Utah Connections Academy Lottery Policy

Utah Connections Academy (UCA) offers enrollment for students in grades K-12 with an enrollment cap of 1100 students. Our mission is to maximize academic achievement for students in grades K-12 throughout the state of Utah who need an alternative to the traditional classroom.

UCA does not discriminate against any person on the basis of ethnic group identification, race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, physical or mental disability, athletic performance, language proficiency in English or another language, prior academic achievement, or age in the admission to, participation in, or receipt of services.

Anticipated 2015-2016 Open Application and Lottery Schedule:

March 3, 2015 – April 11, 2015 Open application period
April 25, 2015 – Within five (5) business days of the lottery, the school will communicate the time, date and location of the lottery with Caretakers of applicants
May 2, 2015 – Conduct lottery
May 7, 2015 – Caretakers of accepted students notified with offer of enrollment
May 14, 2015 – Caretaker deadline to accept offer of enrollment
May 28, 2015 – Caretaker deadline to complete enrollment tasks of accepted students
May 29, 2015 – Enrollment preference spaces are no longer held
June 1, 2015 – Final Confirmation completed by Caretaker of accepted student

Open Application Period

The application form can be completed on the school’s website during the open application period, or by calling the school at 800-382-6010. Submission of an application does not guarantee admission of any student nor does it bind the Caretaker to enroll the student. This application is required during the open application period to enable the student to be included in the lottery. Only students that are determined to be exempt from the lottery due to Enrollment Preference will be able to complete the registration process during the open application period. Applications will continue to be accepted after the initial open application period if space is available. The Caretaker is required to provide the following information on the application: student name, requested grade in school, date of birth, mailing address, Caretaker name, telephone number, and email address.

Open application periods are posted on Utah Connections Academy’s public website. At the close of the application period, applicants who are age-ineligible will be notified of their ineligibility for enrollment in the school. If the remaining applicants will not oversubscribe the school, a lottery will not be conducted (see If a Lottery Is Not Required - Offer of Enrollment section.) If the remaining applicants will oversubscribe the school, a lottery will be conducted (see Lottery Policy – If a Lottery is Required section). All dates and deadlines pertaining to the Open Application Period and lottery will be posted on Utah Connections Academy’s website in accordance with regulations.

Enrollment Preference

As provided for in the Federal lottery requirements, students of founding board members, students of teachers, and siblings of students currently enrolled or selected in the lottery will be given enrollment preference. Up to five (5) spaces will be held for the children of founding board members and teachers. These students will be exempt from the lottery. The spaces will be reserved until May 29 at which time they will be released to students on the preferred student lists if not filled.

If a Lottery Is Not Required - Offer of Enrollment

If the school is not oversubscribed by the end of the open application period, no lottery will be held and each lottery eligible student will receive an offer of enrollment via email and Utah Connections Academy will continue to accept applications on an ongoing basis. New applications received after the closing date of the Open Enrollment period will not be entered into a lottery but will be processed in the order in which they are received and added to the bottom of the upcoming school year Priority list in the appropriate grade/priority. UCA will continue to accept enrollment applications and will prioritize these students in the order they complete all enrollment tasks. These students will be sent an offer of enrollment based upon availability in the school and with regards to the rules set forth in Title 53A Chapter 1a Section 506.5. Priority will be provided to siblings of currently enrolled students.

See the sections on Notification of Acceptance and Completing the Registration Process for important information about deadlines and instructions on accepting an offer of enrollment and completing the registration process.

Caretakers who accept the offer of enrollment within the specified deadline are provided with access to complete the registration process as well as a firm deadline for submission of all registration materials. If the designated registration deadline is not met, the available space may be forfeited and offered to another waiting student.

Lottery Policy - If a Lottery is Required – Offer of Enrollment

As required by Federal Charter School Program, Utah Connections Academy will conduct a lottery if applications received during the open application period exceed the number of spaces available in the school. Caretakers must complete their student’s (s) open application within the specified open application period to have their student included in the lottery. Information requested includes: student’s (s) name, mailing address, requested grade level, the names of siblings applying, the Caretaker name, email address and telephone number. This is completed through the Utah Connections Academy website or by calling Connections Academy at 800-382-6010.

As provided for in the Federal lottery requirements, students of founding board members, students of teachers, and siblings of students selected in the lottery will be given enrollment preference.

The date, time, and location will be publicized on the Utah Connections Academy website. Caretakers are not required to attend the lottery but are welcome to attend. The lottery will be conducted by a school administrator and will be attended by a founding board member and one outside observer, as is required by the lottery regulations. If a lottery is to be held, Caretakers of applicants will be notified of the lottery date, time, and place by email no later than five (5) business days in advance of the lottery.

Student Selection Process

All students who applied for the lottery during the application period, and who are eligible to enroll, will be included in the lottery drawing. The total enrollment will not exceed 1100 students.

Up to five (5) spaces will be held for the children of founding board members and teachers. These students will be exempt from the lottery. The spaces will be reserved until June 11 at which time they will be released to students on the preferred student lists if not filled.

In conducting the lottery, Utah Connections Academy will follow a family-friendly approach in conducting the lottery. All eligible students will receive a lottery number in a random drawing. Caretakers will be notified of their student’s (s) selection in the lottery by an emailed offer of enrollment no later than two (2) business days after the lottery is conducted. The Caretaker must notify the school of their acceptance within the time line specified in the letter. See the sections on Notification of Acceptance of Offer of Enrollment and Completing the Registration Process for important information about deadlines and instructions on accepting an offer of enrollment and completing the registration process.

Students Not Selected In the Lottery

Lottery eligible students that were not selected in the lottery are notified with 5 business days of their status. Students that were not selected are added to one of three waiting lists for priority in enrolling once a space is available. The students may still be able to enroll as space becomes available.

Founder/Teacher Preference List: The children of founding board members and/or the children of teachers who were not exempt from the lottery process, and who were also not accepted in the lottery, will be placed on a Founder/Teacher Preference List. These students will be given the first opportunity to enroll if space becomes. As with the regular lottery process, students on this list with the lowest lottery number will be placed first.

Sibling Preference List: Siblings of students accepted in the lottery for whom space was not available during the initial lottery will be placed on a Sibling Preference List. These students will be made an offer of enrollment if/when space becomes available, after students on the Founder/Teacher Preference List. As with the regular lottery process, students on this list with the lowest lottery number will be placed first.

Priority List: Other students who were in the lottery, but who were not accepted, will be placed on a Priority List. If a space becomes available, and there are no students from the Founder/Teacher Preference List or the Sibling Preference List who accept an offer of enrollment the space will be offered to the student on the Priority List with the lowest lottery number.

Notification of Acceptance of Offer of Enrollment

When a space becomes available for a student, the Caretaker will receive an offer of enrollment. The Caretaker will have 5 days to respond with their acceptance of this offer. The Caretaker may respond via email to accept the offer of enrollment. If a Caretaker cannot be contacted or is non-responsive to an offer within the designated time period, the available space may be offered to another waiting student. It is the Caretaker’s responsibility to keep the school well informed of any changes to their contact information. Response deadlines are calculated from the first attempted contact as follows:

Completing the Registration Process

Caretakers who accept admission are provided with access to complete the registration process as well as a firm deadline for submission of all registration materials. If the designated registration deadline is not met, the available space may be forfeited and offered to another waiting student. Students who forfeit the enrollment slot will be able to enroll once added to the Priority List and as space is made available.

Period Completion Deadline  
Lottery through June 30
14 days
July 1 through first day of school
7 days



Definitions


Application – A form completed by the caretaker (parent/legal guardian) to enable the student to be in the lottery.  The application form can be completed on the school’s website during the open application period, or by calling the school at 800-382-6010. The caretaker is required to provide the following information on the application: student name, requested grade in school, date of birth, mailing address, names of siblings applying for or already attending this school, parent/guardian (caretaker) name, telephone number, email address.

Applicant – During the application period, students who make an application to be in the lottery.

Accepted Students – Students selected in the lottery.

Enrollment – This is the first day a student is in school. It is not the day on which the student applies to the lottery, nor is it the day when the student is selected in the lottery.

Enrolled Student – A student who receives and accepts an offer of enrollment, and completes all enrollment tasks by the designated deadline.

Exempt Students – As allowed for in the Federal Charter School Program guidelines, children of founding board members and teachers (as defined) may be exempt from the lottery. Up to five (5) spaces will be held for children of founding board members and teachers. If the number of children of founding board members and teachers is less than five (5), these spaces will be released to students on the preference lists on July 11, 2014. Per Federal lottery guidelines, exempted children of founding board members and teachers may not make up more than 5% of total enrolled students. 

Final Grade Placement – The grade requested for an applicant and the final grade placement once the student is enrolled may be different based on the review of report cards/transcripts and/or placement tests. 

Founding Board Members – This group is limited to only those on the list submitted to the state.

Preference Lists – Groups of students who will be given enrollment preference in the lottery.  Students on  these lists may include siblings of enrolled students, siblings of students enrolled in the previous year, children of founding board members, and children of teachers.    

  1. Founder/Teacher Preference List – This list is comprised of children of founding board members and/or teachers (as defined) who were not exempt from the lottery  and not accepted in the lottery, but who submitted an application prior to the application deadline. These students are given first preference to enroll if/when a space in their grade becomes available
  2. Sibling Preference List – Applicants who were in the lottery, who were not accepted, but whose sibling was accepted and completed the enrollment tasks by the deadline, and enrolled, will be offered a space in the school based on availability in their grade and on their lottery number. For example:  Five students are selected in the lottery.  Each of these students has a sibling who wants a 3rd grade space. However, only one 3rd grade space becomes available. The sibling in 3rd grade with the lowest lottery number would get the space. The other students will remain on the Sibling Preference List and will be placed as above if additional space become available. Students on the Sibling Preference List will be given priority to enroll after students on the Founder/Teacher Preference List.
  3. Priority Students – Students who were in the lottery but whose number was too high for them to be offered a space in the school. These students are given third priority to enroll, after Founder/Teacher Preference List students and Sibling Preference List students. 

Registration Package – Enrollment package provided by the school to students accepted in the lottery.

Resident – A student is defined as a “resident” if, at the time of application, the student currently resides in Utah, or is a member of a military family living outside the state that claims Utah as its state of residence.

Sibling – A sibling of an accepted student who has been selected in the lottery.  Note that a sibling who is not selected in the lottery, but who wishes to be placed on the Preferred List as a sibling to an accepted student, must have made an application to the lottery by the application deadline.

Teacher – Certified to teach in Utah and has a teaching assignment with the school.