Charter Enrollment Policy

Sterling Montessori Charter School
Lottery & Enrollment Policy


Sterling Montessori Charter School is a tuition free public school. Any student who is qualified under the laws of this State for admission to a public school is qualified for admission at Sterling. According to NC G.S.115C-218.55, a charter school shall not discriminate against any student on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, gender, or disability.

To qualify to attend a NC public school, a student must be a resident of North Carolina. In order to be eligible to apply for admissions to Sterling Montessori Academy and Charter School, the child must be domiciled in the state of North Carolina to apply.

North Carolina County boundaries or school attendance areas do not affect charter school enrollment. Sterling does not limit admission to students on the basis of intellectual ability, measures of achievement or aptitude, athletic ability, disability, race, creed, gender, national origin, religion, or ancestry.

As stated in NC G.S. 115C-238.45 (f), a charter school may give enrollment priority in certain instances. The policy of the Executive Board at Sterling Montessori Academy and Charter School defines enrollment priorities and implements them in the manner described below:

Enrollment Priority:

  1. Children of the school’s full time employees and board members, limited to no more than 15% of the school’s total enrollment, unless granted a waiver by the State Board of Education.
  2. Siblings of currently enrolled students who were admitted or enrolled in the charter the previous year.

Note: “Siblings” includes any of the following that resides in the same household: half siblings, stepsiblings and children residing in a family foster home.

Multiple Birth Siblings:
Multiple birth siblings applying for admission shall enter one surname into the lottery to represent all of the multiple births applying at the same time. If that surname of the multiple birth siblings is selected, then all of the multiple birth siblings shall be admitted.

If the names are drawn and placed directly on a wait list, the parents must determine which student is placed first on the wait list.

If the multiple birth siblings are in different grades, the parents will need to decide at the time the applications are submitted which grade level they would like for their surname to be entered.

Long Term Suspension:
Notwithstanding to any law to the contrary, a charter school, in this case Sterling Montessori Charter School may refuse admission to any student who has been expelled or suspended from a public school under N.C.G.S. 115C – 390.5 -309 until the period of suspension or expulsion has expired. 115C – 281.1(b)(12)

Application Process:
Applications available online from Monday, January 9th through Friday, February 10th.

Lottery Saturday, March 4th at 9 AM.

There is no application fee for charter school admission.

Prior to the application period, Sterling will announce on its website and on the admission phone line when the application will be made available, the deadline for submission and the date/time/location of the public lottery drawing.

The application period will be no less than 30 calendar days.

Applications must be completed by the prospective student’s parents(s) or legal guardian.

Applications are completed and submitted online. A link to the application is on the school’s website. For those without digital access there will be a computer available in the Main Office from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on school days during the time of the application period.

For Kindergarten admissions, the student must be 5 years old prior to August 31 of the enrollment year (N.C.G.S. 115C-364).

Parents who accept enrollment for their child(ren) to Sterling must provide transportation to and from school.

Sterling’s public lottery drawing will take place on Saturday, March 4th at 9 AM at the school.
If the number of applications exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade level, or building, a lottery will be held. (N.C.G.S. 115C-218.45(h)) The lottery will be publicly noticed and open for public observation.

After Lottery Submissions:
Paper applications can be submitted after the lottery application period and will be dated and time-stamped. These submissions will be placed at the bottom of the wait list according to the student’s applicable grade level.

Applicants who would have received priority placement during the lottery process will still have priority placement if applications are received after the public lottery drawing, and if seats are available.

Offer of Enrollment /Post Lottery Procedures:
Once the lottery results and waiting lists are posted on the website, updates will be provided as changes occur.

The school shall offer enrollment for spaces available after the lottery process. Offers will be delivered through e-mail and also via a courtesy phone call. Prospective families will accept or decline the offer via e-mail or in writing to document their response.

Parents appointed or court appointed legal guardians of prospective students will have 7 business days to communicate in writing their decision to decline or accept the offer of enrollment. If Sterling Montessori does not receive a response to the offer of enrollment by the close of business (4PM) after 7 business days, the lack of response will be considered an effective “declining” of the offer, the student’s name will be placed at the end of the wait list for the grade level, and the offer will be presented to the next prospective student on that specific grade’s waiting list.

After July 31, parents or court appointed legal guardians of prospective students will have 3 business days to reply to an offer.

Two weeks prior to school starting, families whose students are on the Waiting List are encouraged to contact the school for any needed information should they receive a Late Notice Offer. (Note: A week prior to, or on or after the first day of school shall be considered a Late Notice Offer).

Beginning one week prior to the first day of school and through the 20th student day, parents or court appointed legal guardians will have 48 hours to accept or decline Sterling’s offer of enrollment.

The wait list will only be applicable to the academic year that the lottery was conducted and will be used for admission if a space becomes available during the current academic year until the 20th day of school has been completed.

Misrepresentations on the application will result in this application being eliminated and/or applicant’s dismissal from the school.

Families that have accepted an offer of enrollment must submit required enrollment documents to include a copy of their student’s birth certificate, proof of residency and immunization records within 7 business days after receiving the aforementioned documents. If we do not receive the enrollment documents within 7 business days, the student’s offer/seat may be forfeited and the seat may be offered to the next student on the waiting list.

Attendance: First 20 Days of School:
Newly enrolled and returning students are expected to be in attendance each day for the first 20 days of school.

Once a parent/guardian accepts a seat, the student must attend school immediately. Parents/guardians are responsible for notifying our staff in advance if their student will not be in attendance. Attending school on the first day of school is crucially important. If a student who has accepted an offer and enrolled in our school does not attend school on the first day of school, the school will contact the family via email and/or phone messages. If we do not receive a response within 72 hours confirming that the student still plans to attend, the seat will be offered to the next student on the wait list.

If the student does not attend school by the close of business on the third (3rd) day of school, that student will be withdrawn from the school and we will offer the available seat to the next student on the applicable wait list.

Parents/guardian may appeal our decision to withdraw a student due to failure to adhere to the attendance policy stated above. A written appeal must be sent to the Executive Director via email by close of business the next day after receiving the withdrawal notification. The Executive Director reserves the right to grant or deny re-enrollment based on the information provided in the appeal process.