How did "the Lottery" work for Vanguard schools for the 2016-2017 school year?
For the 2016-2017 school year, when applications were generated for a given student in the online application system, and the student applied to multiple Vanguard Magnet schools, the first Vanguard Magnet school to which the student applied became the designated school to be in charge of that student's file. That school would then became the student's "processing school."
The processing school was responsible for making sure that student was scheduled for testing, any documents needed were requested, and, ultimately, that the testing and documents were used to generate a matrix score for the student.
After the application deadline of December 18, 2015, Vanguard Magnet processing schools were tasked with placing each applicant that applied between October 1 and December 18, 2015 (Phase I applicants) under one of two designations: GT qualified or qualified pending. -- Students that were already identified as GT in HISD were coded in the online application system as GT qualified. Students for whom coordinators needed testing and / or documents in order to determine GT status were coded in the online application system as qualified pending.
All Phase I applicants then were placed in the lottery that was ran in February of 2016.
After the test scores had been received, the Vanguard Magnet coordinators wrote a matrix for all the students marked qualified pending in the online system and the matrix was reviewed by an Admissions committee.
Once a Vanguard matrix was completed and verified by the Admissions committee for a student, the processing school coordinator then opened the student's application in the Smart Choice online application system and took three actions:
1. clicked the box designating that a GT matrix has been completed,
2. entered the matrix score, and
3. clicked the box designating that a student is qualified as GT or not qualified as GT.
If the student was marked as GT qualified, their place on the lottery list (either as an accepted student or as waitlisted) remained. If the student was marked not qualified as GT, their name was dropped from the lottery list.
Specifics for the 2016 - 2017 lottery:
1. The lottery took place at Hattie Mae White on a designated day in February. Elementary school lotteries were ran in the morning by type of magnet program; secondary lotteries were ran in the afternoon by type of magnet program.
2. The lottery was run by the Office of School Choice.
3. The Smart Choice system ran all the lotteries of a various type simultaneously. For example, all the Vanguard elementary lotteries were ran simultaneously. All the fine arts elementary lotteries were ran simultaneously, and so forth.
4. Once a particular type of lottery had been ran, coordinators with completed lotteries could see students drop off of their lists as ranking went into effect. Students that were accepted at a higher ranked school fell off of the accept lists and waitlists of lower ranked schools.
5. The Smart Choice system generated the lottery list for Vanguard elementary schools and grade levels within the online system in about 15 minutes. (For Vanguard Magnets, Pre-K programs were ran first; followed by Kindergarten, followed by grades 1 through 5 ... all three runs for Vanguard Magnet elementary schools took a combined total of approximately 15 minutes). The lotteries for Vanguard Middle Schools took about six minutes.
6. Parents received notification of the lottery results on March 24, 2016.
NOTE: The general lottery gives all GT qualified students equal chance of being chosen for placement.