Grapevine-Colleyville school district officials will hold a special programs lottery April 1 for several unique educational options for students.
For the last few years, administrators have conducted a lottery streamed live on the GCISD website for Dual Language and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) programs. This year, they plan to add a tuition-based preschool to complement their existing pre-kindergarten, pending approval by trustees at the March 28 board meeting (after press time for The Courier-Journal).
The specialized choices are proving popular with parents.
“We have received more applications than space available for every program,” said Jodi Cox, director of world languages and a lottery coordinator.
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Two days before the application deadline, officials had received 125 requests for preschool, 65 for dual language, 125 for STEM at Cannon Elementary and 143 for STEM at Grapevine Middle School.
Cox said the dual language program—which pairs native Spanish speakers and native English speakers to help students become bilingual—only takes new students in kindergarten. There will be a class at Timberline Elementary and a class at Silver Lake Elementary.
The STEM program can take new students at any of the grade levels, where spaces are available. The entire campus participates in the extra emphases on math and science.
Cox said that administrators are determining how many spaces are available by surveying current families about who may not be returning in the fall.
The tuition preschool received 67 applications for the program at Bear Creek Elementary, 26 at Colleyville Elementary, 18 at O.C. Taylor Elementary and 14 at Bransford Elementary, as of March 23. The application period ended March 25.
If the board approves the preschool, Grapevine-Colleyville would join the Carroll school district in offering a tuition-based program. Students would learn along with those in the pre-kindergarten program, where participants must meet one of several state qualifications such as economic need, living in a non-English speaking home or being the child of an active duty military service member.
District officials said the live stream of the lottery has been popular with parents, who can learn right away if their child’s number was called. Results will be posted on the district website, www.gcisd-k12.org, for those who are unable to view the lottery live.
Families like the programs bsecause they want to help shape their child’s educational experience, Cox said.
“It’s beneficial for students in that there is power in choice,” she said.