Click on the + to find answers to the questions below.
How can my student be admitted to Voyager Academy?
The only way to gain admission to Voyager Academy is through the lottery process. The only way to be included in the lottery is to apply during the Open Enrollment period that begins on January 1 each calendar year. The Open Enrollment application will remain open for 60 days each year. After this time, you can still apply, but the application will be placed at the bottom of the waitlist for whatever grade you are applying into.
How many people apply to Voyager each year?
Traditionally, each year, Voyager Academy receives in excess of 2,000 applications for approximately 150 total openings across all grades K-12 at the time of the lottery. Of those 150 openings, about 100 of them are for our incoming kindergarten. Therefore, there are typically only 50 total openings that are available across 1st – 12th grades combined each year. The majority of the 50 openings are typically in 9th grade. Also pursuant to the State guidelines, siblings and children of staff members and board members are given preference when there are open positions.
Please remember, each year is unique, and there may be more or less openings depending on student retention and other factors.
What grades does Voyager Academy serve?
Elementary School is grades K-3
Middle School is grades 4-8
High School is grades 9-12
What are the school start and end times for Voyager?
Elementary School (Grades K-3): Monday 7:45am-12:45pm, Tuesday – Friday 7:45am-2:45pm
Middle School (Grades 4-8): Monday 8:15am-1:15pm, Tuesday – Friday 8:15am-3:15pm
High School (Grades 9-12): Monday 8:45am-1:45pm, Tuesday – Friday 8:45am-3:45pm
Does it matter when I apply during the open enrollment period?
No. As long as you apply during the 60 days of open enrollment, that begins January 1 each year, your chances are the same as all others applying during that time. For example, your chances for admission are no better for those that apply on January 1 as opposed to those that apply on February 28.
I’m not sure if I want to apply for admission right now. Can I do it later?
Yes, but if you do not apply during the open enrollment period, your student will not be included in the admission lottery. We strongly encourage all who are interested in Voyager Academy to attend a tour and apply during the Open Enrollment period beginning January 1. Otherwise, due to the volume of applications received, your chances of admission are nearly zero as your application will be placed at the bottom of the waitlist for your child’s grade level.
What happens if there aren’t enough applications to fill all open seats in a grade level?
If there are fewer applicants than slots available, all applicants will be admitted for that grade level.
What if we live in a county other than Durham. Can I still apply for admission for my child?
Students attending Voyager Academy may live in any county in North Carolina.
What if we are living out of state but are planning to move to North Carolina in the near future. Can I still apply for my child?
State law mandates that all applicants must reside in North Carolina at the time of application.
How can I increase my student’s chances for admission?
There are two pools of applicants: those in the preference pool and those in the general pool. Those in the preference pool will be randomly assigned their placement prior to those in the general pool.
In accordance with state law, there are a few ways that applications can be given preference. This preference does NOT guarantee admission, it only determines the order in which the applicants are assigned in the lottery process. The following criteria may be used to allow students to be admitted first in the lottery to any open spots for the grade in which that student is applying. If there are more siblings/staff/board children applying than spots available, there will be a lottery held among siblings/staff/board children prior to the lottery for the general pool.
Lottery Preferences Explained:
1) Children and grandchildren of full-time staff may be given preference, so long as that total does not exceed 15% of the school’s enrollment (unless a waiver is sought from the State Board of Education) and they meet state guidelines.
2) Siblings of currently enrolled students who were admitted to the school in a previous year may be given preference, if they meet state guidelines. The law defines a sibling to include “half siblings, step siblings, and children residing in a family foster home”
3) Siblings of students that completed the highest grade level of Voyager Academy and were enrolled in at least 4 grades offered by the school may be given preference, if they meet state guidelines.
4) A student that was previously enrolled in the charter school but left to participate in an academic study abroad program, a competitive admission residential program, or due to vocational opportunities for the student’s parents may be given preference. For this to occur, the child must have been enrolled at the charter school within the previous two school years.
5) Children and grandchildren of Voyager Academy Board Of Directors may be given preference, so long as that total does not exceed 15% of the school’s enrollment (unless a waiver is sought from the State Board of Education) and they meet state guidelines.
How do I know what grade to apply for, for my student?
You should apply for the next, natural grade level for your child.
My spouse and I are divorced. Can we submit separate applications for our child?
No. If you do, one will be canceled. Please consult with other family members and only submit ONE application per child. Each applicant can only have 1 application in the system. Duplicates will be deleted.
My children are twins. Do I apply for both of them during open enrollment?
Students who are twins, triplets, etc. must each complete an application. However, only one application will be entered in the lottery for those students. If that application is accepted, the sibling’s twin or triplet, etc. will also be admitted.
What happens when the lottery is performed?
Each applicant will receive an email or text from SchoolMint at the conclusion of the lottery that will notify you of admission offer or wait list position for the grade you have applied. You must abide by all acceptance and registration stated deadlines or the offered seat will be forfeited.
Do we have to re-apply every year to be included in the lottery?
If a student does not get a space through the lottery/wait list process, that student must re-apply to be considered the following year. However, current students do not have to re-apply year-to-year.
My child has an IEP/504. Can they be admitted?
What is required if I accept the seat offered for my student?
Accepted families who enroll in Voyager Academy, parents and students, must read and agree to follow the Voyager Academy policies and procedures.
Once the lottery concludes and you have received notice by text or email of whether your student was offered a seat, you MUST log in to SchoolMint to accept or decline the offer. Once you have accepted the seat, you will have access to the registration packet. You will then have until March 20, 2020 at 1pm to complete and submit the registration packet and documents electronically. You must abide by all stated deadlines or your child’s seat will be forfeited.
What if my student is offered a seat from the waitlist. Can we have a tour of the school?
If a seat becomes available and your student is called from the waitlist, there will NOT be an opportunity to tour any schools at that time. Individual tours are not given.
My student was waitlisted? How will I know if they are offered a seat in the future?
Students not admitted through the lottery will be placed on a waitlist for the grade level indicated on their application. Students will be kept on the waitlist throughout the school year. If a spot becomes available, we will contact the guardian in order of their wait list number. The information used to contact the guardian is taken from the admission application. Wait list status can be checked 24 hours a day/7 days a week through your SchoolMint account where you made the initial application for admission. You must abide by all acceptance and registration stated deadlines or the offered seat will be forfeited. All lottery and waitlist communications will be sent through SchoolMint.
Does Voyager allow “hardship” transfers from other charter/private/public schools?
Does Voyager offer admission or lottery preference to students based on academic or athletic ability?
Is the admission lottery really random? I’ve heard people say that only certain kids are selected?
In accordance with all guidelines from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the Office of Charter Schools, the lottery process at Voyager Academy is indeed random. The application, lottery, and admission process is managed and operated by a 3rd party provider, Charter Success Partners (CSP), and is executed using an on-line lottery management system called SchoolMint. The managing director at Voyager Academy solely makes all decisions regarding numbers of open seats to be offered and works directly with CSP employees to communicate those numbers each lottery season.
Does Voyager have buses to provide transportation to and from school for students?
My child(ren) receive free or reduced lunch at their current school. Does Voyager provide that?
Yes, to families that complete necessary paperwork and qualify.
Does Voyager have any before or after school care? Summer camp?
Yes. See the link under “Parent Resources” on the Voyager website. Under “Extended Day Programs (Before/After Care, Enrichments, Summer Camp)”
What about Monday early release?
Mondays are early release at Voyager for all students. (See “What are the school start and end times for Voyager?” above.) There are enrichments/after-school activities available on-site on these days. Please see the link under “Parent Resources” on the Voyager website. Under “Extended Day Programs (Before/After Care, Enrichments, Summer Camp)”
What type of calendar does Voyager use? Are you year-round or traditional?
Actually, neither. Voyager is on it’s own calendar that is voted on by the Board of Directors. However, typically, Voyager starts about 3 weeks earlier than the traditional public schools in the area and gets out of school prior to Memorial Day each year. Please see this link to the upcoming school year calendars. https://www.voyageracademy.net/calendar/