No lottery for Charter School 6th grade seats

School decides on waiting list as one seat remains

There will be no sixth grade lottery for the Marco Island Charter Middle School, although there is but one vacancy remaining for the next school year.

School Board President Tarik Ayasun said on Tuesday that a waiting list will be created instead. Right now that list has eight applicants.

The open enrollment deadline passed on Thursday with 161 applications for 154 seats.

On Friday, George Abounader, school principal, said a lottery may be necessary. He also said the school was looking into the applications to verify the numbers.

The school board recently approved an enrollment of 154 students each in grades 6 through 8.

Ayasun said he asked staff to review all applications to make sure they were properly done.

Of those applications 134 were done correctly, Ayasun said.

“Parents of the 27 applicants whose applications were not correct were called to correct those applications,” he said.

Correct applications now total 153, leaving one seat.

What happens with the eight incorrect applications left, or if more come in?

Once the last seat is filled the remaining applicants go on a waiting list, Ayasun said. If more applications come in they also will be placed on the waiting list, using a first-come-first-serve guideline.

Ayasun thinks there is a good chance that those on the waiting list will get in.

“There are always kids that drop because they end up going to another school, but mostly they move,” he said.

Ayasun said that in the 2010-2011 school year there were 151 good applications for sixth grade. “Only 141 started school,” he said. “With an overall starting enrollment of 431, we finished the year at 406.”

Ayasun said 112 of the 125 possible Tommie Barfield students have applied. Three incorrect applications remain.

Besides those applications, the Charter School has drawn applicants from other districts in the county and those moving into the county.

Being a charter school, Ayasun said applicants can come from all over Collier County, instead of regular public schools that are divided into districts.

The makeup of present elementary school applicants that are assured a seat include: Tommie Barfield, 109, Lely Elementary, 18, Manatee, 11, Parkside, 5, Calusa Park, Lake Park, Big Cypress and Shadowlawn, 1 each and new to the area, 6.

More students can mean more teachers. Ayasun expects that at least one new teacher will be needed.

“We are a popular school with reason,” he said. “We are ranked 35th out of 585 middle schools in the state.”

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