is a senior visual studies major, with interests in visual literacy and education. She explores these issues in her capstone project, Selecting Schools: student choice. In this documentary, she sits down with fifth graders as they go through Durham Public Schools’ lottery process of entering middle school. The children share their mixed feelings towards leaving what they know at Club Boulevard Elementary and the unknown of middle school. This series of portraits and interviews captures how the lottery system impacts the children through their eyes.
Chelsea’s mother wanted her to attend the same school as her older brother but Chelsea wanted to go to Durham School of the Arts with her friend Yazmean instead – her mother agreed. DSA has been a “School of Progress with High Growth” for the last two years. Making it the most sought after magnet school among the Durham Public Schools.
Johanna is hoping to be accepted into DSA in the second lottery (she was not accepted during the first lottery.) Her mother has told her there is a higher chance that she will get in this time because the school saw her interest. She does not want attend her base school of Neal because “the percentage is really low…I don’t really know the percentage, it’s just really low.” Neal has “Meet Expectations” in testing for the past two academic years, a growth from 2007 when it was a “Low Performing School.”
“I’m going to Brogden and it’s supposed to be a really good school.” Brogden has been one of the highest performing schools in Durham Public Schools in the past two years.
Jocelyn wants to go to Durham School of the Arts because most of her siblings go there. She still has to wait to hear from the second lottery because she did not get accepted during the first lottery in March. If she does not get into DSA in the second lottery she will attend W.G. Pearson in the Fall.
Ernestine’s chose to not attend her base school of Karrington Middle School because she recalled seeing vandalism on the walls and walking down small hallways. Instead she plans to go to W.G. Pearson Middle School.
Kylek and his father submitted for a transfer from his base school of Neal Middle School to Brogden Middle School. To transfer his father had to write on the choice letter stating that he would like to transfer. Kylek wants to go to Brogden because most of his friends will be going there.
Jasmine will be going to her neighborhood school, W.G. Pearson, with a few of her friends. She chose W.G. Pearson over her base school, of Chewning Middle School because they wore uniforms. Her other choice school was Durham School of the Arts which she did not get accepted in during the lottery.