Sturgis Charter Public School is a tuition-free, public high school that accepts students through public lottery regardless of past academic records or individual challenges.
Sturgis Charter Public School Enrollment Policy
As an equal educational opportunity for all students, the school shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed or religion, sex, gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, age, ancestry, athletic performance, special need, proficiency in the English language or a foreign language, or prior academic achievement. Sturgis Charter Public School has implemented a student recruitment and retention plan as outlined in M.G.L Chapter 71, Section 89(f) and CMR 603 1.05(1). Sturgis Charter Public School does not use financial incentives to recruit students.
In order to be eligible to apply to enroll, and to attend Sturgis, the applicant must be a resident of Massachusetts. Preference for admission is given to applicants whose primary residence is within one of Sturgis’ sending regions at the time of the application and enrollment. Applicants must primarily “lay their head” at night in one of Sturgis’ sending regions at the time of the application and enrollment. Reasonable proof of residency will be determined by parent or guardian submission of a copy of current town census form, mortgage payment receipt, pay stub, bank or credit card statement, utility bill with the name and address of the applicant’s parent/guardian on the bill, residency card, or letter from the Town/City Clerk’s office. For homeless students, residency will be determined using the guidelines provided by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act, and Sturgis will work to identify with students protected by the McKinney-Vento Act their geographical/district of residence. Please note that a sibling is defined as persons with a common parent, either biologically or legally through adoption. In order to be eligible for continued enrollment at Sturgis Charter Public School, a student must be a resident of Massachusetts. Sturgis Charter Public School only accepts applicants for grades 9 and 10 and does not consider applicants for grades 11 and 12. Successful completion of the grade prior to the grade of entrance is a condition for admission to the school. Failure to provide proof of successful completion of the prior grade by the first day of the school year will result in the school rescinding the offer of admission and unenrolling the student. Sturgis Charter Public School will strive to maintain an enrollment of 100-120 students each in grade 9 and grade 10 at each campus. Each year, the school will determine the number of places available for admission at each grade level.
How will student applicants be recruited?
Applicants will be recruited by means of:
- Public notice of all application deadlines will be given at least one month in advance;
- All enrollment periods will be a minimum of one month with the beginning and ending dates stated in the publicity;
- An enrollment period, informational meetings, open houses, and enrollment conferences (if requested) will be held annually during December and January for enrollment places in grades 9 and 10 for the following school year. The lottery for student admission will take place at some point in the month of January. The school may have additional enrollment periods throughout the year for the current school year or the following school year;
- All dates and deadlines for enrollment periods, informational meetings, open houses, enrollment conferences, and application deadlines will be communicated through print media and listed on the school’s website. Sturgis’ principal application deadlines for the upcoming school year will be set for a date after January 1st, and Sturgis’ principal enrollment process will conclude no later than March 15 of each year.
- Participation in various events throughout the year as outlined in Sturgis’ Recruitment and Retention Plan;
- Ongoing assessment of current strategies to reach diverse populations of students and their families.
NOTE: No applicant or parent/guardian will be required to attend an interview, enrollment conference, open house, or informational meeting as a condition of application or enrollment. Sturgis does not administer tests to potential applicants or predicate enrollment on the results of any test of ability or achievement. Sturgis does not charge an application fee for admission or use financial incentives to recruit students.
Sturgis Charter Public School’s application process involves only one step that each applicant must complete, which is completing and submitting a written or online application to the school. The application does not require dual parent/guardian signatures nor does it require submission of the student’s social security number. The information requested in the application, such as place of birth, English proficiency, low income, language spoken at home, race/ethnicity, and special education, is not intended to and will not be used to discriminate.
All applicants will be notified in writing of the rights of students with diverse learning needs to attend the charter school and to receive accommodations and support services, including students who may have disabilities, require special education, or are English language learners. Information regarding the availability of services is included in the school’s outreach materials, the student handbook, and is available on the Admissions page.
In compliance with MGL Chapter 71, Section 89, students shall be accepted for admission to Sturgis Charter Public School by a lottery process in cases where there are fewer spaces than eligible applicants. From the ending date of each enrollment period, the school will give at least one week notice of the lottery. The lottery will be held in public at Sturgis’ community center at 529 Main Street in Hyannis, Massachusetts. Students who have completed the enrollment process will be identified according to the following priorities for admission at each grade level:
- Siblings (resident or non-resident) of students currently attending Sturgis Charter Public School in the year of application. Siblings are defined as students who have a common parent, either biologically or legally through adoption;
- Residents of the following school districts—Barnstable, Bourne, Carver, Dennis-Yarmouth, Falmouth, Mashpee, Monomoy (Chatham/Harwich), Nauset, Plymouth, Provincetown, Sandwich, and Wareham;
- Non-residents of the school districts listed above.
Each year, the lottery process and results will be public and audited. Sturgis will use software to conduct the lottery electronically and a neutral party shall certify that the process is fair and that the selection is random. The electronic lottery first generates a random lottery number for each applicant to determine the initial random rank order. After the initial random rank order has been determined, preferences for admission will be applied. As identified above, applicants with sibling status will receive first priority for admission, followed by the resident applicants, and then the non-resident applicants. While the applicant’s preferred campus will be taken into consideration when making offers of admission, Sturgis may assign students, in accordance with this enrollment policy, to a specified campus for reasons of geographic proximity, student safety, or program delivery. Each campus will be filled based on preferences for admission, the initial random rank order, and applicant campus preference. Once all of the available seats at one campus are filled, the rest of the offers of admission will go to the other campus. Students who do not receive an offer of admission during the lottery will be placed on the waitlist in the order their names were drawn. Students who have been given an offer of admission or who have been placed on the waiting list will be informed of their status in writing within two weeks of the date of the lottery. Results will also be posted on the school’s website by “applicant number”. Students offered admission from the waiting list during the lottery school year, from the date of the lottery until the end of May, have 30 days to respond; offers made during June until mid-August, have two weeks to respond, while offers made from the one week prior to school until Feb. 15 of the school year have one week to respond. Reasonable proof of current residency and sibling status is necessary at the time an offer of admission is made. If the initial enrollment process fails to fill available admission spaces, Sturgis may repeat the process more than once providing such process is fair and open and the school gives reasonable public notice at least one month prior to the application deadline. The required lottery process noted above is strictly followed, including public notification and deadlines.
Once the available places have been filled, the remaining names will be placed on the waiting list in the order in which the names were drawn while taking into account sibling and residential preference. In the event of an available place due to student withdrawal or declining admission, that place in the school will be offered to the next available student on the waiting list for that grade, subject to preferences at the time of admission, until that vacancy is filled. The waiting list is not static and is subject to change over time as students gain sibling status or move in or out of the school’s region. It is important for parents and guardians to inform the school if their address changes. No student will be admitted ahead of other eligible students who were previously placed on a waitlist during a prior enrollment process, except in cases where enrollment preferences change or as described in 603 CMR 1.05(10)(b). Students on the waiting list will be informed of admission via phone, email, and mail. Students offered admission from the waiting list during the lottery school year, from the date of the lottery until the end of May, have 30 days to respond; offers made during June until mid-August, have two weeks to respond, while offers made from the one week prior to school until Feb. 15 of the school year have one week to respond. Students who have declined an offer of admission must reapply in the next enrollment period – if eligible – in order to potentially gain enrollment in the school.
The school will keep accurate records of the waiting list containing the names (first, middle, last), dates-of-birth, home addresses, town of residence, telephone numbers, and grade levels of students who entered the lottery but did not gain admission. Waiting lists for grade 9 will not roll over to grade 10. Students on the grade 9 waitlist who are still interested in being considered for enrollment as tenth graders will need to submit a new application for grade 10 enrollment during the enrollment period prior to their tenth-grade year. The grade 10 waiting list will be used to fill any open places in grade 10 when they occur until February 15 of the current school year. Students must accept their offer of admission from the waiting list within 10 days of being notified that an enrollment place in the school is available to them.
In conformance with G.L. c. 71 § 89, when a student stops attending the school for any reason, the school will attempt to fill vacant space up to February 15th for grades nine and ten. A vacant space for grade nine not filled after February 15th will be filled for grade 10 for the following September. Seats for students who have accepted an offer of admission in the charter school but have never attended are exempt from this provision.
At the request of a school district from which Sturgis Charter Public School enrolls students, the school will provide to a third party mail house the addresses for all students currently enrolled in the commonwealth charter school from the district; however, the information will not be provided if a student’s parent or guardian requests that the school withhold that student’s information. Sturgis will not share student information unless required to do so. The process for students and parents to consent or deny disclosure of student information will be in written form prior to the beginning of each school year and will be available to students and parents at any time during enrollment in the school. The names of students who entered the lottery but did not gain admission will be maintained on a waitlist, which will be forwarded to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. In addition to the names of students, the school will supply to the Department each student’s home address, grade level and other information the department deems necessary. (M.G.L. Chapter 71, Section 89 (n)). Waitlists are only maintained for the school year for which the student applied.
- Applications submitted outside of announced enrollment periods will not be accepted.
- Students who decline their offer of admission will be removed from admission and waiting lists and will need to resubmit an application during a subsequent enrollment period if they want to apply for admission at that time.
- Students for whom enrollment in the school would cause the sending district to exceed the district charter tuition cap may not be offered admission but will be skipped and placed on the waiting list.
- In cases where the enrollment of a student in and of itself who is a sibling of a student currently attending a charter school would exceed the district charter school tuition cap, and the school has not admitted other students prior to admitting the sibling, the sibling may be enrolled and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will provide tuition for the sibling, subject to appropriation.
- Students who withdraw from Sturgis would need to reapply for admission during the subsequent enrollment period.
- 6. The total number of students attending Sturgis in a given school year cannot exceed the total number of students in Sturgis’ pre-enrollment report submitted to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in the previous spring in accordance with 603 CMR 1.08(5).
- As Sturgis operates multiple campuses under a single charter, the school may assign students, in accordance with Sturgis’ enrollment policy, to a specific campus for reasons of geographic proximity, student safety, or program delivery.
- Sturgis’ students residing in the town of Barnstable are eligible for transportation provided by the Barnstable Public School. Sturgis students residing outside of the town of Barnstable are not provided school-funded transportation services.
- Students who do not begin attending, in accordance with the school’s attendance policy, within ten (10) days of their anticipated start date (e.g., the first day of school) will be considered to have declined their offer of admission.