- Be realistic about your commute. Will you spend quality time walking, scooting, or biking to school with your child? If driving, check on parking options, and plan for traffic, bad weather, and evening meetings. Be sure to ask about dropoff and pickup routines—some schools require students to be walked all the way into their classrooms, and others have curbside drop-off. Dropoff and pickup times may vary by school and by grade.
- Ask about aftercare. There is a lot of variety across the city! Some schools offer before-school care as well as aftercare. Be aware that the subsidized OSTP aftercare program does not guarantee a seat for everyone. Some schools work with providers such as the YMCA and Springboard to ensure enough space for all kids. There may also be after school sports and activities. Some schools finish early one day a week.
- Be sure to check each school's annual calendar and daily schedule on the school’s website and here: Traditional, Extended Day, and Extended Year.
- Great leadership makes a big difference. Ask the principal and assistant principal about their vision for the school and what they are planning for next year. Is the school changing leadership in the near future?
- Parent leadership matters! Ask whether the school has an active parent organization, and how else parents can be involved. Learn more about Langley's PTSA.
Know your Neighborhood School
- Getting to know your neighborhood school is essential—and it’s quite likely that you will match there. Ask around for feedback from current parents, and consider the benefits of having nearby families to help with childcare and provide a strong community close to home.
- Some neighborhood schools offer Early Action for PK3 and PK4. This means that in-boundary preschoolers are guaranteed admission, if they include the school on their initial lottery list and are not matched with a school they ranked higher. The list of schools offering Early Action is available here. Langley is thrilled to welcome all in-boundary preschool families through Early Action for a stress-free lottery season.
Questions about the lottery? Check out the handbook, the MySchoolDC website, or call the MySchoolDC Hotline at 202-888-6336. Remember—rank schools in order of your true preference! See advice from other Langley parents about going with your gut and hanging in there—just a few more weeks to go!
By Mona Lewandoski