A parent applied to your charter school during open enrollment, the school has an enrollment, lottery and waitlist management system. During the lottery, the parents received an offer to attend, and the system notified the parents by email. When the parent filled out their application, they added additional notification addresses, so the offer to attend email was actually sent to 3 email addresses, these were the fathers work and personal emails, as well as the mothers email address. Your admissions policy says that a parent has 3 days to accept or decline the offer to attend, otherwise the offer is rescinded and offered to the next family on the schools waitlist.
After the lottery, and over the next 3 days, the parents received many email reminders, and on the third day, the offer to attend expired and was rescinded. It could no longer be accepted electronically. The parents were informed, via email, that their child’s seat offer had expired, and as luck would have it, they both received this email…the dreaded “Expired” notification. Both parents are now at the schools front office, and they are both pretty steamed. You patiently explain, that there is nothing that can be done, because the seat is literally no longer available, the spot has been offered to another family, and the only option is to be added to the end of the school’s waitlist.
The parents tell you that would be just fine, if they were notified, but we were never told, so how could we accept if we were never notified! They go on to insist that their child must be accepted, otherwise they will make a formal complaint to the school’s authorizer, as well as the state board of education, and they will let everyone on Facebook know about their situation and how unfair the schools enrollment process is…
Aside: While the parents are making their point, and are being a bit loud, the schools registrar is clicking away at her computer and sending something to the printer. You can hear the printer whirling, and see the papers coming out. The school principal, hearing the commotion, invites the parents into her office to continue the discussion and the registrar joins. The parents re-iterate that they were never notified of having received a seat offer, and that losing the seat was not justified and the school must accept their child.
The Principal had overheard the parents comments about Facebook, and was thinking, “please not that again”, having gone through parent flight a few years ago, due to a social media fire storm, it was the last thing the school needed. However, following school policy is a must, and the registrar was asked for an explanation.
The registrar, now having a chance to login to the schools enrollment system is better prepared. She hands the parents 13 pieces of paper, and explains that these are the 13 emails, that the school sent to you over the last 3 days. She makes note how each email reiterates the schools admissions policy, and tells the parents how much time is left before the seat offer will expire. She also notes that each email was sent to the 3 email addresses that the parents indicated on their application. The principal interjects, and asks, “so we sent 13 notifications over the last 3 days?”, and the registrar confirms, and goes on to provide more information, another print out which confirms that each email was successfully delivered to the recipients mail server.
The registrar goes on to sincerely apologize that the parents did not receive the emails, but by now it’s clearly understood by everyone, that the school was not at fault, and that the parents were notified, and the parents now politely ask if their child can be added to the end of the schools waiting list.