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Logos cap might be movable

We wanted to get our kids into Logos Public Charter School. They said they had a long waitlist of around 300 kids to get in, so we tried some of the other ones. They seem to all have some sort of a waiting list. Why does a public school (even if they are charter) have a capacity? Who decides what it is? Any chance that will change anytime soon? We really want to get our kids in, but it seems impossible that we will ever make it to the top of the list.

— Joey F.

You’ll have to take any issues you have with an attendance cap at Logos, Madrone Trail, Kids Unlimited Academy or the Valley School to the Medford School Board, Joey. That’s the body in charge of setting caps on charter school enrollment.

Public school districts sponsor charters, and the district school board works with the charter school board to work out the terms of the charters, which renews every five years.

Logos’ charter will be in place until 2021. Its enrollment cap is set at 1,000 students until then.

Enrollment caps are put in place for all kinds of reasons: space in the school building, the school’s ability to accrue enough licensed staff, for a couple of examples. Sometimes it may be related to a charter school’s performance on metrics that the school district is interested in, such as participation rate in and scores on state assessments.

“Charter schools were created to provide choice to families and the Medford School District is supportive of the four charter schools it sponsors,” said Natalie Hurd, spokeswoman for the Medford School District, in a statement. “We take seriously our responsibility to provide oversight, as outlined by state law, and work to ensure all of our schools are healthy learning environments that support students.”

Logos appealed to the school board in 2017 to increase its cap by 200 students, but the school board voted down the proposal. It was not a typical denial, however. One board member, Karen Starchvick, voted against the increase, while three voted for it. Two board members, Michael Campbell and Lilia Caballero, abstained because of perceived conflicts of interest, and one board member was absent.

Sheryl Zimmerer, executive director of Logos, called it “extremely unfortunate that one vote can turn kids away from our school.”

Starchvick indicated at that meeting, however, that her vote was partly based on timing — waiting until the school could move into its newly constructed, larger campus at 1203 Ross Lane.

The school received its official certificate of occupancy Aug. 1, according to a Facebook post on the school’s page.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

We wanted to get our kids into Logos Public Charter School. They said they had a long waitlist of around 300 kids to get in, so we tried some of the other ones. They seem to all have some sort of a waiting list. Why does a public school (even if they are charter) have a capacity? Who decides what it is? Any chance that will change anytime soon? We really want to get our kids in, but it seems impossible that we will ever make it to the top of the list.