Orientation & Lottery Application
Prospective families of Chinook Montessori Charter School are guided to complete the following enrollment process:
1. The first step in the lottery process is to visit Chinook and attend an orientation. During the orientation, the parent(s) or guardian(s) will learn about the school philosophy, how Chinook operates, and the history of the school. After observing the school, a parent or guardian fills out a lottery application. Attending an orientation prior to filling out an application for 2021-2022 school year lottery is not required.
OPTIONAL Virtual Orientation Dates for 2021-2022 School Year:
Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at 12:00 pm and 6:30 pm
Thursday, March 25, 2021, at 12:00 pm and 6:30 pm
Meeting ID: 287 359 4607
2. Once completed, the application will be reviewed to ensure all information (including sibling applications, contact information, etc.) is complete. If more students apply than can be accommodated (grade levels K-6 is limited to 16 students and grades 7-8 is limited to 22 students), applicants will be drawn by lottery for admission. Due to the course requirements, new 8th graders are not admitted into Chinook.
Due to COVID-19, we have created an online application to enter our lottery for the 2021-2022 school year. Applications must be filled out by end of day April 8, 2021.
If you miss the deadline for the 2021-2022 school year lottery, please call the school to give your information to be added to the end of the waiting list.
3. The lottery date is April 15. If April 15 occurs on a weekend, then the lottery occurs on the closest weekday date. Parents and students are welcome to attend the public lottery which is held at the school. The lottery is presided over by at least one Chinook Board member and two teachers. The drawing begins promptly at 6 p.m. on the Chinook premises. Interested members of the public are welcome. (It will be streamed for the April 15, 2021 lottery drawing).
Prior to the drawing, each family name is placed on a small slip of paper. The paper is folded and put in a bowl and stirred, slips are chosen randomly from the bowl, and then the family name is recorded in the order it was drawn.
As each family is drawn, each child is given a number. For example, Adams family: Fred Adams is #1, Sue Adams is #2 and Pat Adams is #3. Jones family: Sam Jones is #4 and Mike Jones is #5. The process continues in this manner until all the names have been drawn, and all students have numbers.
Students are then categorized according to grade level. Students are placed in numerical order on the appropriate grade list, and open positions are offered to the student accordingly.
4. Parents are welcome to call the school after the lottery date to learn about their child's position on the waitlist. In honoring confidentiality, a published list of the entire lottery is not released. After the lottery, if a placement is offered, the student and family must attend an interview with at least one teacher.
Admission & Selection Process
Chinook Montessori Charter School is a school of choice. A student enrolling at Chinook must be within the age of five and fourteen and a resident of the FNSBSD. In order to be eligible to apply to attend kindergarten, children must be five years old on or before September 1st. Children must be 6 years old on or before September 1 to attend 1st grade. A copy of the child’s birth certificate, proof of immunizations, or a waiver, is required for each student enrolling. Chinook may, upon written notice to the FNSBSD, decline to accept students who have been determined, after due process, to have violated FNSBSD Policies 1042.61 (Firearms and Other Guns) or 1053.3 (Alcohol and Other Drug Violations).
All parents who enroll students in the school must agree to contribute at least fifteen hours per trimester either at the school site or from home. Parents choose from a wide variety of ways to be involved.
Attending Chinook is a long-term commitment. Students applying should intend to complete their entire elementary and middle school program at the school. Prior to the application process, parents and students must attend an orientation meeting about the philosophy, curriculum, and day-to-day operation of the school. At this time they also observe the school in session. Parents and students then complete an application form and their name will be placed in the lottery.
After the lottery, if a placement is offered, the student and family must attend an interview with at least one teacher.
In the event that attending an informational meeting is not possible, for example, in the case of a military relocation or a family preparing to move into the area, a proxy may attend in place of a parent or guardian. Please call or email the school to establish this proxy.
The school strives to enroll all students who meet the admission criteria and turns in their application five business days before the lottery drawing held on April 15 (or the closest weekday to that date). As per AS 14.03.265 (b) the school shall strive to enroll all eligible students who submit a timely and accurate application. In the event that the number of students applying exceeds the capacity of the program, grade level, or building, families who meet the above criteria will be selected by lottery. The lottery determines the waiting list for the following school year. New waitlists are created each year. All unsuccessful applicants are welcome to reapply the following year. When there are openings in the school, the waiting list is used to fill the vacancies.
We have a Sibling Waitlist and a General Waitlist. Once a student is admitted into the school, their school-aged siblings are placed at the bottom of the Sibling Waitlist. The General Waitlist is compiled from the lottery. When school is in session, the Sibling Waitlist is updated at time of sibling attendance or at the end of each school year, whichever comes first. New families joining Chinook will be added to the sibling list for the upcoming year if admittance to the school occurs prior to July 1st.
In subsequent years all students who have previously attended Chinook are automatically re-enrolled in the program. Parents or guardians are expected to notify the school of any change in enrollment plans, prior to our lottery, for the upcoming year.
Entering five-year-old students who already have siblings enrolled in the school are given admission preference. Siblings are defined as permanent, immediate family members, of kindergarten through seventh grade, who are living in the home. If a student withdraws from Chinook Montessori Charter School to attend another school, they are required to complete the application and lottery process again if they wish to return. The student loses the ability to use sibling preference. Per FEA and ESSA contracts, children of Chinook teachers and staff are given enrollment preference.
During the lottery process, or whenever student spots open during the school year, we identify the grade level and gender of the position open. Openings will be filled to accommodate the grade and gender space available in the class to keep grade level and gender balance in each classroom. First, we check the sibling waitlist. If there is not a sibling that fits the opening, we move to the general waitlist.
In order to maintain balanced multi-age classrooms and keep classroom enrollment stable, Chinook strives to fill precise openings based on:
- Grade level balance
- We have 16 students K-6 and 22 in 7th & 8th grade.
- Gender balance
- We have 8 females and 8 males in K-6 and 11 females and 11 males in 7th and 8th grades. When filling open positions with a sibling, we will allow deviations from the 50:50 ratio by 1, in order to admit a sibling.
Chinook does not discriminate toward any individual as defined in FNSBSD Policy 1011 nor does it require any student to attend the program. Chinook Montessori Charter will not discriminate by race or special needs or other inappropriate criteria. No student shall be denied participation because of a learning disability, handicapping condition, or special needs.