edfest

Representatives from more than 200 D.C. Public Schools are set to gather under one roof on Dec. 12 for EdFest2015. The event will let parents and guardians compare and contrast D.C.’s public education options, which include schools from both DCPS as well as the public charter school sector.

“This is the only citywide school fair where parents can learn about all of their public school options,” said Cat Peretti, executive director of My School DC, the city-run service organizing the event.

The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the D.C. Armory, 2001 East Capitol St. SE. Admission and parking is free.

Schools will have a variety of personnel on hand — from principals to enrollment specialists — while others may have student ambassadors so you can hear what to expect at a particular school, Peretti said.

The event will feature a range of activities and services, from flu shots for adults to immunizations and dental services for children and teens. It will also feature sports, such as soccer, basketball and tennis.

The event comes just before the Dec. 14 launch of the My School DC, a lottery application for the 2016-2017 school year. The lottery is the only way district residents can get their children enrolled in prekindergarten, one of the district’s six selective high schools, a school that is outside of their boundary area, or a charter school, Peretti said. The deadline for high school applications is Feb. 1. March 1 is the deadline for all other grade levels. Parents can apply to up to 12 schools.

Peritti said parents are still encouraged to visit schools instead of going strictly on what they see at EdFest. My School DC will list upcoming open house dates for schools on its website: myschooldc. org. The website also features school information that ranges from test scores to demographics of the student body.