Admissions and Enrollment Policy

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. The school will open enrollment on January 1. The open enrollment period will end on February 28. The lottery date, time and location will be published on the school’s website by January 15th of each year.

No criteria for admission will be used except for 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, the current address of the 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.

Our Admissions

Applications for the lottery are available online from December 1st to January 31st each year. Paper applications are available at the Front Office. Applications received after January 31st will go to the wait list. You must re-apply each year. Lottery numbers do no carry over from year to year. If the school has more applicants than openings, those openings will be filled by lottery. Openings can be limited by program, class, grade, or building.

Admission Standards

  1. Mallard Creek STEM Academy is a public school and requires no application fee or tuition.
  2. In order to be eligible for admission, students are required to reside in the State of North Carolina at the time of the lottery.
  3. Under North Carolina General Statute (GS115C-391), Mallard Creek STEM Academy may refuse admission to any student who has been expelled or suspended from a public school until the period of suspension or expulsion has expired.
  4. Students must be eligible for the grade level in which they apply to enter.
  5. MCSA does not limit admission to students on the basis of intellectual ability, measures of the achievement or aptitude, athletic ability, disability, race, creed, gender, national origin, religion, or ancestry

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 Director 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 the 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. If there are spots available in the appropriate grade levels, the children will be admitted. If there are no spots available, they will be placed on the wait list for those grades at that 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:

MCSA 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 Voyager for subsequent school years in the order that follows as space permits in each grade:

1. Children of full-time employees (may not exceed 15% of the total school population)

2. Siblings of current students (as determined by Charter School law G.S. 115C-238.29F(g)(5a)

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 admission through the lottery, MCSA 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 sibling lottery of the students admitted in the prior year if more siblings have applied than there are available spots. If there are more siblings 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 sibling lottery has been completed (if needed) the general lottery will begin. The school will place all applications received during the open enrollment period into one school-wide lottery.

Lottery Results

The school will post the results of the lottery on the website within 5 business days of the lottery

Parents will be notified of lottery results in an email within 24 hours. 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 an 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 waitlist. Parents of students placed on the waitlist will not receive communication via email or mail as to their student’s place on the waitlist. They will be asked to look at the waitlist information placed online to determine their spot on the waitlist.

Enrollment

Students admitted before May 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 May 15, they will have 3 days to accept or decline enrollment at the school and 7 days to return the enrollment paperwork. If a student is admitted after July 15, they will have 48 hours to accept or decline enrollment at the school and 3days to return the enrollment paperwork. If the school does not receive enrollment confirmation student and offer the spot to the next student on the waitlist. 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 waitlist 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

The 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. The 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 2days of school, the school will make reasonable attempts to contact the parents. If there is no response from the parent by the 3 rd day of school, the school reserves the right to remove the student from their enrollment roster and offer the next student on the waitlist 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.

If an applicant is left out of the lottery by mistake, the number of students who were included in the lottery will be determined. For each applicant not included by mistake, a random application number from the full pool of applicants received will be assigned, and the applicant will be assigned that number as his or her lottery placement number and appropriately placed as if they were pulled at the same time as the randomly assigned placement number. Any applicants with placement numbers on the waitlist behind the applicants who were left off by mistake will be moved down in order on the list. As noted above, lottery results will stand with respect to all applicants who were admitted at the appropriate grade level through the lottery.

Parent Errors

If a student name is duplicated in the lottery and School administration determines that the student was intentionally registered more than one time, the student will be assigned the lowest priority placement number assigned to the student in the lottery.
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.

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