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DPS’ SchoolChoice Gets the Digital Treatment

Denver Public Schools is making school choice easier for families with an online application system called SchoolChoice.

Denver Public Schools is making school choice easier—and paperless—for families. Two years ago, DPS launched an online, mobile-friendly application system called SchoolChoice. Last year, more than 27,000 families used the online system.

This year’s choice window for the 2020-21 school year runs from January 15 to February 18, 2020. Families who want to attend a school other than their boundary school should research their options, then have their five to 12 favorites ready to input when SchoolChoice opens in January. DPS then runs a computer algorithm that matches students to schools based on families’ preferences, schools’ availability, and five priority rankings, such as whether they are a Denver resident or have siblings at that school.

Last year, 94 percent of transition grade students in DPS—students transitioning into elementary, middle, and high schools—received their first, second, or third-choice schools. DPS is not the only district utilizing the online system for school choice, Jeffco Public Schools, Cherry Creek School District, and Douglas County School District have adopted a similar process.

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