IMPORTANT: NEW POLICY FOR 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR - PREFERENCE FOR FAMILIES EXPERIENCING POVERTY:Click HERE to read the explanation letter sent to TPS families.Click HERE to read the policy approved by the board of directors/Ball State University Office of Charter Schools.______________________________________
Application Dates: December 1-March 1 annually
Public Lottery Date: Wednesday preceding spring break annually at 4:00p at The Project School
Number of Available Student Spaces: To be determined annually based on responses from current families and any additional open spaces.
The Project School is committed to an open admission policy that follows all applicable State laws governing Indiana Charter Schools. It is the intent of The Project School Staff and Board of Directors to ensure enrollment preferences are made to help families remain together during the schooling experience and to afford a weighted opportunity for economically disadvantaged families, who typically lack the resources to access other forms of school choice.
A lottery is held annually to determine new placements for any grade level that is not fully enrolled for the following school year. Through the lottery, the order of the waiting list is determined for all grade levels where application numbers exceed available open spaces. The lottery is conducted at The Project School beginning at 4:00p on the Wednesday prior to The Project School spring break. The lottery drawing is open to the public. At least one process observer is present who does not have any vested interest in the lottery, to confirm that the process has accuracy and integrity. Applicants will be drawn beginning with the kindergarten applicants, moving successively through the grade levels, ending with the highest grade level to be served in the coming year.
All eligible Kindergarten through 8th grade students who will be Indiana residents by the first day of the school year are eligible to apply for the lottery. Kindergarten students must turn 5 on or before August 1 prior to the coming school year. Students who have been expelled or who have withdrawn to avoid a pending expulsion from another school may not be admitted during the semester or school year of the expulsion or connected withdrawal. There is no achievement or aptitude data used at any point in the lottery or enrollment process. There are no other admission requirements to attend The Project School. In accordance with Federal and State laws, no student will be denied admission to The Project School based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, aptitude, or athletic ability.
The parent/guardian of any eligible student must completely fill out The Project School Student Application online at www.theprojectschool.org or in-person at The Project School,. After the receipt of any application, the student’s name is added to the appropriate grade level application list. The Project School will accept applications for open enrollment from December 1 until 5:00p on March 1 annually. Any applications received after March 1 at 5:00p will be added to the bottom of the appropriate grade level waitlist following the lottery.
In compliance with IC 20-24-5-5 and in alignment with The Project School Vision, the following preferences have been determined to advance the goal that at least 40% of each grade level be made up of students who are economically disadvantaged. For the purpose of the lottery application process, “economically disadvantaged’’ means: 1) the family is currently eligible for free/reduced lunch under the National School Lunch Program, 2) is receiving support from a State program that qualifies as ‘direct certification’ under the Child Nutrition Program (these are typically the SNAP / Food Stamp Program, the TANF Program, Medicaid, and foster children), or 3) voluntarily provides income information that confirms eligibility using the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines (IEGs) under section 9 of the National School Lunch Act.
For grade levels that do NOT yet meet or exceed the goal of 40% economically disadvantaged students
For grade levels that have already met or exceeded the goal of 40% economically disadvantaged students
Siblings of students enrolled and attending prior to the lottery application deadline, who also meet the criteria of economically disadvantaged.
Siblings of students enrolled and attending prior to the lottery application deadline.
Siblings of students enrolled and attending prior to the lottery application deadline, who do not meet the criteria of economically disadvantaged.
Students of The Project School employees and Board of Directors (not to exceed 10% of total student enrollment).
Students of The Project School employees and Board of Directors (not to exceed 10% of total student enrollment) who meet the criteria of economically disadvantaged.
Students who are returning from a leave of absence (see leave of absence section in the family handbook).
Students of The Project School employees and Board of Directors (not to exceed 10% of total student enrollment) who do not meet the criteria of economically disadvantaged.
Siblings of students who are offered a spot through the lottery process.
Siblings of students who are offered a spot through the lottery process.
Students who are returning from a leave of absence (see leave of absence section in the family handbook).**
Students who meet the criteria for being economically disadvantaged receive priority over those who don’t until the grade level reaches 40%.
All remaining students. This includes those who do not have any preferences described above as well as those who were not yet offered a spot based on preference.
** Students who applied for and were approved a leave of absence prior to 2/28/2020 are legacied into the prior preference, which places the student(s) before students who are economically disadvantaged. This legacied exception will only have an impact through the lottery held in March 2021.
For any preference to be utilized in placement, students must have a current and complete application submitted by the lottery deadline. If no spaces are available at the appropriate grade level for students who have any of the placement preferences, students will be placed on the waiting list according to preference outlined in this policy.
After the public lottery drawing, The Project School will notify all families of students who have been selected for spaces, as well as those who are on the waiting list for any grade level. This notification will be emailed within three business days of the lottery. Each family offered a spot will have a designated time - not less than two weeks from notification - to accept their spot at The Project School. The deadline will be clearly articulated in the notification letter. If a family does not accept the spot by the deadline indicated in the letter sent, the staff will attempt to contact the family by phone. If there is still no response within one (1) school day beyond the initial deadline, the spot will be offered to the first student on the waiting list for that grade level. All students who do not receive a spot through the initial round of the lottery will be placed on the waiting list and will be notified regarding one's standing on the waiting list.
A lack of response to an offer of a space for enrollment due to (1) incorrect or out-of-date contact information, (2) inoperable communication equipment or systems being used by the family,
(3) families being out of the area for any reason, are still considered a lack of response and will result in the school moving on to the next eligible student for enrollment. Once a family has officially accepted a student’s space, The Project School will utilize a full enrollment process that follows all Indiana Charter School laws to officially enroll the student.
After the open enrollment period, if a child applies to the school and there is an open spot at their grade level, that child will be automatically admitted to the school, with the exception of students who are currently expelled from or withdrawn as a result of an imminent expulsion from another school. The determination of whether or not a prospective student may be enrolled due to the expulsion consideration is up to The Project School Leader.
A Word About the Waiting List
At the conclusion of each academic year, the waiting list from that academic year is terminated. A new list is developed according to applications that were submited for the new academic year. Families on the waiting list who wish to continue being considered for a space at The Project School must complete a new lottery application each year during the open lottery window. Spaces on the waiting list do not carry over from year to year. And placement on the waiting list in one academic year does not impact one's standing for the following academic year.