The O'Farrell Charter School

Winner of the National Excellence in Urban Education Award

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Enrollment Information » Student Enrollment Procedures

Student Enrollment Procedures

Admission Requirements


Charter schools are schools of choice. All students in the San Diego Unified School District and all other districts are eligible to attend The O’Farrell Charter School (OCS). OCS will comply with Education Code 47605. First priority will be given to students who live in the District and are matriculating from The O’Farrell Charter School. In order to attain our vision of a racially, economically, linguistically and geographically-diverse population, we implement (and will continue to implement) an admissions process designed to reach out to all families and to enable the school to maintain a diverse student body. The following admission processes, consistent with non-discriminatory statutes, will be followed:

  • Parents of students applying for admission must complete a Letter of Intent during the school’s open enrollment period: December 1-March 31.
  • Parent or guardian must visit the campus at a time of their convenience, or attend one of the scheduled informational meetings during the open enrollment period, at which time a staff member will detail the school’s expectations of both student and family. Evidence of such visit will be attached to application.
  • Student and Parent must complete and sign the OCS Letter of Intent, Charter School Agreement, and OCS Zero Tolerance Agreement.


OCS will be open to all students including those with special education needs. Should the number of valid applicants exceed the number of available openings, the school will conduct a random public lottery, designed to establish a diverse student population. The following rules and procedures will be used and communicated to all interested parties at least 30 days prior to the lottery:

  1. The school will enlist the services of an outside agency, uninterested party or personnel from the SDUSD Charter Office to monitor and verify the fair execution of all activities related to holding the lottery.
  2. The lottery will take place within 30 days of closing open enrollment period.
  3. The lottery will take place on the school's campus in a facility large enough to allow all interested parties to observe the drawing, or at another public venue near the school that is large enough to accommodate all interested parties.
  4. The lottery will take place on a weekday afternoon or evening or other time when most interested parties who wish to attend may do so.
  5. All interested parties will know, prior to the holding of the lottery, how many openings are available per grade at the time of the lottery.
  6. The following preferences, in order, will be extended to potential students:
    • Children of staff (not to exceed 5% of the school student population) will receive a guarantee of admission.
    • Siblings of students who are presently enrolled in OCS, within the SDUSD boundaries, will be guaranteed admission as space is available.
    • Siblings of students whose names are drawn during the lottery shall receive a guarantee of admission unless the sibling is to enroll in a grade that has all of its spaces already filled in the drawing. In such cases the sibling would then be placed at the top of the waiting list for admission to that grade.
    • Students within the San Diego Unified School District will have priority over students from outside the District.
  7. The lottery shall draw names from a single pool of ballots or identified pools of ballots designed to establish a diverse student population.
  8. The ballots shall be drawn by a representative of the outside agency or organization confirming the results of the lottery.
  9. The drawing shall continue until all names are drawn. Those individuals whose names are drawn after all spaces have been filled will be placed on the waiting list in the order drawn, except if the preferences described above require otherwise.
  10. Potential students on the waiting list shall provide contact information to be used in the event space becomes available. Parents/guardians of students promoted to OCS from the waiting list shall be informed on at least two separate occasions by telephone or e-mail. Families not responding within a 48-hour period will forfeit their right to enroll their student in the school for that school year. When positions come available in each grade, waiting list parents will have the first right of refusal for those positions.
  11. Students who complete the Letter of Intent after the open enrollment period will be placed on the waiting list according to the date and time the O’Farrell Office administration receives the proper documentation.
  12. The outside organization or agency verifying the fair execution of the lottery shall confirm in writing that the lottery was conducted fairly, and the school shall keep on record copies of that confirmation.
  13. After Open Enrollment closes (March 31) all Letters of Intent will be time/date stamped upon arrival at The O’Farrell Charter School.
  14. Once a student has been accepted into The O’Farrell Charter School for the following academic year, the parent or guardian has ten (10) business days to return the letter of acceptance. If the letter of acceptance hasn’t been received within the ten (10) business days, the student(s) will be removed from the “accepted” list and placed at the back of the “waiting” list.


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