Denver’s SchoolChoice process is a three-year old initiative billed as “one form, one timeline, all schools,” which aimed to make school enrollment fairer. Parents submit up to five choices for potential schools. Those who do not participate or do not get one of their five choices are automatically enrolled in their neighborhood school. This year is the first since the system’s launch in 2011 in which the number of participants who received a top choice declined.
"District officials are trying to figure out what caused that drop. One theory is that more people applied to the district’s most competitive programs.
“Even though there are fewer participants, more people may be pursuing high quality programs,” said Brian Eschbacher, who heads the district’s planning and choice department. That, he said, is the goal of the process: for parents to be able to choose the best program for their children."