FSMA Enrollment and Lottery Information
First State Montessori Academy, Inc. (referred to in this document as “FSMA” or the “School”) is a Delaware Charter School that enrolls students under the procedure set forth under Delaware law and FSMA’s Charter. This document describes FSMA’s enrollment period, application process, enrollment lottery logistics, enrollment preferences, and other information related to the FSMA enrollment and lottery process.
Interested families (including founding members, employees, siblings, and any other persons interested in applying to FSMA) should submit their application to the School before the end of the Enrollment Period. Applications may be submitted online at www.SchoolChoiceDE.org, sent via email (scanned with hand-written signatures), standard post, or hand-delivered. All applications received after the second Wednesday in January, but postmarked by that deadline, will be accepted as being received within the Enrollment Period. If, at the end of the Enrollment Period, FSMA has received more applications for any single grade than it has open spots – that is, if FSMA is “oversubscribed” for any grade – FSMA will hold a lottery in accordance with Delaware law and procedure. This lottery will take into account preferences that FSMA is permitted to apply under Delaware law and FSMA’s Charter. All applications (inclusive of applications from persons entitled to preferences) received after the choice window closes (1/13/16) will be placed at the end of the waiting list after the lottery has concluded. If FSMA is not oversubscribed, FSMA will admit all eligible students who apply within the Enrollment Period and will then admit additional eligible students whose applications were not submitted by the deadline, in the order their applications are received, to fulfill any existing openings or as openings become available.
In the event that any grade is oversubscribed, FSMA will hold a lottery in February. A lottery will be held for each grade that is oversubscribed beginning with the highest grade level requiring a lottery – that is, the order of lotteries will be for grades 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and then KN.
Once available positions are filled through the lottery process, names will continue to be drawn to place students on the waiting list. Names will be pulled according to preference and when one preference is completed, the next preference group will then be pulled and placed on the waiting list in the order they are pulled. This will continue until all preferences have gone through the process. As indicated above, applications received after the Enrollment Period will not be entitled to preferences.
FSMA will apply preferences in filling open positions in the School, as allowed by Delaware law and FSMA’s Charter. The following preferences will be applied in the order listed below:
1. Founder’s Preference (Children of Founding Members)
“Founding Members” include persons who joined FSMA’s Board prior to the beginning of FSMA’s first Enrollment Period. The number of persons who receive Founding Member preferences cannot exceed 5% of the total seats available in any one year.
2. Employee’s Preference (Children of Eligible Employees)
Employees whose children are eligible for an enrollment preference include employees who maintain a permanent position at the School and work at least 30 hours per week.
3. Sibling Preference (Siblings of currently enrolled FSMA Students)
For the purpose of this preference, “sibling” is defined as a:
* Biological/adoptive sibling;
* Step-sibling residing in the same household; or a
* Foster child residing in the same household.
Step-siblings living in different households are not considered for a sibling preference. The purpose of this preference is to keep families together.
Same-grade siblings will be treated as one single applicant unit, rather than multiple applicants. When that one applicant unit is drawn in the lottery, the same-grade siblings will be numerically ordered on the waiting list or conditionally accepted dependent upon where in the lottery that applicant unit was drawn.
Different grade siblings who apply during the same year will not be treated as a single applicant unit. In the event an older sibling is admitted through the enrollment or lottery process, any younger siblings who applied within the Enrollment Period will be entitled to a sibling preference. If an older sibling is placed on a waiting list after the lottery process, but a younger sibling is admitted, the older sibling will not be given a sibling preference for the purpose of placement on the waiting list.
4. Demonstrated Interest Preference (Children of Families Who Demonstrate an Interest in Montessori Education)
FSMA will apply an admission preference to applicants who have demonstrated an interest in the Montessori teaching philosophy. To demonstrate an interest in the Montessori teaching philosophy in the first year of enrollment, applicants must submit a completed application and sufficiently complete one of the following items:
a. Demonstrate that the child seeking enrollment attended a Montessori institute (full- or part-time) for the school year in the past two calendar years by submitting appropriate verification, including transcripts or invoices from that institution; or
b. Demonstrate that the child seeking enrollment previously attended a Montessori school or Montessori camp for any period of time at any time in the child’s life.
c. Submit a completed optional application question stating the applicant’s interest, in 100 words or fewer, in FSMA’s teaching philosophy;
d. Attend an information session, tour or educational program sponsored by FSMA;
e. Participate in a teleconference with FSMA administrators or board members during which they discuss the educational philosophy of the school and answer questions concerning the school’s teaching philosophy.
Information concerning the information sessions, tours, educational programs, and teleconferences offered by FSMA to permit applicants to fulfill this admission preference will be posted on FSMA’s website: https://firststatemontessori.org.
- Geographic Preference (Children whose primary residence is within a 5-mile radius of FSMA)
A child’s residence must be within a 5-mile radius of 1000 N. French Street, Wilmington, DE 19801 to gain a geographic preference. For purposes of this preference:
- Residency must be established as of the date of the enrollment period – proper verification will be required after students have been accepted;
- Residency must be with the primary or shared custodial parents(s) or legal guardian(s) – not other relatives or friends;
- The residence must be the student’s primary home.
First State Montessori Academy, Inc. admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.