Policy 4150

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SCHOOL REASSIGNMENT   Policy Code:   4150

The Board of Education believes that in most cases, students should be assigned to school in the assignment area that serves the student's domicile. School facilities have been designed to serve the student population of their respective attendance areas. Proper local school organization and operation, the allotment of teachers and supporting services, effective long-range planning, and the need to reduce mobile classrooms are dependent on a stable student body.

Contents

A. ASSIGNMENT AREAS

The superintendent shall recommend to the board school assignment areas for the schools in the system.

The assignment areas will be developed in accordance with state requirements and court rulings; the need to serve all school-age children who live in the school system; and the effective use of each school facility. Assignments must be made in a non-discriminatory manner.

The superintendent shall review periodically the attendance areas and submit recommendations for revisions to the board when necessary.

B. ASSIGNMENT OF STUDENTS

The superintendent shall assign students to particular schools based upon the established assignment areas. Notwithstanding the provisions of this policy, the superintendent shall assign homeless students in a manner consistent with state and federal law and policy 4125, Homeless Students.

Students who are participating in or whose parent is participating in the North Carolina Address Confidentiality Program established by G.S. Chapter 15C will be assigned on the basis of their actual address, but such address will remain confidential in accordance with law and policy 4250-5075-7316, North Carolina Address Confidentiality Program.

C. REQUESTS FOR REASSIGNMENT

  1. Procedure for Requesting Reassignment
    Parents seeking reassignment away from their student’s base school or current school of assignment for the upcoming school year must submit a written request on the Chatham County Schools’ transfer request form to the office of the Superintendent. Written requests must include the specific reason for the requested transfer and any supporting documentation the parents would like to be taken into consideration. The Superintendent/Designee will render a decision and provide written notice to the parent via regular mail, certified mail, email, or any other reasonable method designed to achieve actual notice, within thirty (30) days, except that requests for transfer to a school with current or projected brick and mortar capacity between 95-100% will not be processed until after July 1st. Requests received by June 1 for the upcoming school year will be processed and a decision made by the Superintendent no later than July 15.
    Parents seeking review by the Board of Education of any decision to deny a request for reassignment must submit a written request for a hearing before the Board of Education within 5 business days of receiving the notice of the denial from the Superintendent/Designee. The Board or a panel of the Board will hear the appeal. If a panel hears the appeal, the panel's recommendation will be submitted to the full Board for a final determination. At the hearing the Board will consider and make a determination based upon the guidelines established in this policy, all information submitted to the Board, as well as the best interest of the child, the orderly and efficient administration of the public schools, the proper administration of the school to which reassignment is requested and the instruction, health and safety of the pupils there enrolled. The Board will promptly render a decision and notice of the decision will be given to the applicant by registered or certified mail.
  2. Factors Considered when Reassignment is Requested
    When submitting a transfer request, parents must articulate one or more the following reasons for transfer that are supported by the Chatham County Board of Education:
    a. Change of Residence within the School District
    A student whose legal residence changes from one school assignment area to another within the school district during the same school year may choose to finish out that school year in the same school, or attend school in the area to which they have moved. If they elect to remain in the first school in order to complete that year, they will be assigned to the school according to the area in which they live at the beginning of the next school year. A student who moves to another county and who is no longer domiciled in Chatham County schools must seek continued enrollment as prescribed in Board policies 4130, Discretionary Admissions and Releases, and 4135, Tuition for Discretionary Admissions. Students whose legal residence has changed but who choose to complete the school year at their first school will be responsible for their own transportation to school. Parents who are building a house must provide a building permit showing that their house is under construction in the requested assignment area.
    b. Special Curricular Needs
    A student who is unable to obtain required courses or programs in their regularly assigned school may be reassigned to another school within the district which can best meet the student's needs.
    If a student is reassigned to access a special program or course, failure to remain in special program or course will result in revocation of reassignment. Once the course sequence has been completed the student will return to his/her base school.
    c. Extreme Hardship
    A student may be reassigned or transferred because of extreme or unusual circumstances which affect the student's achievement and/or behavior in school, when it is established that such reassignment or transfer is in the best interest of the student.
    d. Children of Employees
    A Chatham County school employee’s child(ren) may be reassigned to another school within the attendance zone of the employee’s worksite.
    e. Unsafe School Choice Transfer under the No Child Left Behind Act
    Reassignment for students who are victims of violent criminal offenses at school or for students attending persistently dangerous schools as defined by State Board of Education policy will be made pursuant to policy 4152, Unsafe School Choice Transfer.
    f. Reassignment of Siblings.
    Parents may seek the reassignment of siblings for any student that has been granted reassignment.
    g. Transfer of Homeless Students
    Students who become homeless between academic years, or during an academic year, may request to remain at the school of origin for the duration of their homelessness or may request to be enrolled in any public school that other students living in the same attendance area are eligible to attend. Any decision about the transfer or reassignment of a homeless student will be consistent with legal requirements and based on the student’s best interest. (see policy 4125, Homeless Students).
  3. Factors Not Considered
    The reassignment of a student may be denied or rescinded by Superintendent/Designee for one or more of the following reasons:
    a. Parent/Guardian Difference of Opinion with School Leadership/Rules
    Citing quality of school, difference of opinion with school staff regarding grades, homework, discipline, retention, or class assignment are not acceptable reasons to request a reassignment.
    b. Request Is For Athletic Participation
    Athletics or participation in athletics may not be a sufficient reason for reassignment.
    c. Redistricting
    Students may not be reassigned into or out of schools that have been redistricted for one school year.
    d. School Requested Is Beyond Rated School Capacity
    Students will not be reassigned into schools that exceed the rated brick and mortar capacity unless the child of an employee.

D. CONDITIONS FOR REASSIGNMENT

  1. The parent of any student reassigned to a new school at the request of a parent/guardian transfer request will be responsible for transporting the student to and from school.
  2. Any reassignment request that is approved based upon false or misleading information will be declared void and the reassignment will be rescinded.
  3. The student must attend school on a regular basis and abide by the school’s rules and regulations. Excessive absences, tardiness or disciplinary referrals may be grounds for revocation of the reassignment.
  4. The transfer or reassignment is valid through the terminal year for the school to which the student is reassigned. A new request must be submitted after the student completes the grades in the reassigned school. Exceptions to the term of assignment may be made for transfers granted pursuant to policy 4152, Unsafe School Choice Transfer, or policy 4125, Homeless Students. Any students granted reassignment to a school with a current or projected brick and mortar capacity at 95% or above will be granted reassignment for one year only and will require a new application for the following year.

E. ASSIGNMENT TO ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL

Students will be assigned to the alternative school in accordance with policy 3470-4305, Alternative Learning Programs/Schools.

F. ADMINISTRATIVE TRANSFER

The Superintendent may administratively assign a student to any school in the system when the Superintendent determines that such action is in the best interest of the student and the schools affected, and that such action would not contravene the overall intent of the Board’s school assignment policies.

Whenever a student is charged with a criminal offense, either as a juvenile or an adult, the Superintendent, based upon a review of the allegations associated with the arrest or criminal charges and an informal meeting with the student and parent/legal guardian, shall have the authority to effect an immediate involuntary transfer if the Superintendent, based upon a preponderance of the evidence, is of the opinion that peace, health, safety, or welfare of the students or staff of the Chatham County Schools may be disturbed by maintaining the student in his or her current placement. The student’s parent/legal guardian may request a Board hearing to review the involuntary transfer. Any request for the Board must be submitted to the Superintendent’s office within five (5) day of the notice of the involuntary transfer.

G. ATHLETIC WAITING PERIOD FOR TRANSFER STUDENTS

The Chatham County Board of Education does not grant transfers between schools for reasons of athletic participation. In accordance with North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) rules, a student who is granted a voluntary transfer away from the base or assigned school to another Chatham County School shall not participate in interscholastic athletic activities for 365 days from the first approved transfer date. This waiting period does not apply to students whose transfer is due to a bona fide change in residence as defined by the NCHSAA. Students entering ninth grade for the first time are eligible to participate in athletic activities and are not required to seek a waiver.

Students granted a transfer within the district may apply to the Superintendent for a waiver of the athletic waiting period. The Superintendent’s decision regarding an athletic eligibility waiver shall be final, except where the parent/guardian demonstrates a right to appeal to the Board of Education under N.C.G.S. 115C-45(c). The Superintendent may revoke a decision to permit a student to participate in athletics if at any time it is determined that the student has transferred for athletic purposes or that the student or parent submitted inaccurate or misleading information in support of the waiver request.


Legal References: McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq.; No Child Left Behind Act, 20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq.; Unsafe School Choice Option Non-Regulatory Guidance, U.S. Department of Education (May 2004); G.S. 15C-8; 115C-36, -366, -367, -369; State Board of Education Policy HRS-A-006

Cross References: Alternative Learning Programs/Schools (policy 3470-4305), Homeless Students (policy 4125), Discretionary Admissions and Releases (policy 4130), Tuition for Discretionary Admissions (policy 4135), Unsafe School Choice Transfer (policy 4152), North Carolina Address Confidentiality Program (policy 4250-5075-7316)

Adopted: March 12, 2012, Revised May 14, 2012, Revised September 10, 2012, Revised (October 7, 2013 to be effective July 1, 2014), Revised May 4, 2015, Revised July 20, 2015, Revised December 14, 2015; Revised March 14, 2016.

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