The lingo associated with applying to charter schools can sometimes be overwhelming. What is Open Enrollment? What is a lottery? What is a waitlist? We're here to help you navigate the process. This article will focus on Open Enrollment, but you should check out our lottery and waitlist posts as well!
Open Enrollment for charter schools begins in the fall and usually lasts anywhere between November and February. It varies by state requirements and school, but this period usually lasts between one to three months. During this period, parents and guardians submit their applications for the following school year. See our open enrollment timeline for BASIS Charter Schools in Arizona and Texas below as an example:
Common Misconceptions About Open Enrollment
- Enrollment to charter schools is not first come first served during the open enrollment period. Anyone who applies during the open enrollment period will be entered into a lottery. Read more about lotteries here.
- There should be no testing requirement to attend any charter school. Some schools may hold placement exams that help to determine a child's aptitude in certain subjects, but these exams should ALWAYS occur after your child is given a seat at the school. Your child's acceptance to the school cannot be contingent on the results of any exam.
When you know the vocabulary of charter school enrollment, the application process becomes an easy endeavor.