WEBSTER COUNTY, Ky. (3/20/13) - Webster County elementary schools are preparing to begin the process of allowing school choice for next school year. Although campuses will remain “closed” for the remainder of this school year, officials are ready to begin handing out transfer request forms. Each of the schools now have the forms on hand in the principal’s office.
“The school board, district administrators and school administrators, with input from parents, worked together to create a procedure that gives parents an opportunity to request a transfer to a school of their choice,” said Aaron Collins, the principal at Sebree Elementary.
That procedue is ready to begin, but there are a few things that parents need to be aware of before they begin the process. The guidelines set by the school board says that students are only allowed transfer if the transfer would not bring the class size any higher than two less than capacity.
In a case where a family has multiple children in different grades, the possibility could arise where one child could be allowed to transfer while the other would not because of cap size.
Although the school district wants to make that clear, this rule is also one that is not set in stone. The school choice option has been put primarily in the hands of the principals, who will have the final say in approving transfers, even if that means going over the number set by the board.
“I believe only a few students will request a transfer to another school,” said Dixon principal Eric Wheatley. “Most will be because of it being more convenient for the parents instead of issues with a particular school.”
The principal’s job will be to determine what is best for both the student and his or her classmates.
“The last thing I would want to do is accept an applicant for next year and then have to turn around and send them back after a year,” said Clay principal Jackie Smith. “As administrators of the building we can look at the big picture; students’ needs and staffing. Then we can make those decisions. I think also, all of the principals will work together to make this work.”
Officials expect a few growing pains as the procedue gets under way, but everyone from the school board to the principals seem to be behind it.
“I think this is a good plan by our board of education to provide choice for parents and their children,” said Assistant Superintendant Riley Ramsey. “Although it will be limited at first (because of limited rooms in the schools). When the Middle School opens a year from now, it will provide a lot more flexibility for our parents.”
J-E News Editor
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