FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I apply to Seaside Charter?
Parents/guardians desiring to enroll their student(s) at a Seaside school must submit an application of interest. The application will require applicants to disclose only basic identifying information (name, address, grade, contact information, etc.).
When does Seaside begin accepting applications for the following school year?
Seaside will begin accepting applications on December 1st of the year prior to the desired enrollment year.
When is the application deadline for the lottery?
The initial application deadline will be the 1st day of February following the application release.
What is a Charter School Lottery?
A charter school lottery is a random selection process by which applicants are admitted to a charter school to ensure that all applicants that do not have enrollment priority have an equal chance of being admitted.
What happens when I apply to Seaside and I am not eligible for preference?
When the number of applications for a particular grade at a specific campus exceeds the capacity of the available openings, once a year, applicants will have an equal chance of being admitted through a randomly chosen lottery system.
The students with enrollment preference are students that meet one of the qualifications listed below, and they are accepted for enrollment prior to running the lottery.
A charter school must conduct a lottery if more students apply for admission to the charter school than can be admitted. We conduct the lottery every year in February, but we continue to enroll students on our waitlist on a rolling basis.
What are enrollment preferences?
Seaside schools may give enrollment preference to the following student populations:
- Students who are siblings of a student enrolled at a Consortium school.
- Students who are enrolled in a VPK program operated by the Governing Board of Seaside.
- Students who are the children of an employee working at the school.
- Students who are the children of a member of the Governing Board of Seaside, provided that the number of students admitted under this preference constitutes only a small percentage of the school’s total enrollment.
- Students who are the children of an active duty member of any branch of the military.
- Students that reside in Duval County
What is Open Enrollment?
Seaside schools are controlled open enrollment schools. Controlled open enrollment allows any Florida student to enroll in the school regardless of their county of residence, provided that the parent/guardian provides transportation and that the school is not at capacity. However, applicants residing within Duval County will be given enrollment preference over out-of-county applicants. Applicants must indicate their county of residence on the application of interest, per http://www.fldoe.org/schools/school-choice/other-school-choice-options/controlled-open-enrollment.stml
If I am eligible for preference on my application, what should I do?
Applicants must indicate on the application of interest that they are eligible for an enrollment preference, with such preference subject to verification by Seaside.
Enrollment preferences may vary at times, where a school is subject to a restriction based on participation in a state or federal program (e.g. CSP grant). Any variation on enrollment preferences for a particular campus or the organization as a whole, will be posted on the schools website.
What if I don’t make the first application deadline?
Applications received after the deadline will be considered in the order of receipt or, if applicable, the applicant will be placed on a waitlist behind any initial lottery applicants.
For schools that are the current recipient of a CSP grant, additional application periods may be established with clear beginning and end dates, and additional lotteries may be conducted as necessary.
What if I haven’t heard back about the lottery after Feb. 1?
After accepting applications, determining openings, and conducting any necessary lotteries, the school will send notifications to applicants indicating whether their student has been placed on the waiting list or whether the student is being offered a position at the school.
This notification does not typically happen right away after Feb. 1. The process for filling the seats takes time as the school determines who will and will not commit to enroll the following year. Additional lotteries by grade may need to be run.
Upon being offered a position at Seaside Charter, parents/guardians will have 72 hours to notify the school of their decision regarding the opening by completing and returning an admission acceptance form either in person or through email. Failure to respond will be deemed a declination of the offer and the next name on the list will be offered the position.
Upon acceptance, parents/guardians will be sent an enrollment packet to complete. Completion of the entire enrollment packet including receipt of required documents is necessary for enrollment in the school.
Parents/Guardians will return the completed packet within fourteen (14) days or the position will be forfeited.
Should I stay on the Waitlist? What are my chances of getting in?
We put all applicants into the lottery, but not all applicants ultimately enroll. Sometimes, in the process of waiting to see if they are able to get in, they choose a different school for instance. The process for filling the classes at Seaside takes place over the course of this entire season and throughout the summer, as various opportunities arise. For instance, we open a new classroom, some of our students move away over the summer, etc.
All applications are added to the lottery until 2/1 when the lottery is run, any application after 2/1 will be added to the waitlist based on Timestamp.
This is why it is not a bad thing to join and stay on our waitlist. We can’t tell you your exact chances of getting in, but opportunities do open up all the time.
Does Seaside discriminate based on anything other than the listed qualifications for preference?
Seaside School Consortium does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, disability or marital status in its educational programs, services or activities. The district also provides equal access to its facilities to the Boy Scouts and other patriotic youth groups, as required by the Boys Scout of America Equal Access Act. Students with disabilities and students served in English for Speakers of Other Languages programs shall have an equal opportunity of being selected for enrollment in Seaside schools.
If the lottery is meant to fill the school’s open seats, how do spots open up that become available for students on the waitlist?
Each school will determine available student openings for the following year after the end of the third nine weeks of school, when decisions about retention and re-enrollment have been finalized. Parents of current students will be required to sign a commitment to re-enroll for the following school year, or notification of intent to transfer, on or before the first day of spring break each academic year.
What makes Seaside Charter Special?
Our school is very special because there are so few opportunities on the East side of the US for students to experience Waldorf-Inspired education for free. Waldorf education is based on a philosophy of freedom in learning and child development.
The most simple way to explain it is by echoing something we often hear our parents say: “It’s what I always imagined school would be like, but it never was.”
Our students spend a lot of time outside learning from each other and the world. There is very little use of technology and our lessons are designed to activate students' understanding of a concept more dynamically. Seaside Charter incorporates art-inspiration throughout the curriculum and in uncommon ways. Seaside students are very creative, uniquely aware of their social impact and contribution to the world, and feel less pressure academically, while still maintaining public school standards.
Does Seaside provide more information about Waldorf-inspired Public Education?
You can learn more about how we apply Waldorf-inspired principles to a public school curriculum by signing up for Waldorf Together here, which is a newsletter that provides regular events, information, and resources to our community.
Will I have a chance to Tour?
If you sign up here or fill out an application of interest to add your student to the waitlist, you will be invited to tour Seaside virtually. Here, you will have a chance to ask questions, see the classrooms and facilities throughout the campuses you choose to tour, and meet some of our teachers.
For now, we are not conducting tours in person, but this is subject to change in the future.
What about District-related FAQs?
Visit the Duval County School Website here.
What if I have a concern about something happening in my child’s classroom?
Parents should follow the steps below to resolve classroom or student concerns.
- Attempt to resolve concerns directly with the classroom teacher.
- Contact the Principal of the school and the classroom teacher to resolve the concern.
- Contact the principal, the classroom teacher, and the education director.
- Parent Liaison to the Board
In the event that a child's guardian feels unable to resolve an issue with their student's instructor and/or the school administrators, they should escalate their concerns to the parent liaison at each school and include all the individuals listed above.
The parent liaison will present concerns to the board in an appropriate way that protects each student's privacy.
Parent Liaison to the Board:
Teresa Hartline, Beach Campus
Michelle Weippert, San Jose
Jayme Hillyer, North Campus
If a person suspects misconduct by school staff is affecting the health, safety, and welfare of a student, they should contact the school principal, the executive director, and the parent liaison. If a child is in immediate danger, call 911.
Anyone who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is abused, abandoned, or neglected must report such knowledge or suspicion to the Florida Abuse Hotline: 1-800-96-ABUSE
Florida DCF Website
What is a school consortium?
A consortium is a coalition of two or more schools with the intent of sharing resources, improving finances and educating students. Seaside Charter is a school consortium, but we consider ourselves a family.
Who are the consortium leaders and how is the consortium governed?
The Seaside School Consortium Governing Board is comprised of community supporters, educators, and parents committed to bringing the first tuition-free public charter schools inspired by Waldorf methods to Duval County and the State of Florida.
The Board is responsible for legal and financial obligations, establishing policy consistent with the Schools' mission, and ensuring that the programs and operations of the School are faithful to the terms of the charter.
Those interested in Board membership are asked to read the qualifications and follow the application procedure located at the link below.
Seaside School Consortium governing Board:
Virginia Peacock Preston
Contact the entire board
All emails sent to the board are subject to public records requests and Florida Sunshine Law.
Can I apply to be on the board?
Please see more information regarding board governance here.