• FAQ Regarding 2022-23 CEEL Lottery

    Spaces for the 2022-23 program have been filled via lottery. As additional staffing is secured, seats will be added and will be filled via lottery based on applications in the system at that time. Please read on to learn more about why the lottery was started, what we are doing to increase capacity, and more. Please email program coordinator Shannon Messick at sem29@scasd.org with questions.

    Recently, CEEL departed from its previous enrollment process for its before and afterschool programs by holding a lottery because demand was expected to exceed capacity. Unfortunately, some families were left disappointed when they didn’t receive spots. To help our community understand the present situation, we’d like to provide some clarifying information.

    Why the lottery was necessary
    For the 2022-23 academic year, we have a limited number of seats due to staffing levels at this time. This limited capacity is similar to the 2021-22 school year, when seats filled in minutes. Last year, not all families had the ability to complete the CEEL registration process when the enrollment window opened. The lottery evolved as a way of providing a more equitable enrollment process for all families. 

    Previously enrolled families
    We’ve received questions about why previously enrolled families were not given priority for next year’s program. Putting all families in a lottery this year leveled the playing field, so those families who missed getting a spot by a few seconds last year had the same chance to get in as anyone else. Giving priority to returning students would have severely limited the number of available seats for newcomers or incoming kindergarten students. All things considered, the lottery was in line with our philosophy of making the program accessible to the greatest number of students.

    Additional staff
    We continue to seek additional staff for all of our locations, but it’s challenging. These days, we’re at a competitive disadvantage. Other area workforce opportunities offer higher wages and benefits. We have been seeing fewer college students seeking employment since the pandemic, both at CEEL and around town. This affects us particularly because we’ve been fortunate in the past to draw significant numbers of staff from the PSU student population. In addition, we typically require more staff members than positions. It can take three or four individuals to fill one Monday-Friday staff position because we offer flexible schedules out of necessity. Therefore, we need to maintain a staff roster three or four times larger than our daily staffing needs.

    Increased parent fees
    We’ve been asked whether we can increase parent fees in order to pay staff a higher wage. We’re hesitant to do that. Raising the cost of CEEL would be a challenge for many of our families who find themselves facing financial hardship due to other rising costs, a cut to their work hours, and other factors. Because our goal is to allow CEEL to be accessible to as many students as possible, we wish to keep the cost as affordable as possible for families.

    Available spaces
    Another question has come up about how the current number of available spaces compares to prior years. Most locations have lower capacity now versus pre-pandemic. As a reminder, this is due to reduced staffing.

    We based capacity on anticipated staffing, as opposed to previous years where we were able to accept students on an ongoing basis knowing that we would be able to staff accordingly. The past year taught us that we do not have that luxury. In order to maintain a safe and engaging environment, we will only add capacity as we are able to secure additional staff. 

    In closing, because CEEL has worked hard over the years to build the program, nobody’s happy with having to shift to a lottery. Prior to the pandemic, waitlists were virtually eliminated and families were offered a guaranteed enrollment period, which relieved a lot of stress families feel at registration time. Our goal is to return to a point where we can more closely meet the demand our families have for afterschool programming, and enrollment will no longer need to be managed via a lottery.


    The process for CEEL registration for the 2022-23 school year will be managed via lottery. Families should follow the steps below to apply for the CEEL program:

    1. Applications are currently being accepted 
      1. Apply online.
      2. No payment is required to apply.
      3. You will receive a confirmation email after successful submission of the application. If you do not receive this email, you have not successfully applied and will not be entered into the lottery. Please check your spam folder; during heavy volume registration times, the email may be delayed. You can also log into your account anytime to see if your application was successful.
    2. Names will be chosen via lottery as spaces are added. 
    3. Families will be notified by email if they are being offered a space. 
      1. An email with the offer and additional details will be sent to the email address associated with the application. This is the only form of communication families will receive regarding an offer. 
      2. If offered a space in the program, you will then be given a specific period of time to complete additional tasks, such as registering and paying the required deposit. 
      3. Deadlines must be met in order to secure the spot for your child. Failure to do so will result in the need to reapply for future lotteries.

    Additional details regarding enrollment

    • CEEL enrollment is a fluid process. We typically have a waitlist for most of our locations.
    • Applications are accepted for the current school year only. 
    • Lotteries will be conducted at the Panorama Village Administrative Center with the program coordinator, secretary, CEEL supervisor representatives, and another district representative. 
    • If siblings apply, all siblings will be offered space in the program.
    • Students who are not offered a space after the initial lottery will be placed on the waitlist, along with applications received after the initial lottery. When spaces become available, a lottery will be held and families will be notified in the fashion detailed above.
    • If a student is offered a spot, enrolls and then leaves the program for any reason, a new application is required and the application will become part of the waitlist lottery when a space becomes available.
Last Modified on August 18, 2022