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The Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is committed to serving, inspiring, and promoting student and public school success.
Strategic campaigns to raise awareness of the overall benefits of education
Meeting the emerging needs of the community by providing leadership and support for children, schools, and the greater community.
A premier service organization.
Fostering respectful, supportive, and inclusive work environments within and across branches, departments, clusters, and sites.
The information below relies heavily on the California Department of Education’s website at
http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cs/re/cefcharterschools.asp, and, where applicable, Santa Clara County Board of Education policy. The California Education Code is referred to below as Education Code or EC. These FAQs will be expanded periodically to include additional questions and answers.
Q: How can I apply for a charter school? Are there admission requirements? A: Any child eligible for admission to a traditional public school is eligible for admission to a public charter school. Admission to a charter school cannot be limited on the basis of disability, race, creed, gender, national origin, religion, ancestry, intellectual ability, measures of achievement or aptitude, or athletic ability. Charter schools must accept all students who wish to attend, so long as there is space.
Education Code Section
47605 (2) (B) and
47605.6 (2) (B) state that, “…. if the number of pupils who wish to attend the charter school exceeds the school’s capacity, attendance, except for existing pupils of the charter school, shall be determined by a public random drawing. Preference shall be extended to pupils currently attending the charter school and pupils who reside in the district except as provided for in Section
47614.5. Other preferences may be permitted by the chartering authority on an individual school basis and only if consistent with the law.”
Q: Can students be counseled out of enrolling in or continuing to attend, a charter school? A: No. According to California Education Code Section
47605 (2) (A), “A charter school shall admit all pupils who wish to attend the school. Additionally, Charter schools may not discriminate against or discourage enrollment of any student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) who would otherwise be admitted to the charter school.
Q: What responsibilities do charter schools have to identify students as English learners? A: During initial enrollment in a California public school, parents or guardians of all students are required to complete a Home Language Survey (HLS) comprised of four questions. When the HLS indicates a language other than English, the student’s English language proficiency is determined using the English Language Proficiency Assessments of California (ELPAC) which is administered within 30 calendar days of school enrollment. During initial enrollment, students identified as English learners are further assessed in their primary language to determine proficiencies in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Results of each student’s assessments are to be sent to parents or guardians in a language they understand. Final results of student’s designation and English proficiencies are reported annually to the state for each school on the school’s Language Census.
Regarding the submission of an application to attend a charter school, it is illegal that the charter school refrain from asking for “health and disability-related information” until after the student has been “accepted into [the] school or has decided to enroll.”
A variety of documents may be used to verify age including:
Once enrolled, the charter school may request additional information to facilitate planning for the pupil’s education such as
48204.1 and Ed. Code