Most Recently Amended by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education: June 22, 2021
(1) Recruitment and Retention Plan: A charter school must develop a plan that includes deliberate, specific strategies the school will use to attract, to enroll, and to retain a student population that is demographically comparable to similar grades in schools from which the charter school enrolls students. Charter schools shall submit recruitment and retention plans for approval by the Department that meet the requirements of M.G.L. c. 71, § 89; 603 CMR 1.05; and any guidelines issued by the Department.
(2) Non-Discrimination: Charter schools shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, 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. For purposes of 603 CMR 1.05, gender identity shall mean a person's gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person's physiology or assigned sex at birth. Gender-related identity may be shown by providing evidence including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity, or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held as part of a person's core identity; provided, however, that gender-related identity shall not be asserted for any improper purpose.
(3) Enrollment Process and Applications for Admission:
(4) Written Notice: Charter schools shall notify all applicants 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. Charter schools must include this notice as part of the school's application and enrollment materials. Every charter school must make information regarding the availability of services for students generally available in the school's outreach materials, through the student handbook, and on the school's website.
(5) Application Deadlines: Charter schools shall give reasonable public notice, of at least one month, of all application deadlines.
(6) Enrollment in Commonwealth Charter Schools: In conformance with M.G.L. c. 71, § 89, enrollment in Commonwealth charter schools shall be conducted as follows:
(7) Enrollment in Horace Mann Charter Schools: In conformance with M.G.L. c. 71, § 89, enrollment in a Horace Mann charter school shall be conducted as follows:
(8) Repeat Enrollment Process: If the principal enrollment process fails to fill the available admission spaces, a school 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. As spaces become available during the school year, a school may repeat the enrollment process to fill these openings and to meet the requirements of M.G.L. c. 71, § 89(n). No student entering an enrollment process may be admitted ahead of other eligible students who were previously placed on a wait list during a prior enrollment process, except in cases where enrollment preferences change or as described in to 603 CMR 1.05(10)(b). The total number of students attending a charter school in a given school year cannot exceed the total number of students reported to the Department in the previous spring in accordance with 603 CMR 1.08(5).
(9) Public Lotteries: All lotteries for charter school seats shall be conducted in a public place with a neutral party drawing names and with reasonable public notice given at least one week prior to the lottery. Such lotteries may be conducted electronically; in such cases a neutral party shall certify that the process is fair and that selection is random.
(10) Waitlist: Charter schools shall place the names of students not selected in an enrollment lottery on a wait list in the order the names are drawn.
(11) Integrated Enrollment Process: A school may integrate its enrollment process with that of the school district(s).
(12) Maximum Age and Thresholds: Each charter school shall specify age thresholds for kindergarten and maximum ages for high school programs, consistent with state and federal law.
(13) Multiple Campuses Under Single Charter: A charter school that operates multiple campuses under a single charter may assign students, in accordance with the charter school's enrollment policy, to a specific campus for reasons of geographic proximity, student safety, or program delivery.
M.G.L. c. 69, § 1B; c. 71, § 89
Disclaimer: For an official copy of these regulations, please contact the State House Bookstore, at 617-727-2834 or visit Massachusetts State Bookstore.
Last Updated: April 26, 2022
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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