MCPS Parents Have Six Weeks To Comment on Proposal To Replace ‘Sibling Link’ With Lottery

Shift to lottery system intended to increase diversity in language immersion programs


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Montgomery County Public Schools officials will give the public until Feb. 3 to comment on a proposal to do away with the so-called “sibling link” for language immersion programs.

The Montgomery County Board of Education earlier this month tentatively approved a system that would use a lottery to choose enrollees.

Most applicants to the language programs offered at seven elementary schools and five middle schools are admitted through random selection. But currently, students whose older siblings attend the program typically get seats in the same schools.

The proposed lottery system would still give additional weight to students whose brothers and sisters are in the programs. Socio-economic status, poverty and other factors identified by the schools superintendent also might be taken into consideration.  

The shift is intended to increase diversity in the county’s language immersion programs. A study conducted for the school system found almost a third of students accepted to elementary immersion programs in the 2013-2014 school year were siblings.

If approved, the changes wouldn’t affect students in immersion programs during the 2017-2018 academic year and would only apply to those seeking enrollment for the following year.

Members of the public can comment on the proposed policy online.

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