Student Enrollment and Public Random Drawing/Lottery Policies and Procedures
This Policy shall apply to Our Community School (“OCS” or the “Charter School”). This Policy shall be published in the instructions for student application for admission and on the Charter School’s website at http://ourcommunityschool.org/.
All students who wish to attend the Charter School shall be admitted, subject to OCS’s capacity. If there are more applications than the Charter School has capacity, enrollment, except for pupils currently enrolled in OCS, shall be determined by public random drawing (or “lottery”), conducted in accordance with the procedures described below.
The lottery is held in the Spring each year. Information about the date, time and location of the lottery will be posted on the Charter School’s website, at the school site, included in public notices, newsletters and/or flyers posted in the community, and will be available by calling the Charter School information number that will be included on all student admissions/lottery materials.
OCS strongly encourages all potential applicants to review the charter and the Parent-Student Handbook (available on the Charter School’s website), and published information regarding OCS, prior to submitting an application for admission.
As a charter school, OCS is a school of choice. OCS shall admit all pupils who wish to attend the Charter School (Education Code Section 47605(d)(2)(A)). If the number of students applying for admission exceeds capacity, admission shall be determined by random public drawing (“lottery”) in accordance with Education Code Section 47605(d)(2). Admission to the Charter School shall be open to any resident of the State of California. Admission to OCS will not be determined according to the place of residence of the pupil or his/her parent, except in the event of a lottery. In accordance with Education Code Sections 49011 and 47605(d)(2)(B)(iv), admission preferences shall not require mandatory parental volunteer hours as a criterion for admission or continued enrollment.
In accordance with Education Code Section 47605(d)(4)(A), the Charter School shall not discourage a pupil from enrolling or seeking to enroll in the charter school for any reason, including, but not limited to, the academic performance of the pupil or because the pupil exhibits any of the characteristics described in Education Code Section 47605(d)(2)(B)(iii), including pupils with disabilities, academically low-achieving pupils, English learners, neglected or delinquent pupils, homeless pupils, or pupils who are economically disadvantaged, as determined by eligibility for any free or reduced-price meal program, foster youth, or pupils based on nationality, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Similarly, in accordance with Section 47605(d)(4)(C), the Charter School shall not encourage a pupil currently attending the Charter School to disenroll from the Charter School or transfer to another school for any reason, including, but not limited to the academic performance of the pupil or because the pupil exhibits any of the characteristics described in Education Code Section 47605(d)(2)(B)(iii), as listed above.
In addition to any other requirement imposed under law, the Charter School shall be nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies, employment practices, and all other operations shall not charge tuition, and shall not discriminate against any pupil on the basis of 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.
The Charter School’s Board of Directors shall ensure that student outreach activities and information sessions, including but not limited to those activities as described in OCS’s charter, which is designed to recruit a broad, diverse representation of students, are conducted in accordance with the charter.
Application for Admission
- Submission of an application for admission is not a guarantee of admission to OCS; the application is an entry into OCS’s lottery. If an applicant does not submit an application by the posted open enrollment deadline, the applicant will not be entered into OCS’s lottery.
- There is no fee to apply to or attend OCS.
- All applicants must complete an application for admission. Applications are available online and must be completed and submitted to OCS’s Schoolmint web page at schoolmint.net. Applications for admission for each academic year are valid solely for that academic year. Any offers of admission to OCS or waitlist positions from one academic year shall not carry over to any other academic year. Any applicant who was not offered admission in one academic year, and who wishes to reapply to OCS in the future, must submit a new application for the new academic year by the posted open enrollment deadline.
- Applications for enrollment via lottery must be completed and submitted on the OCS Schoolmint web page with a time/date stamp no later than the specified deadline date of the same academic year of enrollment (e.g., March 3, 2017, for enrollment in the academic year 2017-18). The open enrollment deadline will be posted on the Charter School’s website and also indicated on all admissions applications. If a parent/guardian is unable to access the Schoolmint web page, OCS will provide the use of a computer with internet connection for families to access the online application.
- Once an application is completed and submitted, it becomes an entry for the lottery. Applicants will receive a confirmation email from Schoolmint that confirms the application has been submitted.
- Applications submitted after the specified deadline date will not be placed in the lottery but are time-stamped and will be added to the waiting list in the chronological order received by OCS, with no admissions preference taken into account.
Admissions Selection Process and Public Random Drawing/Lottery
- Each year, the Board of Directors, acting on recommendations from OCS Executive Director (or designee), will approve a plan for school growth for the upcoming academic year, which shall include the capacity per grade level, and in accordance with the charter.
- If at the end of the open enrollment period, the Charter School receives more applications than it has the capacity as determined by the Board of Directors, except for existing students of OCS, admission shall be determined by a public random drawing in accordance with Education Code Section 47605(d)(2).
- Lottery Date and Time: The lottery shall be held within two weeks of the application deadline. Public notice of the lottery will be posted at the school site and on OCS’s website, regarding the date, time, and location of the lottery.
- Lottery Location: The lottery will be held in a predesignated room at Our Community School, 10045 Jumilla Avenue, Chatsworth, CA 91311. If necessary, the location of the lottery will be arranged to ensure maximum parent participation in a public space large enough to safely accommodate all interested families.
- As specified in OCS’s charter, preference and exemptions from the lottery will be given in the following order:
- Currently enrolled students
- Siblings of admitted students
- Children of teachers, and staff (up to 10% of total enrollment, combined)
- Los Angeles Unified School District (the “District”) residents
- Students eligible for free or reduced-price meals (“FRPM”)
- All other applicants
- If a student is extended an offer of admission due to one of the preferences, the Charter School shall require supporting documentation from the parent/guardian with the student’s enrollment package. OCS shall conduct verification of such documentation prior to finalizing the student’s enrollment. If the student was offered enrollment via a preference and at least one preference cannot be verified and OCS deems that the student does not qualify, the offer of admission will be rescinded and the student will be placed at the bottom of the waiting list.
- Currently, enrolled students are exempt from the lottery and are guaranteed enrollment in the next academic year if the following step is completed:
- Re-enrollment Packet: Parents will need to log into their Illuminate account to complete the re-enrollment packet for each child that is a currently enrolled student and returning for the following academic year. The re-enrollment packet must be completed in full and submitted through Illuminate by the specified date to ensure the student is re-enrolled. If the packet is not received by the specified date, the student’s space is no longer reserved and may be filled by the next student on the waiting list.
- Siblings of admitted students are exempt from the random public drawing, but admission is not guaranteed. For purposes of this policy, the term “sibling” is defined as a child who has at least one biological or adoptive parent in common with the admitted pupil, or who has been legally adopted by or placed under the legal guardianship of at least one biological or adoptive parent of the admitted pupil. Step-siblings are only considered siblings if they reside at the same address as the sibling who is a current OCS student. If more siblings apply than the Charter School has the capacity (after taking into account admission of existing students), a lottery among only siblings will be utilized to admit siblings, and a waiting list will be generated for siblings who exceed capacity. If needed, this waitlist will be utilized as the beginning of the overall admissions waitlist. Siblings of admitted Charter School students must submit an application for enrollment in accordance with OCS’s policy. Applicants must indicate on their application if they have a sibling currently enrolled at OCS.
- Children of teachers and staff are exempt from the random public drawing (up to 10% of total enrollment, combined), but admission is not guaranteed. If more children of teachers and staff apply than the Charter School has capacity (after taking into account admission of existing students and siblings of admitted students), a lottery among only children of teachers and staff will be utilized to admit children of teachers and staff, combined and a waiting list will be generated for children of teachers and staff who exceed capacity. If needed, this waitlist will be utilized as the beginning of the overall admissions waitlist, but it would follow a waitlist generated from students qualifying for higher exemption categories if any. Children of teachers and staff must submit an application for enrollment in accordance with OCS’s policy. Applicants must indicate on their application that they qualify for the children of teachers and staff exemption.
- District residents will be given preference in the admissions process if a lottery is held. If offered admission, applicants indicating that they live within the District’s boundaries will need to present an official document in the student’s enrollment package to verify proof of residency. Acceptable proof of residency will include any one of the following:
- Utility bill (current bill within 30 days)
- Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy
- Lease agreement
- Current property tax bill from the County Tax Collector’s Office
- Official letter or form from social services or government agency (current within 30 days)
- Students eligible for FRPM(Free or Reduced Price Meal) will be given preference in the admissions process if a lottery is held. If offered admission, applicants indicating that they are eligible for FRPM will need to present an official document in the student’s enrollment package to verify proof of eligibility.
- All other applicants will not receive a preference in the lottery.
- Lottery Procedures: The grade-level lotteries will be operated by at least two currently employed Charter School staff members with no personal interest in the lottery. The lottery will be open to the public and families will be encouraged to attend; however, families are not required to be present at the time of the drawing to be eligible for admission.
- OCS will purchase specially-designed charter school lottery software or contract with a company providing a student enrollment platform to run the admissions lottery. The Charter School will input all lottery information into the system; the program will automatically assign applicable weightings to applicants based on the applicant’s submitted application; the software program will generate the admission and waitlists. The program will be run at a time convenient for a majority of interested parties and will be open to the public. The results will be posted in real-time at the Charter School. The results will be read out by the lottery officials and posted on a board or projection screen so that the public has an opportunity to view the results. The results of the software program will be auditable.
- During the lottery, once maximum enrollment is reached, the remaining numbers will continue to be drawn and will be placed on a waiting list in the order drawn. If vacancies occur during the school year, the vacancies may be filled according to the waiting list. Once all enrollment slots have been filled, remaining students will be added to the waitlist in the order in which they were randomly drawn, which takes into account their admissions preference, if any. Records will be kept on file at the Charter School documenting the fair execution of the lottery for at least one school year. The top five spots on the waiting list will be reserved at all times for foster youth (whether they applied prior to or after the open enrollment deadline). If space opens at a time when no foster youth are on the waiting list, the student at the top of the waiting list will be offered admission.
- Individual results from the lottery will also be available for families upon logging into their Schoolmint accounts. Follow-up phone calls or emails will be made to those applicants who will be offered an enrollment spot as the spot becomes available.
- Students who are not offered seats for the academic school year for which the lottery was held will remain on the waiting list until the end of that academic school year unless otherwise requested by the parent/guardian to be removed. The waiting list shall be cleared at the end of the academic year for which the lottery was drawn and shall not carry over from one year to the next; students who remain on the waiting list at the end of the academic year will be required to submit an application again for the next school year.
Admissions Offers and Acceptance of Offers/Enrollment
- Following acceptance through the lottery, families who are offered admission at OCS at the time of the lottery will have fourteen (14) calendar days to complete the following:
- Registration Packet: All forms in the Registration Packet must be completed to gain enrollment at OCS. Each packet will include a “Registration Check List” to assist parents/guardians in ensuring that all necessary paperwork is accounted for and submitted to the Charter School. All paperwork and documentation, as indicated in the packet must be returned per OCS’s instructions.
- Enrollment offers are valid only for the applied for the academic year. There is no option to defer an offer for enrollment. No added preference in the future will be given to an applicant who is offered a slot and declines that slot. However, applicants who remain eligible for admissions preference, as defined above, may still receive such preference if they decline an offer of enrollment and then reapply for a future academic year. Similarly, applicants who were waitlisted and who remain eligible for preference, as defined above, may still receive such preference if they reapply for a future academic year.
- If slots become available because an accepted student declines acceptance or a student leaves the Charter School after the start of the academic year, or as spots become available, OCS staff may notify families on the waiting list via telephone and/or email (as stated in the student’s application for admission) in the order they appear on the waiting list. Families shall have 48 hours to accept the enrollment slot (via telephone or email to the Charter School) and proceed with the enrollment process. Applicants must complete a registration packet with all required documentation and by the deadline given by the Charter School to confirm enrollment. This procedure may be repeated until all slots for the upcoming/current academic year have been filled with applicants who confirm their enrollment in OCS.
Issues Not Covered Under this Policy
In the case that the procedures herein do not cover a situation that arises during the admissions and enrollment process, the Executive Director or designee will take any additional steps necessary to execute the admissions and enrollment process.
 Proof of residency not required for homeless youth.