Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between charter schools and other public schools?
Charter schools ARE public schools of choice, meaning that families choose them for their children. They operate with freedom from some of the regulations that are imposed upon district schools. Charter schools are accountable for academic results and for upholding the promises made in their charters. They must demonstrate performance in the areas of academic achievement, financial management, and organizational stability. If a charter school does not meet performance goals, it may be closed.
Is tuition charged?
No. Charter schools are public schools and there is no charge.
How many students attend your school?
RPA plans on enrolling 375 students for the 2023-24 school year.
What are your hours?
In general, the school day begins at 8:00 am and ends at 3:00 pm. Morning drop-off is between 7:30-8:00 am and pick-up begins promptly at 3:00 pm
Do you have Individualize Education Plan (IEP)/ special education services at RPA?
Yes. If an application of a student who is on an IEP is drawn in the lottery, the District IEP team is contacted to see if RPA is the appropriate placement for the student. The IEP team has the final say in whether that student will be admitted to RPA or not.
I’ve heard that RPA is a school for Special Education students. Is that true?
No. Although we do have full-time Learning Specialists and do have students who qualify for Special Education with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and/or Section 504 Plans, our students represent a broad spectrum of abilities and skills. The majority of our students enroll here because they enjoy the small environment, personal attention, and community environment that RPA provides. We are a school of choice… our families choose to be here rather than their neighborhood school or district.
Does RPA serve meals?
All RPA students will be offered FREE breakfast & lunch through our partnership with Reynolds School District Nutrition Services Department.
Can I have a tour of the school?
We offer tours during our Open House events. Due to the high volume of interest and applicants, it is difficult for our staff to accommodate tours during the school day.
How do I enroll my child?
All our pre-registration and registration is now done online: RPA Pre-registration
When we have more student applications than spaces, state law requires us to hold a lottery to fill our available spaces. The lottery is completely blind, with the only preference given to siblings of students already enrolled at RPA. Per state law, district resident students are given preference over out-of-district students.
When is the lottery drawn?
Each year there are three lotteries. Applications received during January and February will be contacted for the March 1st lottery. March applications are eligible for the second lottery on April 1st. The third lottery is held on May 1st. Applications received after May 1st will be added to our class openings or waitlists in the order they are received.
How do I know if my child got in?
We will contact you by phone/email immediately following each lottery. Your phone call/email will either welcome you to our school or inform you of what number you are on our waitlist. If you have been accepted, you will receive a phone call/email in mid-April asking you to respond in writing within 2-weeks accepting or rejecting your offer of admission. Failure to respond will forfeit your students' enrollment slot.
How many openings do you have each year?
While available openings vary from year to year and by grade level, we plan on admitting 60- 75 new kindergarteners each year.
What happens if my child does not get one of the openings?
All students who do not get space are placed on a waiting list in the order assigned from the lottery. We use that waiting list to fill spaces that may become available throughout the summer and the first half of the for which the student is applying. RPA does not accept new students after the annual winter break.
What if my child does not get in at all? Am I automatically entered into the lottery next year?
No. You must turn in a new application each year you wish your child to be considered for the lottery. We do keep applications active for the entire school year that is being applied for but begin the process for the new school year every January.
If I live in another school district, can my child attend RPA?
Charter schools are open to students who reside in any district in the state of Oregon.
If my child is first on the waiting list, will you contact me if a space becomes available?
We will! In the case of the kindergarten waiting list, which tends to change more than the other grades, we will contact you when your child is second on the list.
How do I know if my child has moved up on the waiting list?
You can contact the School to find out if your child’s position on the waiting list has changed. Due to the large volume of inquiries, we prefer you email our registrar at: email@example.com
My child moved down on the waiting list. How is that possible?
Children can move either up or down on the waiting list. If a child fills an open space and the child has siblings, all siblings move to the top of the waiting list in their grade. This causes students at the top of the list to move down.
My child has younger brothers and sisters who are too young to attend school. If my child attends the school, will the younger siblings have to go through the lottery process when it is time for them to go to kindergarten?
No. Younger siblings who are old enough to attend kindergarten do not have to go through the lottery process.
Once I've been contacted that my student has been excepted, how long do I have before I have to accept a spot at RPA?
If your student is selected through a lottery, we hope that you will accept. However, we can allow you a two weeks grace period to make your decision. After that, your child will lose their spot and we begin calling students on the waiting list. If you are called during May, June, or July, you will have two business days to make your decision. During August and after the school year has begun, we will ask that you make your decision more quickly, usually within 24 hours as others are on the waiting list and anxiously waiting to be accepted.
Do spaces ever become available during the school year?
On occasion, a space does become available during the school year. When this occurs, we will call the first person on the waiting list for that grade.
Will you accept students who are not yet five years old by September first? What if they have already been accepted through their district’s Early Entrance testing program?
We do occasionally accept a student for an early entrance that has been approved through the school district first. Students will only be considered for early entry if there are no other applicants of school age on the waiting list and only if they are enrolled before November 1st of that school year.
If a student leaves RPA and then decides he or she wants to come back, can they?
Not automatically. Once a child leaves RPA voluntarily, they need to reapply and will be placed at the bottom of the waiting list for their current grade unless it has been prearranged through the school. If there is an opening, they will be offered space in the available classroom.
Is transportation provided?
No. families must provide their own transportation.