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Massachusetts Charter Schools

Massachusetts Charter School Waitlist Report for 2015-2016

This annual report provides information regarding students on charter school waitlists for admission for the 2015-2016 school year. For more information on waitlist policy and procedures and the number of students found on previous cycles of charter school waitlists, see Charter Schools' Pre-Enrollment and Waitlist Data.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) requested the submission of 2015-2016 waitlist data by March 16, 2015. Charter school waitlist data are recorded and maintained through each school's own mechanisms, separate from their student information management systems (SIMS). Accordingly, the Department collected the data through the upload of spreadsheet files using its security portal. Seventy-five of the 83 charter schools submitted data. Of the eight charter schools that did not submit data, seven did not have a sufficient number of applicants to require a waitlist. The remaining school has an extended planning period and is set to open in FY17.

The Office of Charter School and School Redesign (OCSSR) conducted a preliminary review of submitted charter school waitlist data to identify data errors, such as duplicate records, transposition of digits in dates of birth1, and other obvious data entry errors. If waitlist data errors were found, charter schools were asked to resubmit after addressing the identified data concerns. The Department's Education Data Services Office then conducted the matching process, using students' names (first, middle, last), dates of birth, towns of residence, and grades.

The 75 waitlists that were submitted contained 49,444 entries, distributed by grade as shown in this table:

GradeNumber of Students
PK2,764
K5,945
14,242
24,235
34,025
43,594
54,682
65,766
73,902
83,176
94,939
101,081
11602
12491
Total49,444

The matching process identified 37,470 students within the 49,444 entries. Of these 37,470 students, 5,819 students (15.5%) appeared on more than one waitlist:

Number of Students (N)Number of Waitlists A
Student Appears On (W)
Total Entries of All
Waitlists (W * N)
31,651131,651
2,96425,928
1,43434,302
64142,564
30251,510
19161,146
1337931
658520
519459
1610160
81188
61272
31339
31442
21632
37,470Total49,444

It is important to note that not every student on a charter school waitlist would accept an offer of admission if it were proffered. Some students may have been admitted to other schools that meet their needs, while others may be reluctant to switch schools after the beginning of the school year. Therefore, the number of students found on each charter school's waitlist may not accurately represent the number of students actively waiting for enrollment to that school. This is particularly true for those charter schools that carry their waitlists from one year to the next, so that students can remain on the waitlist for several years.2 It is impossible to quantify this factor without making speculative and arbitrary assumptions, which we have chosen not to do. As a result, the unduplicated waitlist counts should be taken as rough approximations of demand rather than exact numbers.

This report will be updated in the fall after October 1, 2015. The Department has implemented a few changes to this round's collection process to achieve as accurate a matching process as possible. Nevertheless, the Department will continue to exploring other methods for collecting waitlist information due to the current collection process requiring significant resources from both the charter schools and the Department.

The appendix to this report can be found in the attached Excel file, which contains:

  1. the total and unduplicated numbers of students on waitlists;
  2. the total number of students on waitlists by grade;
  3. the total and unduplicated numbers of students on waitlists for charter schools by city\town;
  4. the total number of students on waitlists for each charter school;
  5. the total number of students on waitlists for each charter school by grade;
  6. the total number of students on waitlists for each charter school by city/town;
  7. the total number of students on waitlists for each city/town by charter school;
  8. the total number of students on waitlists for each city/town by grade;
  9. the total number of students on waitlists for each grade by city/town;
  10. the total number of students on waitlists for each charter school by city/town by grade;
  11. the total number of students on waitlists for each city/town by grade by charter school; and
  12. the total number of students on waitlists for each charter school by grade by city/town.

For further information regarding this report, please contact Brenton Stewart at bstewart@doe.mass.edu or the Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign at charterschools@doe.mass.edu.

Attachment

Download MS EXCEL Document
Appendix March 2015

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Last Updated: May 8, 2015
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