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Tulsa Charter School Holds Lottery For New Students

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School officials draw names from the lottery Tuesday. School officials draw names from the lottery Tuesday.
Taylor Dayton and her mother wait anxiously for names to be called Tuesday. Taylor Dayton and her mother wait anxiously for names to be called Tuesday.
Parents and students pack the room for the lottery Tuesday. Parents and students pack the room for the lottery Tuesday.
Allyson Black [left] and Taylor Black [right], who was accepted to TSAS. Allyson Black [left] and Taylor Black [right], who was accepted to TSAS.

Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Its test scores are some of the best in the city.  But getting into this local charter school has nothing to do with grades, just the luck of the draw.

An envelope full of names and dozens of high school hopes on the line.

This is how you get into one of Tulsa's top high schools, the Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences. TSAS, as it's called, is Taylor Dayton's first and really only choice.

"This seems to be a really good school," she said.

"Yeah, if we don't get in here, we'll be moving out of the Tulsa area," Jody Dayton, Taylor's mother, said.  "She won't go to Tulsa public high."

They call it a lottery because it's all a matter of luck. There's no required GPA or test score, just your name on a slip of green paper.

There are 75 slots in TSAS's freshman class. That means some of these teenagers won't make it.

With every name, there's a wish fulfilled and a hope dashed.  Mothers can go from worried to excited in a matter of moments.

A big hug and thumbs up from one lucky winner, while Taylor keeps betting on just one more name.

Number 74 comes and goes and no Taylor. It's now down to the final slot.

A Taylor is called, just not Taylor Dayton. Taylor Black is admitted.

"I couldn't believe that they called her name. I just had a feeling that they were going to call her name. And it was the last name," Allyson Black, Taylor's mother, said.

"I was really excited when they drew my name. I didn't realize they were only drawing 75," Taylor Black said.

Meanwhile, Taylor Dayton is put on a waiting list.

"I think her heart dropped. She sat here and watched the current students. And she said 'They are so me. I am so them. I so fit.'  So, we'll see.  We'll cross our fingers," Jody Dayton said.

TSAS's Principal Eric Doss says he wished they could take everyone, but the school is capped at 275 students.

Several TPS schools have admissions lotteries like Thoreau Middle School and Mayo Demonstration Academy.

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