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Charter School FAQ

The following are answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding charter schools and what they mean for students, educators, schools and communities. The answers to these FAQs are intended to provide only an introductory overview of key issues. Links are provided to take you to areas with additional information.

What is a charter school?

Authorized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Education Reform Act of 1993, charter schools are independent public schools that operate under five year charters granted by the Commonwealth’s Board of Education. Charter schools are usually proposed by teachers, school leaders, parents, non-profit organizations, or other members of the community.

How much does it cost to attend Atlantis Charter School?

Charter schools are tuition free schools of choice. They are funded by tuition charges assessed against the school districts where the students reside. The state provides partial reimbursement to the sending districts for the tuition costs incurred.

What is the difference between Atlantis Charter School and a traditional public school?

Charter schools are public schools of choice that report directly to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and are exempt from many local and state regulations that apply to traditional public schools. These exemptions allow parents, teachers, community leaders, educational entrepreneurs, and others greater flexibility to innovate, create, and provide students with increased educational options. Charter schools must be sponsored by designated local, state, or other organizations charged with monitoring their quality and integrity while holding them accountable for academic results and fiscal practices.

Who can enroll at Atlantis?

Enrollment is open to children of the Commonwealth with priority given to children who reside in Fall River. Proof of residency shall include any one of the following: a valid driver’s license or a voter registration card and a current utility bill or rent receipt.  All applications must have a valid Massachusetts address listed as their permanent residence, and to which all communication will be mailed, to be eligible for the lottery. 

When can I fill out an application?

Applications can be submitted at any time. However, applications received between August 1st and the last day before February vacation are processed through the March lottery. Applications received after the February deadline and before the last business day in July are processed through the August lottery.

Preference shall be given to siblings of students attending Atlantis Charter School. Per the Department of Education, the word “sibling” refers to persons who have a common parent, either biologically or legally through adoption. Whether the children reside in the same household has no bearing on determining if the children are siblings for the purpose of a sibling preference. Children who live in different households may be siblings and children who live in the same household are not necessarily siblings.

Is there an entry exam?

While the School does not administer examinations for entrance, students are assessed after enrollment as a diagnostic tool to benefit teachers and prepare them to help new students access the curriculum.

Is transportation available?

Atlantis Charter School does not provide transportation.

Is there an after school program?

Atlantis Charter School offers an after school program. It is a supervised, fee-based program for students grades K through 8 and students are provided with a snack.

  • The program operates before school, beginning at 6:30 AM and ending at 7:45 AM, and then immediately following dismissal until 5:30 PM at the elementary school and 5:45 PM at the middle school
  • Students are not allowed to leave the school grounds and re-enter the Extended Day Program.
  • Children are released only to the adults whose names are listed on the Extended Day Enrollment Form.
  • There is an additional fee for any pick-ups after the designated dismissal time.

Is there a dress code?

Yes. Please see the student handbook for details.

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