Wednesday, May 22, 2013
CORNVILLE -- The board of the Cornville Regional Charter School will conduct a bingo-style lottery to select the students will be eligible to attend classes when the school opens Oct. 1.
Executive Director Justin Belanger said the board anticipated about 45 students would be enrolled when the state application first was submitted.
That number since has swelled to as many at 95 students in kindergarten through grade 6. State charter school law allows only 60 this year.
"We've got more kids than we have slots," he said. "At the last open house, we had parents of 75 students sign up. There were another 20 or so parents who couldn't make it but had previously sent in letters of intent."
The lottery will be held at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 5 at the American Legion hall on Waterville Road in Skowhegan. The Legion's bingo equipment will be used in the selection process.
Belanger said the children of school founders and staff will be allotted 10 percent of the openings -- six spots. So far, he said, there are four students in that group, but the entire school staff has not been hired yet.
Belanger's wife, Sandra, the charter school treasurer, said Cornville residents will not get special treatment under the law. She said 26 of the students applying to the school are from Cornville. The rest are from 10 area towns from as far away as Bingham, Anson and Smithfield.
Sandra Belanger said the combined kindergarten, first grade and second grade will be made up of two classes of 15 students each -- eight in kindergarten, 12 in first grade and 10 in second grade. She said of the 30 openings in that group, there are 37 applicants.
"As of (Friday) we had eight kindergartners, so it seems like all the kindergartners would get it," she said. "We have a lot of interest in first grade and a good chunk in second grade, so we need a lottery."
The rest will be put on a waiting list.
In the combined third- and fourth-grade class there are 15 spots open and 22 applicants. The combined fifth- and sixth-grade class has 15 open seats and 20 applicants.
Sandra Belanger said the board understands there will be some disappointment with the lottery system.
"I wish I had an easy answer to tell them besides what we have to do by law," she said. "There's going to be upset feelings. Parents are going to be upset. Kids are going to be upset."