By Tess Malijenovsky
In an effort to reduce Riverview Charter School’s percentage of Caucasian students and increase its percentage of minority students, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights recently revised the charter’s enrollment lottery process to encourage diversity.
Riverview Charter School uses a lottery to allocate enrollment slots among applicants. Applicants receive at least one “card” to enter the lottery. Students from zip codes 29920, 29940, 29941 and 29945 will receive three additional lottery cards, as would students with single parents and kindergarten applicants who attended a public or U.S. Department of Defense preschool program. One additional card will go to minority applicants, including African-American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian or Asian students.
Abiding by the 40-year-old desegregation agreement between the federal government and the school district, the Office of Civil Rights approves, among other things, student assignments that might affect the demographic makeup of school populations. The Office of Civil Rights said that Riverview’s enrollment does not comply with the district’s desegregation agreement. The revisions to the lottery process are anticipated to boost the charter’s diversity.