Lottery and Admissions FAQ



The information below applies to applications submitted after November 6, 2023.  

I’ve completed the online application to enroll my child at Sussex Montessori School…….Now What?

  • First, we’d like to say “Thank You” for selecting Sussex Montessori School as your child’s school of choice!  The lottery application deadline for the 2024-2025 school year is January 10, 2024 at 11:59PM and all applicants received by that time will be included in the lottery held at the end of January.  Those who applied during the lottery period will be notified of their invitation or waitlist status in February.  Should slots become full, families on the waiting list will be contacted as a corresponding opening becomes available. 

 Here’s what you can expect to take place:    

    • January 2024:  A lottery for grades K-6 will occur after the application deadline of January 10, 2024. SMS will hold its lottery on January 22, 2024.  
      • Applicants must pre-register in their home district before their application can be marked complete.  Incomplete applications will not be submitted into the choice lottery.
      • Completed applications submitted between November 6, 2023 and January 10, 2024 will be placed in the lottery. Applications will be processed and selected at random by Data Service Center (DSC), an independent, third-party data servicer.  For more than 30 years, DSC has worked closely with schools and districts to develop applications specifically addressing their data collection, processing, and reporting needs.
    • February 2024:  Sussex Montessori School will notify families accepted in the initial lottery of their invitation status via email, telephone and/or mail by mid-February and no later than February 29, 2024.   
    • Spring / Summer 2024: Parents notified based on the initial lottery must notify the school of their acceptance decision / commitment to attend no later than March 16, 2024. 
      • Sussex Montessori will host in-person Welcome Sessions for invited families in the Spring (or virtual session if public health concerns require social distancing).  During the welcome sessions, families will receive important information and documents to be authorized.  The Certificate of Intent to Enroll (i.e. first-year charter agreement) must be signed and support documentation provided no later than March 16 for those invited in the initial lottery –and within a designated time for those invited after the initial lottery — in order to secure your child’s seat at the school.
      • Should a family decline the invitation and later change their mind, they will be placed at the bottom of the wait list.

 What happens when the lottery occurs and my child is not invited to attend Sussex Montessori School?

  • If your child does not receive an invitation to attend Sussex Montessori School, all is not lost.  Families who do not receive the invitation to attend Sussex Montessori School in February will be placed on a waiting list to be considered for entry should seats become available. If an invited family declines their invitation to attend–perhaps due to a change of location or plans–then that seat becomes available and will be offered to a family on the waiting list.  If you applied during the lottery your application will be prioritized over those who applied after the lottery period closed on January 10. All applications received after January 10 are prioritized in date order and will only receive an invitation if all lottery applicants have already been accepted or have declined their invitation. 

I’ve been Waitlisted….What do I do??

  • If you’ve been placed on the waiting list, don’t be discouraged. You may still have an opportunity to attend the school should seats open up in the spring and summer months.  The wait list will be maintained until September 30 and waitlisted applicants will be handled on a first come, first served basis.  Waitlisted applicants who do not receive an invitation to apply before September 30 are encouraged to re-apply during the open enrollment period for the following school year. 

I applied and received an email about pre-registration for my child…what’s that all about?

  • Families with children entering Kindergarten and those with children transitioning from home school and private schools into Sussex Montessori School are required to pre-register their child at their resident/feeder school as soon as possible and before submitting a choice application to another district.  Registering your child in their resident school ensures they are in the Delaware Department of Education’s student information system.  This information will then be transferred to Sussex Montessori School once you’ve accepted the invitation to attend and are officially enrolled at our school.   

I have not enrolled my child into Sussex Montessori School yet….Can I still apply?

  • If you did not submit an application for Sussex Montessori School during the choice open enrollment period and are interested in enrolling your child, you still have time….but don’t delay!  Sussex Montessori School will accept applications after the January 10 deadline.  Applications submitted after Jan 10 will be placed at the bottom of the waiting list after the lottery process is concluded, and will be handled on a first come, first-served basis.  


SMS Enrollment / Lottery Preferences