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Pre-K Lottery Process

Many people wonder how the Portland Public Schools Pre-K lottery process is conducted.  Please read on to learn more about it:

  • To conduct the Pre-K lottery, we first consider the pool of applicants who applied within the lottery application window, which is a three-week time period when the application is live on the website. We use a random number generator to mix all the applicants together and pull names from that pool at random. This means that it does not matter when you apply within the window, as long as your application is received by the deadline. 
  • Once the names are pulled, we initiate our placement process.  Our first priority is to place students at their neighborhood school or, when the neighborhood school doesn’t have a Pre-K classroom, at the nearest community partner site. If a child who has a twin or same-age sibling is pulled in the lottery, we will automatically place their twin/same-age sibling in class with them.
  • According to the School Board Resolution on Increased Access to High Quality Pre-K, our Pre-K classrooms must reflect the socio-economic balance of the city of Portland, so we look to fill the seats with a 55% Low Income, 45% Not Low Income balance.

Pre-K Info Night

Learning more about our Pre-K program and the application process by watching last year's January 4th, 2023 zoom recording:

Previous Pre-K Info Night Recording

Previous pre-K Info Night Presentation

Pre-K Waitlist Applications for the 2023-24 School Year

Thank you for your interest! We are accepting applications for the remaining spots on our waitlist for the 2023-24 school year. If your child was born between October 16, 2018 and October 15, 2019, click below to apply in your preferred language: