“preparing students to be successful adults”
LOTTERY ENROLLMENT PROCESS DIRECTLY FROM OUR ECS CHARTER PETITION.
Element 13: Admissions Requirements
“Admission requirements of the charter school, if applicable.” [Ref. Ed. Code § 47605.6(b)(5)(M)]
Admission to Excelsior shall be open to any resident of California who wishes to attend the school, as outlined in Education Code § 47605.6(e)(2)(A). Excelsior shall not discriminate on the basis of the characteristics listed in Education Code Section 220, including actual or perceived disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic that is contained in the definition of hate crimes set forth in Section 422.55 of the Penal Code or association with an individual who has any of the aforementioned characteristics.
Excelsior will be an open enrollment, tuition-free public school with no specific requirements for admission (e.g., minimum grade point average, test scores, discipline records, etc.). Excelsior will enroll all pupils who wish to attend to the extent that space allows.
I. Application and Enrollment Process
The goal of the admissions policy of Excelsior is to attract, enroll and retain at Excelsior students representative of the rich diversity from the surrounding communities. Excelsior will recruit a diverse student population, including low achieving and low-income students, and will abide by all state and federal laws regarding admissions. Our recruitment plan is designed to achieve a racial and ethnic balance among our pupils that is reflective of the general population residing within the target community of San Bernardino County. Excelsior will be nonsectarian in its programs, admissions policies, employment practices and all other operations.
The school will establish an annual recruiting and admissions cycle, which shall include reasonable time for all of the following: (1) outreach and marketing, (2) orientation sessions for students and parents (conducted in English and Spanish at times that are convenient for families), (3) an admissions application period, (4) an admissions lottery, if necessary, and (5) enrollment.
As a charter school, Excelsior is a school of choice, and may have more students interested in attending the school than there are spaces available. If the number of students who wish to attend the school exceeds the openings available, entrance shall be determined by single random public drawing in accordance with Education Code §47605.6(e)(2)(B) and all applicable federal requirements.
Students who are currently enrolled and siblings of students who are currently enrolled shall be exempt from the lottery.
In accordance with applicable law and federal guidance, the following groups of students will receive preference in the lottery:
- Children of the school’s founders, facilitators, and staff not to exceed 10% of total enrollment.
- Students who reside in the County
In order to be eligible for enrollment in Excelsior, students must meet all applicable laws and regulations regarding enrollment in a public charter school, including immunizations, age at time of enrollment, no concurrent enrollment with a private school that charges tuition and no enrollment during a period of expulsion from another school.
In order to be included in the admissions lottery (if a lottery is necessary), families must submit an application form. A copy of Excelsior’s Admission Application Form may be found in Appendix G. Application materials will be made available in English and Spanish. The enrollment period will be advertised in English and Spanish through flyers, posters in prominent locations throughout the community, during informational meetings for parents, and announced on the school’s website. Excelsior also may advertise through local media as the school’s budget permits.
Open enrollment will take place from January 1 through the last Friday of March of the same year. All interested families will be required to submit a completed Admissions Application Form directly to the school before 4:30 p.m. on the date of the annual deadline, which will be clearly indicated on the form and in all communications and notices (websites, flyers, etc.) regarding admission to the school. Submitted Admission Application Forms will be date- and time-stamped and student names will be added to an application roster to track receipt. Families who apply after the enrollment deadline will be added to the wait list in the order the applications are received.
Following the open enrollment period, applications will be counted to determine if any grade level has received a number of applications that exceed available seats. If the number of students who have applied for any grade exceed capacity as of the date of the application deadline the school will hold a single public random lottery to determine enrollment for the impacted grade level. In the event that the school has not received sufficient enrollment forms to fill to capacity at any grade level, all applicant families will be offered enrollment and additional spots will be filled on a first come, first served basis. All families who have applied for admission will be advised by email or phone of any changes to the date and time for the public random drawing.
Public notice will be posted regarding the date and time of the public drawing once the deadline date has passed. Notice will include an explanation that parents/guardians do not need to be present at the lottery, but may attend if they choose to do so.
The Principal and at least one other school employee will conduct the admissions lottery as a public event to ensure that lottery procedures are fairly executed. Explanation also will be provided to ensure that parents/guardians understand that the lottery numbers are just one step of the process, and that the school must also calculate spaces for those who are exempt from the lottery (e.g., currently enrolled students and siblings).
The lottery will occur within 60 days following the close of the open enrollment period. The lottery will be conducted at a time that is convenient for a majority of interested parties and will be open to the public. The school will inform parents of all applicants and all interested parties of the rules to be followed during the lottery process, location, date and time of the lottery. The school will choose a date and time for the lottery (either on the weekend or after 6 pm on a weekday) so that most interested parties will be able to attend. The lottery will be held at the school site if the school facility can accommodate all interested parties.
Admissions Application Forms, the manual record of all lottery participants and their assigned lottery numbers, and other lottery-related documents will be physically filed on campus, and lottery results and waiting lists will be readily available in the school’s main office for inspection upon request. Each applicant’s admissions application will be kept on file for the academic year with his or her assigned lottery number in the school database and on his or her enrollment application.
Students who are offered spots will be asked to complete an Enrollment Packet (Appendix G) to secure their spot. School staff will be available to assist families in completing this paperwork if needed.
The random public lottery determines applicants’ wait list status. Those who apply after the lottery deadline are added to the end of the lottery waitlist in the order they are received. Vacancies that occur during the school year will be filled according to the wait list. When an offer occurs during the school year, families will be contacted in the order of the wait list and will be given 48 hours to decide whether or not to accept a space at the school. In the event that no such wait list exists where the space is available, the space will be made available on a first come, first served basis to the next interested family at the appropriate grade level.
The wait list for the current school year remains active until Excelsior’s admissions period commences for the following year. Applications are only valid for the current year. Applicants must reapply for the lottery annually if the school is unable to offer them admission for the current year.
Excelsior reserves the right to modify the enrollment process and preferences to comply with the requirements of the federal PCSGP in any year in which Excelsior receives these funds. All lottery policies and protocols may also be revised as deemed necessary by the Board of Directors. Such changes will not be deemed a material revision of the charter.
A. McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act
Excelsior will adhere to the provisions of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and ensure that each child of a homeless individual and each homeless youth has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education as provided to other children and youth.
B. Every Student Succeeds Act
Excelsior will adhere to all admission and enrollment provisions of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) pertaining to Public School Choice and other legal requirements.