FILE:  JBCE

 

PUBLIC SCHOOL CHOICE

 

 

PUBLIC SCHOOL CHOICE

 

The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board is required by both Federal law and the Louisiana School Accountability Program to develop and maintain a Public School Choice policy for any school with a School Performance Score (SPS) below levels set by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).  School Choice allows eligible students to transfer to an academically acceptable school.

 

Once schools eligible to receive students have been identified, a school-site utilization study shall be conducted as needed in all schools to determine the extent to which capacity exists to possibly accommodate students from schools offering choice, including students with special needs and/or students with disabilities.  Only those schools that are labeled academically acceptable shall be considered eligible to receive students.

 

The Superintendent and staff shall be responsible for developing and managing a School Choice Plan, which shall determine the schools to which students may transfer, which students shall have priority in transferring, and all other regulations and procedures for supervising school choice within the school district.

 

Parent Notification

 

Written notification of parents shall be completed immediately after the release of preliminary scores from the Louisiana Department of Education.  Parents shall also be notified through the local newspaper and local radio/television announcements.  The notification letter shall be mailed to the parent or guardian of every student enrolled at the school identified for School Improvement 2 (School Choice Parent Notification Letter).  A deadline of five (5) calendar days shall be set for the return of the form indicating whether or not the parent/guardian is interested in the transfer option for his/her student(s).  Any letter received or dated after the official deadline date shall not be considered for transfer, unless extenuating circumstances are recognized and identified by the District.  (i.e. the letter went to the wrong address)

 

After notifying parents/guardians in writing of the opportunity to transfer their student to a school with a SPS of 60.0 or higher, the District shall conduct a public meeting.  The purpose of the meeting shall be to explain to parents the School Choice Policy and Plan, and the available options.  A copy of the School Choice Policy and the individual school plan shall be given to all parents of eligible students at the public meeting.

 

If possible, parents shall be provided with at least two (2) options for transfer.  In addition, parents shall be informed of the programs already in place and of the programs or instructional support services that shall be implemented at the sending school in order to strengthen the curriculum.  Support services shall be provided for the students who opt for Choice but cannot be transferred due to limited capacity based on safety or overcrowding at the receiving school or due to the language of the desegregation order.

 

Parents who indicate a desire to have their children participate in the Choice Option shall be provided a description of the process and procedures to be used for student rank-ordered selection.  Students eligible for Choice shall be placed on a ranked list by grade enrolled with priority given to students from the lowest performing schools.  Equity of student ranking shall be assured in the ranking process (See Plan for Student Ranking Criteria).  In subsequent years, transfers to higher performing schools shall be completed by the first day of school according to the school calendar.  All eligible students shall have equal opportunity to opt for Choice, including special needs students and students identified as English Language Learners.

 

Documentation Concerning Student Records

 

Each sending school shall be responsible for maintaining documentation regarding all communications with parents and central office personnel related to student eligibility and School Choice procedures.  Documentation supporting parent attendance at public meetings, documentation of parent contacts, parent notification letters, and the parents’ responses, shall be kept on file at the School Board Office with a copy filed in the Principal’s office at the school site.  The method used for transferring student records, assessment results, and their interpretation, is addressed in policy JR, Student Privacy and Education Records.

 

Transportation

 

The School District is responsible for providing transportation for students transferring to receiving schools.  Federal funds may be utilized to supplement transportation costs of Title 1 students once the District’s continued obligation of transportation has been met.  Once a child has transferred to another school as a result of this provision, the District must permit the child to remain in that school, if he/she so chooses, until the child has completed the highest grade offered by that school.  However, the obligation for the district to provide transportation ends at the end of the school year in which the sending school is no longer identified for School Improvement or subject to Corrective Actions or restructuring.

 

LOUISIANA PUBLIC SCHOOL CHOICE

 

Unless a violation of a court order, the parent or legal guardian of any student may seek to enroll his/her child in the public school of his/her choice, without regard to residence, school system geographic boundaries, or attendance zones, provided that:

 

  1. The public school in which the student was most recently enrolled, or would otherwise attend, received a school performance letter grade of D or F for the most recent school year, and

  2. The school to which the student seeks to enroll received a school performance letter grade of A, B, or C, for the most recent school year, and has sufficient capacity at the appropriate grade level.

 

Transportation shall not be provided to a student who enrolls in a public school that is located outside the geographic boundaries of the School Board in which the student resides, if providing such transportation will result in additional cost to the School Board.

 

The Superintendent shall be authorized to develop pertinent administrative regulations and procedures governing students seeking enrollment under the Louisiana Public School Choice section of this policy.  Such regulations and procedures shall include entering into interdistrict agreements with other city, parish, or local School Boards to provide for the admission of students, and the transfer of school funds or other payments by one School Board to another for, or on account of, such attendance.

 

Enrollment under Louisiana Public School Choice shall only be for one school year, or applicable portion thereof if a student enrolls after the start of the school year.

 

COMPLIANCE WITH FEDERAL COURT ORDER

 

Any transfers permitted by the provisions of this policy shall be permitted only if they do not conflict with an order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.

 

Revised:  January, 2007

Revised:  September 25, 2014

 

 

Ref:    La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§17:105, 17:4035.1

Louisiana School, District, and State Accountability System, Bulletin 111, Louisiana Department of Education

Board minutes, 9-28-06, 9-25-14

 

Pointe Coupee Parish School Board