A law passed by the last Nevada Legislature goes into effect this spring that requires parents to re-enroll their children if they are on a charter school’s waiting list for admission.
“In 2015, Senate Bill 208 required every charter school to have an annual minimum 45-day open enrollment period,” said Melissa Mackedon, principal of Oasis Academy.
“It requires that every person reapply annually during that window.”
The new law, however, does not pertain to currently enrolled students.
In the past, Mackedon said applications “rolled” to the next school year for children who were not selected by a lottery to attend the charter school.
“Every year we would roll (the application to the next grade, but the law requires the annual application.”
The open enrollment period began March 1 and extends to April 15 at which time each student will be assigned a number. As a result of the law, Mackedon said Oasis must notify applicants about reapplying. Mackedon said her main concern is to ensure current applicants reapply.
Then, the school will pull so many numbers depending on vacancies for each grade. Mackedon said active-duty military personnel moving to the area will be able to submit an application. Mackedon said if a class has space, then the academy will be able to enroll the child.
“It’s not fair to active-duty families if they arrive in November, for example, to allow them to put their name into the lottery,” she said.
Furthermore, Mackedon said because of the law’s wording, it doesn’t make any difference how long an application has been on file. In the selection process, Mackdeon said every child has an equal opportunity.
“We’ll use a random-number generator for kindergarten because eof so many kids,” she said. “In some grades, we have no openings.”
Mackedon said the freshman grade will have openings because the juniors are advancing to the senior level for the 2016-17. This year, Oasis Academy is K-11.
Mackedon said she likes the idea behind the bill because it gives everyone access to the charter schools.
“It expands opportunity to all,” Mackedon said.
Currently, Oasis has 360 students in K-8 and 120 students in 9-11. Next year she said Oasis will have 50 more students coming to the high school.
Mackedon said most people have been understanding of the new state law, but she understands parents’ frustration with the application process. Those who must reapply, she said, may do it online, while new applicants may apply online and must then come to the school to submit paperwork.
To apply online, go to http://www.oasisacademyfallon.us and select Enrollment Information. Scroll down to Online Student Application.