Lottery & Admissions Policy
- The Board of GCA adopts the following policy, effective on the date of adoption by the Board. Lottery registration is open to any student who resides in the state of Georgia.
- GCA shall not charge tuition or fees to its students except as may be authorized for local boards pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 20-2-133.
- GCA will have an open application period which will be announced on the school website during the second semester of each school year for the following school year. During this period students who are interested in enrolling must begin by completing the online registration form or by completing a hardcopy of the enrollment packet obtained from the GCA office. The hardcopy enrollment packet will be available on the website as well. The applicant must also provide proof of residency in the state of Georgia.
- Due diligence will be shown in announcing the opening of a new enrollment cycle to the public:
- The enrollment cycle dates will be prominently displayed on the GCA website beginning at least one month prior to the opening of an enrollment cycle.
- The open enrollment information will be prominently displayed on the GCA web page once an open enrollment cycle has commenced.
- Notification will be sent out to those who have expressed an interest in GCA announcing the opening of a new enrollment cycle at least two weeks prior to its commencement. and then again when the enrollment cycle begins.
- Notification will be sent to all currently enrolled parents and students announcing the opening of a new enrollment cycle to share with others who may be interested at least two weeks prior to its commencement and then again when the enrollment cycle begins.
- Additional means of notifying the public that a new enrollment cycle is opening or is currently open may include, but is not limited to: social media, television commercials, local papers throughout Georgia, including, but not limited to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the State Charter School Commission, and the Georgia Charter School Association.
- If the number of applicants received by GCA during an open enrollment cycle specified above exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade level, or building, GCA shall ensure that such applicants have an equal chance of being admitted through a public random selection process in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 20-2-2066(b). GCA shall not conduct more than one lottery per grade per academic year.
- If the school is not oversubscribed by the end of the open application period, no lottery will be held and GCA will continue to accept applications and admit eligible students in the order they completed the enrollment application, based on availability in their respective grade and submission of compliancy documents, and taking into account any enrollment preferences under GCA’s charter.
- If a random lottery is needed, GCA will post the date and time of the lottery on its website Enrollment page. GCA will also notify the primary caretakers of prospective students with completed enrollment applications via email. The lottery will take place live and online for public participation. A recording of the event may be made available on the GCA website.
- The Lottery will be based on new enrollee applications. The Superintendent will randomly choose the seat offered students through an open lottery system or may contract a service company to administer the lottery.
- The lottery will be conducted by grade level in any grade in which the number of applications exceed the number of seats available under the enrollment policy. The order in which those drawings will take place and the total number of students selected for each grade may vary each year in consideration of the school’s overall enrollment limit, the expected number of returning students and any of their siblings who complete an enrollment application during the open application period, and/or other operational factors. The number of seats available in each grade level will be determined at the end of the period of re-registration of existing students and is limited by the Board’s enrollment policy and by the enrollment caps set forth in the school’s charter contract.
- For each grade level, a computer program will randomly generate a number for each student from the pool of enrollment applications. Students assigned a lottery number that is low enough to be within the number of seats available in that grade will receive a seat offer for enrollment, provided that as each student in a grade level lottery is determined eligible for a seat offer, siblings of that student for whom an enrollment application is also complete will receive a seat offer as well regardless of that sibling’s grade level.
- A sibling is defined as, “Children who share at least one common biological or legal parent whether through natural or adoptive means and live at the same permanent residence.” This definition includes: a. Biological siblings that share parents; 4 b. “Half” siblings that share a single parent; c. “Step” siblings that share a parent or parents through marriage; and d. Children who share a parent or parents through adoption or guardianship.
The registrants will receive an email confirmation within two business days after the lottery to the email address provided by the registrant in the student’s application and must complete the enrollment process by supplying compliance documents within 10 calendar days including weekends and holidays of the day such notification was sent. Students who are not compliant by the 10th day will forfeit their seat to the next eligible student on the waiting list. For midyear enrollment, the registrant must provide such documentation within 5 calendar days or forfeit their seat.
For purposes of this policy, compliance documents required for enrollment include the following:
- Proof of Residency
- Proof of Guardianship (if necessary)
- Proof of Age
- Student Social Security Card/SSC Waiver Form
- Student Academic Record
- Certificate of Immunization (Form 3231)
- Certificate of Hearing, Vision, Dental and Nutritional Screening (Form 3300)
- Certificate of Scoliosis Screening (Form 4400 for students in grades 6 and 8)
- When all available seat offers have been made, students that applied during the open enrollment period and participated in the lottery but did not receive a seat offer will be placed on a waiting list according to their randomly assigned lottery number.
- GCA will continue to accept applications after the open application period, but in grades where all available seats are filled, these students will be placed on the waiting list behind the students that were given a wait list number during the lottery. The order will be determined by the time/date stamp recorded at the time the application is submitted. The registrant will receive an email notification to the email address provided at the time of application submission when/if a seat becomes available. The primary caretaker must complete the enrollment process by supplying compliance documents within 10 calendar days including weekends and holidays. Students who are not compliant by the 10th day will forfeit their seat to the next eligible student on the waiting list.
- If a student was denied or waitlisted due to an error on the part of the school and cannot be enrolled without potentially violating the enrollment policy cap the Superintendent can make a request to the Board Chair with an explanation of how the mistake happened and why allowing an additional student is necessary in spite of the cap. The Board Chair may, in his/her discretion grant admission to the student or students even if they exceed the enrollment cap for that grade level or may grant authority to the Superintendent to make this determination.