Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Fisher Center replaces waitlist with lottery pool

DU’s Fisher Early Learning Center is changing the way it admits students. The dreaded waitlist that often bulged to 400 names has been replaced with a lottery system that aims to level the playing field for families not currently enrolled.

Only those families already on the 2006 Fisher waitlist will have the opportunity to participate in the 2007 lottery process selection. 

Previously, parents paid a non-refundable $50 fee to place their child on a waitlist for the age-appropriate classroom. Families at the bottom of the list often waited one to two years. Now the $50, still non-refundable, will assure a spot in an annual February lottery.

“I believe this new system is fairer for parents and their children,” says Fisher Director Marcee Martin. “We will no longer prioritize … Everyone has an equal chance when we draw for open positions.”

Under the new system, parents can apply between Jan. 1 and Feb. 1 each year. This year, the drawing for open classroom positions will be Feb. 16.

Since it doesn’t matter when in January applications are submitted, families that apply on the first day have the same chance as someone applying on the last day.

Families currently on the waitlist won’t need to submit the $50 fee for the February 2007 drawing. However, they will be required to pay the $50 fee for future drawings. Families with children currently enrolled at Fisher will not need to register for the lottery since siblings have preference for vacancies prior to the lottery selection.

Parents who work at DU will be assigned to a separate lottery pool.

Questions regarding the 2007 lottery process will be addressed on Monday, Feb. 5, at 6 p.m. in the Driscoll Center Gallery, 2055 E. Evans Ave. Contact Elena Sierra at 303-871-2723 or for general enrollment questions. 

The Fisher Center — open since 2000 — specializes in early childhood education and accepts children ranging in age from six weeks to 5 years. About 60 percent of the children have parents who work at DU. 

An earlier version of this article appeared in
The Source, January 2007.

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