Admissions » Lottery Information

Lottery Information

Who Can Attend?

The Expedition School (TES) is a tuition-FREE public charter school located in Hillsborough (Orange County), NC. Any child who qualifies to attend a NC public school under the laws of NC is also eligible to be accepted into The Expedition School (TES), or any charter school (regardless of your NC county of residence or school attendance zones). A student must be legally domiciled in NC at the time of application in order to apply and gain consideration in the lottery. Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for additional information.

How to Apply to The Expedition School (TES)

Parents must submit an application to The Expedition School (TES) by the stated application deadline.  Applications are usually accepted between October and February for the following school year. The application for entry is very simple, and only requires basic information, such as a name, address, grade level of student, etc. Once you apply, your child will be entered into the randomized lottery. The lottery takes place in February of each year.

Applications for the upcoming 2023-2024 school year are now open! Apply until Sunday, February 12th, 2023.  Visit the Apply page to submit an application. 

Lottery Date for 2023-24 Year: Monday, February 27th, 2023 9am via Zoom

TES welcomes all applicants for K-8. (Children entering kindergarten must be at least five years old on or before August 31 of the year they start school.) TES does not limit admission to students on the basis of intellectual ability, measures of academic achievement or aptitude, athletic ability, disability, race, creed, gender, national origin, religion or ancestry. (Please visit our Equity, Diversity & Inclusion page to learn more about TES’s commitment to inclusion and culturally responsive teaching.) Admission is entirely random and lottery-based.

Tours of TES are typically held throughout the fall and winter each year so that applicants and interested parties can see and learn about the school in action and in person.  See the Tour Page to see current tour information. 

Children Are Selected via Random Lottery

Since TES receives hundreds of applications beyond the number of seats available, a randomized lottery is used to determine who is accepted. All applications received by the annual deadline are placed into a lottery system, in which a computer randomly selects students for admittance. This means that any student can be accepted, but also that acceptance is not guaranteed for all applicants. 

You will be notified via e-mail on the lottery date (typically in February) as to whether your child received a spot, or if you are on the waiting list (and what number on the wait list you are.) If selected, you have a period of time to determine whether to accept or decline your spot. 

If you do not receive an e-mail from the school within 1-2 days after the posted lottery date, check your spam folder and/or contact the school to inquire.

Weighted Lottery

In a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, the TES Board of Directors instated a “weighted lottery” to help diversify our student body and ensure we are serving and reflecting our local community. Our “weighted” lottery uses an algorithm to increase (or “weight”) the odds of students from “economically disadvantaged” families for getting in. Beginning with the 2021-2022 school year, 25% of open seats at TES will be “weighted” for students from economically disadvantaged families.

TES Board approved a 3 year plan for the Weighted Lottery:

1. The weight lottery will apply exclusively to the kindergarten class.

2. For the 2021-22 and 2022-2023 years, the weighted lottery will apply a weighted preference for 25% of the kindergarten class for EDS. 



Sibling Preference

Siblings* of currently enrolled students receive preference in the lottery for the following year. Siblings do not fill out the regular application; rather, TES sends a Sibling Notification Form in December to current TES families, in which families notify TES of siblings in need of placement the following year.  Siblings are placed prior to opening the lottery to the public. If there are more siblings than spaces open in the school, a lottery will be held for siblings only prior to the public lottery. If a seat in a particular grade is not available, then siblings are listed first on the waitlist ahead of general lottery applicants.
*The definition of a sibling according to current law includes: half-siblings, step-siblings and children residing in a family foster care home.” As stated in the Enrollment and Lottery Policy, “Siblings of currently enrolled students receive preference in the lottery for the following year.  Siblings will be placed prior to opening the lottery to the public so long as the sibling application is received by the published deadline for sibling applications. If there are more siblings than spaces open in the school, a lottery will be held for the siblings prior to the public lottery.
Enrollment and Lottery Policies 

The following policies outline the lottery process and should be reviewed before applying in order for applicants to complete the Lottery  Application correctly as well as to understand the process. 

TES Enrollment and Lottery Policy
TES Enrollment Policy Addendum: Grade Placement
Anexo de la Política de Inscripción: Colocación de Grado
Inscripción para Expedition School y Política de Lotería

If Your Child Receives a Seat

Students who receive a seat at The Expedition School via the lottery (or because your child is a sibling of a current TES student) will need to complete the necessary forms below (within 5 days of receipt of the enrollment notification email) in order to enroll. Siblings of current TES students will automatically receive a seat IF space is open in the necessary grade.

Enrollment forms can be found HERE. 
***Forms are due within 5 days of receipt of the enrollment notification email.