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Massachusetts Charter Schools

2019-2020 Pre-Enrollment, including Newly Admitted Siblings, and Waitlist Data Submission

To:
Charter School Leaders, Business Managers, and District Data Coordinators
From:
Alison Bagg, Director of Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign
Date:
February 15, 2019

The deadline, for both Commonwealth and Horace Mann charter schools, for submitting the Charter School Pre-Enrollment Report for the 2019-2020 school year is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 15, 2019. The Charter School Pre-Enrollment Report is used by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) to collect projected enrollment data in order to determine each charter school's first five monthly tuition payments for fiscal year 2020. This report represents the maximum number of students on which each Commonwealth charter school's tuition calculation will be based for the upcoming fiscal year. It is also used to notify sending school districts by April 1st, as required by law1, of the number of students enrolled in charter schools for the upcoming school year. This year the report will also collect the estimated number of newly admitted siblings from near cap and at cap districts so that the state's projected portion of tuition due to newly enrolled siblings (from districts exceeding net school spending caps) can be calculated.

The Charter School Waitlist Report will be due at the same time as the Pre-Enrollment report: 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 15, 2019.

Please note: Guidance regarding relevant Net School Spending (NSS) Caps to inform FY20 enrollment here: Pre-Enrollment and Waitlist Data.The NSS cap guidance and this memo should be read and reviewed in tandem.

Information included in this memorandum includes:

  1. Instructions for 2019-2020 Charter School Pre-Enrollment data submission
  2. Explanation for reporting Newly Admitted Siblings
  3. Instructions for 2019-2020 Waitlist submission
  4. 2019-2020 Significant Expansion Information


1. Instructions for 2019-2020 Charter School Pre-Enrollment data submission

The web user interface for the Charter School Pre-Enrollment application is the similar to last year with the exception of a new column that will be used to report newly admitted siblings by town and grade. Once again, the school leader is required to submit the data, even if someone else enters it into the application. I encourage you to allow enough time prior to submission for a careful check of the data as it cannot be changed once submitted.

Complete instructions are located within the Charter School Pre-Enrollment web application itself, which will be accessible through the ESE Security Portal beginning February 15, 2019.

Please note: The enrollment numbers submitted must be based on actual enrollment data including, but not limited to, applications for admission, the lottery, and students expected to return in FY20. It is understood that some specifics will change due to student mobility, normal attrition, and backfilling, but the total number of pre-enrolled students in the March submission and the actual enrollment reported on the October 1, 2019 SIMS should be very similar.

2. Explanation for reporting Newly Admitted Siblings

In order to provide accurate information to the Department of Revenue for charter school's FY20 tuition payments, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) is collecting sibling data from Commonwealth charter schools that enroll students from 23 districts identified as at NSS cap or near NSS cap. The Department is collecting estimates of the number of siblings who may enroll for FY2020 from near or at cap districts.

The 23 near cap and at cap districts are listed on the pre-enrollment instructions found on the portal. Please follow the directions for submitting this information. A majority of charter schools will not need to provide specific data for newly admitted siblings.

3. Instructions for 2019-2020 Waitlist submission

Each school will once again be required to submit a waitlist to the Department by 5:00 pm on Friday, March 15, 2019. This list will contain your school's FY20 waitlist established after your most recent lottery and should reflect an accurate student waitlist as of March 15, 2019 for the upcoming school year. This FY20 Initial Charter School Student-Level Waitlist Report should be completed using the Excel template named FY20_waitlist_March_(LEA Code) that has been uploaded to the school's Charter School File Exchange dropbox within the ESE Security Portal.

There are detailed instructions on the Instructions tab found on the uploaded FY20 waitlist workbook. Please review these instructions and fill out the contact information tab before completing your FY20 initial waitlist report. Embedded within the waitlist collection template ('initial' tab) are several data flags and error checks (i.e., duplicate records, unsupported characters within a student name, student age, etc.). The Department relies on complete and accurate waitlist submissions and these embedded tools are included to support accuracy. The Department has discovered that these data flags and error checks work properly with Microsoft Excel. We have added a field to the contact information page for schools to identify which spreadsheet program was used to complete their waitlist report (e.g., Google Sheets). Please be sure to provide this information as well.

Once again, the Department requests that each charter school provide the following data elements for each student included in their current waitlist:

FIRSTNAMELASTNAMEMIDDLENAMEDOB (MM/DD/YYYY)TOWNCODEGRADE

Please note that there are additional instructions that have been tailored for the three schools that continue to maintain roll-over waitlists established prior to March 31, 2014. Also note, that in addition to the embedded tools highlighted above, there's another data flag that should identify students who are found on both the initial waitlist and on the rollover list--considered to be a duplicate record. Each school's waitlist collection template has already been placed in each school's dropbox. Please let us know if you have any difficulty locating or accessing your collection template.

4. 2019-2020 Significant Expansion Information

After the pre-enrollment data has been collected, it will be determined if a school's enrollment falls under the definition of Significant Expansion (FY19 Memo link for reference). If so, the school will be informed and given instructions for an additional report that will be submitted in June.

As with all data collections, the Department may review a sample of the pre-enrollment and waitlist data reported by charter schools and may require certification. Therefore, please ensure that your charter school's enrollment process is clearly documented. Every charter school must keep accurate records related to enrollment including, but not limited to, applications for admission, the lottery process, and wait lists. Specifically, please be sure that you have carefully tracked the seats available at the time of the lottery (if applicable) and maintain records of all applications received.

Please contact the Department with any questions. Questions Regarding the Pre-enrollment submission including sibling enrollment:

Please feel free to contact Joanna Laghetto or 781-338-3221, James DiMaio or 781-338-3228.

Questions Regarding the Waitlist submission:

Please feel free to contact Lee DeLorenzo or 781-338-3227, Brenton Stewart or 781-338-3214.


1 MGL Chapter 71 §89(o): Each charter school shall annually, not later than April 1, notify each public school district in writing of the number and grade levels of students who will be attending the charter school from that district the following September as well as the number of new students who will be transferring from that district to the charter school in the following September. Tuition for charter school students shall only be paid for the number of students for whom notification has been reported by April 1. Tuition for charter school students shall be paid only for students actually enrolled in the school.

603 CMR 1.08(5): Enrollment Reports: Every charter school shall file a pre-enrollment report annually in accordance with deadlines established by the Department. Every charter school must keep accurate records related to enrollment including, but not limited to, applications for admission, the lottery process, and wait lists. The Department will report to districts the aggregate number of students who are selected for admission for the upcoming school year from their districts and the total enrollment for each charter school. No charter school shall receive tuition payments that exceed the total enrollment for that charter school as it was reported to the Department in the school's pre-enrollment report. In their pre-enrollment reports, charter schools must notify the Department of:

(a) the school's total enrollment for the subsequent academic year; and
(b) the projected number of students selected for admission, by grade and district of residence, for the subsequent academic year.

Last Updated: February 15, 2019

 
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