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Massachusetts Charter Schools

Massachusetts Charter School Waitlist Initial Report for 2018-2019 (FY19)

As of March 15, 2018 (Posted May 2018)

Each spring, charter schools send the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) the number of students enrolled for the upcoming school year as well as the number of students who were placed on the schools' waitlists through each school's initial lottery, which is typically held in February or March.

The information provided below reflects the number of students who applied to charter schools but did not gain admittance as of March 15, 2018. This initial 2018-2019 waitlist report finds the following:

  • 76 out of 82 charter schools in the Commonwealth have waitlists1.
  • There are 56,233 entries on all waitlists, representing 29,430 unique students.
    • Of the 29,430 unique students, 2,851 students applied for admittance prior to March 20142; representing a decrease of 4,225 when compared to the number of pre-2014 applicants appearing on the 2017-2018 initial waitlist report.
    • The remaining 26,579 unique students 3 newly applied for admittance to at least one charter school for the 2018-2019 school year; representing an increase of 2,055 students when compared to number of unique students who newly applied for the 2017-2018 school year.
    • Of the unique students, 21,131 students appear on a single waitlist and 8,299 students (28 percent) appear on more than one waitlist.

It is important to note that for the second consecutive year, the same 16 Commonwealth charter schools utilized the Boston Charter School Application online application system for the 2018-19 application cycle. This system makes it easier for families to apply to one or more of the participating charter schools. While the total number of waitlist records decreased when compared to last spring's initial waitlist report (56,233 in March 2018 compared to 58,733 in March 2017), the total number of unique students newly applying to at least one charter school increased (26,579 in March 2018 compared to 24,524 in March 2017). The total number of unique students decreased from 31,600 students in March 2017 to 29,430 in March 2018.

The decline in the total number of waitlist records and the total number of unique students may be attributed to the 4,225 reduction in the number unique students appearing on waitlists established prior to March 31, 2014. This reduction is due to four schools choosing to no longer maintain waitlists established prior to March 31, 2014 as indicated in their amended enrollment policies, as well as the expiration of one of the other schools' waitlists established prior to March 31, 2014. Another factor that continues to contribute to the decline of the total number of unique students has been an increase in the number of schools that are continuing to grow or have increased access to new seats by revising backfilling practices to exceed requirements.4

Figure 1. Unique Number of Students on Charter School Waitlists
Number of Waitlists a Student Appears On Unique (Unduplicated) Number of Students on Charter School Waitlist(s) Waitlist Status
Unique (Unduplicated) Number of Students who Applied for Admittance and Were Waitlisted Prior to March 31, 2014 Unique (Unduplicated) Number of Students who Applied for Admittance for the 2018-2019 School Year and were Waitlisted

In 2014, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted regulations requiring charter schools to refresh their waitlists every year, based on the most recent application cycle for the upcoming school year. These regulations, however, allowed schools to keep students on their waitlists who submitted applications before March 31, 2014. As shown in the table below, 3 schools continue to include such students from prior years on their active waitlists.

Figure 2. Total Number of Applications Reported on Charter School Waitlists
School NameTypeTotal Number of Applicants Reported on Charter School WaitlistsWaitlist Status
Applicants Added to Waitlists Prior to March 31, 2014. Current Year Applicants (2018-2019) Added to Waitlists
Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public SchoolCommon wealth (CW)607 607
Academy Of the Pacific Rim Charter Public School*CW1,334 1,334
Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter SchoolCW713 713
Alma del Mar Charter SchoolCW563 563
Argosy Collegiate Charter SchoolCW216 216
Atlantis Charter School†CW42436388
Barnstable Community Horace Mann Charter Public SchoolHorace Mann (HM)6 6
Baystate Academy Charter Public SchoolCW207 207
Benjamin Banneker Charter Public SchoolCW425 425
Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public SchoolCW355 355
Bentley Academy Charter SchoolHM128 128
Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public SchoolCW11 11
Boston Collegiate Charter School*CW1,944 1,944
Boston Day and Evening Academy Charter SchoolHM99 99
Boston Green Academy Horace Mann Charter SchoolHM421 421
Boston Preparatory Charter Public School*CW1,254 1,254
Boston Renaissance Charter Public School*CW2,282 2,282
Bridge Boston Charter SchoolCW443 443
Brooke Charter School*CW4,346 4,346
Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter SchoolCW400 400
Christa McAuliffe Charter Public SchoolCW180 180
City on a Hill Charter Public School Circuit Street*CW85 85
City on a Hill Charter Public School Dudley Square*CW53 53
Codman Academy Charter Public School*CW3,168 3,168
Collegiate Charter School of LowellCW264 264
Community Charter School of CambridgeCW27 27
Community Day Charter Public School - GatewayCW853 853
Community Day Charter Public School - ProspectCW838 838
Community Day Charter Public School - R Kingman WebsterCW811 811
Conservatory Lab Charter School*CW3,145 3,145
Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter SchoolHM84 84
Edward M Kennedy Academy for Health Careers (Horace Mann)HM806 806
Excel Academy Charter School*CW1,605 1,605
Four Rivers Charter Public SchoolCW85 85
Foxborough Regional Charter SchoolCW980 980
Francis W Parker Charter Essential SchoolCW206 206
Global Learning Charter Public SchoolCW405 405
Hampden Charter School of Science EastCW399 399
Hampden Charter School of Science WestCW92 92
Helen Y Davis Leadership Academy Charter Public School*CW261 261
Hill View Montessori Charter Public SchoolCW294 294
Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public SchoolCW258 258
Holyoke Community Charter SchoolCW150 150
Innovation Academy Charter SchoolCW403 403
KIPP Academy Boston Charter School*CW2,535 2,535
KIPP Academy Lynn Charter SchoolCW1,885 1,885
Lawrence Family Development Charter SchoolCW327 327
Libertas Academy Charter SchoolCW66 66
Lowell Community Charter Public SchoolCW311 311
Map Academy Charter SchoolCW6 6
Marblehead Community Charter Public SchoolCW129 129
Martha's Vineyard Charter SchoolCW49 49
Martin Luther King Jr Charter School of ExcellenceCW56 56
MATCH Charter Public School*CW3,984 3,984
Mystic Valley Regional Charter School†CW2,5651,3851,180
Neighborhood House Charter School*CW3,492 3,492
New Heights Charter School of BrocktonCW158 158
Old Sturbridge Academy Charter Public SchoolCW87 87
Phoenix Academy Public Charter High School Chelsea*CW286 286
Pioneer Charter School of ScienceCW1,307 1,307
Pioneer Charter School of Science II (PCSS-II)CW268 268
Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter SchoolCW144 144
Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public SchoolCW319 319
Prospect Hill Academy Charter SchoolCW279 279
Rising Tide Charter Public SchoolCW323 323
River Valley Charter SchoolCW168 168
Roxbury Preparatory Charter School*CW557 557
Sabis International Charter School†CW2,0011,600401
Salem Academy Charter SchoolCW246 246
Seven Hills Charter Public SchoolCW267 267
Sizer School: A North Central Charter Essential SchoolCW58 58
South Shore Charter Public SchoolCW995 995
Springfield Preparatory Charter SchoolCW313 313
Sturgis Charter Public SchoolCW452 452
UP Academy Charter School of DorchesterHM552 552
Veritas Preparatory Charter SchoolCW418 418
Commonwealth (CW) Subtotal 54,1373,02151,116
Horace Mann (HM) Subtotal 2,09602,096
Grand Total 56,2333,02153,212

Please note that the total number figure represents every student record found on each charter school's submitted waitlist.

† These 3 schools have indicated to the Department that they included waitlist information established prior to March 31, 2014 in accordance with 603 CMR 1.05(10)(a).

* These 16 schools utilized the Boston Charter School Application online application system.

This year's report continues to build on the additional support and technical assistance provided by the Department to the field over the past few years. The Department continues its efforts to increase the timeliness and accuracy of school waitlist reports. Each charter school is responsible for maintaining its own individual waitlist. To ensure uniformity, the Department created a waitlist collection template and required charter schools to use it to input waitlist data. This template embedded tools that automatically flagged duplicate records, which each school could then remove before submitting its waitlist. The template also embedded tools that flagged the waitlist for other inconsistencies, such as unrealistic dates of birth (e.g., 2/28/2018). In order to verify student information and address overall waitlist accuracy, the Department corrected any transcription errors or inconsistencies in submitted charter school waitlists. Additionally, charter schools that self-identified as including waitlists established prior to March 31, 2014, as permitted by 603 CMR 1.05(10)(a), were required to identify each individual student who was included in those waitlists (and continued to remain on their waitlist) and each student who was removed from those waitlists. Finally, the Department continued to implement its previously revised and updated matching process in order to increase accuracy for identifying students who applied for admission to more than one charter school.

The Department has made significant improvements over the years in quantifying the exact number of students who may be actively waiting for admission to a charter school. The unique waitlist counts provided in this current report should be taken as the Department's best understanding and representation of initial demand for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year rather than exact numbers of students willing to accept offers at each school.

The Department thanks all of the charter school administrators and staff who worked diligently to report their waitlists as accurately and as promptly as possible.

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

  1. the unique numbers of students on waitlists;
  2. the total number of pre-March 2014 applicants and current year applicants reported on charter school waitlists;
  3. the unique number of students on waitlists by grade;
  4. the unique number of students on waitlists by city/town;
  5. the total number of students on waitlists for each charter school by grade (with backfilling overlay);
  6. the total number of students on waitlists, by grade, for each charter school that includes pre-March 2014 applicants on their waitlist;
  7. the total number of students on waitlists for each charter school by city/town;
  8. the total number of students on waitlists for each city/town by charter school;
  9. the unique number of students on waitlists by city/town and grade;
  10. the total number of students on waitlists for each charter school by city/town by grade; and
  11. the total number of students on waitlists for each city/town by grade by charter school.

For more information on waitlist policy and procedures and the number of students found on previous cycles of charter school waitlists, see Charter School Technical Advisory 16-3: Enrollment Processes and FAQ's Charter Schools Enrollemnt website. For further information regarding this report, please contact Brenton Stewart or the Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign at


1 The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted changes to the charter school regulations in March 2014 (see 603 CMR 1.05(10)(a)), which has affected how charter schools collect waitlist data. Under the amended regulations, charter schools maintain waitlists only for the school year for which students applied (i.e., carrying over student names from enrollment lotteries from one year to another is no longer permitted). However, charter schools were allowed to maintain any waitlists that were established prior to March 31, 2014 until such waitlists are exhausted, provided that such maintenance is clearly articulated in the school's enrollment policy approved by the Department.

2 The Department has worked with schools to identify the students who were placed on waitlists prior to March 31, 2014. This additional information allows the Department to identify students who submitted applications for admittance in the current year.

3 Note: Out of 26,579 newly applying students in 2018-2019, 170 were added to new waitlists while still remaining on other school waitlists based on applications submitted prior to March 31, 2014.

4 To meet the requirements of M.G.L. c. 70, § 89(n), charter schools must continue all reasonable efforts to fill vacant seats until February 15th, and if the school chooses, it may continue to try to fill the seat after February 15th. Unless the school's enrollment policy or a term of its charter requires, the law does not require charter schools to fill vacant seats in the last half of the grades offered and in grades 10, 11, and 12. If a school has an odd number of grades, more than half of grades offered are included in grades for which the school must fill vacant seats. For more information on these requirements and others regarding charter school enrollment processes, see the Department's Technical Advisory 16-3.

Last Updated: May 31, 2019

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