Tierra Pacifica Charter School

 

FAQ's about TPCS

 


What is a charter school?


Charter schools are free public schools of choice that are freed from many of the traditional rules and regulations governing other public schools in exchange for greater accountability.  They are created by groups of parents, teachers, school administrators or others who want to provide educational alternatives, and are free of cost to parents and open to all students, but exempted from many statutory and regulatory requirements in exchange for performance-based accountability.

What is Tierra Pacifica all about?

Our mission is to educate children in a supportive community environment where family involvement, creative expression and exploration of the physical world are highly valued.  We strive to help our students become passionate life-long learners and responsible community members through an academic program designed to optimize each child's intellectual, social, emotional, and physical growth.

What is parent participation?

Although not a requirement for enrollment, many parents participate in many ways.  Parents can help in the following activities: assisting teachers in the classrooms, help in the office, help with facility maintenance, wash laundry, serve lunches, and assist in many other capacities, including governing the school.  Our parent coordinators work closely with families to find ways to help that work with their schedules and skills.  The result is a strong feeling of community among children, parents, teachers, and staff.  Families are encouraged to participate in school fundraising activities as well.  Parent participation, however, is not required of any Tierra Pacifica family.  

Does Tierra Pacifica charge a tuition?

No. Tierra Pacifica is a free public school and receives funding base on attendance from the State of California and cannot charge tuition.

However, like many public schools, this funding falls short of what is needed to operate the school in a manner that allows us to achieve our vision and goals, so families are asked to support the school financially. This is not required, however parent donations make possible most our enrichment programs (art, music, dance, drama, etc.) and maintaining teaching assistants and small class sizes. We encourage each family to consider its relative financial health, and donate an amount that they believe appropriate. Individual donation levels are kept confidential and in no way affect a child's enrollment.

Enrollment FAQs

 

I'd really like to get more information about applying for enrollment.  What's the best way to contact your school?

There are several ways to get more information.  The fastest way is by emailing the enrollment coordinator at tpcsenrollment@gmail.com. Emailed questions generally get the fastest response.

If you would prefer a phone call, please email your questions, your phone number and several times to reach you.  You may also call the office, 831-462-9404, to leave a message for our enrollment team.


Is your lottery random?

Yes. Our charter provides for several priority levels in enrollment.  If we have any openings, we will place siblings of existing students first.  Staff members' children are placed next.  We then take all Live Oak school district residents.  Finally, we look at out-of-area applicants.  Within each of the above categories, the lottery is random.  

Where do I find applications?

Applications can be found on the enrollment page of our website and in the office.  Our website address is http://www.tierrapacifica.org  Each applicant is allowed only one application per year.  In the event of a second application, we will keep the first and discard the second.  Only the first application submitted will be included in the lottery.

Applications can either be submitted online, filled out at our office, or printed from the website and emailed/mailed to the office.  If you are submitting a paper application within two weeks of submitting your application you will receive a confirmation email.  Applications are not considered complete without that email.  If you do not get a confirmation email within that time frame, please let us know via email as that means we did not get your application.

If you need more information please email tpcsenrollment@gmail.com.

I submitted an application last year, but we didn't get in. Do I have to reapply?

Yes.  You must submit a new application EACH YEAR in order to maintain your child's spot on the wait list.

Applications for the following school year are generally available by December 1st on our website and must be submitted by the lottery deadline (March 15th) of the calendar year in which you intend to enroll.
 
My child is a student at Tierra Pacifica and we have another child who will be ready to start next year.  What should we do?
 
Every child must have a completed application submitted before the lottery in order to enroll.  Sibling applications submitted after our lottery will be added to the wait list.

Can I submit an application for two grades for the same student?

No.  You must apply for the grade that you and your child's current teacher feel is the best fit for them.

How do I get on the waitlist?

You must submit an application EVERY YEAR regardless of whether you are on the waitlist or not.  Applications must be received for the following school year prior to the March 15th lottery deadline.

Applications submitted after the March 15th deadline are accepted, however, these applications are NOT added to the current waitlist.  If we exhaust the lottery waitlist, we will have another lottery using the applications submitted after the deadline.

I'm still interested in Tierra Pacifica Charter School for next year, what should I do?

If you submitted your application prior to the lottery deadline, your child was placed on a waitlist.  If you are still interested in TPCS for the following school year, you must submit a new application before the lottery deadline (March 15th).

Your child will maintain his or her spot on the wait list from the previous year's lottery only if we receive a new application from you before the lottery deadline.

We were offered a spot but declined.  Can we keep our wait list position?

No. If you decline an offer and would like to be considered for any future openings, you must submit a new application.

My child will start kindergarten in several years.  Can I place him/her on your wait list now?
 
No.  We only accept applications for the upcoming school year.

We applied for Kindergarten and didn't get in last year.  My child didn't attend kindergarten and we want to re-apply this year.  Can I keep my wait list number?

No.  You must re-apply and will be placed in the lottery with all other new kindergarten applicants.

We applied to TPCS and our application went through the lottery process.   How can I find out our results?

We will hold the lottery in March.  You may attend our public lottery at school.  Time and date will be posted on the main enrollment page by mid-February and is always within two weeks of the application deadline. Results are then mailed to the resident address on the application.  If your address changes, it is very important to let us know as soon as possible. 

Please do not call the office for lottery results; our office staff does not have any lottery information.  If you have any questions or would like updated wait list information, please email tpcsenrollment@gmail.com.

I have two or more children that I'd like to enroll.  How can they all get a spot?

We will lottery each applicant separately.   If one child is offered a spot, once that offer is accepted and you have submitted the admitted student's paperwork, the remaining siblings on the wait list will be treated as siblings of an existing students and given priority enrollment.  This does not guarantee an immediate spot for those siblings, but we will be able to offer the next available opening.  We will make every effort to accommodate families but we can only offer spots if there is room in our classes.

How can I sign up for a school tour and/or make arrangements to observe classes?

School Tours: There will be student-led tours beginning in late fall that will include a walk-though of all of our classrooms.  Call the office to schedule a tour at (831) 462-9404 x 0.

Classroom Observation: We do not let prospective families sit in on classes because it is too disruptive to our current students.  The only exception to this rule is when there is a mid-year opening in a class where we are offering a spot.

Can my child shadow at TPCS?

K-6: Because of the volume of applications and disruption to the classroom, for grades K-6, we do NOT allow shadowing for potential applicants.  The only exception to this rule is if your child is offered a spot mid-year

7-8th grade: We do allow shadowing in the 7-8 grade.  Please contact the office at (831) 462-9404 x 0 to arrange a shadow day.

Do you fill mid-year openings?

Yes.  We use our lottery-generated wait list to fill any openings that occur during the school year.

If your child is offered a spot mid-year, we will make every effort to give your family a chance to visit the school and talk with your child's perspective teacher.  At the time of the offer, you will be given an acceptance deadline, which is usually three days from the time of the offer.

What happens if I move into the Live Oak School District but I was living outside Live Oak when I submitted my application? (Please note proof of residency section below).

If you move into the Live Oak School District after you have already submitted an application, you should notify enrollment immediately if it is BEFORE the lottery deadline or March 15th.  However, if you move after the lottery has already taken place, your wait list status will be changed to reflect your new residency status.

This is also the case if you move out of the Live Oak School District; your wait list status will also be changed to your new residency status.

Proof of residency:
If you are offered a spot and you applied as a Live Oak resident, you will be required to submit adequate proof of residency.

You will need to submit either:

Two of the following:
Property tax statement
Drivers Licenses
Utility bill (in your name)
Automobile registration

OR:

Three (3) of the following:

Drivers License
Utility bill (in your name)
Automobile registration
Rental / lease agreement
Bank statement

The proof of residency MUST BE DATED before March 15th.  If you cannot provide sufficient proof of residency, you must agree to an unplanned home visit.  If these terms are not fulfilled, Tierra Pacifica reserves the right to rescind your admission offer.

 

Who is considered a sibling?

The term "sibling" is defined as a child whose domestic life satisfies one or more of the following criteria:

 

  1. The child has at least one birth or adoptive parent in common with the existing pupil or,
  2. The child has been legally adopted by at least one birth or adoptive parent of the existing pupil or,
  3. The child is the natural or adoptive child of a spouse or legally recognized domestic partner of a parent of the existing pupil or,
  4. The child is the child of a natural or adoptive parent that can demonstrate a continuous cohabitation period of three or more years with a natural or adoptive parent of the existing pupil.

 

In all cases, the existing pupil must be enrolled at the time of the lottery, or the parents of the existing pupil must have expressed an intent to enroll the existing pupil, for the school year that the sibling child first enrolls in Tierra Pacifica.

Ambiguous cases that are not resolved by this policy will be addressed by the Board on a case-by-case basis commensurate with the policy's underlying principle of keeping children with sibling-like relationships together in school.

All currently enrolled families may submit an application for the following year under sibling status regardless of whether or not their currently enrolled child will be attending TPCS the following year. The currently enrolled student must be enrolled at TPCS as of the lottery in order to give his/her sibling  priority to members of their family in the lottery process.


Tierra Pacifica Charter School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and other school-administered programs.

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