Lottery Process

In the event that Elysian receives more applications than there are openings in a specific grade, a public lottery will be held. The public lottery for spots in all grades (K–8) is normally held in mid-January for the following school year admission. Families are invited to attend the lottery.

If necessary, the 2018–2019 school year lotteries will be held on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 1:30 PM at 1460 Garden Street. Families that have submitted a lottery registration form for the 2018–2019 school year by the deadline of 5PM on Friday, January 9, 2018 at 5:00 pm will be included in the lottery. Families will be notified of acceptance by email within 2 days of the lottery.  You can also call Susan Gilbertson, Enrollment Coordinator at 201-876-0102 to find out additional information.

Please note that Elysian accepts lottery registration forms post lottery, from mid-January on. Therefore, if a parent misses the lottery deadline, he/she may still submit a form. These post-lottery registration forms are kept on file and, should openings arise and both lottery participating in-district and out-of-district wait lists are exhausted, these forms come into play.

Weighted Lottery

Elysian has added an additional feature to our lottery process.  A Weighted Lottery allows low-income families the opportunity to double their chances for getting into Elysian if they receive certain types of public assistance.  If you believe you qualify for the extra lottery chance, you will need to indicate on the application that 1) you are applying and 2) indicate what type of assistance you currently receive.  If you do apply, you will be required to provide Elysian’s enrollment coordinator proof of the assistance prior to the January 9, 2018 deadline.   Families who qualify will have their children’s name entered into the lottery twice, doubling their chances.

We are still waiting for the State’s approval to proceed with the weighted lottery.  In anticipation of approval, we are taking applications now with this feature.   If approved, qualified families will be contacted so that they can provide proof of assistance before the January 9, 2018 deadline.

Prior to the Lottery

  • All interested parents are invited to an Open House so that they may learn more about Elysian.  The open houses will be held in our school at 1460 Garden Street.  Please enter into our private entrance on Garden Street between 14th and 15th Street.   Open Houses will be held as follows:
    • Friday, November 3, 2017 – 8:45 am
    • Monday, November 27, 2017 – 6:00 pm
    • Saturday, December 2, 2017 – 10:00 am
    • Saturday, January 6, 2018 – 10:00 am
  • For each grade, the students’ lottery registration forms are divided into two groups: In-District and Out-of-District
  • Each child’s name is placed on spreadsheet for their correct grade and residency. At the lottery, grade by grade, each spreadsheet is entered into a computerized “Sorting Hat.”  As per NJ Education Law, Hoboken residents have priority for acceptance, then out of the district applications.
  • The Enrollment Coordinator will send a confirmation of receipt of registration postcard to each applicant.  For all applications submitted by January 1, 2018, a confirmation email will be sent by Thursday, January 5th, 2018.  If you do not receive a confirmation, please contact Susan Gilbertson, Enrollment Coordinator at 201-876-0102. Forms submitted after this date also receive confirmation, but since the lottery is so near, communication most often happens by phone or e-mail.
  • Please make sure the information about your child’s grade and residency are correct in the confirmation communication.  Any changes/corrections must be submitted by January 9th, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.
  • This communication contains information about lottery time and place.

The Lottery

At the lottery, as names are chosen randomly by the “Sorting Hat,” program.  Any known openings are filled and, subsequently a wait list is created.

  • The lottery results are not posted publicly.  Families will be notified by email within 2 days after the lottery.  If you have not received an email by January 13th, 2017, you may call Susan Gilbertson, Enrollment Coordinator to find out where you are on the list.


  • After the lottery, any openings within a grade are first filled with siblings of students. If there are no siblings applying to the grade, applicants from the Hoboken resident list are then selected by their wait list number.
  • If the In-District list is exhausted, the Out-of-District list follows.
  • After the lottery date, anyone else who comes in for admission for the upcoming school year is given a form to complete. These forms come into play when both wait lists (created at the lottery) are exhausted. At this time, a mini- lottery is held for that particular opening. Hoboken applicants are, again, given preference over Out-of-District applicants.
  • If we exhaust our waiting lists completely, more likely in an upper grade, it is possible for someone to walk in post-lottery and get a spot.

At the time of the lottery, we have the most open spots (32) in Kindergarten. However, this number fluctuates due to sibling preference. (See below.)  Sometimes we know of openings in other grades, at the time of the lottery, although most often we find out about openings toward the end of the school year and over the summer. That’s when we go to our waiting list.

Elysian’s policy of sibling preference impacts enrollment at Elysian. Prior to the lottery, spots are set aside for in-coming siblings. Families with children already enrolled in Elysian are guaranteed a spot in Kindergarten for siblings. As well, there is preference for siblings in every grade. It should be noted that sibling preference takes priority over list placement, should movement occur after the lottery and during the school year.

Even though families are on the wait list for a school year, it is recommended they re-register for the lottery by the January deadline in order to get a better spot on the following year’s list. Old waiting lists expire at the end of the academic year.