No Lottery for SDA

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No Lottery for SDA

Story by Erin Maxwell, Assistant Features Editor

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All the eighth graders who have applied to SDA and the three other district high schools will be let in without a lottery, the San Dieguito Union High School District announced last week. District policy holds that there will only be a lottery if the number of prospective students is larger than the school’s capacity, a situation that didn’t happen at any of the four main high schools this year, said SDA Principal Bjorn Paige.
The past few years have seen debates about the acceptance policies at the four high schools. Ideas such as redrawing boundary lines, getting rid of the lottery, and increasing total enrollment capacity were discussed, and the overall decision was to keep boundary lines as they were, increase enrollment, and keep the lottery at SDA for years where application rates are higher than capacity.

Paige said that with SDA’s new building under construction, it is difficult to ascertain the exact capacity for SDA. However, it’s projected to be above 1900, which is close to the expected number of students attending next year. The current student enrollment is around 1840, according to Paige. With this increase, Paige said, SDA will grow to be about the same size as LCC.

Paige said that there is not expected to be any major changes on campus in response to the increase in the number of students, mainly because the increase is slight. The largest increase in the recent past occurred when the current sophomore class started freshman year; the class, with around 500 students, is about 115 students larger than this year’s senior class, Paige said.

The news that there will be no lottery was received happily by many students in the district. Kylie Schwartz, an eighth grader at Oak Crest middle school who will be attending SDA next year, said, “In my mind I always thought that I would go to SDA. There just wasn’t another option. SDA is perfect for people like me.”

“I’m third generation! Both my parents went and met [at SDA], and my aunt, and my grandma went there as well, and it would be really disappointing if I didn’t get to go,” said Eve Oesterheld, another Oak Crest eighth grader who will be attending SDA.

Many parents were also happy to hear the news, largely because it meant they get to drive to the closer neighborhood school. Annika Nelson, whose son Alex just got into SDA, said, “SDA is our neighborhood school and I’m grateful to not have to drive far to [my son’s] high school.”
Tory Holway, the parent of another eighth grader who will be attending SDA next year, had similar sentiments. “In all honesty [I’m] very glad we didn’t have to get into a lottery to go to our neighborhood school,” he said.

The overall response to the news that there will be no lotteries at any of the high schools was positive. As Oesterheld said, “I feel very lucky to go to SDA because it was the school of my choice, and I’m also happy that everyone else gets to go where they want.”

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