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Enrollment Policy and Procedures

MCCPS Enrollment Policy and Procedures

The Marblehead Community Charter Public School is a public school and is open to Massachusetts students entering grades 4-8 on a space available basis. Ch79 § 89(1); 603CMR 1.06(4); 603CMR 1.06(9)

MCCPS will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, ancestry, athletic performance, special need, proficiency in the English language or in a foreign language, or prior academic achievement when recruiting or admitting students.  Moreover, MCCPS will not set admissions criteria that are intended to discriminate or that have the effect of discriminating based upon any of these characteristics.  M.G.L.c.71. & 89(1); 603 CMR 1.06(1)

The Marblehead Community Charter Public School has an interest in making sure that all prospective students and their families understand the mission and focus of the School and are interested in being a part of the School’s community.  Information is available on the School’s website and during Open Houses.

Eligibility Criteria

The Marblehead Community Charter Public School requires:

  1. Candidates for admission to apply for the grade immediately following their current grade and to successfully complete that grade in order to be admitted.
  2. Students to be residents of Massachusetts at the time that they submit an application and at the time that they are offered admission.
  3. That primary preference for admission be given to siblings of students “currently attending” MCCPS in accordance with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education regulations. More information on the sibling preference.
  4. That secondary preference for admission be given to students who are residents of Marblehead at the time they are offered admission to the school. 603 CMR 1.06(4)

The Marblehead Community Charter Public School will not:

  1. Give preference to children of faculty, staff, or Board members;
  2. Give preference to siblings of students accepted to the school but not yet attending;
  3. Make statements in meetings intended to discourage, or that have the effect of discouraging, students with disabilities, students with limited English proficiency, or any other protected group of students from submitting an application to the School. G.L. c. 71 § 89 (1).

If an applicant fails to meet the eligibility criteria, his/her parent will be notified of the reason by mail as soon as possible after submission of the application. The application does not require dual parent/ guardian signatures.

Recruitment & Retention

MCCPS has a student recruitment and retention plan. 603 CMR 1.05(f)  The recruitment process will include advertisements and public information sessions.  Throughout the year, MCCPS will provide information about the School to those who are interested.  Applications will be available on the School’s website, in the School’s front office, and at the Information Sessions/Open Houses which will be held in November and January of each year.  This policy will be available on the School’s website, and it will be included with all paper applications that are provided to families. 603 CMR 1.06(2)  Notice of application deadlines will be announced one month in advance. 603 CMR 1.06(3).


  1. Each school year, MCCPS will accept applications from December 15th through February 15th.
    • Any applications submitted after this date will be accepted for a secondary lottery. Notification of the secondary lottery date will be announced one week prior to the lottery.
    • Returning students are not required to reapply.
  2. The School will determine the number of spaces available at each grade level. Ch79 § 89(1); 603CMR 1.06(4)
  3. MCCPS will conduct a lottery prior to March 15th. The date, time, and location of the lottery will be publicized at least one week before the lottery is to be conducted.  603 CMR 1.06(6)
  4. All applicants in each category (sibling, resident, non-resident) will be drawn in the lottery and will be assigned a number.
  5. The School will set a final date for students to accept offers of enrollment.
  6. MCCPS will publicize all lottery/enrollment deadlines and the fact that there will be a lottery if there are more eligible applicants than there are available spaces within a given application process.
  7. MCCPS does not require potential students or their families to attend interviews or informational meetings as a condition of enrollment. 603 CMR 1.06(2)
  8. MCCPS does not administer tests to potential applicants or predicate enrollment on results from any test of ability or achievement. 603 CMR 1.06(8)

After the application deadline passes, and prior to conducting the lottery, MCCPS will divide all applicants into three categories under 603 CMR 1.06(4):

  • Siblings– Students who share a common parent, either biologically or legally through adoption, will be treated as siblings.
    • Whether the children reside in the same household has no bearing on determining if the children are siblings for the purposes of a sibling preference.
    • Children who live in separate households may be siblings and those that live in the same household may not be.
    • If siblings are placed in foster homes and one of them enrolls in MCCPS, then the siblings of that student are entitled to admission preference. Foster children are not considered siblings of other children in the foster home unless they share a common parent.
  • Residents – Students who live in the town of Marblehead, Swampscott, or Nahant will be treated as Residents.
  • Nonresidents – Students who live outside of Marblehead, Swampscott, or Nahant will be treated as Non-residents.

Preference for admission will be given first to applicants in the “Siblings” category, followed by applicants in the “Residents” category, and then to applicants in the “Non-Residents” category.  All offers of enrollment will be made without regard to when the application was submitted (as long as it was prior to the application deadline).  MCCPS will not offer admission to applicants on a first-come first-served basis.

The charter school statute now requires that, upon request, both school districts and Commonwealth charter schools provide the names and addresses of students to a third party mail house for mailings.The charter school shall provide to a third party mail house the addresses for all students currently enrolled in the commonwealth charter school from the district; provided, however, that the information shall not be provided if a student’s parent or guardian requests that the school withhold that student’s information

 M.G. L. c. 71, :89(g)


In situations where there are more eligible applicants in any of the categories (siblings, residents, or non-residents) than there are spaces available, MCCPS will hold a lottery at MCCPS, to determine which applicants will receive an offer of admission.  603 CMR 1.06(3)(a)  As previously mentioned, MCCPS will give public notice of the lottery at least one week before the lottery date.

The lottery will be drawn by an individual who has no connection to the School.  This individual will randomly draw the names of all students who submitted applications before the deadline.  After the available spaces are filled, the individual shall keep drawing the names of the remaining applicants in each category and will place them on a waiting list in the order they are drawn.

If the School does not reach capacity after admitting all eligible siblings, it will admit residents. If spaces remain after admitting residents, non-resident applicants will be admitted.  603 CMR 1.06(4)(b)

Waiting List

When the number of applicants requires it, MCCPS will maintain waiting lists for siblings, residents, and non-residents.  Wait listed students may be informed of an offer of admission via mail, email, or phone. MCCPS will keep accurate records of our waitlist containing the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, and grade levels of students who entered the lottery but did not gain admission. 603 CMR 1.06(4)(f)

When a student stops attending the school for any reasons, the school will attempt to fill the vacant seat.

In most cases for grades 4, 5, and 6, the seat will be filled in the grade that was vacated.   If no waiting list exists for that grade, the school will determine at which grade the seat will be filled.  603 CMR 1.06(4)(d)

Vacated seats will continue to be filled until the end of the school year.

These lists will not roll over from one year to the next.  If not admitted during an enrollment period, students who are not admitted must reapply for the next year.

An exception: If a space becomes available and the enrollment of a student from the waiting list would cause his/her sending district to exceed the net school spending cap, MCCPS will skip that student but keep him/her on the waiting list.  If that student on the waiting list is a sibling of a student currently enrolled at MCCPS, the school may enroll that student and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will pay the tuition to MCCPS, subject to state appropriations.

Secondary Lottery

MCCPS may hold a second lottery under the following conditions:

  1. If by March 1st, the school has received fewer applications than it has spaces available; or
  2. If after March 1st, the school receives additional applications for the upcoming school year.

Enrollment Confirmation

Families will be notified by mail of their child’s admission status (offer to enroll or placement on the waiting list).

  • Parents must confirm that their child will attend MCCPS by the stated deadline or the space will be offered to the next child on the list.
    • If a student is invited to attend before August 1st, his/her family has 10 days to confirm enrollment.
    • If the family is notified after August 15th, they will have 3 days to confirm enrollment.
  • Upon acceptance of the offer to enroll:
    • all Marblehead residents must provide proof of Marblehead residency within three weeks of acceptance. The following will be accepted: current tax bill, utility bill, rental agreement, or mortgage statement.  If proof of residency is not provided to MCCPS, the offer of enrollment will be withdrawn, and the seat will be offered to the next child on the list.
    • an enrollment packet will be provided to each family and will include all of the forms necessary to enroll in MCCPS.

If a family declines the offer to enroll, the child will lose all status as an applicant.  His/her space will be offered to the next child on the list.

Other Limitations

If the applicant fails to meet the eligibility criteria, his/her family will be notified by mail of the reason, and he/she will be removed from the applicant pool.

MCCPS, as a commonwealth charter school, must ensure that the number of students from a sending district does not exceed the 9% cap on net school spending. M.G.L. c.71 (89)(i)

The School reserves the right to close enrollment for an academic year after September 30th of that year.