State Estimates 34,000 Students Remain on Charter School Waitlists

Date: February 22, 2016 Author: admin Categories: News

MALDEN – The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) today released the most recent report of how many students are on a waitlist for admittance to a charter school in 2015-2016 based on data from October 1, 2015. This is an update to initial waitlists established in March 2015 that indicated approximately 37,000 students were on charter school waitlists. According to the October 1 data, approximately 34,000 unique students remain on a waitlist at one or more charter schools.

“My staff and the charter school sector have worked hard to ensure the accuracy of the waitlist. I am confident that these numbers reflect parental and student demand for additional high-quality educational options,” said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester.

Each spring, charter schools submit to ESE the number of students enrolled for the upcoming school year as well as the number of students who were placed on their waitlists through each school’s initial lottery. The March 2015 collection reported on the number of students who applied for admission for the 2015-16 school year and were put on schools’ initial waitlists. The information provided today is updated through October 1, 2015 and reflects late offers of admission and/or new lotteries for seats that opened up over the summer and into the school year. The resulting reduction of several thousand students from the initial spring list is consistent with the fall reductions reported in recent years.

The March 2015 initial waitlist reported that 75 out of 82 charter schools had waitlists and collectively identified 49,444 entries representing 37,470 unique students. Of the 75 charter schools who submitted initial waitlist data in March 2015, 74 schools continued to have a waitlist as of October 1, 2015. As shown in the table below, the 74 updated charter school waitlists contained 43,294 entries representing 33,903 unique students.

It is important to note that not every student on a charter school waitlist would necessarily accept an offer of admission if, and when, it might be proffered. Therefore, the number of students found on each charter school’s waitlist should not be understood as the number of students actively willing to accept an admission offered at any moment in time. This is particularly true for schools that have chosen to rollover their waitlists from one year to the next for waitlists established prior to March 31, 2014, as permitted by 603 CMR 1.05(10)(a), allowing students to remain on the waitlist for several years. A recent ESE survey found that approximately 75 percent of charter schools indicated that they chose not to rollover their prior year waitlists for the 2015-2016 school year. The Department is exploring ways to identify how many students continue to be rolled over in future waitlist submission cycles.

Despite the significant and continuing improvement efforts ESE has made in recent years, it remains impossible to quantify the exact number of students who may be actively waiting for admission to a charter school unless ESE makes speculative assumptions, and ESE has avoided doing so in compiling the numbers presented today. The unique waitlist counts provided in this report should be taken as ESE’s best understanding and representation of existing demand for the time period covered in the collection rather than exact numbers of students willing to accept offers at each school.

The Department has implemented a few changes to the most recent collection process to achieve as accurate a matching process as possible. Because the current collection process requires significant resources from both the charter schools and ESE, ESE will continue to explore other efficient and accurate methods for collecting future waitlist information.

In the following chart, some students are included on more than one waitlist:

School Name Total Number of Students Reported on Charter School Waitlists
Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public School 525
Academy of the Pacific Rim Charter Public School 485
Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School 456
Alma del Mar Charter School 819
Argosy Collegiate Charter School 32
Atlantis Charter School 392
Barnstable Community Horace Mann Charter Public School 9
Baystate Academy Charter Public School 23
Benjamin Banneker Charter Public School 268
Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School 289
Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School 19
Boston Collegiate Charter School 2,725
Boston Day and Evening Academy Charter School 154
Boston Green Academy Horace Mann Charter School 170
Boston Preparatory Charter Public School 530
Boston Renaissance Charter Public School 686
Bridge Boston Charter School 1,800
Brooke Charter School East Boston 1,277
Brooke Charter School Mattapan 1,941
Brooke Charter School Roslindale 2,183
Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School 101
Christa McAuliffe Charter Public School 81
City on a Hill Charter Public School Circuit Street 352
Codman Academy Charter Public School 880
Community Charter School of Cambridge 215
Community Day Charter Public School – Gateway 387
Community Day Charter Public School – Prospect 443
Community Day Charter Public School – R. Kingman Webster 383
Conservatory Lab Charter School 442
Dorchester Collegiate Academy Charter School 277
Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School 661
Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers (Horace Mann) 345
Excel Academy Charter School 475
Four Rivers Charter Public School 57
Foxborough Regional Charter School 2,797
Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School 193
Global Learning Charter Public School 383
Hampden Charter School of Science 594
Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy Charter Public School 213
Hill View Montessori Charter Public School 476
Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School 253
Holyoke Community Charter School 487
Innovation Academy Charter School 306
KIPP Academy Boston Charter School 181
KIPP Academy Lynn Charter School 477
Lawrence Family Development Charter School 1,351
Lowell Collegiate Charter School 9
Lowell Community Charter Public School 392
Marblehead Community Charter Public School 104
Martha’s Vineyard Charter School 16
Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School of Excellence 178
MATCH Charter Public School 1,631
Mystic Valley Regional Charter School 3,616
Neighborhood House Charter School 648
Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School 37
Pioneer Charter School of Science 391
Pioneer Charter School of Science II (PCSS-II) 264
Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School 103
Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School 327
Prospect Hill Academy Charter School 534
Rising Tide Charter Public School 261
River Valley Charter School 603
Roxbury Preparatory Charter School 270
Sabis International Charter School 2,851
Salem Academy Charter School 157
Seven Hills Charter Public School 247
Silver Hill Horace Mann Charter School 107
Sizer School: A North Central Charter Essential School 3
South Shore Charter Public School 822
Springfield Preparatory Charter School 73
Sturgis Charter Public School 540
UP Academy Charter School of Boston 130
UP Academy Charter School of Dorchester 1,293
Veritas Preparatory Charter School 94
Total 43,294

There are 43,294 names on the wait list, which reflect 33,903 unique individuals. Of those 33,903 students, 4,833 students (14.3 percent) are on an average of about 3 different wait lists, but they are only counted once.

Number of Waitlists A Student Appears On Unique (Unduplicated) Number of Students
1 29,070
2 2,582
3 1,209
4 496
5 227
6 145
7 73
8 46
9 32
10 9
11 9
12 2
13 2
14 1
Total 33,903