Enrollment Policies and Student Handbook
The Academies of Math and Science (AMS) are open-enrollment, tuition-free public charter schools that operate based on a contract with their authorizer, the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools. This policy outlines AMS’ enrollment and admission practices. If you have any questions related to the information outlined herein, please contact the school’s Registrar or Principal at the campus you are interested in. We encourage potential families to attend informational meetings or tours at any campus of interest to learn more about our schools. Please note that attending interviews, meetings, or tours is not a requirement or a condition of admission or enrollment. AMS widely informs the community about the opportunity to enroll at AMS.
AMS enrolls all eligible students who submit a timely application provided the school has capacity. If the school receives more applications than the number of available seats, AMS offers enrollment based upon an equitable selection process which includes a lottery followed by a first-come, first-serve method.
Returning students will receive priority and are guaranteed a seat in the next grade level if re-enrollment is completed promptly.
Re-Enrollment for current AMS students returning to the same campus for the following school year will occur annually during the open enrollment period. Returning students must submit their updated re- enrollment forms by the deadline communicated by the school, before AMS announces the results of the new applicant lottery, which occurs at the end of the open enrollment period. Any returning students that do not complete their re-enrollment application prior to the end of the designated period will be subject to first-come, first-serve enrollment and may lose their spot at AMS. For a list of dates and enrollment timelines, please visit our network website here:
Per Arizona law, parents must update and/or verify all information with a newly completed re-enrollment packet annually. This includes the verification and/or update of residency information only when the address on file has changed from the previous enrollment year.
Siblings of returning students that have never previously attended AMS are granted priority enrollment status but must follow the new student admission application process. It is recommended that siblings of existing AMS students apply during the Open Enrollment period.
A student may request a transfer from one AMS campus to another. Transfers are subject to availability in the desired school and are not guaranteed. It is recommended that an application is created for the school you desire to transfer to apply during the Open Enrollment period for the next school year or anytime during the current school year.
New Student Enrollment
The parents or legal guardians of new students can complete an admissions application for each child at up to three desired AMS schools for the school year.
INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR ADMISSION
The application for admission must contain each applicant’s full name (first, middle, last, suffix); date of birth; home address(es) including city/town of residence; grade level for which they are seeking admission; contact information; sibling status; and transfer status.
AMS is required to obtain and maintain verifiable documentation of a student’s Arizona state residency before enrollment is considered. Proof of residency is NOT required for homeless students. The Arizona Department of Education has prepared the following Residency Guidelines available for review.
AMS will accept one of the following documents as proof of residency:
- Valid Arizona driver’s license or Arizona Identification Card
- Valid Arizona motor vehicle registration
- Valid Arizona Address Confidentiality Program authorization card
- Property deed/Mortgage documents
- Property tax bill
- Rental agreement or lease (including Section 8 agreement or off-base military housing)
- Utility bill (water, electric, gas, cable, phone)
- Bank or credit card statement
- W-2 wage statement
- Payroll stub
- Certificate of tribal enrollment (506 Form) or other identification issued by a recognized Indian tribe located in Arizona
- Other documentation from a state, tribal, or federal agency (Social Security Administration, Veterans’
Administration, Arizona Department of Economic Security, etc.)
- Temporary on-base billeting facility (for military families)
- Shared residency: The parent or legal guardian must have an affidavit of shared residency form completed indicating his or her name, the name of the school district, school site, or charter school in which the student is being enrolled, and submit a signed, notarized affidavit for the person who maintains the residence where the student lives attesting to the fact that the student resides at that address, along with a document from the bulleted list bearing the name and address of the person who maintains the residence. Should you need a copy of such affidavit, please contact the school’s front office and one will be provided to you.
- Under A.R.S. § 41-5001(A), school districts and charter schools must accept consular identification cards that are issued by a foreign government as a valid form of identification if the foreign government uses biometric verification techniques in issuing the consular identification card.
Parents that are offered a seat for their child at an AMS school must accept it within the timeframe supplied within the offer letter, otherwise the offer for admittance can be rescinded.
The open enrollment period is the designated period when all admission applications must be submitted for consideration in the random lottery. The open enrollment period ends before the lottery date. Open enrollment and lottery dates for the upcoming school year are posted on the AMS network’s website here:
AMS shall grant enrollment preference and/or reserve capacity for the following students by order of priority:
OPEN ENROLLMENT LOTTERY
- Students returning to the charter school in the second or any subsequent year of its operation
- Children, grandchildren or legal wards of employees of the school or any affiliate school
- Siblings of students currently enrolled at the school
- Students who are transferring from one AMS campus to an affiliated campus and have completed the required steps for consideration of transfer
- Siblings of students currently enrolled at any AMS affiliate campus
- Children who are experiencing homelessness per the definition in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S. Code § 11434a)
For the purposes of these Enrollment Preferences, students will be considered “siblings” if they share a common parent/guardian or legal ward, either biologically or legally through adoption, and foster children who have a sibling already enrolled or attending the school at the time of enrollment.
OPEN ENROLLMENT LOTTERY
If the number of students that apply exceeds the capacity for each program, class, grade level, or building occupancy specifications prior to the end of the open enrollment period, students will be admitted through a randomized lottery conducted by the district. All eligible applications submitted during the open enrollment period will be assigned a random lottery number which will determine their placement on a waitlist for open seats. If the number of applications received is fewer than the number of available seats, every student who seeks admission will be admitted. Arizona and federal law allow AMS to prioritize the enrollment of certain students as indicated within this policy (see Enrollment Preferences.)
APPLYING AFTER OPEN ENROLLMENT
Admission applications received after the open enrollment period are processed on a first-come, first-serve basis behind applications received during the open enrollment period and behind students with priority enrollment preference.
First come, first serve is defined as a process whereby admission applications are processed in order by the date and time, they are received in addition to priority enrollment preference. After the open enrollment period for each school year, each completed application is processed in the order the application was received. Parents whose students are admitted during this process, including those on waiting lists, will receive a notice of an offer of admission. Offers of admission must be accepted within the timeline specified in the offer letter.
Students who apply during Open Enrollment that enter the seating Lottery but do not gain admission due to a lack of open seating capacity, or students who apply for admission in grade levels in which there is no room, will be placed on the waitlist during the first-come, first-serve period.
Waitlisted students will be offered admission in the order of their enrollment application submission date/time after priority preferences have been considered. Parents who do not accept admission or complete the entire registration process within the timeframe provided may be removed from the waitlist and must reapply. Waitlists do not roll over year to year.
As defined within this policy, enrollment preferences may cause the order of students to be admitted from the waitlist to change as applications are updated to reflect changing priorities. For example, students with a sibling preference will move ahead of students who do not have a sibling preference once their sibling begins attending the AMS charter school.
DESIGNATED AMS AFFILIATE SCHOOLS:
The Designated AMS Affiliate Schools are:
- AMS Prince
- Math and Science Success Academy (MASSA)
- AMS Flower
- AMS Camelback
- AMS Desert Sky
- AMS Glendale
- AMS Peoria Advanced
- AMS Avondale
- AMS South Mountain
JOINT DECISION-MAKING AUTHORITY AND ENROLLMENT:
Academies of Math and Science will not involve itself in parental disputes or negotiations; its mission is to educate children. If a scholar’s parents have shared or joint legal decision-making authority regarding education decisions and they disagree about the scholar’s enrollment or withdrawal at AMS, the school will not enroll or withdraw the child until both parents come to an agreement regarding initial or continued enrollment at AMS and present written evidence of the agreement to the school. AMS may require parents to furnish the school with a copy of the court order regarding decision-making authority, and it may require the parents to obtain clarification from the court in order to provide the school with specific direction about education-related issues about which the parents disagree.
In order to properly address all custody matters, Academies of Math and Science will ensure the names of both parents listed on the birth certificate are recorded in the aligned fields in the student information system, unless documentation of a court’s termination of parental rights is provided.
COMPLETION OF ENROLLMENT
Parents who accept an offer of admission are enrolled.
To schedule your child’s first day, you must complete the registration packet.
If the offer of admission is not accepted within the established timeframe, the accepted offer will be withdrawn, and admission will be offered to the next student. Parents who decline an enrollment offer must reapply to be considered again.
INFORMATION COLLECTED TO SCHEDULE YOUR CHILD’S FIRST DAY
AMS will collect the following documents after the parent/guardian has accepted an admission offer (unless the items below were previously turned in with their admission application):
- Proof of age/identification (within the first 30 days of enrollment)
- Proof of residency
- Immunization records
- A home language survey form
- Official Notice of Pupil Withdrawal Form from previous school
- Release of Information (internal and external media release, directory information)
- Other student records (e.g., transcripts from former school(s), health records, Individualized Education Plan from a previous school
PROOF OF AGE/IDENTITY
All Arizona schools must obtain age and identity documentation for students from their parent(s)/guardian(s) within 30 days of enrollment. Failure to provide this information shall oblige the school to contact the authorities.
ACCEPTABLE PROOF OF AGE/IDENTITY DOCUMENTATION:
- A certified copy of the student’s birth certificate; or
- Other reliable proof of the student’s identity and age, such as the student’s baptismal certificate, an application for a social security number or original school registration records, to be submitted with an affidavit explaining the inability to provide a copy of the birth certificate; or
- A letter from the authorized representative of an agency having custody of the student pursuant to a juvenile court proceeding, certifying that the student has been placed in the custody of the agency as prescribed by law
Immunization records are required unless the parent or guardian provides a signed immunization waiver form.
Either are required to be received within prior to the student’s first attendance.
- A.R.S. §15-872 dictates that a student shall be suspended and not allowed to attend school without submitting proof of required immunizations, absent an applicable immunization exemption form. AMS requests that immunization records be submitted as a part of the enrollment application.
- A student may be enrolled without immunization records but may not attend if the parent does not turn in the immunization records or waiver
AGE REQUIREMENTS FOR KINDERGARTEN APPLICANTS
Any student enrolling in Kindergarten must be five (5) years old before September 1 for the school year they wish to start Kindergarten.
Students that turn five years old (5) on or after September 1 but before January 1 will be considered “Early Kindergarten” applicants.
While AMS accepts early kindergarten applications, they will be considered for enrollment on a case-by-case basis behind students who meet the minimum age requirement. Early kindergarten applicants are generally not considered for enrollment until the late spring or early summer prior to the start of the school year. Early kindergarten applicants must satisfy readiness requirements identified through an emotional, academic and/or readiness assessment before being accepted to a school. This process ensures that early admission is in the best interest of the child. The AMS Superintendent shall have sole discretion in determining whether to offer admission to an early kindergarten applicant.
AGE REQUIREMENTS FOR FIRST GRADE APPLICANTS
Any student enrolling in first grade must be six years old (6) on or before December 31st of their first-grade year. Students who do not meet this eligibility requirement will not be permitted to enroll for first grade.
Pursuant to A.R.S. §15-184, AMS does not admit students who were expelled from other schools or are in the process of being expelled unless granted an exception at the sole discretion of the AMS Superintendent.
ATTENDANCE DURING THE FIRST DAYS OF SCHOOL
Academic calendars outlining school in-session days are available to current and potential families online. Families are encouraged to consider these dates when scheduling family vacations to ensure that students can attend on the first day of school.
NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION
In accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act and all current and future applicable state & federal law, AMS does not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, age (excluding the minimum age for kindergarten pursuant to state law), disability, bankruptcy status, income, homelessness or foster status, athletic or academic ability, proficiency in the English language, birth place or citizenship status, gender identity or expression, or any other classification protected by law in any of its business activities, including its admission and enrollment and educational programs and activities which fully comply with the requirements of state and federal law and Title IX.