‘We should actually get some notes out.’ Philadelphia school district lottery puts family with twins in tough spot – CBS Philly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This is a topic that touches thousands of families in the Philadelphia school district. For the first time, the district held a lottery for students wishing to attend the city’s most elite schools.

The results have a local family faced with a difficult decision.

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“Alma and Evelyn are best friends,” Sarah Olson told CBS3

The Olson twins are part of the extended CBS3 family; their father is the station’s brand manager. Mother Sarah said her home was always bustling with these two.

The past few weeks have been tougher now that Philadelphia’s new school selection process has been finalized for magnet schools.

The policy places all qualified applicants in a lottery-based system, with preference given to multiple zip codes, to increase admissions of minority students to the city’s top-performing magnet schools.

Evelyn was accepted into Masterman. Alma was number 293.

“Evelyn will go to Masterman because it doesn’t seem right for me to take it away from her,” Olson said.

She hoped her two daughters would join their older brother at Masterman in the next school year.

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“We’re best friends, we’re twins, we’re siblings,” Evelyn said. “We shouldn’t settle for this paper and a hat trick. We should actually pull out notes.

When asked if she understood or knew why she didn’t, Alma replied, “No, I don’t. I know it’s a lottery thing, but overall, why? »

The district says that due to the “huge” amount of sibling applications, they cannot guarantee placement.

“We have the strongest bond, and it’s so sad to see it taken away from us for hours a day,” Alma said.

But despite having two virtually identical transcripts, Alma lost the lottery.

“They’re testing well above their grade levels,” their mother said. “Sometimes in middle school and in fourth grade, they test at middle school reading level.”

Evelyn said they both got A’s and B’s. Now Alma has to wait for 293 students to give way to Masterman if she wants to go to school with her twin, her best friend.

“Without Evelyn, I just feel sad. I love her,” Alma said

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For more coverage on the Philadelphia School District Lottery, click here.

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