With about 550 charter schools available across the state of Arizona, parents have more options when it comes to their child’s education. In fact, charter schools have recently seen a 10,000-student increase in admissions from the 2015-2016 school year to the 2016-2017 school year. As with traditional public schools, new students who wish to attend a charter school have a fair chance in seeking enrollment and admission.
You Have the Right to Choose
In Arizona, parents have the right to choose whether they send their children to charter or traditional public schools. According to the Arizona Charter Schools Association, charter schools are open-enrollment, tuition-free, public schools that operate based on a contract with their authorizer. With more charter schools popping up across the state, there will be even more options for parents to choose from in the coming years.
Becoming a Charter School Student
Charter schools are open to all students that wish to attend, excluding expelled students and up to the school’s capacity. They may, or may not, have selective admissions criteria and practices. Students who have applied before the deadline and have officially been admitted to the school are guaranteed a spot to attend. After a student has accepted their offer to attend, proper documentation must be provided for enrollment. Documentation includes; proof of age and identification (i.e. birth certificate), proof of residency, and immunization records. If the applicant reaches capacity, Arizona laws require the school to use a lottery system.
Lotteries, Preferences, and Waitlists
If the number of applicants exceed the number of students a charter school can accept, the school is required to participate in an equitable selection process, such as a lottery. Charter schools typically have admission preferences; for example, returning students, siblings of enrolled students, foster children, and children of employees or board members. These students are exempt from the lottery process and are automatically admitted to the school if space allows.
Charter schools may also choose to have a waiting list for potential students. If a school opts to keep a waiting list, it must be fair and non-discriminatory. If you have any questions about our admissions policies at AmeriSchools Academy, we’d be happy to speak with you today.