Today marks a key deadline for funded enrollments at charter schools in West Virginia. Even though families may apply and enroll right up through the start of school as long as space is available, the charter school will only receive the full allocation of funding this fall for students enrolled by the end of the day today. As such, families that wish to enroll in a charter school next year should apply by today to ensure their child's education dollars are directed to the school they will be attending.
As of yesterday, almost 450 total students were enrolled at West Virginia Academy for this fall, which is just over 80% of the school's total capacity. This means the charter school will be on a strong financial footing from Day 1 to deploy its various programs and innovative educational experiences. "We were careful to plan our school's capacity so that we could meet the level of demand in our community and it looks like our projections were spot on," said John Treu, board chair at West Virginia Academy. "A lot of charter schools get into trouble early on by over-estimating enrollments or attempting to grow too fast, but we avoided that problem through accurate projections. Seven of our grade levels have either hit capacity or have only a small handful of spots remaining. We will continue to accept students as long as we have room, but it definitely helps our school if interested families apply by today as opposed to applying over the summer."
Once capacity is reached in any given grade level at a charter school, subsequent applicants are placed on a wait-list based on the order received. It is not uncommon for a charter school to have students withdraw, especially in its first year of a new school, and so at least the first few applicants on the wait list will likely achieve admission by the first week of the fall semester. The earlier a student applies the better in terms of improving their chances of achieving admission either initially or through the wait-list process. West Virginia Academy will be the first public charter school in the state with classes beginning the first week of August.