By Perry Stein, The Washington Post on April 17, 2018
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“Elsie Whitlow Stokes school, a Northeast Washington preschool and elementary charter that teaches classes in two languages, has the longest waiting list of any D.C. charter school, with 1,827 students still hoping to land a slot.
The D.C. Public Charter School Board released waitlist data Tuesday for the 2018-2019 academic year. The data shows that dual language and Montessori-style schools are in high demand. Six of the 10 schools with the longest waiting lists, including Mundo Verde Bilingual and DC Bilingual, are known as dual language schools.
The greatest demand continues to be for slots in the lower grades. Latin American Montessori Bilingual had the longest charter waiting list for pre-K3, with 679 3-year-olds waiting to secure a seat.
D.C. International School, a dual language school, had the longest waiting list in the upper grades, with 477 students on the waitlist for sixth grade and 239 in ninth grade. Capital City Public Charter School, KIPP DC and Friendship Public Charter School had waiting lists in high school.
Vanessa Bertelli, executive director of the D.C. Language Immersion Project, an advocacy group pushing to expand the city’s language programs, said the 2018 data shows the significant need for the city to expand dual language offerings.
“It’s particularly frustrating because this has been a trend for the last four years at least,” Bertelli said. “The District is depriving parents and students of what they obviously want.”