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Hello DESA Family,

As Registrar, I am looking forward to meeting and working with all of you as we move into enrollment season. In the upcoming weeks/months, I will share as much information with you as I possibly can to ensure that we are all on the same page and set ourselves up for a smooth transition into the new school year.

After clearing the first of our five-year, 100% DC residency audit this past October, the Duke Ellington School of the Arts (DESA) team is committed to achieving the same outcome this coming October and every October to follow. Since this is the first note from me, I’ll keep it pretty high level…

  • We will begin accepting enrollment paperwork packets for the SY19/20 school year on or shortly after April 1st, stay tuned for confirmation on specific dates and times during which enrollment packets can be brought to DESA; the enrollment cut-off date will be communicated soon as well
  • Prior to accepting enrollment packets, MANDATORY parent meetings will be held for NEW and RETURNING students. These meetings will be used to ensure your understanding of the enrollment packet as there are changes from SY18/19. We want to help ensure that you know how to successfully complete the packet and enroll your student again. We will also be available to answer any questions you may have about verifying DC residency per OSSE’s guidelines. Note that non-DC residents are not subject to OSSE’s residency verification requirements but are required to contact OSSE @ (202) 727-6436 to arrange a tuition agreement.
    • Returning Students: 10th Grade – Tuesday, 3/26 @ 6p
    • Returning Students: 11th & 12th Grade – Wednesday, 3/27 @ 6p
    • NEW, Incoming Students: 9th & 10th Grade – Tuesday, 4/2 @ 6p
  • Returning DESA students do not need to re-apply through the My School DC online application. Surprise!…you’ve been accepted!
  • Hundreds of families come to enroll within a very short period of time, so when you come to enroll, we need to be able to quickly review your packet for minor errors (if any) and move forward to assist the next family. Please take a little extra time before submitting your packet to double-check and make sure boxes are checked, forms are signed and dated, etc. Your packet will then be reviewed in-depth by us in the days that follow and you will be contacted if anything further needs to be addressed before we can sign-off and verify that your student is properly enrolled. Please be flexible and be aware that you may be asked to return to DESA to correct errors that are found (depending on the error).

Feel free to contact me in anticipation of enrollment season with questions/concerns. If you’d like to get ahead of the curve, I’d suggest that you begin to prepare your residency proof now as some documents may take time to get in order. Something as simple as having your DC address updated on your drivers license may be delayed due to outstanding parking tickets that need to paid off first. We all know that parking and traffic camera tickets in DC are REAL! I’ve gotten them and don’t even own a car!

If you have any questions and/or could use support with understanding whether or not your residency proof is sufficient for enrollment, let me know! I’m happy to help! Thank you for your time thus far and look out for periodic information and updates from me in future issues of the Ellington Express!

Mr. Dana Nearing | Registrar
202.727.6404 |