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Massachusetts Charter Schools

Massachusetts Charter School Waitlist Initial Report for 2020-2021 (FY21)

As of March 16, 2020 (Posted June 2020)

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 16, 2020. This initial 2020-2021 waitlist report finds the following:

  • 72 out of 781 charter schools in the Commonwealth have waitlists2.
  • There are 50,087 entries on all waitlists, representing 25,788 unique students.
    • Of the 25,788 unique students, 643 students applied for admittance prior to March 20143.
    • The remaining 25,145 unique students4 newly applied for admittance to at least one charter school for the 2020-2021 school year; representing a decrease of 880 students when compared to number of unique students who newly applied for the 2019-2020 school year.
    • Of the unique students, 17,642 students appear on a single waitlist and 8,146 students (31.6 percent) appear on more than one waitlist.

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 2020-2021 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 Initial WaitlistsWaitlist Status
Applicants Added to Waitlists Prior to March 31, 2014 Current Year Applicants (2017-2018) Added to Initial Waitlists
Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public SchoolCommon wealth
583 583
Academy of the Pacific Rim Charter Public School*CW907 907
Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter SchoolCW609 609
Alma del Mar Charter SchoolCW512 512
Argosy Collegiate Charter SchoolCW167 167
Atlantis Charter School†CW47234438
Baystate Academy Charter Public SchoolCW155 155
Benjamin Banneker Charter Public SchoolCW420 420
Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public SchoolCW593 593
Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public SchoolCW74 74
Boston Collegiate Charter School*CW1,774 1,774
Boston Day and Evening Academy Charter SchoolHorace Mann
232 232
Boston Green Academy Horace Mann Charter SchoolHM408 408
Boston Preparatory Charter Public School*CW1,047 1,047
Boston Renaissance Charter Public School*CW1,881 1,881
Bridge Boston Charter SchoolCW2,080 2,080
Brooke Charter School*CW4,538 4,538
Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter SchoolCW359 359
Christa McAuliffe Charter Public SchoolCW43 43
City on a Hill Charter Public School Circuit StreetCW161 161
Codman Academy Charter Public School*CW2,543 2,543
Collegiate Charter School of LowellCW339 339
Community Charter School of CambridgeCW31 31
Community Day Charter Public School - GatewayCW1,097 1,097
Community Day Charter Public School - ProspectCW1,055 1,055
Community Day Charter Public School - R Kingman WebsterCW1,022 1,022
Conservatory Lab Charter School*CW2,426 2,426
Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter SchoolHM92 92
Edward M Kennedy Academy for Health Careers (Horace Mann)HM998 998
Excel Academy Charter School*CW1,440 1,440
Four Rivers Charter Public SchoolCW88 88
Foxborough Regional Charter SchoolCW858 858
Francis W Parker Charter Essential SchoolCW206 206
Global Learning Charter Public SchoolCW278 278
Hampden Charter School of Science EastCW284 284
Hampden Charter School of Science WestCW177 177
Helen Y Davis Leadership Academy Charter Public School*CW86 86
Hill View Montessori Charter Public SchoolCW266 266
Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public SchoolCW235 235
Holyoke Community Charter SchoolCW109 109
Innovation Academy Charter SchoolCW346 346
KIPP Academy Boston Charter School*CW2,172 2,172
KIPP Academy Lynn Charter SchoolCW1,917 1,917
Lawrence Family Development Charter SchoolCW449 449
Learning First Charter Public School (formerly Seven Hills Charter Public School)CW280 280
Lowell Community Charter Public SchoolCW227 227
Map Academy Charter SchoolCW34 34
Marblehead Community Charter Public SchoolCW90 90
Martha's Vineyard Charter SchoolCW20 20
Martin Luther King Jr Charter School of ExcellenceCW162 162
Match Charter Public School*CW3,379 3,379
Mystic Valley Regional Charter School†CW1,6444501,194
Neighborhood House Charter School*CW2,178 2,178
New Heights Charter School of BrocktonCW104 104
Old Sturbridge Academy Charter Public SchoolCW205 205
Phoenix Academy Public Charter High School Chelsea*CW122 122
Pioneer Charter School of ScienceCW1,495 1,495
Pioneer Charter School of Science II (PCSS-II)CW445 445
Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter SchoolCW198 198
Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public SchoolCW270 270
Prospect Hill Academy Charter SchoolCW76 76
Rising Tide Charter Public SchoolCW292 292
River Valley Charter SchoolCW202 202
Roxbury Preparatory Charter School*CW257 257
Sabis International Charter School†CW421188233
Salem Academy Charter SchoolCW244 244
Sizer School: A North Central Charter Essential SchoolCW30 30
South Shore Charter Public SchoolCW728 728
Springfield Preparatory Charter SchoolCW456 456
Sturgis Charter Public SchoolCW401 401
UP Academy Charter School of DorchesterHM226 226
Veritas Preparatory Charter SchoolCW372 372
Commonwealth (CW) Subtotal 48,13167247,459
Horace Mann (HM) Subtotal 1,95601,956
Grand Total 50,08767249,415

Please note that the total number figure represents every student record found on each charter school's submitted initial 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 14 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., 2/28/2020) and student age. 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 continues to implement its matching process, which gets fine-tuned and updated to increase accuracy in 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 the updated demand for the current 2020-2021 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 as possible. The Department appreciates all of the efforts made by schools to submit their waitlist reports as promptly as possible during the school shutdowns due to COVID-19.

The appendix to this report can be found in the attached Excel file, which contains numbers based on a March 16, 2020 data collection:

  1. the unique number of students on waitlists;
  2. the total number of pre-March 2014 applicants and new applicants reported on charter school waitlists by March 16, 2020;
  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 unique number of students on waitlists by city/town and grade; and
  8. the total number of students on waitlists for each charter school by city/town by grade.

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 and Charter Schools Enrollemnt website. For further information regarding this report, please contact Brenton Stewart or the Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign at


Download Word Document
Initial Report of Charter School Waitlist as of March 16, 2020
Download Excel Document
FY21 Initial Waitlist Appendix

1 Please note that the reduction in the number of charters overall is due to two schools closing at the end of FY20 and two other schools consolidating for the upcoming FY21.

2 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.

3 The Department continues to work with schools (three remain) to identify the students who were placed on waitlists prior to March 31, 2014 and continue to be maintained on a waitlist. This additional information allows the Department to identify students who submitted applications for admittance in the current year. Please note that the number of uniquely identified students who applied for admittance prior to March 2014 declined by 1,075 when compared to the 2019-2020 waitlist initial report.

4 Note: Out of 25,145 newly applying students in 2020-2021, 29 were added to new waitlists while still remaining on other school waitlists based on applications submitted prior to March 31, 2014.

Last Updated: June 18, 2019

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