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CHA is Shifting to Continuous Enrollment

What have we done in the past?
Up until now, CHA has asked families to re-enroll their children each year in the winter/spring for the following school year, and pay a $100 re-enrollment fee to ensure their place at the
school. Inevitably some families have delayed this re-enrollment commitment until late in the spring or even into the summer. This delay results from procrastination in some cases, and in
other cases a lack of certainty about the ability or desire to return. This makes planning for the subsequent school year significantly more difficult, as CHA is never certain how many students
who are eligible to return will actually do so. Such uncertainty has several ramifications.

  • First, not knowing how many students are returning makes it difficult to grant admission to new students. Will a grade have enough room to accommodate a new student? How
    many can be accommodated? Will new teachers need to be hired for an additional section in a particular grade?
  • Second, it delays the process of hiring needed new teachers. Not surprisingly, the strongest teachers are often hired earlier in the employment cycle. As a result, if CHA’s
    decisions must be delayed, some quality candidates have already signed contracts with other schools.
  • Third, not knowing details of enrollment can lead to hesitancy in planning for extracurricular and co-curricular activities as well. This affects planning for athletics, music
    groups, drama program, and academic support services.
  • Fourth, the summer is an ideal time to execute various facility improvement projects in the building. Lack of clarity on enrollment forces the administration to delay some
    projects which otherwise could be completed, or completed more easily, with no students in the building.

What is the solution?
Given these realities, CHA has decided to shift to a practice referred to as “continuous enrollment.” In short, continuous enrollment is the assumption that every student eligible to
return will do so for the following fall, unless a timely notice is given of withdrawal.

What does this mean for families?
Continuous enrollment will mean a shift in our mindset. Initially, there will be a small financial component coupled with a simple enrollment confirmation process. All families eligible to
return will be charged $125 per student on their November bill and will need to execute a five-minute enrollment confirmation process in their Veracross account. It is simple and only
requires three or four clicks of a mouse. An email notifying families when this process will start will be sent in November.

Prior to December 31: Once enrollment is confirmed and the deposit is paid by December 31, this $125 per student will be credited on the family’s September bill for the following year after
school has started. This will function as an incentive to encourage families to confirm early their intention to return.

Between January 1 – March 31: If neither the enrollment process NOR payment is completed between January 1 and March 31, the $125 per student charge will function as an enrollment
fee. While it will not be credited to the following year’s tuition, it will still be refundable if a family indicates their intent to withdraw prior to March 31.

After March 31: If enrollment is not completed NOR intent to withdraw is not indicated on
Veracross by March 31, an additional charge of $125 (total of $250) will be charged to each student’s account.

We believe that this combination of an initial period of an incentive, coupled with loss of the
tuition deposit and a later doubling of the charge, will incentivize the vast majority of families
to indicate early their intentions to return to CHA.

What about financial aid?
A related shift will be an earlier timetable for the financial aid process for returning students.Financial aid application information and procedures will be in place by November 1st each year,
thus allowing for an earlier completion of the process, and earlier awards. All families who comply with financial aid deadlines will have their awards for the following year no later than
March 1, thus allowing 30 days to consider the aid award and its impact on a decision to complete enrollment.

In addition, final tuition information for the following school year will be available by January 31. This information will also assist families in making final enrollment decisions well in
advance of the no-penalty withdrawal date of March 31.

Questions about Continuous Enrollment should be directed to Tim Dinkelman.

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