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Admission to Side by Side Charter School

Side by Side Charter School is a public charter school authorized by the CT State Department of Education. We are not part of the Norwalk Public School System but report directly to the State of Connecticut Commissioner of Education.


Who is Eligible

Any resident of Connecticut is eligible to participate in our Lottery.  Upon acceptance, residency must be proven by submitting a copy of a household utility bill.   Applications are accepted for children entering pre-school (3 & 4 year olds) through the 8th grade.  The birth date cut-off date for preschool is September 1st; and December 31st for Kindergarten through eighth grades. Currently, 235 students from Norwalk and surrounding communities are enrolled at Side by Side. 

How One Applies

Lottery applications will only be made available during one of our scheduled Open Houses in January through April. In order to attend an open house, you must make a reservation.  For reservations, please call 203-857-0306.  It is mandatory that you attend one of the scheduled Open Houses to learn more about our school and to determine if Side by Side is the “right” school for your child(ren).  However, we do ask that only parents/guardians (no children) attend the presentations.  Please plan to attend a morning Open House if you wish to observe the classrooms.  Visits to the classrooms at other times are discouraged, as we want to minimize disruption of regular classroom activities.

Open House Dates

January 22, 2020 at 10:30 A.M.

February 19, 2020 at 10:30 A.M. 

April 1, 2020 at 5:00 P.M.

When You Receive Your Application

At the conclusion of the Open House, you will be given an application.  If you submit an application to us by mail, and we’re unable to contact you, your application will be withdrawn from consideration.

As we process your completed application, your child(ren) will be assigned a lottery number and we will notify you via postcard of your lottery number.  It is very important that your address and phone numbers are written clearly on your application. If your address or phone number(s) change at any time after you submit your application, please notify our office. The same lottery number is given to each child in your family for whom we have received an application.  For example, Tom Jones, entering grade 2, and Stella Jones, entering grade 5, would both be assigned the same lottery number.  

During the weeks and possibly months following the Lottery, enrollment packets for those applicants accepted will be sent to the address of record.

When Vacancies are Filled

If your child is accepted, you will receive verbal notification from Side by Side; and you will be given 24 hours to accept or decline placement.  If you accept placement for your child, you will be given Enrollment Forms, which must be submitted to Side by Side within one week of placement notification, or the offer of enrollment will be withdrawn. If no response is received within 24 hours of notification, your placement will automatically be withdrawn without further notification. 

How Placements are Determined

We are fortunate in that there are limited vacancies to fill in our 2020-2021 Lottery. Families of students currently enrolled are given preference for any siblings wishing to enroll in the Fall of 2020. Once the sibling lottery is completed, we’re able to determine how many vacancies are available in each class.  On the day of the Lottery, we will draw each number and post them on the lottery boards in the order in which they are called. 

The Waiting List

The 2020 Waiting List will remain in effect until the next lottery begins in 2021.  New applications must be submitted each year, as names on the Waiting List will not be held over to the next year’s lottery.

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