FILE:  JBCE

 

PUBLIC SCHOOL CHOICE

 

 

GENERAL

 

Act 853 of 2014 provides for the right of a parent or legal guardian to enroll his child in a school other than the school to which the child was scheduled to be enrolled based upon a school district attendance zone, if the school at which the child was most recently enrolled received a School Performance Score of “D” or “F” in the most recent school year, and the school to which the child is sought to be enrolled received a School Performance Score of “A”, “B” or “C” in the most recent school year, pursuant to the state’s school and district accountability system.  To facilitate the operation of this Act the Rapides Parish Public School District establishes the following policy and procedure.  As Act 853 provides for certain variable eligibility criterion, any enrollment based upon Act 853 will be considered an annual enrollment and will not obligate the District to allow for enrollment beyond one school year.

 

SINGLE POINT OF CONTACT

 

A parent or guardian wishing to utilize Act 853 who resides and intends on continuing to reside during the upcoming school year inside or outside of Rapides Parish must contact and meet with the Director or Federal Programs at the Gladys Higdon Instructional Resource Center, 502 Beauregard Street Alexandria, Louisiana.  This will be the only office authorized to process an application to enroll under Act 853.

 

An application for enrollment under Act 853 shall serve as consent for the District to obtain the records and information necessary to determine the eligibility/ineligibility of the student.

 

VERIFICATION OF INITIAL ELIGIBILITY

 

In order to determine eligibility to enroll, the parent or legal guardian must provide the following:

 

  1. A completed application to enroll in a Rapides Parish Public School, available in the Office of Federal Programs located at the above address.

  2. Documentation of the prior school enrollment of the student must be provided, such as the most recent report card or a complete high school transcript.

  3. Request for transfers from outside Rapides Parish Public School District must also include:

 

    1. Discipline records

    2. Attendance records

    3. Copy of child’s birth certificate

    4. Proof of domiciliary custody of any minor child

    5. Complete immunization records

 

  1. The District will verify that the school in which the student was most recently enrolled or would have otherwise attended, received a school performance letter grade of “D” or “F”.

  2. The parent or guardian shall identify the school to which the student is sought to be enrolled, and the District will verify that such school received a letter grade of “A”, “B”, or “C” for the most recent school year.

  3. Applications must be resubmitted annually.

  4. Eligibility will be determined on an annual basis.

  5. A student from an “F” school may remain in their school of CHOICE until he or she has completed the highest grade in the school.

 

VERIFICATION OF CAPACITY

 

The primary obligation of the District is to provide for the enrollment of students who reside within Rapides Parish and more specifically to provide for enrollment of students in Rapides Parish in the schools aligned with duly established attendance zones.  Therefore, the District will not enroll Act 853 students to the extent that such enrollment may conflict with this primary obligation.

 

Upon receipt of an application for enrollment under Act 853, the District will verify whether the school to which the student is sought to be enrolled has sufficient capacity.

 

The capacity verification shall take into account grade level and special program requirements, such as gifted and talented or special needs, and shall be made on a school- by-school basis.

 

At no point will the Rapides Parish Public School District be obligated to hire additional teachers/staff or secure portable classroom space in order to provide capacity.

 

Upon such a determination, the parent will be advised whether or not the school at which enrollment is sought has insufficient capacity.

 

The verification of capacity shall be an annual determination for the re-enrollment of Act 853 students for each subsequent year.

 

EXCESS APPLICATIONS

 

In the event the number of applications for enrollment exceeds the capacity in any particular school, students enrolled in the school for the prior year shall have preference.

 

After enrolling all prior year students, if applicants exceed the remaining capacity, applicants will be selected in order of timeliness of application until capacity is no longer available.

 

ATHLETIC ELIGIBILITY

 

Parents and guardians are responsible for contacting the LHSAA to determine the eligibility of the student for participation in varsity sports.  In order to participate in varsity sports sanctioned by the LHSAA, students must have written approval of the LHSAA.

 

TRANSPORTATION

 

The Rapides Parish School Board will provide transportation for students in “D” and “F” school zones.

 

INELIGIBILITY

 

A student meeting any of the following will be ineligible to enroll as an Act 853 student:

 

  1. The student was previously enrolled in an alternative school/program;

  2. The student was expelled for disciplinary reasons in the current or preceding school year;

  3. The student was suspended more than once in the current or preceding school year;

  4. The student was involved in more than one fight or other act of violence on school grounds or at a school sponsored event in the preceding school year;

  5. The student was found in possession of any illicit drug, narcotic, or weapon on school grounds in the current or preceding school year;

  6. The student had more than 10 unexcused absences during the current or preceding school year.

 

After enrollment, an Act 853 student shall become ineligible to continue enrollment, and must return to his district-zoned school, if any of the following apply:

 

  1. The student is suspended more than once during the school year;

  2. The student is expelled for disciplinary reasons during the school year;

  3. The student is involved in more than one fight or other act of violence on school grounds during the school year;

  4. The student is found in possession of any illicit drug or narcotic on school grounds during the school year;

  5. The student has more than 10 unexcused absences during the school year.

 

New policy:  January 5, 2016

Revised:  February 2, 2016

 

 

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, 1-5-16, 2-2-16

 

Rapides Parish School Board