Our Enrollment Policy
Empower Community School is committed to serving a diverse group of students, educators, and community members. It is in that spirit that we will implement an equitable student enrollment system, ensuring access to all learners. In accordance with Alabama Act 2015-3, Empower Community School will not “limit admission based on ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, income level, disability, proficiency in the English language, or academic or athletic ability.”
Student Enrollment and Random Lottery
Empower will enroll all students within the appropriate grade levels and age ranges unless more children apply to the school than there are spots available. In this case, the following process will be followed:
- Empower will enroll students who reside in the Bessemer City Schools’ zone
If there are more applicants residing in BCS school zone than seats are available, students will be chosen via random lottery.
If the school has available seats after admitting students from #1, then students will be chosen, regardless of residency, via a random lottery.
If the school has available seats after #2, students will be admitted on a first come, first serve basis, regardless of residency.
In accordance with Act 2015-3, Empower Community School will implement the following enrollment preferences:
Preference 1: Students enrolled in the previous school year.
Preference 2: Siblings of students already enrolled in the public charter school.
Preference 3: Children of school founders, board members, and full-time employees. This preference group shall not exceed more than 10 percent of the school’s total student population.
After all enrollment seats have been filled, the lottery will continue to determine the order of students placed on the waitlist. Students will be offered enrollment in the order in which they are placed on the waitlist. Once the lottery process has been completed, students will be added to the wait list in the order in which they complete their intent to enroll form. Students on the wait list will receive periodic notifications outlining their current position.
Withdrawals and Re-Enrollment
When a family wishes to withdraw their student(s) from the school, the family will meet with a member of the school leadership team for an exit interview. During the exit interview, all textbooks and technology will be collected from the student. The school leadership team member will meet with the family to ascertain the reason for withdrawal and gain an understanding of the family’s school experience from the parent and student lenses. Finally, the registrar will complete the withdrawal form and provide the parent with the appropriate records for enrollment at the student’s new school. Students who have withdrawn from Empower Community School are eligible for reenrollment. However, they will be placed at the end of the waitlist once they have completed a new intent to enroll form.
Students are welcome to transfer to Empower Community School. Enrollment requirements for transfer students are the same for students enrolled during the normal enrollment period. If a student wishes to transfer at a time when there are no available seats, the student will be placed on the school’s waitlist. Once accepted for enrollment, transfer students and families will meet with the Director of Student Support to review student records and complete an individualized learning plan for students. Transfer students are required to present records from their previous school, including applicable academic and discipline records. Students who are facing adverse disciplinary measures from another Alabama public school, including suspension, alternative assignment, and expulsion, must show proof of consequence completion before being enrolled at Empower Community School.