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3130 - District Attendance Areas, Open Enrollment, And Employees' Student Placement

DISTRICT ATTENDANCE AREAS, OPEN ENROLLMENT, AND EMPLOYEES’ STUDENT PLACEMENT

District Attendance Areas:

Edison Elementary serves as the location for the District Elementary Dual Language program. Therefore, if a student whose home attendance area, by address, is Edison and they do not wish to participate in dual, or do not receive a seat in dual, Sharpstein Elementary will become their home school. If a parent would like to open enroll to another elementary school besides Sharpstein, they will follow the same open enrollment process as other families.

Families seeking Open Enrollment may pick up an Open Enrollment Application from their attendance area school one week prior to the designated Open Enrollment period, typically the last two weeks of April. Families can only request enrollment in one program at a time. If a student is placed on the waitlist for dual programming they may register at another school. The applications will be accepted at the office of the school in which a family seeks enrollment. Applications will be time/date stamped at the time of acceptance. Families will be notified of their application status during the first week of school. If classes are full at the school in which parents seek Open Enrollment, families denied Open Enrollment will be assisted in selecting a school that has space at the child’s grade. Families can return to their attendance area school if there is space.

For families interested in district dual programming for their kindergarten child, please see the subsequent section, “Application and Enrollment Procedures for District Elementary Dual Language Program” for the steps that will occur before the start of the elementary Open Enrollment period.

If an Open Enrollment request is rescinded by the parent or denied by the district due to lack of space, families may return to their attendance area school if there is space. If there is not space at the attendance area school, school personnel will assist the family in securing enrollment at another elementary.

Students have the right to request enrollment in a district other than the district of their residence through a Choice Transfer request, which must be renewed annually.

Elementary Enrollment/Open Enrollment Time Line and Actions

September and throughout the year: Students seeking enrollment at their designated attendance area school, but not placed due to lack of space, will be considered Over Load. Attendance area school staff will assist families in finding a school/class that has space. Families placed at non-attendance area schools and considered Over Load, will be notified if a space at the attendance area school becomes available. It is the expectation that Over Load students will return to the attendance area school given the opportunity, regardless of the time of the year. If an Over Load student/family is notified that there is space in their home school and the family chooses to stay at their Over Load school, they may do so. However, there may not be space for them to move to their home school the following fall, and they would remain as Over Load at their current school. If a spot is offered to a family during the open enrollment period and the family declines, there may not be a spot in their home school if the family changes their mind in the fall. Example: If, in the month of December, a student is offered a spot in his/her home school, and the family wants the student to finish where s/he has been placed, it would not prevent the student from moving back to the home school the following year.

January: Open Enrollment period and Kindergarten registration dates are set and communicated.

March: Elementary principals contact families of any student still identified as Overload. The purpose of the contact is to determine enrollment expectations for the following school year. Options include:

  • The attendance area school has space for the student for the upcoming school year. Parents will be told that their child will return to the attendance area school for the next school year. Elementary principal or their designee will inform the attendance area school of the family’s return. Parents are also encouraged to notify the attendance area schools.
  • The attendance area school will not have space for the child to return for the next year. The student will continue to be considered Overload at their current school. Transportation is provided to Overload families.
  • A student’s historical length of attendance will be the first consideration used to determine movement of a student if there is a space problem.
  • If a student is Overloaded three years in a row, they then become an attendance area student at the school in which they have been placed for Overload.
  • The attendance area school has room for the student to return in the fall of the following year and parents want to remain at the Overload school. The attendance area principal will explain the Open Enrollment policy and procedure, noting that transportation is a parent responsibility.

April: Open Enrollment begins and lasts for a two-week period. Preschool staff will conduct Language Assessments and compile required Kindergarten registration documents in March to prepare for Open Enrollment. Preschool Family Advocates work with families to complete the Kindergarten registration process.

May/June: Following the two-week priority window for Open Enrollment and Kindergarten registration, elementary principals meet for initial class size analysis. If apparent and appropriate, class size issues may be addressed as a result of this meeting.

August: Following the opening of school offices, elementary principals will meet and review the most current enrollment numbers. If apparent and appropriate, class size issues may be addressed as a result of this meeting.

Early September: Elementary Principals meet for the purpose of balancing class size. This meeting will occur the first week of school. Any enrollment issues arising as a result of this meeting will be addressed at this time. Open Enrollment acceptance or revocation occurs at this meeting. (Due to the nature of the Kindergarten start-up schedule, enrollment decisions may extend into the second week of school.)

Application and Enrollment/Procedures for District Elementary Dual Language Program

Application Process: The application process for District Elementary Dual Language programming will occur ahead of the district elementary open enrollment period. Families who would like to be considered for placement in dual programming will submit their application to the Bilingual Education department. The initial process will be completed prior to the start of the district Open Enrollment for kindergarten.

Interview Process: Students will be interviewed using multiple measures.

Enrollment Priority: Per RCW 28A.225.270: A full-time employee whose children reside within Washington state shall be permitted to enroll his/her children at the school to which the employee is assigned or another K-12 district school of his/her choice, according to seats available. Once the child of an employee is granted Open Enrollment status, the child shall be considered an attendance area student for the duration of elementary school, as long as the parent maintains employment with the district.

Families of students residing outside the Walla Walla Public Schools attendance area are welcome to open enroll and submit an application for dual programming. Out of WWPS attendance area students will be interviewed for dual programming on an annual basis if there are seats available after the alignment meeting at the beginning of the school year.

The process for offering a place in the District Dual Language Program may include, but is not limited to, a weighted lottery, wait list, and/or gathering of additional information from parents/guardians.

Students who miss the initial application window will be interviewed and placed at the bottom of the list. . The waitlist will expire at the end of each school year.

Special Note: Students/families designated as Homeless qualify for enrollment/placement based on their current school of origin. Principals and the school’s Intervention Specialist will work with the district Homeless Liaison, assuring appropriate attendance area priority enrollment and placement. (McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 2001-Title X, Part C of No Child Left Behind Act- 725) Families in Transition (FIT) in Edison’s Attendance area that are not part of bilingual programming will be placed at Sharpstein.

Enrollment/Open Enrollment Procedures for Traditional Elementary Schools

Priority One

Families living in the attendance area of a traditional elementary school must enroll at the office of their designated school. Families enrolling a student, with a sibling currently enrolled in the school, will have priority over attendance area families without a sibling currently enrolled.

Special Note: Students/families designated as Homeless qualify for enrollment/placement based on their current school of origin. Principals and the school’s Intervention Specialist(s) will work with the district Homeless Liaison, assuring appropriate attendance area priority enrollment and placement. (McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 2001-Title X, Part C of No Child Left Behind Act- 725)

Priority Two

Per RCW 28A.225.270: A full-time employee whose children reside within the state shall be permitted to enroll his/her children at the school to which the employee is assigned or another K-12 district school of his/her choice, according to seats available. Once the child of an employee is granted Open Enrollment status, the child shall be considered an attendance area student for the duration of elementary school, as long as the parent maintains employment with the district.

For Priority Three Through Five, the following criteria will be taken into consideration:

  • Appropriate education programs or services are available in the individual school
  • Attendance is maintained
  • Attendance will not create a risk to the health and safety of staff or students
  • Discipline history is void of violent or disruptive behavior
  • Student has not been, or is not currently, on suspension/expulsion

Priority Three

Families seeking Open Enrollment for their students in a traditional elementary school, with a sibling currently open enrolled in that school, will have priority over other open enrolled students/families, except district employees.

Priority Four

Families seeking Open Enrollment for their students in a traditional elementary school, without a sibling currently open enrolled in that school, will have fourth priority.

Priority Five

Families of students residing outside the Walla Walla Public Schools attendance area are welcome to open enroll. Students requesting enrollment from other districts will be admitted according to seats available at grade level, by the time and date of the current request for Open Enrollment and according to the criteria listed above Priority Three:

Secondary Open Enrollment

The following procedures will be utilized to implement the district’s Open Enrollment policy at the secondary school level.

1.   Approximately two weeks prior to the designated Open Enrollment period, which typically occurs during the month of February, fifth grade parents/guardians will receive information on the enrollment policy and procedures for secondary schools.

2.   In addition, parents/guardians of currently open enrolled eighth grade students from other districts will receive letters notifying them of dates of the Open Enrollment request period so they can obtain release forms from their resident area school districts.

3.   Open Enrollment forms shall be made available to parents/guardians one week prior to the Open Enrollment period.

4.   Parents/guardians wishing to enroll their student at a middle school outside their regular attendance area shall obtain an Open Enrollment form from their regular attendance area school. Parents/guardians shall read and complete the top portion of the form. The principal/designee of the regular attendance area school shall verify basic enrollment data and sign the form. During the Open Enrollment period, the parent/guardian shall take the form to the school which the parent/guardian wants his/her child to attend.

      The receiving school principal/designee shall accept the form, check it for completeness, and direct the parent/guardian to sign the bottom portion of the form. The time and date of its submittal will be recorded by the receiving school.

5.   The following priorities shall be in effect for secondary Open Enrollment. Students applying for Open Enrollment are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis with first priority given to those students residing within the Walla Walla School District and filing the appropriate forms during the designated Open Enrollment period.

      Priority One: A full-time employee whose children reside within the state shall be permitted to enroll his/her child(ren) at the school to which the employee is assigned or another K-12 district school of his/her choice, according to seats available.

      Special Note: Students/families designated as Homeless qualify for enrollment/placement based on their current school of origin. Principals and the school’s Intervention Specialist(s) will work with the district Homeless Liaison, assuring appropriate attendance area priority enrollment and placement. (McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 2001-Title X, Part C of No Child Left Behind Act- 725)

      Priority Two: Students residing within the Walla Walla School District who open enroll within the designated enrollment window will be admitted according to seats available at grade level and by the time and date of the current request for Open Enrollment

      Priority Three: Students residing within the Walla Walla School District who open enroll after the designated enrollment window will be admitted according to seats available at grade level and by the time and date of the current request for Open Enrollment.

      Priority Four: Students requesting enrollment from other districts will be admitted according to seats available at grade level, by the time and date of the current request for Open Enrollment and according to the following criteria:

  • Appropriate education programs or services are available in the Walla Walla School District
  • Attendance is maintained
  • Attendance will not create a risk to the health and safety of staff or students
  • Discipline history is void of violent or disruptive behavior
  • Student has not been, or is not currently, on suspension/expulsion

6.   Parents/guardians will be notified by Spring Break as to the status of their request.

7.   Open Enrollment granted to a secondary student who resides outside of the Walla Walla School District is valid through high school graduation.

8.   Secondary school students residing within the Walla Walla School District who are approved for open enrollment will be granted home school status at the receiving school. Open Enrollment will not have to be renewed annually.

9.   The siblings of an open enrolled student do not automatically receive Open Enrollment status. Each student within a family must pursue an open enrollment request if he/she desires to attend a secondary school outside his/her regular attendance area.

10.If, during the school year, a middle school student moves to the attendance area of the other middle school, the student will be allowed to finish the school year and his/her original school. The next school year, the student will be required to attend his/her attendance area school unless he/she open enrolls and is granted Open Enrollment status for the non-attendance area school.

11.The responsibility for transportation of the open enrolled student, or for a student who has moved outside of the attendance area of a middle school, rests with the parent/guardian. If transportation to and from school or if punctuality to school becomes a problem, the student’s Open Enrollment status may be revoked and the student may be required to attend his/her regular attendance area school.

12.For the purposes of enrollment, the primary residence of the student must be used. If it is determined that some address other than the primary residence has been used for obtaining access to a specific school, then all rights and privileges accorded through the district policy regarding the choice of school shall be forfeited.

Placement of Employees’ Children in District Secondary Schools

Per RCW 28A.225.270: A full-time employee whose children reside within Washington state shall be permitted to enroll his/her children at the school to which the employee is assigned or another K-12 district school of his/her choice, according to seats available.

One week prior to the secondary Open Enrollment period, an employee wishing to enroll his/her child should complete the Employee Student Enrollment Form and submit it to the principal of the school. These will be accepted with date and time marked. In non-attendance area schools, an employee’s child has priority over all other Open Enrollment students, but not attendance area students.

As with all open enrolled students, these students will be allowed to attend their school of choice during the first week of school. Secondary schools will finalize attendance, according to their usual procedures, with the Personnel Office.

Revised: January 2018

WALLA WALLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS • 364 South Park St. • Walla Walla, WA 99362 • Phone: 509-527-3000 • Fax: 509.529.7713

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