The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) is honored to offer 114 lottery funded Georgia Pre-Kindergarten Program classes in 76 sites throughout the district. The Pre-Kindergarten program is funded by the Georgia State Lottery, governed by Bright from the Start. The DCSD Pre-K program is an age appropriate instructional program that prepares students for a successful transition to kindergarten and beyond. In order for a child to be school ready, it means they are socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively prepared for success in kindergarten.
The DeKalb County School District’s Pre-Kindergarten Program helps children become independent, self-confident, enthusiastic learners. Participation in the program encourages children to develop good habits and daily routines. It encourages teachers to adopt child centered instructional practices based on the interests and the skill levels of each child.
Find Your School
Items from Home to Enrich the Pre-K Classroom
21-22 Waiting Pool application
Online Application Registration Process
Steps in the Pre-K Lottery Process
- Apply on-line for a Pre-K seat.
- Upload required documents.
- Check your email and or Parent electronic dash for notification.
- Accept or Decline your seat.
- If accepted, upload required documents to your assigned school during the Enrollment Window – March 29-April 16, 2021.
- If you were placed on a Waitlist, monitor your email closely for seat assignment possibility and further directions.
- Children will not be formally enrolled in the Pre-kindergarten program until parents/and or guardians have completed the registration process. Children who do not attend the first day of school before 10 AM will forfeit their space in the Pre-K class.
- Child must turn four years old by September 1, 2021
- Child must live within the DeKalb County School attendance zone
- If you are the parent of twins, triplets, etc., you are required to submit one application per child. If your child is pulled as number 22 on the list, you will have the option to accept the one seat for one twin and place the other on the Waiting List. The second option is to wait until both twins are offered a seat
Applicants can access the online lottery application and all other lottery information by clicking “Apply Now,” button to the left. The Pre-K lottery application for the 2021-2022 school year will be opened and available beginning Monday, February 1, 2021 and will close on Monday, March 1, 2021. If you are unable to complete the application in one sitting, you can save your information and return later, but it must be submitted by Monday, March 1, 2021. Lottery applications will not be accepted after Monday, March 1, 2021 for any reason.
When completing the application, you will only be allowed to make one selection. You must reside in the attendance zone in which you are applying. Once the lottery is completed and a seat is offered, parents will upload the remaining documents to the lottery platform. During this time, all information will be verified. If false information is submitted or if you fail to have adequate documents to support your application, then your Pre- K seat will be forfeited. Please review the Required Documents list on this page.
To submit an application, please click the “Apply Now” button.
**Submitting an application does not guarantee acceptance into the program.
Documents Needed for Pre-K
Documents required to be uploaded during the on-line application process in order for your application to be considered for the lottery.
- Proof of birth (Your child must be four years old on or before September 1, 2021)
- Original certified birth certificate, Hospital Record of Live Birth, Green Card, Pink Card or Federal I-94 Card; or child’s passport (Copies of these documents are not accepted)
- Proof of legal guardianship (If applicable)
- Only required if your name is not on the child’s birth certificate
- Parent/Guardian proof of identification
- Valid state or government issued photo ID, such as a Georgia Driver’s license, or a valid U.S. passport ID
- Proof of Parent/Guardian Georgia Residency*
*If you are living with someone and you do not have a lease, mortgage or utility bill in your name, you must submit the following: A signed and notarized Affidavit of Residency AND a lease/mortgage statement or utility bill in the name of the person that you are living with AND a form of mail in the name of the child’s guardian showing a matching address to the affidavit.
- Mortgage or lease/rental agreement in your name, OR an electric, gas, or water bill in your name, cable and phone bills are not acceptable
If you receive electronic notification that your child’s name was selected, then you must accept the seat on-line and upload the following documents (#5-#8) during the Enrollment Window March 29-April 16, 2021 for your assigned school.
- Child’s original Social Security Card OR “Waiver”
- If a waiver is needed, it will be provided to you during the enrollment window
- Child’s Peachcare card, Medicaid card, health insurance card, EBT card (food stamps) and/or TANF (If applicable)
- Immunization Certificate (3231)
- Vision, Hearing, Nutrition, and Dental Screening Certificate (3300)
Pre-K seat assignments are contingent upon validation of required documents.
To be eligible for the 2021-2022 school year, your child’s date of birth should be on or between the following dates: September 2, 2016-September 1, 2017.
No. If your home address is not zoned for DeKalb County School District, you are not eligible to participate. If you are unsure if you address is zoned for DCSD, go to school locator
No. You may register for either a theme school, if applicable, or your home school. If you choose to register for a theme school and are not selected, you will automatically be placed on the wait list. After the first week of school, if there is room at your home school, you are welcome to register for a seat at your home school.
To be eligible for the 2021-2022 school year as a Pre-Kindergarten student your child must have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that identifies the need to spend their Kindergarten year in an inclusion (co-taught) Pre-K classroom.
Your child is expected to be able to take care of self-help tasks such as dressing, undressing, and toilet needs. Children should be potty trained prior to entering Pre-K. Parents will be called should an accident occur and will be required to come to school to change their child. Students are not to wear pull-ups to school unless outlined as a part of Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan and the child is in a collaborative class, so he/she can be assisted by a special needs’ teacher/aide.
No. As a DCSD employee you must go through the same lottery process as everyone else. However, there are specific stipulations before employees can enter the Pre-K lottery. Please contact your school principal or the Early Childhood Office for the DeKalb Pre-K Lottery Employee Participation Memo.
If an applicant with a current Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is selected to attend a Bright from the Start (BFTS) general education Pre-K classroom, the applicant may possibly be moved to a BFTS inclusion classroom based on the student’s individual needs. NOTE: Theme schools do not house BFTS inclusion classrooms
No. While Pre-K Lottery students are selected in a random lottery selection process, students with Individual Education Plans (IEP) receive a special education placement as part of an IEP team decision that considers the unique, individual needs, student supports, and services required by the student’s IEP. Before entering the Pre-K Lottery, if you have questions about the early childhood setting most appropriate to address your child’s needs, it is recommended that you contact your child’s IEP case manager, Lead teacher for Special Education or the Department of Exceptional Education @ https://www.dekalbschoolsga.org/exceptional-education/
Proof of birth, proof of legal guardianship (if parent/guardian name is not on the birth certificate), parent/guardian proof of identification, and proof of residency. A comprehensive list of all required documents, with detailed information, can be found by clicking on the “Online Registration Process” button or on the following link https://www.dekalbschoolsga.org/pre-k/
After reading the remainder of this document in its entirety, you should follow the steps outlined for the online application registration process. Detailed information can found by clicking on the “Online Registration Process” button found on the following link https://www.dekalbschoolsga.org/pre-k/
2021-2022 Pre-K Online Post Lottery Participants
This section provides information to parents/guardians who participated in the 2021-2022 online lottery process and were notified of receiving a seat or placed on the waitlist. Be sure to read the last section titled, Important Information for All.
If your child was awarded a seat in the lottery, your school will be contacting you shortly. Follow the directions from your “awarded seat” email pertaining to the uploading of the remaining required documents for the Pre-K program. The school may require a document to be resent if it was illegible or out of date. If necessary, the school will request that any missing document either be uploaded in your application dashboard or to be sent electronically via email. The remaining document list is sent to all parents/guardians after the lottery, if they were awarded a seat, but can be easily accessed on the Pre-K district website at: www.dekalbschoolsga.org/pre-k
Any student who was not selected for a lottery seat is automatically placed on the wait list. The system numerically orders students on the wait list. An email was sent to notify the parent/guardian of the child’s placement on the wait list. As seats are declined or forfeited, the school will notify the next family on the wait list. At that time, you will be required to complete the next steps to secure your child’s seat. The school will identify the registration designee and reach out to the parent/guardian with instructions for the documents to be sent electronically via email.
New Applicants Who Did Not Participate in the 2021-2022 Pre-K Online Lottery
This section provides information to parents/guardians who were not able to participate in the 2021-2022 online lottery process and /or sent a wait list application to the local school. Be sure to read the last section titled, Important Information for All.
Begin by reaching out to the school to see if there is an available seat. If there is an open seat, please proceed to the next question. If they do not have available seats, you are welcome to fill out a wait list application and send electronically via email to the school’s registration designee. If you are not sure who the school’s registration designee is, please contact the school. The wait list application can be found at the bottom of the page, under the “Apply Now” button, on the district Pre-K website. www.dekalbschoolsga.org/pre-k
Your local school will contact you to share information pertaining to documents that are required to complete the registration process.
A comprehensive list of all required documents can be found by clicking on the “Lottery Process” tab found on the following link www.dekalbschoolsga.org/pre-k
Important Information for All
DCSD policy states that a child must have their Health Immunization form 3231 on file within 30 days of the child starting school or the expiration date. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, please email your school if you run into difficulty with obtaining and sending this document electronically. The District will continue to monitor the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and make future decisions based upon the guidance from the DeKalb County Board of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Public Health. If the form is not provided within 30 days once the school reopens, the child will not be able to return to class without the form or proof of an appointment. The child will not be able to return after the appointment without an updated form. Should the child be absent for 10 consecutive days due to this form not being provided the child’s seat in Pre-K will be forfeited.
DCSD policy states that this form must be on file within 90 days of the child starting school or the expiration date. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, please email your school if you run into difficulty with obtaining and sending this document electronically. The District will continue to monitor the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and make future decisions based upon the guidance from the DeKalb County Board of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Public Health. If the form is not provided within 30 days once school reopens, the child will not be able to return to class which may result in the child being withdrawn from the program.
Yes, there is an attendance policy for Pre-K students. Due to COVID-19, attendance modifications have been established. Students are expected to participate during the Pre-K day which consists of 1-1.5 hours of virtual instruction and then the remaining time completing the at-home daily activities provided by the Pre-K teacher. On days that the lesson will be missed, due to appointments or other unseen events, make up work will be provided by the Pre-K teacher. Once schools re-open, students are expected to be in attendance for the full instructional day during the entire school year. If a child is absent or late ten consecutive days without a medical excuse, the child will be withdrawn from the class per the guidelines established by Bright from the Start. Additionally, the counselor and/or social worker will contact parents/guardians if a child has a pattern of being chronically late or leaving school early.
Yes, parents/guardians are expected to participate in all scheduled parent/guardian meetings and conferences at least twice a year and more often if necessary. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meetings will occur virtually. The school and/or Pre-K teacher will notify you when the meeting/conference times occur and provide the appropriate links to join the virtual meeting/conference. (Once schools re-open, these activities will last approximately one hour).
The Pre-K teacher will provide a 4-week, at-home activities sheet for all Pre-K students that can be completed without using technology. The at-home activities are issued every four weeks during virtual learning and capture Literacy, Math/Science, Social Emotional and Gross Motor/Movement learning concepts to explore and learn. The Pre-K teacher will provide a learning link that can be accessed from any electronic device.