Walden Admissions & Lottery Policies & Procedures

Walden adheres to all regulatory policies and procedures as outlined in the NCLB document Charter School Program Title V, Part B, Non-Regulatory Guidance, and to Utah State legislative code 53A-1a-506.5. and R277-470-5. The following policies were accepted by the Walden School Board of Turstees and should be made available for distribution to parents and guardians on the website and in printed form upon request.

Advertising and Distribution

Beginning January 1st of any given year, Walden will provide information about the school and its programs to the general public. This information campaign may take place in several forms, depending on the school’s current enrollment level.  Walden will contract with at least one media organization to ensure statewide distribution of information via radio, newspaper, or television. Brochures may be distributed to targeted neighborhoods or businesses in an effort to bolster enrollment of a specific gender or ethnicity that is underrepresented at the school. Walden has in the past, and will continue to use public service announcements to distribute information about the school.  Walden will also maintain basic information about the school and its programs, the lottery and enrollment process, and the nature of charter schools, on our website at www.waldenschool.us.

Eligibility

All students eligible to enroll in a Utah Public School may apply to Walden. However, students who are currently suspended and/or expelled from their school of residence, may or may not be accepted at Walden.  When a student in this situation is drawn in the lottery, Walden will meet with the student and his or her parent(s)/guardian(s) to determine if Walden would be a good fit for that student. An expulsion for the reason of drug abuse or violent behavior typically exempts a student from participation at Walden.

Procedures for transferring your student to Walden:

Once your student has been accepted, you may call your previous school, as a courtesy, to let them know that you will be transferring your student to Walden. However, the Walden registrar will request your child’s records from the school and you are not obligated to have any contact with the school. By law, that school must provided student records in a timely fashion.

Procedures for transferring your student from Walden:

Should you decide, at any time during the year, that Walden is not a good fit for you and your child, please feel free to withdraw your child from the school. Walden will notify your child’s home district immediately. To make this transition easier for you, your child, and the school, please follow the following procedures:

  1. If at all possible, make transitions at a term break; this allows us to grant your student full credit for the term and will make beginning at a new school easier for your student. Students who transfer mid-term often have a difficult time transferring term grades and credit.
  2. Please give Walden at least a one-week notice so that we can fill your child’s place with a student who is waiting to be admitted.  
  3. Please fill out a transfer document, available at the front office. When a student simply stops coming without notice, the school is unable to offer a space to a student who is waiting to be admitted.  The school may lose significant funding and a waiting child may miss the opportunity to attend the school.

When a student is new to a school, there is sometimes a rocky transition period and it is difficult to make a sound decision about a school until you child has had a chance to make new friends and become comfortable with the new people in his or her life. For this reason, we suggest that you do not transfer your child in the first few weeks of school, unless there is a compelling reason to do so.

Lottery Process

The Walden lottery process is simple and straightforward. As applications are received during the open enrollment period, student names are added to a list of applicants and are arranged by grade. If there is space available, siblings of currently admitted students are automatically accepted before the lottery process takes place. No distinction is made based on gender, ability, disability, or ethnicity.

On the day of the lottery, all names currently on the wait list are included in a pool, organized by grade. Names are drawn randomly, one grade at a time, until open positions are filled. To ensure fairness, the lottery cannot be conducted unless at least 3 school officials are present, including a school administrator and/or business official. Names are drawn by a disinterested third party who is not an employee of the school.

When a name is drawn and added to the list of accepted students, a school official checks to see if the accepted student has any sibling(s) in the applicant pool.  If he/she does, and if there is space available in those particular grades, the sibling(s) are added to the list of accepted students. If there is no space available, the sibling(s) are added to a priority wait list and are admitted by sibling lottery once a space does become available.