EdFest Previews DC Schools

More Than 180 Schools Will Offer a Look at Their Programs Dec. 12

Parents in DC browse school booths at EdFest 2014. (Photo courtesy My School DC) 

DC parents can learn which local school programs best fit their children’s interests at EdFest on Dec. 12 at the DC Armory on the 2000 block of East Capitol Street SE. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., visitors can browse the booths of more than 180 pre-kindergarten to 12th grade DC Public Schools and public charter schools for free.

About 4,500 people attended the event in 2014 and EdFest organizers expect more than 5,000 in 2015, said Cat Peretti, executive director of My School DC. The preview event started in 2008 with charter schools and opened up to all public schools in 2014.

Previewing the schools helps families who apply to program specific schools and schools that accept students through a lottery system. Some programs offer Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math focused classes; musical and visual arts curriculum; or access to Mandarin, Vietnamese and French language tracks.

“We’re lucky in the District to have so many options available to our kids,” Peretti said. “Before My School DC and the application lottery, parents had to go all over the District to apply and learn about schools.”

Students apply through the common lottery application starting Dec. 14 through My School DC. Although the demand for some schools is greater than other, the waitlist often changes and adjusts for vacated slots throughout the summer, Peretti said.

“The DC population is growing, public school enrollment is growing, the number of schools are growing,” she said. “There is something about meeting the staff of a school in person that can give you a feel for the type of school that it is.”

Parking and entry into EdFest is free. The event will also include activities hosted by the DC Parks and Recreation department, flu and immunization shots from the DC Department of Health and story time from the DC Public Library.

EdFest is funded by the Deputy Mayor of Education’s office, DC Public Schools and the public charter schools. 

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