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All about the charter schools and MWMA

Charter schools are publicly funded and are not private schools. They are open to all students, are committed to improving public education, demonstrate a record of student achievement, and have specific educational missions and focuses.

Charter schools are public schools created by a group of parents, teachers, or community leaders who see an educational need in their community and want to meet that need. To operate, charter founders must submit an application for approval by the State Charter School Board or the board of a school district. Like other public schools, charter schools may serve students from Kindergarten through 12th grade.

Charter schools offer parents and students additional choices about where students attend school and the school’s curricular emphasis. They allow educators freedom to try new strategies to inspire students and to experiment with innovative ways of educating students. Also, charter schools allow individuals and organizations outside of the traditional education system to create and run public schools.

Besides offering choice in education, charter schools relieve some of the overcrowding in existing district schools without placing undue burdens on taxpayers. As non-profit organizations, charter schools raise funds or secure private financing for their facilities without bonds or tax levies. A charter school is one less school a district needs to bond for. Charter schools also contribute to the local levy by paying property tax, which remains with the school district since charter schools do not receive it as part of their funding.

As schools of choice, meaning parents choose them, charter schools provide a beneficial and healthy pressure within the public education system to be more responsive to parents and students, and to evaluate improvement. The presence of charter schools in a community often results in increased performance from all surrounding schools.

Charter schools typically engage local businesses and other organizations to help provide resources and services to the school and its families, and utilize volunteer service and parent involvement which saves money and encourages stronger working relationships among educators, parents and the community.

Charter schools utilize volunteer service and parent involvement combined with autonomous, community-based operations which saves money. Through the combined efforts and hard work of dedicated parents, teachers, and administrators, charter schools can use their funds effectively and creatively to educate students.

Yes! Similar to public schools, charter schools must be open to every child regardless of race, religion, disability, or academic ability. However, many charter schools have specific educational missions focusing on particular topics or students with particular needs. Also, charters have a cap on enrollment which limits the number of students the school can enroll. MWMA will use a randomized lottery process for the enrollment and registration of students.

Charter schools, by design, offer innovative curriculum, greater flexibility and accountability, and more opportunities for parents to participate significantly in school governance and operation.

A Charter School becomes it’s own school district which provides greater flexibility in curriculum adoption, local input, more parental involvement, and a need to specialize in the academy’s area of chosen focus. Students tend to be motivated by an interest in the focus or teaching method of the school instead of proximity to the nearest traditional public school. Charter Schools have a cap on enrollment legislated by the State of Utah, which leads to more flexibility in the classroom.

Students must be five (5) years old on or before September 1st to enroll in Kindergarten.

No. Charter schools are public schools and as such may not charge tuition or require students or parents to make monetary contributions (although donations are accepted and appreciated). Charter schools are subject to the same rules regarding school fees as other public schools.

Charter schools are funded on the principle that state funds follow the student. A differentiated Weighted Pupil Unit (“WPU”) is applied to Charter School students. In distributing funds under the Minimum School Program Act, to charter schools, charter school pupils are weighted, where applicable, as follows:

The vast majority of funding comes through the WPU. In addition, the legislature appropriates funds each year to replace some of the local property tax revenues that are not available to charter schools. Charter schools may also apply for state and federal start-up funds and specialized funds if qualifying students are served in approved programs.

A charter school may not charge tuition or require students or parents to make donations and is subject to the same rules regarding school fees as other public schools.

Utah public schools are partially funded from revenue collected through property taxes. Much of the state of Utah, however, is federal land and property tax revenues are not collected from federal lands. The U.S. Congress, in exchange for not taxing federal land, gave lands to Utah schools at statehood to help compensate for the lost property tax revenue. The lands are held in a legal trust for Utah public schools. Utah public schools own 3.3 million acres of Utah land. The lands are managed by the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration and must, by law, be used to generate money for public schools. The money is put in a permanent savings account, which is never spent, but invested by Utah’s State Treasurer. An Investment Advisory Committee appointed by education representatives act in an advisory capacity to the State Treasurer. The interest earned from the permanent fund now goes to each public school in the state. School and district-level committees prepare plans, approved by local school boards that identify an academic need and a proposed solution using the annual dividend. Distribution of the funds is based upon student enrollment numbers. The program reimburses schools based upon the previous school year’s enrollment.

There is no minimum requirement for parental involvement. However, Mountain West Montessori Academy recognizes that parents want to be actively involved in the education of their children. Volunteer hours are one of the key things that build up our MWMA community and make our school a unique and amazing place to learn.

Yes. Charter Schools are public schools and therefore have the same requirements as all Utah State public schools in regards to student testing.

Consistent with all public schools in Utah, all of our teachers will be licensed, certified teachers or be qualified to teach under the USOE’s Alternative Route to Licensure Program, or otherwise authorized through the Utah State Office of Education. Charter schools hire from the same pool of qualified, certified teachers that the district uses. Some of the teachers at the charter school may be former district teachers with years of valuable experience. If you have any questions or want more information, please contact the school administration or refer to the student information system.

The enrollment of MWMA is limited to a specific capacity, making a year-round schedule unnecessary. MWMA will operate on a standard school schedule of 180 days per school year.

MWMA enrollment is open to students from communities near and far, consequently, transportation cannot be provided by the school or the local school district. With the exception of field trips, parents are responsible for the transportation of their student to and from the school and are encouraged to participate in carpools.

Charter school Board Membes are volunteers that donate hundreds of hours to further the cause of providing a quality education for students and address unmet needs in the educational system. Board Members receive no compensation for their service.

MWMA will promote student character education to reaffirm values and qualities of character which promote an upright and desirable citizenry. MWMA will teach patriotic education as part of the social studies curricula. The civic education will help cultivate informed students, encourage responsible participation in political life, and promote the fundamental values and principles of representative democracy in Utah and the United States.

Further information about charter schools can be found at the following websites:
Parents may access information about the Statewide Online Education Program: (


All about enrolling at MWMA

Because the number of applicants will likely exceed the school’s authorized enrollment capacity, students are selected through a random lottery. When a student is chosen, siblings of the applicant (within the same household) are also invited for admission, provided there are openings. Students currently admitted are given preference for re-enrollment. Siblings of admitted students are given preference relative to other applicants.

MWMA will not discriminate in its admission policies or practices on the same basis as other public schools may not discriminate in their admission policies and practices

This cannot be determined due to the number of students applying each day for a limited number of openings in the school.

This cannot be determined due to the number of students applying each enrollment period for a limited number of openings in the school.

We will have enrollment opportunities beginning about January of each year and continuing throughout the year as needed. Parents should watch the website for announcements of dates for each enrollment period. Once our existing student numbers can be assessed and siblings given preference, we will run the lottery to fill any openings that may be available. This takes place about February or March. If your child is selected, you will receive an e-mail or a phone call. You must either accept or reject the position within the stated period of time in the e-mail message. If you choose not to attend, or if you do not contact the appropriate person within the given timeframe, your student will be declined in the lottery database and your student’s position will be offered to another student.

You will receive an email. Please make sure that you provide MWMA with a current email that you check regularly. It is your responsibility to ensure that your contact information is up-to-date. Mountain West Montessori Academy is not responsible for outdated contact information or the inability to contact you.

If you need to update your personal information such as phone number, address, or e-mail address, or if you choose to withdraw your student please use your confirmation number and log into the enrollment website to make any necessary changes.

By law, the only way to receive preferential treatment during enrollment is under the following circumstances: (1) a sibling is already attending the school; (2) a parent is a founding board member of the school; or (3) the student’s parent is a teacher employed by the school.

Extra volunteer hours, special favors, or donations are not accepted in exchange for special preference.

You may click on the “Resend Confirmation Number” link located on the Enrollment page to have it emailed to you.

Persuant to federal law, the school is not authorized to maintain a waiting list longer than the Open Enrollment period. All students who apply for enrollment must be entered into a lottery for randomized placement into the school as positions become available.

In the acceptance e-mail notification, instructions will be given on how to complete registration paperwork. Parents must complete the required paperwork within the time period specified.

To be enrolled means that your application was accepted through a lottery process, and a place has been reserved for your child to attend Mountain West Montessori Academy.

Mountain West Montessori Academy is open to all students without admissions requirements, except in accordance with statute: Children must turn five (5) on or before September 1st of the school year to enroll in Kindergarten. Applications received for children who are not old enough to attend school for the school year they are applying for will not be accepted.

Any student who has been expelled from any school, including Mountain West Montessori Academy, during the preceding 12 months, may be denied enrollment.

Your application will remain within the lottery pool for another opportunity in the subsequent month’s enrollment lottery, should space be available.

Enrollment is reserving a spot for a child in the school. Registration is your commitment to attend the school and authorizes Mountain West Montessori Academy to obtain official records from your previous school.

In 2014-2015, Mountain West Montessori Academy may enroll 474 students in grades K-8. In 2015-2016 and forward, MWMA may enroll 536 students in grades K-9. Each grade may have approximately fifty students in the elementary and sixty-two students in the middle school.

Parents may access our school report card at Data Gateway - School Grade
Parents may access our MWMA School Improvement Plan
Parents may access our School Improvement Plan, Report Card, Parent Rights to Know the professional certifications of their child’s teacher, Parent Compact, Parent Involvement Policy, notes on Title I and Land Trust meetings and other information in the front office. Information is also available on our website.