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Parents are unhappy over second pre-K drawing

It felt like deja vu in Tuesday's pre-K lottery drawing, but for some preschoolers' parents it wasn't the good kind.

The omission of one student's name required that a Feb. 17 lottery drawing for Maxwell Elementary pre-K be voided.

"This whole thing upsets me," said Maxwell Elementary principal Donna Bennett.

"Most of all, I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused."

Maxwell Elementary has 100 slots available for its 2011-12 school year, and 137 complete applications were received for the pre-K program.

The McDuffie County Board of Education's policy in this situation is to hold a lottery drawing to assign students to available slots and to delegate an ordered waiting list in case additional slots are made available or cancellations occur.

Board of Education officials took no chances in the second drawing -- ballots bearing the students' names were checked by four different certified employees and then read out loud to the entire audience as they were dropped into the ballot box.

The box was then shuffled and Dr. Mychele Rhodes, the director of curriculum and instruction, drew ballots and read the names out loud to the audience once more.

Chantelle Vinson-Scott's son, Jai, was selected in both drawings, but she said she was very disappointed with everything that happened.

"I'm really mad about all this," she said of the mix-up.

"There had to be a better way to do this other than a whole new drawing."

Ms. Vinson-Scott said that the Maxwell pre-K program will save her up to $80 a week and provide a more seamless transition to the school experience.

"We got a lucky break," she said.

According to Dr. Rhodes, drawing results will not be considered final until parents receive written notification of their child's enrollment status.

Web posted on Thursday, February 24, 2011

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