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Board makes plans for open enrollment

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The Board of Education for Tipton County Schools recently discussed the upcoming open enrollment, which will begin in the Fall 2014 school year.
The discussion of Board Policy 6.206 took place during the March school board meeting. The policy states that parents will have the opportunity to transfer students from their zoned school to other schools in the system beginning this fall.
Director of Operations of Tipton County Schools, Charlotte Fisher, and her committee are tasked with the process of creating a seamless enrollment process, ensuring that the upcoming transition is smooth for all schools, parents, students and administration.
“We are progressing smoothly,” said Dr. Fisher. “It is our intent to have this as part of our board policy and after a review by the board’s attorney, we plan to present our process for approval to the board.”
The operations committee has reviewed other district guidelines to develop an implementation plan for open enrollment, including the systems of Shelby County, Metro Nashville, Jackson Madison and Wilson County/Knox County.  Dr. Fisher’s presentation at last Thursday’s board meeting included discussion regarding the capacity of each school building and how capacity is defined as well as priority preferences for transfer.
“The biggest obstacle that students who want to transfer will face is if there is adequate space available. There is not much room for movement,” said Dr. Fisher.
According to the Board of Education, capacity is defined as “numbers of students, diversity of student
population, general program offerings and space allocations.” And priority preference for transferring include, “employee; siblings of students currently in a transfer situation; special programs offered in one school and not available in another; and all other students.”
The presentation also highlighted athletics and the upcoming open enrollment. If a student is already eligible and playing a sport, he/she will have to sit out a year, according to TSSAA guidelines.
There are two processes currently being considered for open enrollment: first come first served selection, based on date and receipt of application or lottery selection, whereas the students will enter into a drawing for available openings.
The Board of Education is already preparing for the new changes by trying to anticipate any and all needs that may arise. In the meeting, Dr. Fisher recognized that in order for the transition to run smoothly, the committee must recognize that there will be many questions along the way, not only by the parents, but by the board.
Dr. Fisher will present her final decision on either First Come, First Served or Lottery at the next school board meeting, April 10.

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