Application and Lottery Process
Prospective families of The Watershed School:
- During the application process, parents and guardians are strongly encouraged to attend the informational meeting on March 25 at 6:00 pm to learn about the philosophy, curriculum, daily operation, and unique requirements (i.e. cross-country skis!) of the school.
- Parent(s) or guardian(s) will complete and submit The Watershed School Application Form. **Be sure to download the application before entering data (otherwise it'll show up blank).
- Once completed, the application will be reviewed to ensure all information is included. If more students apply than can be accommodated (class sizes are set at 22), applicants will be drawn by lottery for admission. The lottery will be held at 6:00 pm on April 15 at the school.
- Parents of students drawn at the lottery will be notified within two days of the lottery and will be invited to attend one of two orientation tours before completing enrollment paperwork. Orientation tours are tentatively scheduled for 10:00 am on April 22.
- Parents are welcome to call the school after the lottery date to learn about their child's position on the waitlist. Due to a large number of applications we receive every year, the school is not able to call the parents of every student on the waitlist.
The Watershed Charter School is a school of choice within the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. A student enrolling at The Watershed School must be within the age of five and fourteen. In order to be eligible to apply to attend kindergarten, children must be five years old on or before September 1. Children must be 6 years old on or before September 1 to attend first grade. A copy of the child's birth certificate is required for each pupil entering kindergarten or first grade. All new students must submit proof of immunization or a waiver before being admitted into school. At least one parent, or legal guardian, must be a resident of the Fairbanks North Star Borough.
Enrollment at The Watershed School is voluntary. 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 of too many eligible applicants, a lottery will be held. The lottery will be held for enrollment for the following fall and will be conducted in accordance with district policy. The lottery determines the waiting list for the following school year.
The Watershed School keeps a wait list of students that have applied but were unsuccessful in being chosen through the lottery. When there are openings in the school between the annual lotteries, the waiting list is used to fill the vacancies. Waitlists do not carry over for the next year’s lottery. All unsuccessful applicants are welcome to reapply the following year.
In keeping with the Watershed’s School philosophy of long-term connection to family, community, and geographical place, in subsequent years all students who have previously attended The Watershed School are automatically re-enrolled in the program. Siblings are admitted as a unit so that families can attend the same school (ie: when one child in a family is admitted through the lottery, the other siblings will move up to the next available spot in their respective grade). Although all new applicants must meet application requirements, future students who already have siblings enrolled in the school are given priority to enroll in the Watershed School, given that space is available at the sibling’s grade level. Siblings are defined as permanent, immediate family members.
In order to accommodate children from the Smith Ranch Subdivision area, when openings arise in a grade level, we will allow preference to Smith Ranch children. This preference will be closed when two seats in a classroom are occupied by Smith Ranch children.
Once enrolled at The Watershed School, parents or guardians will complete an “Intent to Reenroll” form in February for succeeding school years and are expected to notify the school of any change in plans.
If students withdraw from The Watershed School to attend another school, they are required to complete the application and lottery process again before readmission to the school. If a parent pulls a student mid-year and puts them in a different school or homeschool and later on reapplies to Watershed School, the ability to use sibling preference cannot be used. They must go back into the lottery. If a student is withdrawn due to attendance violations they are put back in the lottery and lose the ability to use sibling preference to get back into Watershed.
The Watershed School does not discriminate toward any individual as defined in District Policy 1011 nor does it require any student to attend the program. The Watershed School 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 need.