FAQ'S

 

WHAT IS A CHARTER SCHOOL?

A Charter School allows parents the choice of a free, public education for their child. Students are educated in an environment that is similar to private education, but there is no tuition charged.

Charter Schools have a governing School Board that is comprised of community leaders and parents. Charter Schools receive their funding from the State and Federal Governments in much the same way other public schools do. For a comparison of Charter Schools to Public and Private Schools, click here.

WHAT IS THE OGDEN PREPARATORY ACADEMY?

The Ogden Preparatory Academy (OPA) is a public charter school located in Downtown Ogden for students in grades K-9. OPA opened in the fall of 2003. Our class sizes are no more than 25 students per class.


MAY A CHARTER SCHOOL LIMIT ITS ENROLLMENT TO CERTAIN STUDENTS?

No. A charter school is part of the public education system and must be open to all students, without discrimination, on the same basis as other public schools. If the number of students applying to enroll in a charter school exceeds the capacity of the school or of programs, classes, or grade levels within the school, then those students to be admitted are chosen at random from among the applicants, subject to certain preferences:

  • Students whose parents were actively involved in the development of the charter school.
  • Students who have a brother or sister currently attending the charter school.


DOES THIS CHARTER SCHOOL HAVE A UNIFORM POLICY?

Yes. In addition to the Ogden School District's Student Dress and Grooming Expectations, students are required to wear uniforms. The Governing Board has drafted an acceptable and legal uniform policy. Parents are notified of uniform requirements prior to enrollment and all uniform regulations are detailed in the Parent Handbook.

Teachers are required to follow the same dress code as the students.

ARE CHARTER SCHOOLS SUBJECT TO THE SAME REGULATIONS AS OTHER PUBLIC SCHOOLS?

As a general rule, yes. Laws and regulations relating to religion in the schools, school fees and tuition, health and safety, civil rights, annual reports, prohibitions against advocacy of unlawful behavior, screening of potential employees or volunteers for competency and fitness, and most other matters are the same for both charter schools and other public schools. The State Board may waive any of its rules for a charter school or other public school, if the school applies for a waiver and the State Board finds that the waiver would not violate applicable law or cause harm to students or the school.

A charter school is exempt from existing negotiated agreements relating to the hiring, employment, and dismissal of employees. A charter school's governing body may determine the level of compensation and the terms and conditions of employment for its employees. Charter schools may only employ educators who hold valid teaching certificates or who meet State Board requirements for alternative certification or authorization.

HOW ARE CHARTER SCHOOLS HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR WHAT THEY DO?

A charter school must make the same annual reports as other public schools, including an annual financial audit and monthly budget report. Additionally, the charter school must participate in the statewide testing programs. Charter schools submit all reports to the Utah State Board of Education.


HOW ARE CHARTER SCHOOLS FINANCED?

Charter schools are funded on the principle that state funds follow the student. A differentiated WPU is applied to Charter School students. In distributing funds under the Minimum School Program Act, to charter schools, charter school pupils shall be weighted, where applicable, as follows:

  • The vast majority of funding comes through the WPU. In addition, the legislature appropriates funds each year to replace some of the local property tax revenues that are not available to charter schools. Charter schools may also apply for state and federal start-up funds and specialized funds if qualifying students are served in approved programs.
  • A charter school may not charge tuition or require students or parents to make donations and is subject to the same rules regarding school fees as other public schools.


WHERE CAN I GET ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT CHARTER SCHOOLS?

Find more information on charter schools at:

www.schools.utah.gov/charterschools/
www.charterschoolcenter.org
www.educationevolving.org
www.charterschoolsusa.com


ENROLLMENT FAQ'S


WHAT IS A LOTTERY?

Since the number of applicants exceeds the established ceiling, students are selected by lottery. When a student is chosen, siblings of the applicant (within the same household) are also invited for admission, provided there are openings. Students currently admitted are given preference for re-enrollment. Siblings of admitted students are given preference relative to other applicants.

OPA will not discriminate in its admission policies or practices on the same basis as other public schools may not discriminate in their admission policies and practices.

WHAT IS MY CHILD'S CHANCE OF BEING ACCEPTED?

This cannot be determined due to the number of students applying each day for a limited number of openings in the school as students move out.

HOW LONG IS THE LIST?

This cannot be determined due to the number of students applying each enrollment period for a limited number of openings in the school.

WHERE IS MY CHILD ON THE LIST?

The office does not give out this information. The lottery is run several times each year, and positions change each time the lottery is run.

WHEN WILL I BE NOTIFIED OF AN OPEN POSITION?

All families who applied for the school during Open Enrollment (OE) will be notified by e-mail if they have been accepted. After OE, only students accepted at Ogden Preparatory Academy will be notified.

Positions may be filled throughout the school year as they become available. It is possible for a position to open during the school year. Parents should consider in advance if they are willing to move their child mid-year.

Parents / guardians have 72 hours to accept or reject an open position when it becomes available. It is possible for a position to open during the school year. Parents should consider in advance if they are willing to move their child mid-year or not.

HOW WILL I KNOW IF MY CHILD HAS BEEN ACCEPTED?

You will receive an e-mail. You may also receive a phone call if you do not reply to the acceptance e-mail.


WHAT IF I CHANGE PHONE NUMBERS OR WANT TO MODIFY MY ENROLLMENT APPLICATION?

If you need to update your personal information such as phone number, address, or e-mail address, please log in to the enrollment website to make any necessary changes. If you choose to withdraw your application, please contact the office so they can withdraw your student's application.

IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO TO IMPROVE MY CHILD'S CHANCE OF GETTING IN?

By law, there are only a few circumstances that will allow you to receive a higher preference. Ogden Prep will give priority to founding board members, current board members, siblings of current students, and employees' students. Extra volunteer hours, special favors, or donations will not be accepted in exchange for special preference.

WHEN THE SCHOOL IS AT CAPACITY, CAN I BE PLACED ON A WAITING LIST?

Per federal law, the school is not authorized to maintain a waiting list longer than the Open Enrollment period. All students who apply for enrollment must be entered into a lottery for randomized placement into the school as positions become available.