Tears were flowing at the Thursday night's Christa McAuliffe Regional Public Charter School annual lottery. Some were tears of joy and some tears of dispair as they learned the fate of their child's application.
Gustavo Andrade, who was accepted as student #122, can't wait to go to McAuliffe. "I'm very happy," he said with a big smile.
He was helping his mom fill out the application forms immediately after the lottery.
The current fifth grader at Wilson Elementary in Framingham, had to translate for his mom, who only spoke Portuguese.
"I heard McAuliffe is the #1 middle school in Framingham. I wanted by son to get the best education," she told Framingham Patch via translation from her son. She said she hopes her two younger daughters can attend the school too, when they are older.
Earlier this year, McAuliffe was ranked the only level 1 middle school in Framingham.
More than a dozen parents were visibly upset after the lottery, upon learning their child was in the middle or at the end of a long wait list. A couple of fifth graders were crying too, upon hearing they were not one of the 132 students immediately accepted.
Applications to the Framingham-based middle school were up 20 percent over last year, said Director Kristin Harrison.
This year, 261 applicants were submitted for admission for grade 6. The majority of applicants live in the school’s regional district comprised of the following towns: Ashland, Framingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Marlborough, Natick, Southborough, and Sudbury, although there were applicants from Upton, Medfield and Bellingham.
The charter school is accepting 132 students into grade 6 - six classes of 22 students.
On Thursday night, each of the 261 students' names (and or application numbers) were placed in a bucket and pulled one by one, read aloud and placed on a board.
(Parents, this year had the option of not having their child's name read but instead having their application number read. About one in every four pplicants opted for the number.)
Framingham Downtown Renaissance Director Holli Andrews pulled the names.
The first 21 names read were all siblings of current students at the Charter School, located on Clinton Street.Under state law, they are allowed to be guaranteed acceptance.
The first non-sibling name read was applicant #145 - Olivia McClary.
Student #132 was Jack Synder.
The first 132 names read were placed on the acceptance list. Those families have until March 1 to decide if their child will attend McAuliffe Charter School in the fall. If a family opts not to send their child, students move off a wait list.
Wait list names were pulled one by one and placed on a different board Thursday night. There are more than 120 students on the wait list.
Editor's Note: My daughter is a current sixth grader at the school.