PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Parents and students are on pins and needles as one of the most sought after charter schools in Philadelphia is holding an admissions lottery.
It was a packed auditorium of parents at the Mast Community Charter School. More than 8000 applicants are vying for 99 spots for the school, grades k-12. 75 of the spots are for kindergarten students alone, and siblings of existing students get first pick. As the names were put up on screen there was elation for those who were accepted.
“You’re so lucky there’s so many people who wanted to get in,” said Heather Janiczek, referring to her niece. “She’s so lucky.”
Unfortunately for Heather, her niece was chosen but her daughter was not.
“My sister and my brother went here,” she said, crying her eyes out.
There was disappointment for Frank Turco whose daughter was denied for the 3rd year in a row.
“We’re talking about moving outside of the city,” Frank said. “To a different district.”
Mast’s unique learning style has driven their popularity over the years. The school emphasizes technology coding and legal robotics.
“It’s a safe place to come to school every day with added inter active measures,” said John Swoyer, the Chief Executive Officer.
Mast has been granted a second lottery, and will have 400 more spots for grades k thru 3rd next month.
“We’re going to keep trying,” Turco said.
This school has a focus on mathematics and science like no other which is why their waiting list has quadrupled over the last five years and why there are 82 applicants for every open spot.