Thursday, January 4, 2018

Interdistrict Transfer Agreement Reached

Posted By on Thu, Jan 4, 2018 at 3:29 PM

click to enlarge About 34 percent of the county's interdistrict transfer students come out of Eureka City Schools. - FILE
  • File
  • About 34 percent of the county's interdistrict transfer students come out of Eureka City Schools.
After several months of uncertainty for local parents whose children are enrolled in schools outside of their home districts, the Humboldt County Office of Education has clarified its policy on interdistrict attendance. In a press release, the HCOE confirmed local superintendents have agreed on some guidelines for transfers. These include an open enrollment period for interdistrict requests, "processes to support districts with student enrollment and staffing" and more information for parents about resources in their districts of residence.

An transfer application deadline of Feb. 1, the office says, will allow schools to plan better for the coming school year. In February of 2017, Eureka City Schools Superintendent Fred Van Vleck proposed limiting the number of interdistrict transfers, estimating a shortfall of $6.4 million a year, or $8,000 per student, from students leaving the ECS system to attend Cutten or other districts. The new agreement does not appear to include the caps Van Vleck requested. According to information on the enrollment form, found here, students will have to re-enroll annually to their district of choice, and may have their transfers revoked if they fail to "attain satisfactory academic progress, follow established rules of conduct or maintain regular attendance, as determined by desired district of attendance."

According to HCOE spokesperson Jenny Bowen, the district of residency for the student will have 10 school days after the Feb. 1 close of the enrollment window to approve the request and forward it to the school to which the student wants to transfer. That school will then have five school days — or a total of 15 days after the Feb. 1 close of the enrollment period, whichever is longer — to approve or deny the request and notify all parties.

From the Humboldt County Office of Education:

Superintendents Support County-Wide Interdistrict Attendance Agreement

Humboldt County school district superintendents have come to a collective agreement on interdistrict attendance, which includes the process for interdistrict transfer agreements. In a meeting at the end of last calendar year, superintendents came to consensus on the new agreement, now pending formal approval from each of their respective boards.
Key components of the agreement include:

• A designated open enrollment period with timelines for interdistrict request approval.
• Processes to support districts with student enrollment and staffing.
• Participation by families in “reasonable enrollment activities” to ensure that they are aware of the programs and services in their district of residence (DOR).

There are two important changes from the prior process. The first one is that there will be an application deadline of February 1, in order to allow families to plan for the following year, and to facilitate schools planning for staff and resource allocation. Applications received after February 1 shall be approved by the DOR for the 2018-19 school year. The second is that there will be opportunities for families to learn more about their DOR through “reasonable enrollment activities” which can include a discussion with the DOR administration or their designees, attending an orientation meeting, taking part in a site visit, or reviewing information literature provided by the DOR.

“This agreement and process honors parent choice while giving schools reasonable enrollment predictability,” states Dr. Chris Hartley, Superintendent of Humboldt County schools. “We have outstanding teachers and schools throughout Humboldt County and each and every one provides unique strengths and opportunities for students.”

A link to the form can be found here. Districts will be sending out correspondence to their families and constituents regarding this new process. In addition, the Humboldt County Office of Education will be facilitating an education campaign throughout January to bring greater awareness to the broader community.


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Linda Stansberry

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Linda Stansberry is a staff writer of the North Coast Journal.

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