Monday, September 25, 2017

Admissions Policy


The Board of Trustees of Bear Creek Community Charter School understands the importance of establishing fair and equitable criteria for student admission and shall fully comply with the Pennsylvania Charter School Law regarding admission policies and procedures, as well as all other applicable state and federal provisions. Bear Creek Community Charter School is a non-sectarian institution in all respects, and does not discriminate against any student, employee, or other person on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability, or any other criteria prohibited by law. An admission criterion does not consider intellectual or athletic ability, aptitude, disability, race, creed, national origin, religion, or ancestry.


Students currently attending Bear Creek Community Charter School will have the opportunity to re-enroll for the next school year by accurately completing and returning the required Student Re-Enrollment Form by the deadline provided. Students whose parents who fail to return an accurate Student Re-Enrollment Form by the posted deadline will not be guaranteed enrollment for the upcoming school year and will be required to participate in the pre-enrollment process with new students seeking admission to the school.


Parents of students who are interested in attending Bear Creek Community Charter School can learn more about the school by visiting the school's web site at www.bearcreekschool.com or contacting the school by calling (570) 820-4070.


Parents of new students interesting in enrolling at Bear Creek Community Charter School will be given the opportunity to participate in an annual Pre-Enrollment Process. The date pre-enrollment begins and ends will be determined by the school administration each year and will be posted in the school office as well as on the school’s web site. Parents of students interested in enrolling in the school must complete and return an accurate Pre-Enrollment Form by the deadline provided by the school. Only children who are residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are eligible to apply for enrollment – proof of residency may be required upon submission of a pre-enrollment application.


As permitted by the Pennsylvania Charter School Laws, Bear Creek Community Charter School will give preference in enrollment to the following categories of students, in the following order:


  1. Returning students (re-enrollment of existing students by posted deadline);
  2. Children of parents who actively participated in the development (prior to the school receiving its charter) of the charter school (also known as Founder's List);
  3. Siblings of a currently enrolled student. For the purpose of this policy, a sibling is defined as a child who is related to an existing student by blood or adoption and who share a legal tie to at least one common parent;
  4. Holdover Students from the prior school year;
  5. Students residing in the school district in which the charter is located (Wilkes-Barre Area School District);
  6. Students residing outside the school district in which the charter school is located (all other school districts within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania).

Any child who is qualified under applicable state law is qualified for admission to Bear Creek Community Charter School. Bear Creek Community Charter School is an equal opportunity educational institution. The admissions policy will be made available to the public.


In the event the number of applicants for any given grade or section exceeds the number of enrollment slots (seats) available, the school will accept students by a random selection process. The school will grant enrollment preference according to the aforementioned criteria. A public lottery will be held, as necessary, to determine enrollment. The date, time and location of the public lottery will be posted at the school, on the school’s web site, and in a newspaper of general circulation at least one week prior to the lottery being held. A neutral party will conduct the lottery on behalf of the school. The school will notify applicant parents within 30 days of the lottery with the outcome as to whether their child has been accepted or has been placed on a wait list.


After all available enrollment slots (seats) are filled, wait lists will be created and maintained for each grade. The initial wait list will be created randomly as part of the public lottery. Following the lottery, additional students will be added to the wait lists on a first come/first served basis. When a slot becomes available in a grade, the parents of the first student on the wait list will be contacted and given twenty four hours to accept the position. Acceptance is determined by the parent completing and hand delivering an accurate Enrollment Form to the school office within twenty-four (24) hours of being notified by the school. If the enrollment slot is declined, if no response is received, or an accurate Enrollment Form is not hand delivered to the school office within twenty four hours of being notified, the enrollment slot will be forfeited and the next student on the wait list will be contacted. Once all vacant enrollment slots for each particular grade and section are filled, enrollment will be closed.


It is the responsibility of each parent to familiarize themselves with the enrollment process, including deadlines. All deadlines are final, and no exceptions will be made.


The Bear Creek Community Charter School will host at least one parent workshop to provide information regarding the school to new parents as well as finalize student enrollment. Attendance by at least one parent of each new student at a parent workshop shall be a mandatory component in the enrollment process. Students whose parents fail to participate in a parent workshop will not be guaranteed enrollment and will lose any preference in enrollment.


Any student who does not attend school on the first day of scheduled classes will be dropped from the rolls (lose spot) as an active student, unless the student’s parent or legal guardian provides the school advance notice of the absence. Any student who has ten consecutive days of unexcused absence will be dropped from the rolls as an active student (lose spot).


Each year, the school administration shall:

  1. Establish a procedure for the Re-Enrollment of existing students, including the determination of a firm deadline for Re-Enrollment;
  2. Establish a procedure for Pre-Enrollment of new students, including the determination of a firm deadline for Pre-Enrollment;
  3. Establish a deadline for students after which no new students will be accepted (transfers in) for the current school year, and the wait list for those grades for the current school year shall expire; no new students will be accepted (transfers in) for the current school year after September 30 of that school year, and the wait list shall expire on September 30;
  4. Establish a procedure to coordinate a public lottery and provide the appropriate public notice regarding the lottery, Admissions Policy, applicable timeline and required forms;
  5. Coordinate a parent workshop to provide information regarding the school to new parents;
  6. Establish a procedure for Enrollment of new students, including required forms and the determination of firm deadlines for completing the Enrollment process for new students.

After a student is accepted as part of the pre-enrollment process, Bear Creek Community Charter School reserves the right to complete academic testing to determine if it is in the student’s best interest to enroll in the School in the grade and/or class to which he/she has been accepted. If the results of the testing cause the parent not to enroll the student, that student shall be classified as a Holdover Student from the prior year and shall have preference for admission after Returning Students, Founders, and Siblings during the following year’s pre-enrollment process, if a vacancy exists at that time.


Pennsylvania law requires public schools ascertain a child’s age at the time of enrollment. Acceptable documentation includes a birth certificate, notarized copy of birth certificate, baptismal certificate, copy of the record of baptism notarized and showing the date of birth, notarized statement from parents or another relative indicating date of birth, a valid passport or a prior school record indicating date of birth.


Parents and legal guardians of prospective new students are required to provide proof of residency acceptable to the school prior to admission. Students who live with someone other than a biological parent are required to provide documentation proving legal custody and physical residency, within 30 days following the public enrollment lottery. A student residing with someone other than a parent may qualify for enrollment if the requirements of 24 PS 13-1302 are met, and the responsible adult provides a signed affidavit, proof of residency, and proof that they are supporting the child gratis. Students whose parents/guardians fail to provide proof of residency and legal custody acceptable to school administration within 30 days following the public enrollment lottery will not be guaranteed enrollment and will lose any preference in enrollment.


The Public School Code requires public schools to ascertain that a child has been immunized in accordance with Pennsylvania law prior to admission to school. Bear Creek Community Charter School requires that parents provide all required immunization records to the school nurse no later than one week prior to the first day of school. Students whose parents/guardians fail to provide complete and accurate immunization records to the school nurse no later than one week prior to the first day of school will not be guaranteed enrollment and will lose any preference in enrollment.


Children need not be immunized if a physician provides a written statement that immunization may be detrimental to the health of the child. Children need not be immunized if the parent or legal guardian objects in writing to the immunization on religious grounds or on the basis of a strong moral or ethical conviction similar to a religious belief. In either situation, written documentation must be provided to the school nurse no later than one week prior to the first day of school. Students whose parents/guardians fail to provide the appropriate documentation to the school nurse no later than one week prior to the first day of school will not be guaranteed enrollment and will lose any preference in enrollment.


A sworn statement attesting to whether the student has been or is suspended or expelled for offenses involving drugs, alcohol, weapons, infliction of injury or violence on school property must be provided for a student to be admitted.


All students seeking first-time enrollment in a school shall be given a home language survey in accordance with the requirements of the United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.


Classes shall not exceed twenty-six (26) students in any class without advance approval by the Board of Trustees.


The Board of Trustees reserves the right to amend the Student Admission Policy at any time.