AUSTIN (KXAN) - Leaders of the new Austin ISD charter school opening next year announced Wednesday they will hold a lottery after more children applied than they have seats available.
The lottery is set for Thursday at noon.
IDEA Allan , which will be located on the Allan Elementary School campus, decided to accept a total of 600 kindergarten, first, second and sixth grade students. As of the deadline last Thursday, 675 students applied, and exceeded the maximum number for all three grades. Kindergarten through second grade each have a maximum capacity of 125 students, and IDEA will take 225 sixth graders.
- 146 kindergarteners applied for 125 spots
- 134 first graders applied for 125 spots
- 127 second graders applied for 125 spots
- 268 sixth graders applied for 225 spots
The original goal was to recruit children who live in the school boundaries that feed into Eastside Memorial High School.
IDEA officials said Wednesday that 30 percent of the students who applied are in the desired Eastside Memorial Vertical Team and all of them will be automatically accepted. The remaining applicants live in Northeast and Southeast Austin.
Despite skepticism and a strong push by an East Austin group to reject the charter school program headquartered in South Texas, IDEA's recruitment efforts paid off.
"What we have found by in large is when we are able to tell our story about our vision for what we want to do with our partner, with the school district, parents are getting excited and that's why we have more applicants than we have seats," said Matthew Randazzo, IDEA Public Schools Chief Growth Officer.
Randazzo said IDEA representatives went door to door to meet with families in their homes and aired commercials to spread the word. Alejandro Delgado, IDEA Allan Assistant Principal of Operations and former AISD student and IDEA teacher, also visited fifth grade campuses and met with small groups of students to tell them about IDEA Allan so they could go home and talk to their parents.
IDEA officials also said they talked 69 parents into bringing their children back to the Austin Independent School District to attend IDEA Allan after they left the district in previous years to attend private schools or be home schooled.
The lottery, which is a random luck-of-the-draw system, will have every child's name entered into the computer and randomly selected.
Those who do not make the cut will be placed on a waiting list.
Once the lottery is complete, there will be 21 kindergartners on the waiting list, nine first graders, two second graders and 23 sixth graders.
IDEA Allen has already hired 12 teachers which is less than half of the staff needed. They hope to have all staff members hired by June 5. So far, three teachers are from Austin ISD and two are currently teaching at IDEA schools in South Texas. The remaining new teachers are from across the state.
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The HealthCare.gov website is working more smoothly for central Texans.
City leaders in West Lake Hills discussed the ongoing concern with the city's water system Wednesday night. The problems arise when water is needed most; fighting fires.
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Former Georgetown Police Officer Stephanie Brown said her ex-boyfriend, former Round Rock Officer Eric Poteet, made up accusations against her after she broke up with him.