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We know that the open enrollment process can be daunting, whether you are doing it for the first time or even if you have a couple kids already in the system. To help put you at ease and make it more understandable, we hosted two hour long LIVE Facebook chat on Jan. 8 and Jan. 15, 2014. Below is a transcript of the questions and answers.
Q: On the open house schedule, what is “new student orientation” for Fort Caspar Academy? Is their kindergarten class already full? – Jenny B.
A: Fort Casper Academy conducts its process a little differently and requires a new student orientation. Please contact the school with additional questions.
Q: Will we be getting a packet in the mail to tell us what we need and how to enroll online? – Tammi P.
A: If you have children currently enrolled, you should have received a letter explaining the process and the “Family Guide to Natrona County Schools” via email or mail. If you are new to the district, you can view more information here.
Additional information: Letters containing unique user names and passwords will be sent via mail or email to our currently enrolled families next week. PLEASE save these letters. You will need the user names and passwords for the online enrollment process.
Q: I am enrolling my son in middle school…..needing to get him in at Dean Morgan where I have another child, are siblings given priority since the school fills up so quickly? – Tina A.
A: If you have a sibling student in that school, and have a student in coming, yes you do get sibling preference. That is the #1 preference.
Q: What time does enrollment open on the 17th? – Tina A.
A: The enrollment site will be available beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 17.
Q: Where can I find how the schools are rated with their testing and such? – Chelsea H.
A: Assessment results are included in the “Family Guide to Natrona County Schools.”
Q: When do we find out middle school placement? – Toshia M.
A: Middle school placement usually is announced by March.
Q: What are my preschool options for next year and what are the requirements for them to enroll? – Nicole G.
A: Please note: enrollment for public preschools is handled at the site level. The upcoming open enrollment does not pertain to preschool.
Since NCSD’s preschools are federally funded and have limited enrollment, strict income guidelines are followed. Children who qualify will be assessed and screened by the preK teacher of the school for which the child has applied. The child must be between the ages of 3-5 and be potty trained. Schools that have preschool programs are Bar Nunn, Cottonwood, Evansville, Grant, Midwest, Mills, Mountain View, North Casper, Paradise Valley, Pineview, University Park, and Willard. Interested parents/guardians can inquire at any of the above schools that offer preschool.
Q: If my daughter is in (an NCSD) preschool and has another year before she goes go kindergarten, do I need to fill the packet out again and hope she gets the same school? Or will she get it because she has went here all year? – Katie M.
A: Preschool enrollment is all completed through the individual schools. Please inquire with your child’s current school.
Q: My daughter started kindergarten this year and was only four at the beginning of school. She is a little behind and I don’t think she was ready for school. Can I choose to hold her back and have her do kindergarten again? – Amanda K.
A: It is best to coordinate with your child’s teacher and principal to make that determination.
Q: I live two blocks away from my top preference does my location mean anything in the selection process? – Eddie R.
A: Yes, you are given neighborhood preference.
Q: With it being first come first serve, is it best to be on the website right as it is available? – Marianne O.
A: That is actually a myth. The process is not first come-first served. It is a lottery system where each registered child is assigned a computer generated number and then placed based on preference. So it does not matter what day during the enrollment window that you complete the online process.
Q: How does the lottery work if your child is on a wait list for a specific school? – Marianne O.
A: If your child is currently on a wait list (prior to online enrollment) for another school, your child will receive preference points for that school. If your child doesn’t get in, the child will remain on the waitlist.
Q: My daughter’s birthday is Sept 16th but the cut off date is on the 15th,so she has to wait for the next year or how does that work? – Zach C.
A: State protocol says a child has to be 5 on or before Sept. 15 to begin kindergarten, so your child will have to wait until next year.
Q: I would like to know the bus options for my child entering into middle school next year. Do I have to call or am I missing this on your site? – Yvonne F.
A: It is best to call our Transportation Department to discuss options for busing.
Q: Is preference still given to children who have siblings in their requested school already? – Tracy G.
A: Yes, siblings are given first preference.
Q: What’s the website where parents need to enroll our child for kindergarten? – Jennifer H.
A: Beginning Jan. 17, when you visit www.natronaschools.org, you will click on this photo on the front page of the website to take you to the online process. You will have an option to choose “New Students” or “Returning Students” when logging in to the system. For a kindergarten enrollment, you would choose “New Students.”
Q: I have a child at Kelly Walsh and two at Evansville. When my 5th grader is ready for middle school, she wants to go to Centennial just like her older sister did. Will she be automatically enrolled there or will I have to enroll her myself? – Terri J.
A: Anytime your child switches schools, you have to complete the enrollment process. This includes entering middle school.
Q: Is the “possible” Spanish immersion class full? How does it work so that if (my child) does not get into that program, she gets into my school of choice? Or would she be put into the regular kindergarten at Park if I put that down as first choice? – Stacy B.
A: At this time the Spanish program has not been implemented. If it is, you will enroll your student with the enrollment office. If you want kindergarten at Park, you should go online and enroll your student into Park. The DLI program will have a different type of enrollment process.
Q: Is there a system in place to make sure that twins are enrolled in the same school? – Christina B.
A: Twins are treated as siblings in our process and siblings are given first preference. You can indicate on the online form the sibling information for each twin. When you receive your confirmation letter, please let the enrollment office know if the twins are not in the same building, we will make every effort to get them in the same school.
Q: I want my daughter to go to the new (Southridge) school but I am not sure when construction will be finished. Can you tell me if the school will be open for fall next school year so that I can change her enrollment? -Angelia L.
A: Southridge will be in its new building next month (Feb).
Q: If you want to switch schools but you don’t get accepted to the one you are hoping for, how do you keep your child’s spot at their current school? – Heather J.
A: On the school request portion, you have the opportunity to name three choices for schools. Your desired school would be your first choice with your home (current) school as your second choice.
Q: If we move in the 2014-2015 school year and do not know the location yet, do we still have to go through the enrollment process this month? Or can we enroll our children to the closest school when the move is complete? – Stacy G.
A: You will only receive neighborhood preference if you complete the online enrollment process from Jan. 17th-31st. After open enrollment is closed, you do not get any preferences. You can choose the school, but if they are already full, you will be wait listed.
Q: Do you have to enroll if your child already is at that school? – Chris T.
A: No. You only have to complete the enrollment process if you are new to the district, changing schools, or entering kindergarten, middle school or high school.
Q: When signing up at CY Middle School for a 6th grader, do we register for classes at the same time? – Tashua N.
A: The enrollment process is strictly to assign schools. Class schedules are determined in the coming months.
Q: How likely is it that my child will receive my first choice for middle school? – Andrea H.
A: There are too many variables for us to predict. Preferences and seats available play a huge role in placement. To better understand preferences, read Help!My Child Didn’t Get Into Our First Choice!
Q: We are moving into district with two kids in elementary school and two in high school. We will not be there until June and have no idea what neighborhood we will be in or what schools to choose. Will we at least be able to get into neighborhood school? I would really rather not drive my kids to 4 different schools. – Michelle E.
A: The high schoolers will be able to go to the same school. We will attempt to get the younger siblings together as well. If that is not possible, we will wait list them both on each other’s school. When a seat becomes available we will move them together.
Q: I have not received my log in info due to a move. I have an 8th grader going into high school, her older sister is already at KW. Will my 8th grader automatically go to KW since her sister is there? And how do I get log in info? -Terra T.
A: If you have not received log in information through email or the mail, please contact the Enrollment Office at 307-253-3195. You will have preference at KW because your 8th grader has a sibling there, but you will still have to complete the enrollment process.
Q: My child is currently a preschooler at Cottonwood, will that help if that is our first choice for kindergarten? -Sarah B.
A: Unfortunately, it will not. There are no preferences for preschool.
Q: We moved across town and I would like to switch my daughter to the school that is near our home. However, if she can’t get in at the new school I want her to stay at her current school. So I know I will list the new school first and the current school second. What do I enter for the third school, can I just leave it blank? Do I enter her current school as the second and third choice? – Chrissy E.
A: You are required to enter a third choice that is different from your first two. If you enter your current school as a second choice you will not lose your seat.
Q: If they are staying at the same school, do we have to do anything? – Jamie W.
A: Nope, you can sit back and relax. Your child will retain his/her seat in the current school.
Q: Do you need to a user name and password to register a child going into kindergarten? – Nikki B.
A: No, you do not. You will enroll your child as new to our district.