Not happy? Here's how to request a different school

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By Shannon Brock

Parents who are not satisfied with the elementary school to which their child has been assigned for the 2008-09 school year can submit a request for transfer.

"They are requests," said Director of Student Services Margo Whisman, who facilitated the committee that created new attendance areas for the elementary schools. But all requests might not be granted, she said.

Parents can only request a transfer during the open enrollment window from April 7 to May 2. Applications can be downloaded from the district website and are available at each of the elementary schools. The application must be turned in at Central Office during the open enrollment window.

After proper application, Superintendent Kim Shaw, or a designee, may allow students to attend a school outside of their attendance area only if it does not result in the employment of additional staff, an imbalance in class size or overcrowding in the receiving school (which is above 95 percent capacity), according to new procedures adopted by the board Monday night.

The procedures include four provisions to apply:

- All requests must be submitted at Central Office during the open enrollment window and the parent/guardian must agree to provide transportation for the student if the transfer is granted.

- Out-of-area placements will be re-evaluated annually. Approvals can be revoked or denied if the receiving school is over capacity.

- First priority will be given to students who have previously requested and have been granted permission to transfer or are enrolled in the receiving school. Second priority will be given to new requests.

- Approving the requests is the responsibility of the superintendent, or a designee, and the requests will be administered through the Office of Student Services in consultation with parents and, as appropriate, principals and other administrators.

According to the procedures, if a family moves from one attendance area to another, the student will be allowed to complete the school year in the school where she or he was enrolled, but transportation will be the responsibility of the parent/guardian. The following year, the student must enroll in the school of his or her geographical attendance area.

Special transportation needs that arise because the district requires the movement of a student outside of his or her assigned area will be the responsibility of the district, according to the procedures.