OCASA's Admissions FAQ

What Grade Levels are at each School?

OCASA College Prep is 6th grade to 10th grade for the 2021-22 school year.  OCASA Charter is Kindergarten to 5th grade for the 2021-22 school year.

Why does OCASA College Prep only go to 10th grade?

OCASA College Prep started as 6th - 9th grade in the 2020-21 school year and will add a grade each year.  In 2021-22, OCASA College Prep will be 6-10th grade.  Then in 2022-23, we will offer 6th - 11th grade.  Finally, in 2023-24 and beyond, we will offer 6th to 12th grades. 

May I choose to have my 6th, 7th or 8th-grade student attend OCASA Charter instead of OCASA College Prep?

No, starting with the 2020-21 School Year, OCASA Charter in Laguna Niguel is Kindergarten to 5th grade.  When we opened OCASA College Prep, we moved 6th, 7th, and 8th grade to the new school.

What are the addresses of each school?  

OCASA Charter (K-5), 29292 Crown Valley Parkway, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

OCASA College Prep (6-10), 31522 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

I heard OCASA is moving.  Where are you moving to?

OCASA has no current plans to move either of our campuses. 

Can we get a tour of the school?  Can I visit campus?

Due to COVID-19 protocols, we are not offering any on-campus activities.  Instead, we encourage you to attend a virtual school tour and a virtual open house.  You can signup at http://admissions.ocasa.org/enroll.

What are my chances of getting into the school through the lottery?

Lottery placement is dependent upon the number of applicants which vary each year and vary by grade level.  What we can tell you is that if you are placed on the waitlist there is a good chance of still being able to attend.  We encourage all meaningfully interested parents to apply for their students.

What are your admissions preferences in the lottery?

Please review the following table for admissions preferences in our lottery.  Please note, that continuing students within each school do not have to go through the lottery, they are guaranteed a spot.  However, students moving from OCASA Charter to OCASA College Prep for 6th grade will need to apply to OCASA College Prep and participate in the lottery.

Priority Description
Priority 1

Children of Teachers, Staff and Board Members 

An admission preference shall be provided to the children of the charter school’s Teachers. Staff and Board Members who reside in Orange County. No more than approximately ten percent of the school enrollment during a school year shall be comprised of children of Teachers, Staff or Board Members. 

Priority 2

Siblings of current students admitted to or attending OCASA Charter or OCASA College Prep


Siblings of students admitted to or attending the Charter School will receive an admission preference. Proof of the sibling relationship will be required for the admission preference. Siblings must share a custodial parent and reside in the same household for the majority of the year. Siblings must be residents of Orange County.

Please note, sibling preference does not carry over between schools.  For example, if there is one student at OCASA Charter a sibling who applies to OCASA College Prep will not be in Priority 2. 

Priority 3

Residents of the Capistrano Unified School District 

Students who live in the Capistrano Unified School District boundaries will receive an admission preference in the case of a public random drawing. OCASA will accommodate as many District students as there is available space. 

During the application process, you will be required to provide proof of residency in order to be in Priority 3.

Priority 4

Residents of Orange County 

Students who live in Orange County will receive an admission preference in the case of a public random drawing. OCASA will accommodate as many County students as there is available space. 

During the application process, you will be required to provide proof of residency in order to be in Priority 4.

 

Will a 5th-grade student at OCASA Charter automatically gets a spot in 6th grade at OCASA College Prep?

No, all 5th-grade students must fill out an application and go through the lottery at OCASA College Prep.  We believe that all 5th-grade students who want to attend OCASA College Prep will have the opportunity to do so.

Please click on the button below to access our application.

I live out of the district but would move if my student is offered a seat at your school.  Can I be placed in the in-district priority category?

Unfortunately, no.  To be placed in the in-District category you must be able to provide proof of residency within the boundaries of the Capistrano Unified School District.

I live outside of California but I am moving to Orange County before the start of the school year.  Can I apply to OCASA?

Unfortunately, no.  We only accept applications from students who live in California.

I am applying for a student at each school.  Will they get the sibling preference?

No, sibling preference does not reach between schools.

I have multiple students, do I have to fill out an application for each student?

Yes, please complete an individual application for each student.  Please click on the button below to access our application.

Do you offer a GATE Program?

No, our schools offer Personalized Learning to provide instruction that meets the needs of each student -- remedial, grade level or advanced.

Is my student required to wear a uniform?

Both schools require students to follow the Dress Code policy.  You can find out more about the dress code for OCASA Charter or OCASA College Prep on their websites by clicking the buttons below.

What subjects are offered at OCASA Charter and OCASA College Prep?

OCASA Charter and OCASA College Prep offer all of the required courses at each grade level including Math, English Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and Physical Education.  In addition, we have a number of specialty classes that vary by grade level and campus such as fine arts, music, engineering, design & modeling, computer science, and Spanish.

How can I apply to OCASA for next school year?

Visit http://admissions.ocasa.org/enroll to learn about our schools.  Once you have decided to apply, please click on the button below to access our application.

I was waitlisted last year, do I have to complete a new application?

Yes, please complete a new application.  Students who applied in prior year and/or were waitlisted must apply each year until they are admitted.

Are there seats available in my students grade?

We anticipate being able to offer spots to new students in all grade levels, however, this is subject to the number of returning students and our waitlist/lottery.

How many students are in each classroom?

At OCASA Charter (K-5) in Laguna Niguel, the maximum class size is 32 students with two teachers (Lead & Assistant) in each classroom.  At OCASA College Prep (6-10) in San Juan Capistrano, the maximum class size is 25 students with one teacher.  While COVID-19 restrictions are in place, the maximum number of students in a physical classroom at one time is 16 students.  As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, the student count on campus may change to adhere to state and local regulations.

What are the start and end times for a regular school day?

At OCASA Charter (K-5) in Laguna Niguel, the school day is 7:50 am to 2:20 pm.  At OCASA College Prep (6-10) in San Juan Capistrano, the school day is 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.  Both schools have early dismissal on Thursdays.

What makes a charter school different from a traditional public school?

Charter Schools are Public Schools operated by a non-profit organization instead of a school district.  The California Charter Schools Association has a detailed FAQ on charter schools on their website: https://www.ccsa.org/charters-up-close.  OCASA is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit public benefit organization.

Is there anything I can do to improve my chances of enrolling my child at OCASA?

Admission is strictly done by lottery/waitlist.  No parent is required to make a donation to our school for any reason.  Making a donation will not change your student’s chance of getting into the school.  Our schools are 100% tuition-free for all students.

Do I need to live in-district to attend OCASA?

No, any student who lives in California can apply to attend OCASA Charter or OCASA College Prep.  There are, however, admissions preferences for students who live within the Capistrano Unified School District and who live within Orange County.

Do students dress-out for P.E.?

At OCASA Charter (K-5), students wear their normal dress-code compliant clothes for Physical Education.  At OCASA College Prep (6-10), students wear dress-code compliant shirts & shorts on their P.E. days.  We do not have locker room or changing facilities on either campus.

What are the grade levels in each band?

Red Band includes Kindergarten and 1st Grade students in mixed-age classes.

Orange Band includes 2nd Grade and 3rd Grade students in mixed-age classes.

Yellow Band includes 4th Grade and 5th Grade students in mixed-age classes.

Green Band includes 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade students in single-grade level classes.

Blue Band includes 9th and 10th Grade students in single-grade level classes.

Purple Band includes 11th and 12th Grade students in single-grade level classes.

Why are all the classrooms at the elementary school mixed-age?  Can I opt to have my student in a single-grade classroom at the elementary level?

OCASA Charter and OCASA College Prep are classroom-based personalized learning schools.  Our goal is to provide the right instruction to each student regardless of their age or grade-level.  

At the Elementary level (Kindergarten to 5th Grade) we achieve personalized learning through an individualized learning plan and small group instruction.  The mixed-age classrooms allow OCASA Charter to create learning groups tailored to the needs of each student.  All classrooms at OCASA Charter (K-5) are mixed-grade level.

At the Middle School and High School level (6th -12th grade), we achieve personalized learning through a sophisticated learning management system called Summit Learning.  This platform allows the teachers at OCASA College Prep to tailor the student’s assignments to their individual needs in a single-grade level classroom.  In addition, at OCASA College Prep, each student is assigned a mentor and a Self-Directed Learning (SDL) period to work on individual goals, group projects, and teacher-directed workshops.  All classes at OCASA College Prep (6-10) are single-grade level.