Skip to main content

Enrollment FAQ's

Printable Version.

Enrollment FAQs

General Information

What is Connecting Waters Charter Schools (CWCS)?
● CWCS are public non classroom-based independent study charter schools funded by the state
of California. The two independent charter schools are Connecting Waters and Connecting
Waters, East Bay.
● The mission of CWCS: Connecting Waters Charter Schools is a collaborative educational
community promoting academic excellence in preparing students for college and career while
providing individualized public education through challenging, unique, and varied learning.
● Connecting Waters Charter School was established in 2002 as the 477 th charter school in
California. Connecting Waters, East Bay was established in 2017 as the 1881 st charter school
in California. Connecting Waters, Central Valley is in its first year beginning fall 2018.
● The Connecting Waters’ Charter was granted by the Waterford Unified School District. Don
Davis is the current Superintendent of Waterford Unified School District.
● Connecting Waters, East Bay’s Charter was granted by the Alameda County Office of
Education. L. Karen Monroe is the current Superintendent of Alameda County Office of
● The Connecting Waters Central Valley’s Charter was granted by Modesto City Schools. Sara
Noguchi is the current Interim Superintendent of Modesto City Schools.
● The Connecting Waters Charter Schools Executive Director is Sherri Nelson.
● Connecting Waters Charter School (CWCS) is currently serving TK-12 grade students who
reside in Alameda, Calaveras, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Stanislaus, and
Tuolumne counties.
● Connecting Waters East Bay (CWEB) is currently serving TK-12 grade students who reside in
Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Santa Clara. San Mateo, and San Francisco
● Connecting Waters Central Valley (CWCV) is currently serving TK-12 grade students who
reside in Alameda, Calaveras, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Stanislaus, and
Tuolumne counties.
● Extensive information on CWCS educational approach and programs may be found on the
CWCS web sites at , and
● Connecting Waters Charter School is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools
and Colleges (WASC), the Accrediting Commission for Schools.
● Connecting Waters East Bay is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and
Colleges (WASC), the Accrediting Commission for Schools.
● Connecting Waters Central Valley is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools
and Colleges (WASC), the Accrediting Commission for Schools
● We are a parent choice school whose Board of Directors (governing board) consists of parents
and community members.

How does CWCS work?
Connecting Waters Charter Schools are independent charter schools, where the parent is the primary
educator with support from an assigned credentialed teacher (Education Specialist (ES)). Parents
who enroll their children in CWCS shall, through specific enrollment and curriculum contracts and the
support and guidance of their ES, accept responsibility for their children’s education. CWCS will
support its students and parents with appropriate educational materials, training and with a team of
ESs, ES Advisors and support staff. The ES Advisors support and guide the ESs. CWCS ESs and
ES Advisors assist parents and students in all aspects of student education pursuant to relevant
contracts. Our ESs are required to meet with you and your student(s) a minimum of every 20 school

Our enrollment is not guaranteed; it is based on first come, first serve, or public random
drawing/lottery (for CWEB and CWCV) and teacher availability in your area.
Once your
application is completed, with all the required documents, your student is entered into our system as
a “prospective student” and assigned a teacher if available. Incomplete applications will not be
processed and you will be notified of what is missing.

You will be called by our Intake Department who will set up an appointment for you and your student
to meet with one of our intake specialists at our learning center. Attendance of this meeting is
required and may be your official first day enrolled with CWCS if an ES is available. Please note:
Intake meetings may become informational throughout the school year depending on ES availability.

Where do I meet the ES?
You can meet them in your home, the school’s facilities or local library or another public facility that
you and ES agree upon.

How do I enroll?
How do I get an enrollment application?

Apply Online
1. Fill out our online application form.
2. Your enrollment cannot move forward until all of the required documentation is received.
These documents can be:
● Scanned and uploaded to your application
● Faxed to (209)-874-9531
● Mailed to CWCS Enrollment, 12420 Bentley Street., Waterford, CA 95386
● Email to
● Dropped off at the Modesto Resource Center, 2300 East Briggsmore Ave. Modesto, CA 95355
or the East Bay Resource Center, 703 C Street, Union City, CA 94587 and the CWCS Office,
12420 Bentley Street, Waterford, CA 95386

Required Documents that must come with the application:
Your enrollment cannot move forward until all of the required documentation is received. The
required documents are:

1. A legible copy of the student’s up-to-date completed Immunization Records – including
new Pertussis (Whooping Cough) requirement for students in grades 7 – 12.
2. Proof of Residency (must list parent/guardian name and permanent physical address, such as
a PG&E bill or lease agreement)
3. A completed Health Exam form (for TK, Kindergarten and 1st grade students only or if the
student is attending a public school for the first time.)
4. A completed Oral Health Assessment form (for TK, Kindergarten and 1st grade students only
or if the student is attending a public school for the first time.)
5. A copy of the student’s official or unofficial High School Transcripts (please retain the original
for the initial enrollment meeting)* if applicable

Enrollment applications received without the required documentation will not be processed until all
documents have been received.
Please note: Do NOT DIS-ENROLL your student from their current school until you have
completed enrollment paperwork during your intake appointment.

Additional Documents:
Document verifying student’s age: evidence may be in the form of a
certified copy of a birth record or a statement by the local
registrar or a county recorder certifying the date of birth, or a
baptism certificate duly attested, or a passport/visa.
State testing student score report: most recently received in the mail from last school attended.
R-4 Affidavit: If applicable
Caregiver Affidavit: if applicable
Official College transcripts: If applicable (high school students)

Immunization & Health Forms
Does my student have to be immunized to enroll?


What if my child is not up to date?
According to state law, we cannot allow your child to attend onsite classes unless we receive
evidence that your student is up to date with their immunizations.

What if my child is not immunized?
You will need to submit a medical exemption or Statement of Conscience. Your student will be
enrolled under conditional admission. Parents Guide to immunizations.

Please call 209-874-1119 ext. 349, if you have questions about any immunization or health forms.


Health Examination Form: required for transitional kindergarten, kindergarten and 1st grade
students entering the school system for the first time
Health Examination Waiver
Oral Health Assessment: required for transitional kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade
students entering the school system for the first time

What is the minimum age for admittance to kindergarten in California?

A child shall be admitted to a kindergarten maintained by the school district at the beginning of a
school year, or at a later time in the same year if the child will have his or her fifth birthday on or
before one of the following dates (EC 48000[a]):
For the 2016-17 school year and each school year thereafter the date is September 1.

What is Transitional Kindergarten?
A transitional kindergarten is the first year of a two-year kindergarten program that uses a modified
kindergarten curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate. Pursuant to law, (EC 48000[c]),
a child is eligible for transitional kindergarten if a child will have his or her fifth birthday between
September 2 and December 2.

1. Can students who are age eligible for kindergarten attend transitional

Although this is a local decision, CDE recommends that districts establish criteria to determine
selection requirements for kindergarten eligible children who enroll in transitional kindergarten.
Children who are age-eligible to attend kindergarten, but choose to enroll in transitional
kindergarten will need a signed parental permission continuance form verifying that the
parent/guardian agrees to have his/her child continue in kindergarten for one additional year.
A sample form, in English and Spanish, is available.
Kindergarten Continuance Form (English) (PDF; 13KB; 2pp.)
Available Translations of the Kindergarten Continuance Form

Yes, kindergarten age appropriate students may attend TK if their 5th birthday is on June 1st-
Oct. 1. Parents must fill out the Kindergarten Continuance form upon enrollment to TK
(verifying the parent/guardian agrees to have his/her child continue in kindergarten for one
additional year. We do not allow mid-year grade changes.
2. Can children who turn five years old after December 2 start transitional kindergarten at
the beginning of the new year?

No. Pursuant to law, (EC 48000[c] Grade Placement Chart
3. Will transitional kindergarten continue after this year?
Yes                                                                                                                                                                                           4. Must children attend transitional kindergarten or kindergarten?
Parents and guardians are currently not required to enroll children in transitional kindergarten
or kindergarten (EC Section 48200).
5. Are transitional kindergarten students required to complete the entire
two year program?

They are not required to complete the entire two year program
6. Are standards available for transitional kindergarten?
7. What is the curriculum for transitional kindergarten?
California law (EC 48000) defines transitional kindergarten as “the first year of a two-year
kindergarten program that uses a modified kindergarten curriculum that is age and
developmentally appropriate.” While no state curriculum is mandated, local education
agencies must modify the local course of study in order to provide age and developmentally
appropriate curriculum for transitional kindergarten.
8. Are students in transitional kindergarten also subject to the kindergarten immunization
and health requirements?

Yes. They are required to have documentation of required immunizations and health exams or
a valid exemption prior to admission to transitional kindergarten.
9. How to Apply?
Fill out an enrollment application online.

If my student is an English Learner can he/she be enrolled in CWCS?
Yes. However, just like all students they have to receive English instruction 4-5 days a week. Classes
will be offered online or onsite.

Dual Enrollment
Can I be enrolled in another school (private or public) while enrolled in Connecting Waters
Charter School or Connecting Waters, East Bay or Connecting Waters, Central Valley? (Dual

For our continuing and newly enrolled families, we want to remind you that CWCS are public schools,
therefore your child(ren) cannot be enrolled in CWCS and another public or private school at the
same time, even for one class. California Education Code Section 47602(b) and Title 5, California
Code of Regulations Section 11965(a) prohibit such “dual enrollment”. As a consequence of any dual
enrollment, CWCS are forced to return all funds related to the attendance of any dually enrolled
student to the state and may encounter issues during our annual audit. The only other private or
public school that a student at CWCS may be enrolled in is a community college with the necessary
approval from CWCS, pursuant to the signed enrollment forms.

Previously Enrolled Student or Sibling Enrollment

If my student(s) have been enrolled in one of the CWCS before, do I have to go through the
application process again?

Yes, however please do not create a new account, contact student records at or 209-874-11119 ext. 348 to re-enable your log in. You will need to
update all sections of the registration and re-submit all required documents.

What do I need to do to enroll a sibling?
You will need to complete an interest form during an open enrollment window. Then go to the parent
portal tab located under quick links. Log in using your current username and password. Once you are
on the household dashboard click on REG-Online. This will take you to the original 4 step application.
Under step 3 you can scroll down and click on the tab: new student application. Complete student
information and upload student documents which will require signatures from both the
parent/guardian and student. Make sure to update each section and save the changes. Once you
have saved step three it will allow you to move on to step 4. Once all 4 steps are completed you can
call enrollment for confirmation of your pre-registration. If you need assistance please contact or call 209-874-11119 ext. 348.

Status Of Enrollment Application

Who do I talk to see if my interest form and online registration for enrollment was received?
Please allow one to two (1-2) business days before calling as the interest form confirmations are sent
out via email 24-48hrs once received. You may be invited shortly after to complete the online
registration by email as well so please check your inbox and spam folder. After three business days,
you may email Enrollment at or call 209-874-11119 ext. 348 to confirm
receipt of your enrollment documents.

What is my status?
For enrollment in Connecting Waters Charter Schools:

Once you have received confirmation of the interest form you submit during an open enrollment
window you will be given updates as to when you will need to complete your Reg-Online application
and submit required documents. You will be put on the prospective list and called when your name
comes to the top of the list and there is an ES available in your geographical area unless you indicate
on your application that you are willing to be enrolled with a teacher who does not live in your
geographic location. This might require that you drive to meet your teacher each month. Please make
sure you check your emails and phone messages regularly. If you are called and left a message, you
will only have 24 business hours to return the call or it will be assumed you are no longer interested
and you will be removed from the prospective list.

*The contact information provided in the interest forms will be the primary phone number/email
address used by CWCS to communicate with you. Please provide your best contact information when

For enrollment in all Connecting Waters Charter Schools All interest forms received will be processed
for enrollment based on ES availability. Following the open enrollment period each year, interest
forms shall be counted to determine whether it has received more forms than availability. In the event
that this happens, we will hold a public random drawing for that charter to determine admission, with
the exception of existing students who are guaranteed admission in the following school year.
Admission preference in case of a public random drawing shall be granted in this order: 1) siblings of
enrolled students, 2) children of currently employed staff, and 3) residents of the local school District.

At the conclusion of the public random drawing, all students who were not granted admission due to
capacity shall be given the option to put their names on a wait-list according to their draw in the
lottery. This wait-list will allow students the option of enrollment in the case of an opening during the
current school year. In no circumstance will a wait-list carry over to the following school year.

Public random drawing rules, deadlines, dates and times will be communicated on each charter’s
website’s. The lottery will be held in a public facility that is large enough to accommodate all who are
interested. A disinterested party will conduct the lottery. Parents do not have to be present to
participate in the lottery.

Public notice for the date and time of the public random drawing will also be posted once the
application deadline has passed. CWCS Charters will also inform parents/guardians of all applicants
and all interested parties of the rules to be followed during the public random drawing process via
mail or email at least two weeks prior to the lottery date. Students will be placed on a wait-list once all
teachers have reached their caseload capacity. The lottery will be conducted prior to the last day of
enrollment for the school year. Families selected through the lottery process will be called and/or
notified in writing of their acceptance into CWCS, CWEB or CWCV. CWCS, CWEB and CWCV will
create a timeline for accepting a spot.

How long will I be on the prospective list?
Until you complete the intake meeting with the intake specialist and are contacted by an ES in your

What is the response time after an enrollment application is received?
You will be contacted as soon as possible when there is an ES available in your geographical area. If
you haven’t heard from the Intake Department then there isn’t any available space.

Why can’t you guarantee me a space?
Connecting Waters/Connecting Waters, East Bay/Connecting Waters, Central Valley, is based on
completed applications and we need to have an ES available in your geographical area in which to
assign you to. If the ESs are full in your geographical area, you will have to wait until an ES becomes
available or let us know you will meet an ES in another area.

I am going on vacation and do not want to miss the intake call, what do I do?
You may call 209-874-1119 ext. 305 or email and request that you not be
called during the dates of your vacation. However this may delay your enrollment.

Do you move students up in the enrollment process based on special circumstances?
No, we do not.

Can my student apply for enrollment if he/she has ever been expelled?
Yes, you may submit your enrollment application and required documents including your latest state
assessment results, and then you will be instructed to contact our Executive Director who has the
only authority to enroll a student previously expelled from another school.

If I am willing to drive to meet an ES, will this get me enrolled faster?
You may let the Student Records Assignment Department know you are willing to drive and meet an
available ES. This may not guarantee expedited enrollment.

Enrollment Deadline and Enrollment for Next School Year

After the first day of school do you still accept enrollment applications?
We are continuously taking enrollment applications. However, if there is no ES available your student
will be placed on a waitlist until one becomes available.

What is the last day to enroll in CWCS for the 2022-2023 school year?
Your application and required documents must be submitted two weeks prior to the processing
deadline during the last open enrollment window at the end of January; beginning of February 2023.
This will allow time for our Intake department to contact you and schedule you for a required
appointment prior to the enrollment deadline of February 24th. Enrollment is based on ES availability
(and/or lottery placement)

When can I enroll for the following year?
The application for the 2023-24 school year will open for CWCS, CWEB and CWCV at the end of
April of 2023. Please remember all CWCS have open enrollment windows which will be posted on the

What Do I Do If I Cannot Get Into One Of The Connecting Waters Charter Schools?
What other charter schools are available in my area if CWCS is not a good fit for my student or
space is unavailable?

Please contact the CA Department of Education (CDE) or contact your local County Office of


How much does it cost to enroll in CWCS?
CWCS are publicly funded schools by the state of California and do not charge tuition, it is free to

How does the funding work?
CWCS provide instructional funds (IF) to the ES for their student’s educational materials, courses,
group education activities (GEAs) extra-curricular activities and educational supplies as allowed by
the state. These funds are provided by the state of California and all materials purchased are the
property of Connecting Waters Charter Schools and are to be returned upon request. All decisions
regarding the expenditure of these funds must comply with the guidelines of charter law and the
California Department of Education, according to school policy, and are managed by the credentialed

How are state funds allocated?
The state of California allocates funding to our school based on the average daily student attendance.


What curriculum do we use?
Curriculum is purchased by the ES from our approved vendor list for each student. Parents can also
choose to purchase their own curriculum with their own money.

Can I use sectarian curriculum to educate my student?
Pursuant to Education Code Section 47605, California charter schools must affirm that they will be
nonsectarian in their programs, admissions policies, employment practices, and all other
operations. Article 1 Section 4 of the California Constitution and the 1 st Amendment of the U.S.
Constitution prohibits the government from establishing a religion. The use of public funds to
purchase sectarian instructional materials has been found to violate the constitutional prohibitions
as an endorsement of a religion. Families are free to practice their religion and to use sectarian
instructional materials outside of public school instruction and activities. However, Connecting
Waters may not purchase those sectarian materials using public funds. Further, Connecting Waters may not assign instructional activities from sectarian materials purchased by parents using their
own funds, nor select work samples from those materials, nor collect attendance for student
engagement on instructional activities using those materials. All operations of Connecting Waters
must be nonsectarian, this would include instructional programs and activities.

High School Information/Credits Needed

How many units are required to graduate?
210 Graduation Requirements

Can my student attend college classes while enrolled in CWCS?
Yes, your student can attend community college concurrently. There are limits to the number of
courses your student can take at the community college and all community colleges require a
concurrent enrollment form that must be signed by the Executive Director.