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Admissions FAQ

Do you want to know more about how your student can become a part of the LISA Academy family? Click through the drop-down sections below to learn more about LISA Academy, our admissions process, yearly enrollment lottery, and what makes LISA Academy a great place to Learn, Innovate, Support, and Achieve.
What does LISA stand for?
LISA (pronounced "Lee-sah", like the name) is an abbreviation of "Little Scholars of Arkansas", but is also an acronym for our Four Pillars of Success: Learn, Innovate, Support, Achieve.
 
What is a charter school?
Charter schools are nonsectarian, secular public schools of choice that provide parents an alternative to traditional public schools. The "charter" or "mission" establishing each school is a performance contract detailing the school's mission, program, goals, students served, methods of assessment, and ways to measure success. Charter schools, like all other public schools, do not teach religion. A charter school is independently operated and can design elements of its own educational program, hire its own teachers and staff, and manage its own budget. The basic concept of charter schools is that the school enjoys enhanced autonomy, in return for accountability to its founders, parents, public and grantors.
 
Who is LISA Academy? 
LISA Academy is a tuition-free, public, open-enrollment, STEM-focused, K-12 college prep charter school district that's been serving students across Arkansas since 2004. To learn more about our mission, history, and which grades are served at which campus, please see the "Meet LISA Academy" section in the "About Us" tab. 
 
Who operates LISA Academy?
LISA Academy is operated by LISA Foundation, a non-profit organization, established in Little Rock Arkansas. The LISA Foundation operates 7 LISA Academy schools in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Sherwood and Springdale, AR.
 
Does LISA teach religion?
No. LISA Academy does not teach any sort of religious curriculum. As a publicly funded charter school system, LISA Academy is required to abide by the same state curriculum as any traditional public school. We have more than a 15-year track record of delivering a rigorous math and science-centered curriculum that produces excellent academic results. We adhere strictly to the guidelines of the ADE, and our focus is on delivering excellent educational opportunities for children in Arkansas.

 

What ethical standards are in place at LISA?

At LISA, excellence is our standard, and this applies without exception to our students, teachers, faculty, Board of Directors, vendors, and anyone else affiliated with our schools. We have a meticulous recruitment and training process, and our teachers, in particular, are required to:

  • Recognize the basic dignities of all individuals with whom they interact in the performance of their duties;
  • Represent accurately their academic and professional qualifications;
  • Exercise due care to protect the mental and physical safety of students, colleagues, and subordinates;
  • Understand and apply the knowledge and skills appropriate to assigned responsibilities;
  • Keep in confidence legally confidential information they may obtain;
  • Ensure that their actions, or those of another on their behalf, are not made with the specific intent of advancing private economic interests;
  • Refrain from using their position or public property, or permitting another person to use an employee's position or public property, for partisan political or religious purposes; and,
  • Avoid accepting anything of value offered by another for the purpose of influencing judgment.
Why should parents consider sending their children to LISA?
LISA offers a comprehensive college preparatory program emphasizing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Our schools strive to play a role in satisfying this need. LISA also offers programs to encourage students to choose STEM majors in college, compete in an increasingly demanding workplace, and contribute to the long-term development for the state, national and global economies.
  • At LISA, we believe every child can learn, grow and become a successful and productive citizen. When this belief is combined with the expertise necessary to establish and operate a school, the result, we think, is an excellent environment for your children to learn. We believe that this environment will lay the foundation for a bright and productive future.
  • LISA emphasizes character education. We believe that parents want their children to attend schools where, in addition to receiving a strong education, students are taught to be honest, courageous and persistent individuals.
  • Our students wear uniforms daily and adhere to a clearly-articulated discipline policy.
  • Our teachers and leadership teams are experienced and committed to our students. At LISA Academy, our administrators are strong, dedicated and diverse individuals, who closely monitor the quality and viability of our organization
  • LISA Academy teachers are high-performing, quality educators.
  • At LISA, our goal is to enable our graduating seniors to enroll in a top four-year public or private university.
 

What distinguishes LISA from other charter & public schools?

LISA has very high expectations for students in both academics and behavior. Our faculty and staff are dedicated and hard-working, and they receive regular professional development and supervision. They function as a team and are committed to ensuring that all students succeed regardless of their circumstances and disadvantages. LISA has a small classroom environment and small class size.

 

To see more about why past and current LISA families chose LISA Academy for their student's education, please click on one of the links below: 
 
Does LISA offer a gifted and talented program?
Yes, LISA is committed to implementing a program that meets the unique social, emotional, and intellectual needs of gifted and talented students through the collaboration of students, educators, parents and community members that ensures opportunities for maximum growth and development for life long success.
 
What courses are offered at LISA?
Many of the courses offered in traditional public schools will be offered at LISA Academy. However, LISA will offer a more broad and rigorous curriculum including English, Math, Social Studies, Science, Art, Music, Physical Education and Foreign Languages. Special emphasis is placed on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects. In core and elective course selections, LISA students are presented with a wide range of challenging regular and advanced courses, including advanced placement (AP), Pre AP, concurrent credit courses.
 
Campuses offer a variety of STEM-focused courses. Possible course offerings could include:
  • Airports, Airspace, and Weather
  • Fundamentals of Flight
  • Computer Science and Programming
  • Advanced Placement Calculus, Chemistry, Biology, Environmental Science, and Physics
 
As college-preparatory schools, students are expected to master critical content in regular and advanced courses, including AP classes as early as freshman year. Much of our instruction relies on mastery of basic skills in order to progress to higher-level skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving and many of our courses involve group projects that require teamwork and collaboration.
 
Does LISA Academy offer student services such as Special Education, 504 plans, Dyslexia intervention, ELL (English Language Learner) support, and mental health support?
LISA Academy is proud to offer a wide variety of student services to meet the needs of all of our students. Please see our "Student Services" page by clicking here.
 
Do you provide extra-curricular activities?
Yes, we do provide extra-curricular activities including academic and social clubs.
 
Does the school provide athletics? 
Elementary campuses offer girls Volleyball, boys Basketball, and Cheer clubs.
 
Middle and high school campuses offer competitive volleyball, basketball, soccer, and esports clubs, and may offer clubs such as baseball, cross country, track and field, swimming, tennis, flag football, and softball. Participation in competition clubs are based on a selection process/tryouts. Please see our "Athletics" section under the "Extracurricular" tab.
 
Does the school provide choir, band, and foreign languages?
LISA Academy offers Music and Art courses for all elementary and middle school students. In upper grades, students may select from a variety of Fine Arts courses including:
  • Vocal music
  • Band
  • Drawing
  • Piano
  • AP Art History
  • Studio Art (2-D and 3-D)
  • Visual Art
 
LISA Academy also offers a variety of foreign language classes and clubs, including Spanish Language, Spanish Literature, French, Turkish, and Latin. Participation in some courses are based on a selection process/tryouts. Please see our "Fine Arts" section under the "Extracurricular" tab.
LISA Academy aims to prepare its graduates for the variety of post-secondary educational and vocational options available to them post-graduation. With a wide offering of Advanced Placement courses ranging from: 
  • AP Biology
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Environmental Science
  • AP Physics
  • AP Art History
  • AP Language
  • AP Literature and Composition
  • AP Spanish Language
 
As college-preparatory schools, students are expected to master critical content in regular and advanced courses, including AP classes as early as freshman year. Through participation in Advanced Placement courses, students have the opportunity to begin their time at public and private colleges and universities with college-level learning already underway. 
 
Additionally, some LISA Academy offer courses that introduce career fields such as: 
  • Law Enforcement
  • Engineering
  • Biomedical Science
  • Photography
  • Tourism and Hospitality
  • Business
  • General Career Readiness
 
The vision of LISA Academy is to prepare students to succeed in education and in the workplace of their choice, while encouraging and providing pathways for students to enter STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics careers. Much of our instruction relies on mastery of basic skills in order to progress to higher-level skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving and many of our courses involve group projects that require teamwork and collaboration. 

Is there a school uniform policy?

Yes, there is a school uniform policy at LISA. Parents are asked to purchase uniform shirts from their student's campus prior to the start of each school year. Additional uniform requirements can be found in student handbooks.

 

Do you provide transportation?
Unfortunately, we do not provide transportation to/from our campuses. 
 
Does the school provide before and aftercare? 
Most LISA Academy campuses offer aftercare programs. You may contact the specific campus for details offered at your student's school.

 What's the application and admissions process at LISA Academy? 

  • Complete an application at apply.lisaacademy.org.
  • All eligible applications are entered into an annual random, blind lottery for available seats. The enrollment lottery takes place each Spring.
  • Seats are offered first to those who qualify for a staff, alumni, or sibling preference.
  • Remaining available seats are then randomly offered.
  • Applications that are not selected for a seat during the lottery are placed onto a waitlist for the grade level based on their lottery number.
    • If an application is submitted after the lottery occurs, the application is automatically added to the end of the current waiting list.
  • When a seat is available, an email offer is sent to the parent/guardian. They must accept the seat within 3 days, or the offer will be withdrawn and the seat offered to the next student on the waitlist.
  • After accepting the seat, the parent/guardian must complete the registration forms online and upload required documents within 5 days of the initial offer.
 
It is the policy of LISA not to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, or disability in its programs, services, or activities as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. For inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies, please contact Section 504/ADA Coordinator at (501) 916-9450 located at 10825 Financial Centre Pkwy. Suite 360, Little Rock, AR 72211.
Who can apply for LISA?
LISA Academy is an open-enrollment public charter school, meaning our schools are:
  • Tuition-free: families do not pay  to attend
  • Open Enrollment: any school-aged student residing in the state of Arkansas (regardless of what school zone or district you live in) can apply
  • Enrolled by lottery: Available seats are entered into a blind, random enrollment lottery that takes place each Spring


Any Arkansas student eligible to be enrolled in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade is able to apply to attend LISA Academy, regardless of what traditional school zone they live in. 
 
How do I get more information regarding LISA Academy before I apply? 
Complete the LISA Academy Interest Form and a member of our admissions team will reach out to you shortly. 
 
Do I apply separately if I’m interested in more than one campus?
You may indicate your campus preference on the application form.
 
Are the students tested to be accepted to the school?
LISA Academy, being an open-enrollment charter school, does not test students as part of the admission process.
 
Do you charge tuition?
No, LISA Academy is a public charter school system and funded by state and Federal Government.
 

Lottery Procedures and Date when a grade or class is oversubscribed

A lottery is to be conducted if the number of applicants exceeds the maximum enrollment. The lottery shall take place within fifteen days after the closing date of the application period. The lottery will be conducted via lottery selection software. The principal or designee of each campus will conduct the computerized lottery. This ensures that the winner list and the waiting list are selected randomly.

 

Development of a Waiting List

The lottery will be paused momentarily after the computerized lottery fills all available seats allowed by the enrollment cap. The drawing will then continue, and the randomly-selected numbers will be used to create a waiting list. As space becomes available, applicants will be called from the waiting list beginning with applicants with the lowest number assignment.

 

Admission Process of Returning Students

Returning students (students who currently attend the school and intend to return the next school year) are given priority in admission if they notify the school of their intent to return for the next school year by the published re-enrollment deadline.
 

Siblings Policy and Children of the School's Founders and Employees

Siblings of returning students currently enrolled at a LISA campus who apply by the published application deadline are given priority in the lottery and, space permitting will be offered enrollment. For this policy, "sibling" shall mean a biological or legally adopted brother or sister residing in the same household as the applicant. Cousins, nieces, nephews and unrelated children sharing an address with the applicant are not siblings. Sibling enrollment is dependent on available space and does not guarantee enrollment of each listed sibling.

Children of the school's founders, teachers, and staff (so long as the total number of students allowed constitutes only a small percentage of the total enrollment) are exempt from lottery requirements, as permitted by federal guidance on the Charter Schools Program.

 

Applications that are submitted outside of the designated application period

If a student applies to the school outside of the designated application period, the student will be placed on a waiting list in the order of the date in which the application is received.
 
Students with documented histories of a criminal offense and/or misconduct
Students who have a documented history of a criminal offense or juvenile court adjudication will be excluded from enrollment. Students who have been expelled from other schools or districts may not enroll in the LISA Academy.

Documents and Information Applicants are Required to Provide
Applicants must submit a completed application form in order to be considered for admission. The application form must be digitally signed and dated by the parent(s) and must include all required information.

Applicants are not required to provide a transcript or other academic records until after they are offered admission.