Admission Policy - Harmony Public Schools

HARMONY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
ADMISSION POLICY

CHARTER SCHOOL BOARD POLICY MANUAL 

POLICY GROUP 3 - STUDENTS 

ADMISSIONS AND ENROLLMENT PG-3.3 

Sec. 1. Non-discrimination Statement as Part of the School’s Admission Policy  

It is the policy of Harmony Public Schools (School) to comply with all state and federal  regulations regarding admission and not to discriminate during the admission and the  lottery process on the basis of gender, national origin, ethnicity, religion, disability,  academic, artistic, athletic ability, or the district the child would otherwise attend.  Education Code 12.111(a)(5).  

Sec. 2. General Eligibility for Admission 

The School shall generally admit all persons who reside within the School’s geographic  boundaries and for whom the School operates a grade level sought and who, as of  September 1 of any school year, are at least five years of age and under 21 years of age,  or are at least 21 years of age and under 26 years of age and admitted by the School to  complete the requirements for a high school diploma, if the person meets any of the  following conditions:  

  1. The applicant and either parent reside in the School’s geographic boundaries.  2. The applicant does not reside in the School s geographic boundaries, but one of  the parents resides within the School’s geographic boundaries and that parent is  a joint managing conservator or the sole managing conservator or possessory  conservator of the applicant.  
  2. The applicant and his or her guardian or other person having lawful control under  a court order reside within the School’s geographic boundaries.  
  3. The applicant is under the age of 18 and has established a separate residence in  the School s geographic boundaries separate and apart from his or her parent,  guardian, or other person having lawful control under an order of a court and has  established that the applicant’s presence in the School is not for the primary  purpose of participation in extracurricular activities. However, the School is not  required to admit an applicant under this provision if the applicant:  
  4. Has engaged in conduct or misbehavior within the preceding year that has  resulted in removal to a disciplinary alternative education program or expulsion;  b. Has engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct in need of supervision and is on  probation or other conditional release for that conduct; or  
  5. Has been convicted of a criminal offense and is on probation or other  conditional release.  
  6. The applicant is homeless, regardless of the residence of the applicant, of either  parent of the applicant, or of the applicant’s guardian or other person having lawful  control of the applicant.  
  7. The applicant is a foreign exchange student placed with a host family that resides  in the School’s geographic boundaries by a nationally recognized foreign  exchange program, unless the School has applied for and been granted a waiver  by the Commissioner because: 
  8. Admission would impose a financial or staffing hardship on the School;

DATE ISSUED: 9/20/2012 LAST REVISED: 7/25/2020 

CHARTER SCHOOL BOARD POLICY MANUAL 

POLICY GROUP 3 - STUDENTS 

ADMISSIONS AND ENROLLMENT PG-3.3 

  1. Admission would diminish the School’s ability to provide high-quality education  services for the School’s domestic students; or  
  2. Admission would require domestic students to compete with foreign exchange  students for educational resources.  
  3. The applicant resides at a residential facility, as defined in Education Code 5.001,  located within the School’s boundaries.  
  4. The applicant resides in the School’s boundaries and is 18 or older or the  applicant’s disabilities of minority have been removed.  
  5. The applicant does not reside in the School’s boundaries, but a grandparent  resides in the School’s boundaries and provides a substantial amount of after school care for the applicant as determined by the Board.  

10.The applicant and either parent of the applicant reside in a residence homestead  that is located on a parcel of property any part of which is located in the School’s  geographic boundaries.  

Education Code 25.001.  

Sec. 3. Application Requirement 

The School requires applicants to submit a complete application form in order to be  considered for admission. The Superintendent or designee shall set a beginning and  closing date for the application window for each school year.  

In order to be eligible for admission, the applicant or qualifying occupant specified by  Education Code 25.001(b) must generally reside in the geographic boundaries of the  School before completing enrollment and satisfy any other admissions criteria specified  in this policy. See Verification of Residency, Sec. 7 below. However, as allowed by  Texas Education Code 12.117(d), the School may admit a child of a School employee  regardless of whether the child resides in the geographic area served by the School.  

Sec. 4. Lottery Provisions 

A “lottery” for purposes of this policy is a non-weighted, random selection process that determines the order of enrollment of student applicants. A lottery is to be conducted if  the number of applicants exceeds the maximum enrollment. The lottery shall take place  by the end of February of that school year. The lottery will be conducted via lottery  selection software. The principal or designee of each campus will conduct the  computerized lottery, with supervision by at least one member of the sponsoring entity or  his or her designee and a representative from the School’s Central Office. This ensures  that the admissions list and the waiting list are selected randomly. Results of the lottery  shall be certified by a notary public. 

DATE ISSUED: 9/20/2012 LAST REVISED: 7/25/2020 

CHARTER SCHOOL BOARD POLICY MANUAL 

POLICY GROUP 3 - STUDENTS 

ADMISSIONS AND ENROLLMENT PG-3.3 

  1. a) Development of Waiting List 

The lottery will be paused momentarily after the computerized lottery fills all available  seats allowed by the enrollment cap. The drawing will then continue, and the randomly selected numbers will be used to create a waiting list. As space becomes available,  applicants will be called from the waiting list beginning with applicants with the lowest  number assignment. Applicants selected by lottery will be “deemed admitted” and may  proceed from provisional admission (Texas Education Code Section 25.002) to  enrollment. 

  1. b) Enrollment and Waiting List Report 

In accordance with timelines and regulations enacted by the Texas Education Agency,  the Board shall report to the Texas Education Agency, in the form prescribed by the  Commissioner of Education, the following information:  

  1. The following information for each School campus:  
  2. The number of students enrolled;  
  3. The enrollment capacity; and  
  4. If the campus uses a waiting list for admission, the total number of students on  the waiting list and the number of students on the waiting list disaggregated by  grade level;  
  5. The information described in item 1 above aggregated for all School campuses;  and 
  6. Any information required by the Commissioner of Education as necessary to  identify each student admitted to or on a waiting list for admission to a campus  who is or was previously enrolled in a public school in Texas.  

Education Code 12.1174.  

  1. c) Admission Process of Returning Students 

Returning students (students who currently attend the School and intend to return the  next school year) are exempted from the lottery if they notify the School of their intent to  return for the next school year by the deadline designated by the Superintendent or  designee for the then-current school year. Returning students will be required to submit  proof of residency for each year of continuing enrollment within a timeframe set by the  Superintendent or designee. 

  1. d) Children of the School’s Founders and Employees and Siblings Policy 

Siblings of returning students currently enrolled in the School and who timely notify the  School of intent to return for the next school year are exempt from the lottery and, space 

DATE ISSUED: 9/20/2012 LAST REVISED: 7/25/2020 

CHARTER SCHOOL BOARD POLICY MANUAL 

POLICY GROUP 3 - STUDENTS 

ADMISSIONS AND ENROLLMENT PG-3.3 

permitting, are automatically enrolled. For this policy “sibling” shall mean a biological or  legally adopted brother or sister residing in the same household as the applicant. Cousins,  nieces, nephews and unrelated children sharing an address with the applicant are not  siblings. Sibling enrollment is dependent on available space and does not guarantee  enrollment of each listed sibling.  

Children of the School’s founders, teachers, and staff (so long as the total number of  students allowed constitutes only a small percentage of total enrollment) are exempt from  lottery requirements, as permitted by federal guidance on the Charter Schools Program.  

If there are more children of school founders, teachers and staff and sibling applicants  than spaces available, they will be entered into a separate lottery and either admitted if  space allows or placed on the waiting list in the order that they are drawn. 

  1. e) Applications Submitted Outside the Designated Application Period 

If a student applies to the School outside of the designated application period, the student  will be placed on a waiting list in the order of the date in which the application is received. 

Sec. 5. Students with Documented Histories of a Criminal Offense and/or  Misconduct 

As authorized by Education Code § 12.111(a)(5)(A), the School shall exclude from  enrollment those students who have a documented history of a criminal offense, a juvenile  court adjudication, or other discipline problems under Subchapter A, Chapter 37 of the  Education Code.  

Sec. 6. Documents and Information Applicants are Required to Provide 

Applicants must complete and submit the common admission application form developed  and made available by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) under Education Code  12.1173, beginning with TEA’s publication of the common application form and in  accordance with TEA regulations. 

Applicants are not required to provide transcripts or other academic records until after they are offered admission. 

Sec. 7. Verification of Residency And Immunization Records for Enrollment 

Verification of residency and current immunization records are required for all students  enrolling. Every student enrolling for the first time must present a signed statement from  a physician or documentation of immunizations as required by the Texas Department of  State Health Services, no later than 30 days after enrolling. Students who submit an  affidavit from a physician stating immunizations should not be administered for medical 

DATE ISSUED: 9/20/2012 LAST REVISED: 7/25/2020 

CHARTER SCHOOL BOARD POLICY MANUAL 

POLICY GROUP 3 - STUDENTS 

ADMISSIONS AND ENROLLMENT PG-3.3 

reasons, and students who submit an affidavit signed by the student’s parent or guardian  declining immunizations for reasons of conscience, will be excepted from this  requirement. The parent or guardian must furnish records that verify the identity of the  student. 

A person’s “residence,” for the purpose of this policy is the true, fixed and permanent  place where the qualifying occupant ordinarily lives and sleeps, not less than four nights  during the school week and to which, when temporarily absent from the residence, the  occupant intends to return. The qualifying occupant specified by Education  Code 25.001(b) must generally reside in the authorized geographic boundaries of the  School, as described in the School’s charter. A person who is homeless, as defined by 42  U.S.C. 11302, need not reside within the geographic boundaries of the School. In order  to verify residency for enrollment, acceptable evidence of residency includes:  

  • Current driver’s license or identification card issued by the State of  Texas; 
  • Current property tax bill with parent/guardian's name and property  address;  
  • Current rental or lease agreement with parent/guardian's name, student  name, and address, as well as manager or owner's name and telephone  number;  
  • Documents related to the purchase of the residence with the  parent/guardian's name and property address;  
  • Mail dated within 60 days before the application date from the following  sources: 

o Social Security Administration; 

o A Texas State government agency; 

o Utility companies; 

o Credit card bill; 

o Financial institutions; including checking or savings; 

o Insurance companies; 

o State and Federal Revenue documents; 

o Paycheck information. 

o Other sources or documents demonstrating residency  

If, at any time, a student's or qualifying occupant’s residence is in question, the School  may ask for additional documents for verification. If the parent or legal guardian cannot  provide evidence of residency because the parent or legal guardian is living with a relative or friend, a notarized statement by the relative or friend may be accepted by the School  with the following stipulation:  

  • Notarized statement must state that the parent or legal guardian and  child are living with the relative/friend; 

DATE ISSUED: 9/20/2012 LAST REVISED: 7/25/2020 

CHARTER SCHOOL BOARD POLICY MANUAL 

POLICY GROUP 3 - STUDENTS 

ADMISSIONS AND ENROLLMENT PG-3.3 

  • Notarized statement must state the name of relative or friend who is on  the relative who is on the relative or friend’s proof of residence;  
  • Notarized statement must state the same address of relative or friend  who is on the relative or friend’s proof of residence;  
  • A copy of the relative or friend’s proof of residence must be attached to  the notarized statement (meeting the documentation criteria described  above); and  
  • The notarized statement must be signed by same name of relative or  friend who is on the relative or friend’s proof of residence.  

Subsequently, within 60 days, at least two current documents, the School must be  provided confirmation of residency from one or more of the following sources:  

  • Credit card companies;  
  • U. S. Treasury;  
  • Social Security Administration, including benefits letter;  
  • Texas State government agencies (including city and county agencies);  Utility companies;  
  • Financial institutions including checking, savings, or investment account  statements;  
  • Insurance companies;  
  • State and Federal Revenue departments. 

The School may conduct home-visits, at any time, to confirm residency of applicants and  enrolled students. Falsification of residence on an enrollment form is a criminal offense. 

Sec. 8. Adult Student Attendance Requirement For Continued Admission 

A person who voluntarily attends school after his or her 19th birthday shall attend school  each school day for the entire period the program of instruction is offered. The School  may revoke, for the remainder of the school year, the enrollment of a person who has  more than five absences in a semester that are not excused under Education Code  § 25.087, except that the School may not revoke the enrollment on a day on which the  person is physically present at school. A person whose enrollment is revoked under this  subsection may be considered an unauthorized person on School grounds and a criminal  trespass warning may be issued. Prior to revoking the person’s enrollment, the School  shall issue a warning letter to the person, after the third unexcused absence, stating that  the person’s enrollment may be revoked for the remainder of the school year if the person has more than five unexcused absences in a semester. As an alternative to revoking  enrollment, the School may impose a behavior improvement plan. Education Code  25.085(e).  

Sec. 9. Student Residency Separate From Parent/Guardian

DATE ISSUED: 9/20/2012 LAST REVISED: 7/25/2020 

CHARTER SCHOOL BOARD POLICY MANUAL 

POLICY GROUP 3 - STUDENTS 

ADMISSIONS AND ENROLLMENT PG-3.3 

In order to protect the best interests of students enrolled, for purposes of students under  the age of 18 who have established a residence apart from the person’s parent, guardian,  or other person having lawful control, such persons must establish their separate  residency and verify it with documentation acceptable to the School in the same manner  as other students. However, a student under 18 and not living with parents or guardian,  who has engaged in conduct in the preceding year that has resulted in a disciplinary  removal, alternative placement or expulsion, or who has engaged in delinquent conduct  or conduct in need of supervision and is on probation or other conditional release for that  conduct, or has been convicted of a criminal offense and is on probation or other  conditional release, shall not be admitted to the School. The Superintendent shall follow Students with Documented Histories of a Criminal Offense and/or Misconduct,  Section 5 above, in making such determination.  

Sec. 10. Admission of Homeless Students 

  1. a) Definitions 

“Enroll” and “enrollment” include attending classes and participating fully in school  activities.  

“Homeless child” or “homeless children” means children or youths who lack a fixed,  regular, and adequate nighttime residence and includes: 

  1. Children who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing,  economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks,  or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are  living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals;  
  2. Children who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place  not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human  beings;  
  3. Children who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings,  substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and  
  4. Migratory children living in circumstances described above. “Migratory child”  means a child who made a qualifying move in the preceding 36 months (a) as a  migratory agricultural worker or a migratory fisher; or (b) with, or to join, a parent  or spouse who is a migratory agricultural worker or a migratory fisher.  

“School of origin” means the school that the child attended when permanently housed or  the school in which the child was last enrolled, including a preschool. When a child  completes the final grade level served by the school of origin, the term “school of origin”  shall include the designated receiving school at the next grade level for all feeder schools,  as applicable. 

DATE ISSUED: 9/20/2012 LAST REVISED: 7/25/2020 

CHARTER SCHOOL BOARD POLICY MANUAL 

POLICY GROUP 3 - STUDENTS 

ADMISSIONS AND ENROLLMENT PG-3.3 

“Unaccompanied youth” includes a homeless child or youth not in the physical custody of  a parent or guardian.  

  1. b) General Requirements 

As a condition of receiving federal funds under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance  Act, the School shall, according to a homeless child’s best interest:  

  1. Continue the child’s education in the school of origin for the duration of  homelessness;  
  2. If the child’s family becomes homeless between academic years or during an  academic year; and  
  3. For the remainder of the academic year, if the child becomes permanently  housed during an academic year; or  
  4. Enroll the child in any charter school operated by the School that non-homeless  students who live in the School’s geographic boundaries are eligible to attend.  

42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(3)(A).  

In determining the best interest of a homeless child, the School shall:  

  1. Presume that keeping the child in the school of origin is in the child’s best interest,  except when doing so is contrary to the request of the child’s parent or guardian,  or in the case of an unaccompanied youth the youth;  
  2. Consider student-centered factors related to the child’s best interest, including  factors related to the impact of mobility on achievement, education, health, and  safety of homeless children, giving priority to the request of the child’s parent or  guardian or the unaccompanied youth;  
  3. If, after conducting the best interest determination based on consideration of the  presumption in item 1 above and the student-centered factors in item 2 above, the  School determines that it is not in the child’s best interest to attend the school of  origin or the school requested by the parent or guardian or the unaccompanied  youth, provide the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth with a written  explanation of the reasons for its determination, in a manner and form  understandable to such parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth, including  information regarding the right to appeal as set forth in Sec. 13-f below; and  
  4. In the case of an unaccompanied youth, ensure that the homeless liaison assists  in placement and enrollment decisions under these provisions, gives priority to the  views of such unaccompanied youth, and provides the notice to such youth of the  right to appeal as set forth in Sec. 13-f below.  

42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(3)(B).  

The School shall not stigmatize or segregate a student who is homeless. 

DATE ISSUED: 9/20/2012 LAST REVISED: 7/25/2020 

CHARTER SCHOOL BOARD POLICY MANUAL 

POLICY GROUP 3 - STUDENTS 

ADMISSIONS AND ENROLLMENT PG-3.3 

  1. c) Information from Parents 

The School may require the parent or guardian of a homeless child to submit contact  information. 42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(3)(H).  

  1. d) Enrollment 

The School shall immediately enroll a homeless child, depending on available seats, even  if the child:  

  1. Is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment, such as previous  academic record, records of immunization and other required health records, proof  of residency, or other document; or 
  2. Has missed application or enrollment deadlines during any period of  homelessness.  

42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(3)(C).  

  1. e) Enrollment in School of Origin 

In determining the best interest of the student for the purpose of continuing the student’s  education in the school of origin, the School shall presume that keeping the student in his  or her school of origin is in the student’s best interest, except when doing so is contrary  to the request of the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth. The School shall also  consider the best interests of the student with regard to the impact of moving schools on  the student’s achievement, education, health, and safety, including such relevant factors  as:  

  1. Continuity of instruction; 
  2. Age and grade placement of the student; 
  3. Distance of the commute and its impact on the student’s education or special  needs; 
  4. Personal safety of the student; 
  5. The student’s eligibility and need for any specialized services and supports, such  as Section 504, special education and related services, or bilingual or English as  a second language services; 
  6. Length of anticipated stay in a temporary shelter or other temporary location, if  applicable; 
  7. Likely area of the family’s or youth’s future housing; 
  8. Time remaining in the school year; and 
  9. School placement of siblings.

DATE ISSUED: 9/20/2012 LAST REVISED: 7/25/2020 

CHARTER SCHOOL BOARD POLICY MANUAL 

POLICY GROUP 3 - STUDENTS 

ADMISSIONS AND ENROLLMENT PG-3.3 

Services, including transportation, that the School is required to provide shall not be  considered in determining the student’s school of attendance. 

  1. f) Disputes Concerning Enrollment 

If a dispute arises over eligibility, or school selection or enrollment in a school:  

  1. The child shall be immediately enrolled in the school in which enrollment is sought,  pending final resolution of the dispute, including all available appeals; 2. The parent or guardian of the child or an unaccompanied youth shall be provided  with a written explanation of any decisions related to school selection or enrollment  made by the School including the rights of the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied  youth to appeal such decisions. 
  2. The parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth shall be referred to the homeless  liaison, who shall carry out the dispute resolution process as expeditiously as  possible after receiving notice of the dispute; and 
  3. In the case of an unaccompanied youth, the liaison shall ensure that the youth is  immediately enrolled in the school in which the youth seeks enrollment pending  resolution of such dispute. 

42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(3)(E).  

  1. g) Comparable Services 

The School shall provide a homeless child with services comparable to those offered to  other student in the school in which the child is enrolled. 42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(4).  

Discrepancies in Student Name 

The Superintendent or designee shall notify the Missing Children and Missing Persons  Information Clearinghouse if a child is enrolled under a name other than the name that  appears on the identifying documents. If a student’s records have not been received  within 30 days of a request, the Superintendent or designee shall notify local law  enforcement for a determination of whether the child has been reported as missing.  Education Code 25.002(b).  

Food Allergy Information 

The parent of each student enrolled at the School must complete a form provided by the  School that discloses (1) whether the child has a food allergy or a severe food allergy that  should be disclosed to the School to enable the School to take any necessary precautions  regarding the child’s safety and (2) specifies the food(s) to which the child is allergic and  the nature of the allergic reaction.

DATE ISSUED: 9/20/2012 LAST REVISED: 7/25/2020 

CHARTER SCHOOL BOARD POLICY MANUAL 

POLICY GROUP 3 - STUDENTS 

ADMISSIONS AND ENROLLMENT PG-3.3 

For purposes of this requirement, the term “severe food allergy” means a dangerous or  life-threatening reaction of the human body to a food-borne allergen introduced by  inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact that requires immediate medical attention. 

The School may also require information from a child’s physician if the child has food  allergies.  

Food allergy information forms will be maintained in the child’s student records, and shall  remain confidential. Information provided on food allergy information forms may be  disclosed to teachers, school counselors, school nurses, and other appropriate school  personnel only to the extent consistent with Board policy and as permissible under the  Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (“FERPA”).  

Education Code 25.0022(a)-(c)

DATE ISSUED: 9/20/2012 LAST REVISED: 7/25/2020 

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