schools or programs, although it’s never guaranteed.

The DCPS administrative offices, including the school choice office, are closed Friday in observance of Good Friday.

Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.

District’s school choice lottery results ‘prematurely’ published

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