Purpose: This policy is in place to address the process for handling admissions at School. The goal of this admissions policy is to declare the process and methods that will be used to admit students in a fair and consistent way that does not offer priority to any student except those specifically noted in required by North Carolina law. 

School is a nonprofit, tuition-free charter school authorized by the state of North Carolina.  As a charter school, School will be open to all students who would otherwise qualify for enrollment in North Carolina Public Schools. The school will not discriminate against any student on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, gender, or disability. School will open enrollment on November 1. The open enrollment period will end on January 31st .  The lottery date, time and location will be published on the school’s website by December 15th of each year.

No criteria for admission will be used except the completed application. The application may be completed online through our website., unless a family is unable to access the site.  In that case, we will provide a paper application to parents when requested.  The application will include the student’s name, parent/guardian names, current address of student, phone number of parent/guardian, email of parent/guardian, county of residence, current grade level, their grade level for the coming year, student’s date of birth, the name of any siblings already enrolled at the school, declaration of the student’s residence in the state of North Carolina, confirmation of access to email, parent email address and an indication as to how the family would like their children entered into the lottery.

Grade Level for the Lottery Application

Parents will be asked to confirm both their student’s current grade as well as the grade for the coming year.  Parents may not choose which grade they would like their child enrolled in for the coming year, they must enter the actual current grade and the next year’s grade as confirmation.  Parents wishing to have their child considered for retention must still submit their student for the subsequent grade level and then if admitted the student will be evaluated by the Principal  and child’s teacher before a retention decision is made.  If the student’s current school recommends a student for retention and has it documented in the student’s file, the student will be moved to the appropriate grade if they have been admitted to school and will retain enrollment status with School. If the student is on the wait list at the time the retention decision is made, they will be moved to the correct grade level and placed on the wait list of their new grade based on the number they were pulled during the lottery.

Single or Family Application

Each family will be offered the choice to either enter all of their children into the lottery with one surname or enter each child separately in the lottery.  When a family application (all siblings on one application) is pulled during the lottery, all of the students listed on the application will be pulled at the same time. 

Returning Students

Current students at School will not be required to re-enroll.  They will be asked to sign a letter of intent for the coming year during January to allow the school to plan appropriately for the lottery. 

Enrollment Priority:

The School will follow all rules and regulations regarding enrollment priority as specified required by applicable North Carolina law

The following groups will have enrollment priority at School for subsequent school years in the order that follows as space permits in each grade:

  1. Children of full time employees and board members (may not exceed 15% of total school population)
  2. Siblings of current students (as determined by Charter School law  G.S. 115C-238.29F(g)(5a)
  3. Students who were enrolled in a NC charter school in the previous school year.

Multiple Birth Siblings

If multiple birth siblings apply to the school, their surname will be entered once to represent all of the multiple birth siblings.  If the multiple birth siblings are pulled in the lottery when there is still at least one spot remaining in their grade level, all multiple birth siblings shall be admitted.  If their application is pulled after the spots are all filled, they will be added to the wait list in the order they are listed on their application.

Other Siblings

 If siblings apply for family admission through the lottery, Mallard Creek STEM Academy will enter one surname into the lottery to represent all of the siblings applying at the same time. If that surname of the siblings is selected, then all of the siblings shall be admitted to the extent that space is available and does not exceed the grade level capacity.  It is our intent to provide Lottery Procedures that benefit families but are fair and consistent for all of our applicants.

Prior to the general enrollment lottery, the school will conduct a lottery of the students with preference. If there are more qualified students that have applied than there are spots available, a grade level wait list will be started and students not receiving spots will be added to the wait list in the order in which they are pulled.

Once the preference lottery has been completed (if needed) the general lottery will begin.   School will place all applications received during the open enrollment period into one school wide lottery. 

Lottery Results

The school will share the results of the lottery immediately and email the results of the lottery within 3 business days of the lottery. If a student has been admitted to the school, the parent/guardian of the student will be contacted via email unless they indicated on their application that they did not have access to email.  If the parent is unable to receive email, an acceptance letter will be mailed to the child’s residence. 

The results and the wait list will be updated monthly to allow parents to determine their current place on the wait list.  Parents of students placed on the wait list will receive an email notifying them of their place on the waitlist. They will be able to verify their place on the waitlist on our website and they will be notified if their child has moved up on the waitlist if a spot becomes available.

Enrollment

Students admitted before March 15 will have 10 calendar days from the date their acceptance email was sent to accept or decline enrollment and 5 days from the time of the acceptance email to turn in enrollment paperwork.  If a student is admitted after March 15, they will have 5 days to accept or decline enrollment at the school and 5 days to return the enrollment paperwork.  If a student is admitted after April 15, they will have 48 hours to accept or decline enrollment at the school and 3 days to return the enrollment paperwork.  If the school does not receive enrollment confirmation and the paperwork back in the specified time period, the Principal may decline enrollment to the student and offer the spot to the next student on the wait list.  If enrollment is declined and then a parent later decides they would like to send their student after all, they will be asked to submit a new application and they will be placed on the wait list in the next available spot.

As spots at the school become available, the parent/guardian of the student will be contacted via email. If the parent does not have access to email and has specified that on their application, the school will mail a letter of acceptance to the child’s residence. 

School’s Right to Refuse Enrollment

School reserves the right to refuse to enroll any student currently under a term of expulsion or suspension by his or her school until that term is over. 

School reserves the right to refuse to enroll a student if a parent willingly and knowingly provided incorrect information on the enrollment application.

If a student has accepted enrollment at the school, but does not appear at the school in the first 2 days of school, the school will make reasonable attempts to contact the parents.  If there is no response from the parent by the 3rd day of school, the school reserves the right to remove the student from their enrollment roster and offer the next student on the wait list the spot. 

Handling of Errors

School Errors

If any mistake is made by School in administering the lottery (or if any discrepancy occurs in the lottery process as a result of the actions of School that is not corrected during the lottery), such mistake or discrepancy will not invalidate the lottery and the lottery results will stand with respect to all applicants who were admitted at the appropriate grade level through the lottery. The mistake or discrepancy will be corrected at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Directors (after recognition of the mistake). If a mistake is made by an applicant resulting in the applicant not being placed at the appropriate grade level in the lottery, the applicant will not be admitted and may submit a corrected application, which will be subject to the process followed for students applying after the enrollment period.

If too many students were included in the lottery at a grade level or if a student name was duplicated in the lottery at a grade level, the student or students who should not have been included (or the duplicate with the lower priority placement number, as applicable) will be removed, and any applicants with placement numbers behind the applicants who were removed will be advanced in order on the list.

Parent Errors

If an applicant has been incorrectly placed in a grade because a parent wishes to have their student retained, the applicant will not be admitted and may submit a corrected application, which will be subject to the process followed for students applying after the enrollment period.