Berkshire Hills schools adopt lottery for choice-in students


GREAT BARRINGTON -- Choice-in students who hope to enroll in Berkshire Hills Regional School District will now be accepted through a lottery system.

By May's end, Berkshire Hills Regional School Districts will hold a lottery to prioritize 32 applications that have been submitted with some students accepted while others are put on a wait list. The number of available seats have not yet been identified.

"The lottery we thought was fair," School Committee Chairman Stephen Bannon said.

Berkshire Hills Regional has 291 choice-in students who previously were accepted based on how soon they apply. Families with children enrolled in the district could stay under the old policy.

In the newly devised system, families that move out of the district will have to apply through the lottery system. The new policy will only guarantee students who live in the district's three towns -- Stockbridge, West Stockbridge, Great Barrington -- a seat in the district.

"We really want people to live within our district," Bannon said.

Bannon added the policy won't impact choice-in students who are already enrolled. The siblings of BHRSD students must be accepted on a priority basis by state law and a separate lottery will be held to prioritize enrollment for these students.

BHRSD Superintendent Peter Dillon said the district routinely receives more applications than available seats. At the ninth grade level, there were 13 choice students and 29 applicants were put on a wait list last year.

The new policy requires all parents with children interested in enrolling in the district submit an application between the start of school and Feb. 15. The lottery in years to come would be held in March.

Students can be excluded from the lottery if they have a poor disciplinary record, poor attendance record, or if they have been previously been expelled.

To reach John Sakata:

or (413) 496-6240.

On Twitter: @jsakata


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