How to get your kid around the enrollment freezes at two Lexington-Richland 5 schools

Enrollment at two schools came to a screeching halt earlier this year when Lexington-Richland 5 placed an enrollment freeze on Chapin and Lake Murray elementary schools to control “overcrowding.” But a lottery system announced this week could help a few lucky students squeeze past the restrictions.

The Lexington-Richland 5 school board voted May 20 to establish a lottery system parents and students could opt-in to. The process will begin in June, once administrators have a count of how many spaces will open up at the two elementary schools ahead of the 2019-2020 school year.

The district will accept applications from 8 a.m. Monday, June 3 until 5 p.m. Thursday, June 13.

Then, the district will use a random lottery to select students who were reassigned due to the enrollment freeze at Chapin Elementary in January 2018 and by the Lake Murray Elementary freeze in January 2019. Those students will be allowed, if admitted, to attend their zoned school in the fall.

Acceptance notifications will be sent out to parents via email on Wednesday, June 19, after which parents will have until June 27 to accept or decline the offer.

In coming weeks, the school district will send out more information and directions on how to apply to families impacted by the enrollment freeze. That guidance will be sent through email and via mail, as well as by phone. Hard copies of instructions will also be available at Chapin and Lake Murray elementary schools.

Isabella Cueto is a bilingual multimedia journalist covering Lexington County, one of the fastest-growing areas of South Carolina. She previously worked as a reporter for the Medill Justice Project and WLRN, South Florida’s NPR station. She is a graduate of the University of Miami, where she studied journalism and theatre arts.