It's no surprise that Edison Elementary School is a top choice for parents in the Eugene School District's transfer lottery.

The school is in south Eugene, just blocks away from the University of Oregon, and its charming, 1920s architecture is appealing to parents.

"If you close your eyes and envision an elementary school, you kind of picture Edison," said Principal Thomas Horn, who attended the school as a child in the 1970s. "People are drawn to the beauty of the school."

Nearly 130 parents who live outside Edison's boundaries applied for their child to attend the school next year -- the most requests out of any neighborhood elementary school during the district's annual lottery, which ended last month.

Students in Eugene don't have to attend their neighborhood school thanks to the district's decades-long policy that allows students to choose which school to attend. Parents found out last week whether their transfer request for the next school year that starts in September was accepted.

The district received requests for 1,224 students. Parents could submit up to three school requests per student, district spokeswoman Kerry Delf said.

Application requests show that schools in the district's south region continue to be the most popular.

South Eugene High School received the most applications for high-schoolers and Roosevelt Middle School topped the list for middle school transfer requests.

"If you live in the heart of south Eugene, you have a number of different schools nearby and within reasonable distance," Delf said. For example, families whose neighborhood elementary school is Adams may want to go to Camas Ridge Community School, or vice versa.

Gilham and River Road/El Camino del RÃ-o elementary schools had the most requests for schools outside of south Eugene.

Lottery results also show Eugene's alternative schools are still a big draw to parents, with Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary School attracting 183 requests. The district's alternative schools admit all their students by lottery.

Part of Edison's draw is being close to the UO, Horn said. Its location is convenient for professors, graduate teaching fellows and other university employees with children, he said. The school also partners with the university for classroom projects and activities that have "flooded the school with vibrant young people to help teach here," Horn said.

Because of Edison's small size and compact classrooms -- just 320 students are enrolled -- it has limited capacity and can accept only six kindergartners from out of the neighborhood boundary, Horn said.

Two years ago, the district considered a controversial proposal that would have combined Edison and Camas Ridge students in a new building because of declining enrollment and Edison's aging infrastructure. The district would have sold Edison, but strong parent and community opposition killed the plan.

Some schools may be able to accept every student who applied, while others will have a waiting list, Delf said.

Buena Vista, for example, will be able to accept only half the number of students who applied, she said.

Other schools, like Edison, César Chávez and Willagillespie, have only a handful of students they can accept, Delf said. Students may be accepted into their school of choice later into the year, depending on any enrollment changes, she said.

Students who live outside the school district have until April 1 to apply to Eugene schools.

Students who live within or outside the Springfield School District wanting to transfer schools have until April 1 to apply.

West Eugene's Bethel School District is also accepting out-of-district requests until April 1. Students already enrolled in the district can apply to transfer to a different school at any time.

Follow Josephine on Twitter @j_woolington. Email

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