I Got My School Offer for Next Year, What’s Next for Families

Congratulations to all those families who applied early for charter or district public schools during the open enrollment period, you should have received your offer March 14th, but applying isn’t enough.  Families will need to accept or decline OUSD or charter school offers by April 2nd to assure their spot.  And by responding quickly and also declining offers they don’t need, they can help the system work better for all families.

But first let’s be sure families have accepted their offers.

For OUSD District Schools

If you want to accept and offer from a district school you need to confirm your acceptance, and you can see the process here.

If you have questions about the waitlist process or OUSD enrollment those answers are here, and I will copy some below.

For Oakland Public Charter Schools

If you want to accept an offer you can see the next steps page at Enroll Oak

It’s Still not too Late to Apply

Even if you haven’t applied yet to schools, many quality schools are still under enrolled, and accepting applications.  If you or a friend are in this position, please do your homework and apply.

Please make the best choice for and reach out with any questions.

Here are some of the FAQs from OUSD and Enroll Oak


When will I get an offer (& how many offers will I get)?

  • We will send out offers on March 14, 2019, along with your waitlist placements (if necessary). Each student will receive only ONE offer, along with one or more waitlist placements if the offered school is not your first-ranked selection.
  • You will have until April 2, 2019 to accept OR decline your offer.
  • If you do not accept OR decline the offer by April 2, 2019, you will permanently lose the offer AND you will lose all of your waitlist placements.

What if I don’t like my offer or my waitlists and want to make some changes after 3/14/19?

  • Once offers are made, no changes will be allowed. If you aren’t satisfied with the offer you received or the waitlists you were assigned to, and you want to make changes, you’ll need to contact the Student Welcome Center to cancel all of your applications. You would then need to reapply as a late application, but we STRONGLY discourage you from doing this. Late applicants are much less likely to receive offers to their most desired schools because most of those schools will fill up quickly with the first round of offers.

How do you determine who gets an offer to a particular school?

  • We use a system of Enrollment Priorities which are assigned to each application. Here are the Enrollment Priority categories in the order in which they are applied. Applicants within each category are selected for placement based on a random lottery within that category:
    1. Current Students: Some of our schools are called “span schools” because they offer grades beyond what is traditionally offered (e.g. Greenleaf offers grades TK through 8th). Students in all traditional transition grades (i.e. 5th and 8th) need to reapply for the next grade, but they are given the highest priority if they already attend a span school and are applying for the next grade at the same school. Span schools include: Parker, Hillcrest, Life Academy, Coliseum College Prep, Greenleaf, Madison Park 6-12, and Melrose Leadership Academy.
    2. Siblings: Brother or sisters of students who already attend a school (and will still be attending that school in the following year) are placed next;
    3. Neighbors: Children who reside within a school’s attendance boundary are placed next. Attendance boundaries can be found on the Oakland SchoolFinder; type in an address and the grade you are interested in, and the map will indicate a particular OUSD school’s attendance boundary for that address. Please note that a few OUSD schools are considered “citywide” and do not have an attendance boundary. These schools are: Life Academy, Melrose Leadership Academy, MetWest, Oakland School of Language, Oakland International, and all Alternative Ed programs
    4. OUSD Staff: Children of OUSD staff who work at a particular school (or at a school on the same campus) are placed next.
    5. Residents of Oakland: Residents of Oakland are placed ahead of students who live outside of Oakland.
    6. General Lottery: All remaining seats at a school are assigned based on a lottery for students who cannot be categorized in one of the priority categories above.

How do waitlists work?

  • In order to stay on your waitlists, you must accept OR decline your offered school by April 2, 2019. If we do not hear from you, you will lose ALL of your waitlists AND you will lose your offer.

    • Here is an example: Paul ranked 4 schools as follows:
      • Rank 1: School A
      • Rank 2: School B
      • Rank 3: School C
      • Rank 4: School D

    • Paul got an offer to his 3rd-ranked choice, School C. He also received waitlists assignments to Schools A & B. Because his offer was to his 3rd-ranked school, his 4th-ranked choice, School D was automatically cancelled.

    • Paul declines the offer to School C before April 2, so he stays on the waitlists for School A & B.  Later, he gets an offer to School B, which he accepts. He will stay on the waitlist for School A.

    • In summary, the OUSD enrollment system allows you to remain on the waitlists at schools you ranked higher than the school offer you accept or decline. It also cancels applications and waitlists at schools you ranked lower than the school you accept.

How is the order and placement on waitlists determined?

  • Waitlist assignments are automatically determined by the order in which you rank your schools and the particular offer you receive. For example if you rank 7 schools (including your neighborhood school), and we can make an offer to your 4th-ranked school, you will automatically be placed on the waitlists for your higher-ranked schools (e.g. #1, #2, & #3) and your applications to your lower-ranked schools will automatically be cancelled (e.g. #5, #6, & #7).
  • Where you are placed on a particular waitlist is determined by the Enrollment Priority your child has for that particular school. Let’s consider School A. If there are more sibling and neighbor applicants for a particular grade at School A than there are available seats, the remaining siblings and neighbor applicants who could not receive an offer (because of the order in which they were selected by the random lottery) will be placed at the top of the waitlist in their lottery order. After that, the remaining applicants who could not receive an offer for School A are placed on the waitlist in their lottery order.

How likely is it that I will receive an offer to a school if I am on its waitlist?

  • This varies by school. We analyze data from prior years to establish a measure of applicant persistence. Basically, we look at the number of students who accepted an offer to a school during the on-time assignment process who were still enrolled at the school at the end of the fourth week of school in the coming year.
  • For example, consider School B. Over the last 4 years, we have had to assign, on average, 150 students to end up with 100 students in seats by the fourth week of school. This means that students on the first 45-50 spots on School B’s waitlist can probably expect to get an offer.  However, some of those offers can’t be made until later in the summer until we determine who really plans on attending. Patience is important with waitlists.

How long can I stay on a waitlist?

  • We will maintain the waitlists from 3/14/19 until the 10th day of school in 2019. After this date, all waitlists are permanently dissolved; we believe it is not good for students or classes if there is a great deal of student mobility after the second week of school.

How will I be notified if I receive an offer from a waitlist?

  • We will send you a text and / or an email. You will have 72 hours to consider if you want to accept this new offer. If we don’t hear back from you within 72 hours, you will permanently lose the offer AND your spot on that school’s waitlist.

If I get an offer from a waitlist, can I still stay on the waitlists for my higher-ranked schools?

  • Yes. You can stay on the waitlists for your higher-ranked schools until the tenth day of school in 2019.

I’ve heard that in prior years, people moved down waitlists over the Spring and Summer. Would that possibly happen this year?

  • Yes. The reason this happens has to do with Enrollment Priorities and late applicants.
  • Let’s think about School C. You and hundreds of other people applied to School C, but you don’t have sibling or neighbor priority, so you’re pretty far down the waitlist at #34. In May, you go on to your Schoolmint account and are surprised to see that you’re now at #36. This is because two families submitted late applications for School C and they both live within the school’s attendance boundary. They couldn’t be offered a space, because there are no available spots, so these two families had to be placed on the waitlist. Even though they submitted late applications, we still honor their enrollment priorities.


I don’t think that I’ll be able to apply by the on-time deadline of 2/8/19. Can I submit a late application?

  • Yes. This year we will be using late application windows, followed by space-available placements. In the past, all late applications were placed on a time-ranked space-available basis (i.e. “first come, first serve”. We have decided this is not in keeping with our District’s value of equity.
  • The approximate dates of the late windows will be:
    • Late Application Window 1: 2/9/19 – 4/5/19
    • Late Application Window 2: 4/6/19 – 4/26/19
    • Late Application Window 3: 4/27/19 – 5/17/19
    • Late Application Window 4: 5/18/19 – 6/7/19
    • Space Availability Placements: 6/8/19 – Duration of 19/20 School Year


From Enroll Oak

Applications received by the open enrollment deadline will be included in charter school lotteries in March. On March 14, 2019, you should see all your charter school lottery results – Offer or Waitlist – in your SchoolMint student dashboard and at that time you can Accept or Decline an offer. The deadline to Accept or Decline a charter school offer is April 2, 2019. If you do not accept by this date, the charter school lottery offer(s) will expire.

Applications submitted after the open enrollment deadline will be considered a Round 2 Application — you will be placed on a waiting list at each of your selected schools, and/or offered enrollment if space becomes available.

What if I have multiple offers, can I accept more than one?

Each charter school will run their own lottery, which means it is possible to receive multiple offers. To free up seats for other interested families, all families who receive an offer(s) are required to confirm by April 2,2019. Once you accept an offer, offers from other charter schools will be automatically declined. You can remain on waitlists but may only accept an offer at one charter school.

If you accept a charter school offer, your district (OUSD) assignment will not be withdrawn. You must contact OUSD or visit the welcome center for an update on your assignment. (The enrollment process for charter and district schools (OUSD) are separate.)

How does the waitlist work?

Charter public schools have a set number of spots available in each grade. A school may receive more applicants than spots available, so applicants not offered a spot in the March lotteries will be placed on waitlists. Those submitting an application after the open enrollment deadline will also be placed on the waitlist, behind those who completed their applications by the deadline. Schools admit applicants from the waitlist if space becomes available. This can happen at any time throughout the year. You may choose to stay on the waitlist at any or all of the schools to which you’ve been waitlisted. However, schools’ wait lists expire every year so you would need to submit a new application if you are interested in attending in future years. As with the lottery, admission from the waitlist is not guaranteed, so families may apply to additional schools at any time.

I have accepted my seat. What’s next?

Registration. After accepting a charter school offer, please contact the school for registration information. Some schools email specific instructions and a list of registration requirements. Be prepared to present certain documents for verification purposes like proof of address, copy of birth certificate, etc. You may also be invited to attend an orientation or info session with the school, so be on the lookout for communication about those events.

What documentation will I be asked to provide for registration?

Check with the school. Typically you need to provide proof of address and your child’s birth certificate.


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