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 477th charter school in California. Connecting Waters, East Bay was established in 2017 as the 1881st 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 Education.
  • 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 counties.
  • 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 www.cwcharter.org , www.cweastbay.org and www.cwcentralvalley.org
  • 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 days.

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 [email protected]
  • 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.)

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. 110, if you have questions about any immunization or health forms.



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.

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.

Available Translations of the Kindergarten Continuance Form (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.

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

Will transitional kindergarten continue after this year?


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).

Are transitional kindergarten students required to complete the entire

two year program?

They are not required to complete the entire two year program

Are standards available for transitional kindergarten?


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.

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.

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 Enrollment)

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 e[email protected] or 209-874-11119 ext. 110 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 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 5 step application. Under step 3 you can scroll down and click on the tab: new student application. Complete student information and 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 5 steps are completed you will receive confirmation of your pre-registration. If you need assistance please contact student records at 209-874-11119 ext. 110.

Status Of Enrollment Application

Who do I talk to see if my enrollment application was received?

Please allow three (3) business days before calling or emailing to confirm your enrollment application has been received. After three business days, you may email Enrollment at [email protected] or call 209-874-11119 ext. 110 to confirm receipt of your enrollment documents.

What is my status?

For enrollment in Connecting Waters Charter Schools:

Once you have confirmed that your enrollment application has been received, 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 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 application will be the primary phone number/email address used by CWCS to communicate with you. Please provide your best contact information when applying.

For enrollment in all Connecting Waters Charter Schools All completed applications received will be processed for enrollment based on ES availability. Following the open enrollment period each year, applications shall be counted to determine whether it has received more applications 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 area.

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. 313 or email [email protected] 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 2020-2021 school year?

Your application and required documents must be submitted two weeks prior to our processing deadline of February 12th, 2021. 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 26th. Enrollment is based on ES availability (and/or lottery placement)

When can I enroll for the following year?

The application for the 2021-2022 school year will open for CWCS, CWEB and CWCV at the end of April of 2021. Please remember all CWCS have open enrollment windows which will be posted on the website.

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 Education.


How much does it cost to enroll in CWCS?

CW is publicly funded by the state of California and does not charge tuition, it is free to attend.

How does the funding work?

CWCS schools provide Educational Units (EUs) to the ES budget for each student's educational materials, courses, group education activities (GEAs) extra-curricular activities and educational supplies based on the student's educational plan approved by the ES. 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 ultimately are managed by the credentialed ES.

The state of California allocates funding to our school based on the average daily student attendance.

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 1st 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.

Highs 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.

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