Applications Accepted for 2024-2025 School Year

South Valley Preparatory School’s Lottery Enrollment Application for the 2024-2025 school year has ended, but we are still accepting applications. Please complete the application below if you are interested in having your child’s name placed on the waitlist. You will be notified as soon as a spot opens up. Families of current students do not need to apply. Please let us know how you heard about us. 

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What Are Charter Schools? How Do They Work?

A charter school is a tuition-free school that is publicly funded but independently run. In exchange for exemptions from many of the state laws and regulations that govern traditional public schools, charters are bound to the terms of a contract, or “charter,” that lays out a school’s mission, academic goals, fiscal guidelines, and accountability requirements. On the other side of a charter contract is an authorizer that has the power to shut down charter schools that do not meet the terms of their contracts.

Who is South Valley Preparatory School’s Authorizer?

South Valley Preparatory School is a State Charter School that is authorized by the Public Education Commission. The Public Education Commission determines whether new state charter school applications are approved, and current state charters are renewed or revoked.

Who Can Attend Charter Schools?

Charter schools do not draw students from an assigned area; families choose to send their children to them. If the demand for enrollment in a charter school exceeds space, students are picked by a random lottery.

Who Runs Charter Schools?

On a day-to-day, operational level, a charter school is run by a school leader or principal and overseen by an elected board just like a local district.

How Are Charter Schools Funded?

Like traditional public schools, charter schools receive state and local funds based on the number of students they enroll, as well as money from the federal government to provide special education services, just like traditional district schools. In New Mexico, two percent of a school’s budget is granted to the school’s authorizer. Charter schools-like district and private schools can also raise additional funds through private donations.

Charter Schools: Are They Public or Private?

Charter schools are public schools and are accountable to the same requirements as traditional public schools such as mandated assessments like the NM-MSSA, standard graduation criteria, serving students with disabilities, and providing English language instruction for English Learners.

My Child Has a Disability. Will the Charter School Follow Their IEP?

Charter schools are obligated to meet all federal and state laws regarding special education, including following a child’s IEP or 504 Plan. Providing a copy of your child’s IEP/504 Plan or alerting school staff during registration that your child has an IEP will help your child receive the services they need.

Can My Child Ride the School Bus to a Charter School?

Charter schools are not required to provide transportation to and from their school. SVP contracts with a local bus company to bus students to school on a very limited route. Please call the school for further information.

Must a charter school admit students through a lottery process?

New Mexico, by statute, requires a charter school to employ a lottery selection process, if the total number of applicants exceeds the space available, 22-8B-4.1 NMSA (1978). A charter school will need to use a lottery selection process any time the total number of applicants exceeds the spaces available.

When and how is the lottery conducted?

South Valley Preparatory School typically holds its Lottery within the first month after Winter Break. South Valley Prep opens the lottery window for three (3) weeks. During those 3 weeks, lottery applications are received and assigned a lottery number. After the lottery window closes, if the school has received more applications than available spaces then lottery numbers will be pulled one at a time randomly to fill the available spaces. Any additional lottery applicants left after the lottery will be pulled randomly to create a waiting list.

There is neither federal nor state law prescribing the manner in which the lottery is to be conducted nor the time when the lottery is to be conducted.

Can enrollment be on a first-come, first-served basis until all available spaces are taken and then use a lottery selection process to develop a waitlist?

No. A charter school must first establish an enrollment period and, if at the end of the enrollment period the total number of applicants exceeds the number of spaces available, a lottery selection should be conducted. If the number of applicants does not exceed the number of spaces available, a lottery selection is not necessary, and all applicants can be admitted to the school.

What information can the application for admission to the charter school request before the names are placed in the lottery pool?

The application for admission to the charter school should only request information necessary to enable the school to identify the student and determine what grade the applicant is seeking to enter. Basic contact information such as address telephone number and e-mail address can be requested. Applications should not request ethnic, racial, religious, or language information from the applicants. Applicants cannot be required to submit copies of test scores, transcripts, immunization records, IEP, or 504 files from the last school. The charter school cannot require applicants to write an essay or letter of intent before an applicant’s name is placed in the lottery. Any additional information desired by the school can be requested only after a student is admitted through the lottery.

May a charter school exempt certain categories of applicants from the lottery and admit them automatically?

State law provides that only the following categories of applicants may be exempted from the lottery process:

  1. students who have been admitted to the charter school through an appropriate admission process and remain in attendance through subsequent grades; and
  2. siblings of students already admitted to, or attending, the same charter school.

There is no exemption for children of a charter school’s founders or children of employees of the charter school.