By Ashlyn Kelly
The Christa McAuliffe Charter School is a public middle school for students in grades 6, 7, and 8, serving the communities of Framingham, Natick, Ashland, Holliston, Hopkinton, Marlborough, Southborough, and Sudbury.
Named after the late teacher in space Christa McAuliffe, the public charter school is a credentialed EL Education school that provides a project-based, hands-on curriculum that encourages team-building and collaboration with peers.
Teachers emphasize students’ development of character and habits of work and learning with an aim for students to be upstanders who contribute to building a better world, according to the school.
The lottery drawing will be on Wednesday, February 2 via Zoom, according to the school’s website. No names or information will be shared on the Zoom call but a list of both seated and waitlisted students – identified by four-digit randomly assigned numbers – will be posted on the school’s website, according to Frank Tipton, executive director.
There is no tuition to attend the school when a student is accepted.
The school will open 140 spots for the sixth grade and will establish a waiting list once all the spots are filled, according to Mara Gorden, director of community development.
The school will also establish a waiting list for seventh and eighth grades.
The school follows a blind lottery and admissions process that is guided by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s laws and regulations for charter schools, according to the school’s website.
The first preference goes to students who have siblings who already attend, according to Gorden.
Next, students who live in the eight regional towns are chosen by the random electronic lottery tool.
Then students who live outside of the eight regional towns are chosen by the lottery tool as well.
Gorden said those accepted will have 10 business days to enroll in the charter school. If not all the spaces are filled, applicants on the ordered waitlist will be invited to enroll.
After the February lottery, the school will conduct lotteries on the first Wednesday of each month if there are spots open and no waitlist, according to the school’s website.
Applications for those lotteries are due the Friday before the first Wednesday.
The waitlist must be exhausted before another lottery is held, according to the regional public charter school’s website.
Any lottery applications submitted for a month on which a lottery is not held will be included in the subsequent lottery for that grade.
Gorden said the lottery gives “the opportunity to connect more families to the McAuliffe program.”
Ashlyn Kelly is a Spring 2022 SOURCE intern. She is a is a senior communication arts major with minors in political science and journalism at Framingham State University. When she is not writing an article, you can usually find her in a theatre.