ADMISSIONS AND ENROLLMENT POLICY
Purpose: This policy is in place to address the process for handling admissions at Lakeside Charter Academy. 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 North Carolina law.
Lakeside Charter Academy is a nonprofit, tuition-free charter school authorized by the state of North Carolina. As a charter school, Lakeside Charter Academy 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. Lakeside Charter Academy will open enrollment on November 1st. The open enrollment period will end on February 1st of each year. If needed, the lottery will occur within three weeks of the end of open enrollment. The lottery date, time and location will be published on the school’s website by December 31st of each year.
No criteria for admission will be used except the completed application. The application may be completed online through our website, lakesidecharteracademy.com, 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, student’s date of birth, the name of any siblings already enrolled at the school, and a declaration of the student’s residence in the state of North Carolina.
Grade Level for the Lottery Application
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 student will be entered into the lottery for the next grade level. Parents wishing to have their child considered for retention must still submit their student for the subsequent grade level. 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.
Following the first year of operation, current students at School will not be required to re-enroll. They will be asked to sign a non-binding letter of intent for the coming year during January to allow the school to plan appropriately for the lottery.
Enrollment Priority and Weighted Lottery
Lakeside Charter Academy will follow all rules and regulations regarding enrollment priority as specified in North Carolina charter school law 115C-218.45.
The Lakeside Charter Academy Board of Directors has decided to offer admissions priority for the following tiers for the 2021-2022 lottery:
School Employees: LCA will offer priority enrollment for children of full-time LCA employees, not to exceed 15% of the school’s total enrollment, as outlined in North Carolina charter school law 115C-218.45.
Siblings: Once one child in the family is a member of the Lakeside community, siblings of enrolled students receive preferred enrollment status the following year.
Educationally Disadvantaged students: status is applied to any student who falls into one or more of the following classifications:
Economically Disadvantaged – defined as any student who qualifies for free and reduced priced lunch,
English Learner – defined as any student with
a Home Language other than English,
and whose W-APT/Screener score identifies them as EL per NC DPI definitions
Students with disability – defined as any student with
a medical diagnosis of a disability,
or an IEP or 504 noting a disability identification or accommodation,
Immigrant student – defined as any student
who was not born in the United States,
and who has not attended U.S. schools for more than three full school years.
Families will have the opportunity to opt-into the weighted lottery. The weighted lottery will be explained on the application and the following statement will be included: “The weighted lottery is optional for qualifying applicants. Choosing not to participate in the weighted lottery does not impact an applicant’s chances in the general lottery.”
Once an applicant is selected through the weighted lottery, verification documentation will be required through the normal enrollment process. This supplemental form will ask applicants to consent to verify status as Educationally Disadvantaged eligible by Lakeside Charter Academy staff, and will state no specific information will be obtained beyond eligibility status and that the information will not be retained. The information provided will not be retained for any purpose other than to provide
auditability of lottery integrity.
An enrollment spreadsheet will organize all students and siblings assuring a transparent and documented enrollment process to ensure fair and legal entrance to Lakeside Charter Academy.
Weighted Lottery Implementation
Verified educationally disadvantaged students will be weighted two times (2x) in the general lottery in comparison to general students who are weighted one time (1x).
All children in a family are given individual numbers for the lottery. Should one sibling be admitted the other sibling(s) will be eligible for placement in their respect grade level, as long as there is an opening. If there are no openings, they will be placed on the general wait list for the respective grade level. It is our intent to provide Lottery Procedures that benefit families but are fair and consistent for all of our applicants.
Multiple Birth Siblings
If multiple birth siblings apply to the school, they will be placed together under one unique lottery registration number. All multiple birth siblings will be accepted should their lottery number be chosen
Lakeside Charter Academy will place all applications received during the open enrollment period into a lottery. The lottery will be run based on grade level. Number of seats available in each grade level will be identified before lottery.
Once seats are filled the school will add remaining applicants to the wait list in the order they are pulled from the lottery. This wait list will be used in the event that a spot opens and the school chooses to fill the vacant position.
Any application received after the enrollment period is NOT entered in the lottery, but is added to the end of the grade level waiting list on a first-come, first-served basis.
The lottery drawing is randomly generated by a computer program and as outlined in the LCA charter, a random selection of grades will be used to determine the order in which the grade level lotteries will be called. Lottery procedures will comply with NC Open Meeting Law provided in G.S. 143-218.10(a) by publicizing the date and location in advance of the meeting and allowing anyone to attend.
Families will receive lottery results with 24 hours of the lottery completion via email to their registered email address. 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. The school's waitlist will be updated regularly and parents of students placed on the waitlist will receive periodic communication as to their students place on the waitlist. Parents may also log onto the school's parent portal website to check the lottery results for their student(s).
Students Applying after the Open Enrollment Period
Any students applying after the open enrollment period will be placed in their respective grade if there is still space available. Otherwise, they will be placed directly after any wait-listed students from the lottery in the order the application was received.
For all seats offered to eligible student applicants a maximum of five (5) days is provided to make a decision on the invitation to attend the school. The invitation can be accepted or declined from the email notification. If the invitation is not accepted within the five (5) day period, the seat will be offered to the next family on the school's waitlist.
After accepting a student's seat, applicant has three (3) days to complete the student enrollment packet and provide the documentation needed to complete the enrollment process. The student enrollment packet can be completed online and if they are unable to access the internet the school will provide a paper application as requested. Every effort will be made to communicate promptly with all accepted families.
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.
Enrollment forms will include, but are not limited to the following:
(1) Proof of North Carolina Residency
(2) Permission to request current school records
(3) Immunization Records
Handling of 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 wait list 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.
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.