I'm going to reprint Kellie LaRue's comments to start it (bold/color mine):
The middle schools wait lists are at bit much. Meany and REMS are brand new schools with lots of space. There is no reason for a wait list at either of these schools. They should let anyone who is interested in starting a brand new school, go and start that school. Whitman has excess capacity and was promised that all students who applied would be let in but the wait list is extensive.
Cedar Park and Olympic Hills are also brand new schools with ample space, there is no reason for a waitlist.
Moreover, multiple schools that have begged and pleaded for additional enrollment .... have waitlists. The Center School, Madrona, BF Day, Broadview-Thomson, Lowell ....
And the high school lists are fascinating. Garfield, Roosevelt and Ballard are all going to be seriously capacity challenged next year. As such, it would make sense that any school that could take a few extra students, should take a few extra students, so that the eventually swirl will give those three schools some relief. But no ....
Cleveland with extra capacity once again has a long wait list. WSHS with extra capacity has a wait list. Nathan Hale and Ingraham, which are better able to handle extra students via portables have waitlist list. Ingraham is going to have a 500 student addition in two years. it makes a lot of sense for Ingraham to take a few extra students this year and next year so that they scale up, slowly and are able to take the time to find IB qualified staff.
In summary, it looks like families have one idea of what "choice" means and the enrollment office has a completely different idea.