Statement of Philosophy:
This policy addresses the open enrollment program established by the State of Utah and the request process to attend a school out of a student's attendance area. The local Board is responsible for providing educational services consistent with Utah State Law and rules of the State Board of Education for each student who resides within its district, and to the extent reasonably feasible, for any student who resides in another district in the state of Utah in accordance with the limitations and provisions listed in sections 53A-2-207 to 53A-2-213. This Policy also addresses the district's guardianship guidelines.
A student of legal school age whose legal residence for school purpose is within the boundaries of the district. The residence of the person having legal guardianship of the student shall be deemed to be the residence of the pupil, except as otherwise permitted by law. 53A-2-201
A student attending or seeking to attend a school other than the school of residence. This may be outside the school district boundaries or outside the State of Utah. Non-resident students outside the state of Utah may be assessed the district's yearly tuition fee which is the state's current WPU plus local contribution from district.
A resident student or a non-resident student who is seeking to attend a school/district outside his/her designated attendance area.
- Prior to November 30 of each school year, the local Board shall announce what school(s) or program(s) will be available for "open enrollment" where transfer students could apply according to "school capacity" standards as stated in R277-437-1-J.
- If a school's "average daily membership threshold" (90% of maximum capacity) falls below this designated level set the Utah State Board of Education, the local Board shall allow "qualifying" transfer students to enroll in one of its schools under the "open enrollment" provision. If a school's average daily membership is above the threshold, the local Board, at its discretion, may or may not allow transfer students to enroll in one of its schools. Qualification of transfer students will be determined through an application process in accordance with state law and this policy. 53A-2-207-2b R277-437-1-B & J
- Through this application process and on a case-by-case basis, the Superintendent or designee will determine if there is capacity for additional students in their schools and/or programs for which a student is applying. Through the application process, the Superintendent or designee will determine if the student qualifies to be enrolled by considering such items as: adequate space, adequate facilities, available space in special programs, UHSAA issues, past history of student and consistent with 53A–2-208 (3), willingness of student to comply with district policies, and teacher to student ratio in the classroom, grade level, and school building for which the student is applying. (R277-437-3-E)
- A student who enrolls in a non-resident attendance area is considered a resident of that district for purposes of state funding. The funding for such students will be determined in accordance with law 53A-2-210.
- Preferred Attendance Boundaries: To promote stability and predictability of attendance numbers, it is desired and preferred that each resident student in the district attend the school designated by his or her place of residence (meaning the place where the student's legal guardian resides). Notwithstanding that preference, attendance outside the student's area of residence is permitted, under the provisions of this policy and applicable state law. (53A-2-213) (SSSD Boundary Policy JC)
To the extent feasible and subject to eligibility requirements of this policy, transfer students (resident or non-resident) shall have the right to transfer to a school of that student's choice within the district in accordance with the following guidelines:
- In compliance with the "average daily membership threshold" law, the Special Education programs and other programs in South Sanpete School District will be reviewed annually to determine if there is adequate space for resident transfers within the district and/or non-resident transfers. R277-437-1-J-7
- Regardless, whether schools in South Sanpete School District are operating above or below an "average daily membership threshold," students who have committed "serious" infractions of the law, who have exhibited chronic misbehavior, who pose a serious threat and source of disruption, or who have repeatedly violated school rules from his/her previous community, school and/or district may not be allowed to enroll because of the unreasonable burdens and risks they place upon other students and school staff within the school and district. Also, a student may be denied admission on the basis of having been suspended or expelled from any other school during the preceding 12 months. References: R277-437-1-L and 53A-11-904-3
- The Board, Superintendent, or designee, in their discretion, may allow "probationary enrollment" of students with prior "mild" behavior problems. In such cases the Board, Superintendent or designee will, on a case by case basis and through a contract, establish conditions under which enrollment of the student would be permitted. The Board, Superintendent or designee may also impose such contractual conditions on a transfer student who is already enrolled under which the enrollment would be continued. Transfer students who do not comply with these probationary conditions will have their enrollment revoked.
- The district shall not be required to provide any program to transfer students that it has not previously provided within the school/district.
- The district shall maintain heterogeneous student populations if necessary to avoid violation of constitutional or statutory rights of students.
- Participation of transferring students in interscholastic competition shall be governed under the rules established by the State Board of Education and in compliance with the Utah High School Activities Association. If the student qualifies for enrollment, he/she will be permitted to start attending school; however, the decisions or consequences for athletic/activity eligibility will be decided by the Utah High School Activity Association. R277-437-4
- The parent/guardian of the transfer student must arrange for the student's own transportation to and from school. The district may provide transportation for a transfer student on the basis of available space on an approved, existing bus route where the student's presence does not increase the cost of that route.
- The Board shall grant permission and waive tuition (if it applies) in the following cases upon application from the student's parent(s)/guardian(s):
- When an eighth grade or older student's family moves out of town and requests permission to allow him/her to remain (with an approved guardian acceptable to the school district) until graduation.
- When a student's family moves out of town before the school year is over and requests permission for him/her to remain (with an approved guardian acceptable to the school district) until that school year has ended.
- When a family expects to move into a house after the beginning of the school year and requests that the student be permitted to start school in that attendance area. In this case, a parent/guardian would be required to provide evidence acceptable to the district; such as, a deed or affidavit which provides documentation of intent. The enrollment may be revoked if the proposed residency is not established in a reasonable time.
- Children from foreign countries who are temporarily residing with district residents (under an approved student exchange program) may be enrolled in accordance with law R277-615 or current rules which governs J-1 and I-20 students.
- Once a transfer student is enrolled within a school of the district, that student may remain enrolled year to year subject to compliance with all rules and standards established for other students in the district unless one of the following occurs:
- The student graduates.
- The student is no longer a Utah resident.
- The student does not comply with school policies and rules which results in suspension or expulsion of the student and/or does not comply with the conditions stated in the probationary contract.
- The district determines that enrollment for the next school year will exceed 90% of maximum capacity. If this occurs, notification will be given to the parent/guardian and the student by March 15 of the current year, so application for enrollment may be made elsewhere for the next year.
Application Process for Student Transfers:
- Students desiring to transfer to South Sanpete School District for the first time or within the district shall make written application by completing the Student Transfer Application form (JECB-1) and submitting a $5.00 processing fee at the time of application. Applications may be reviewed by the superintendent, building principal, School Board, and/or designee to determine if the student "qualifies" for enrollment. The authority to accept or reject any application is vested in the Board, Superintendent, and/or a designee.
- Transfer applications will be accepted throughout the school year; however, the district/school shall determine the actual enrollment date based upon term/quarter breaks and compliance with transferring guidelines. Students residing in the district will receive services at their previous school prior to transfers.
- If possible, written notification to the student's parents/guardians of acceptance or rejection will be given within two weeks after the district/school has received the application.
- Upon acceptance, the school/district accepting this student must provide written notification to the student and to his/her previous school/district. The transfer student will not be officially enrolled and allowed to start school until he/she has officially checked out of his/her previous school and all school records, transcripts, immunizations, etc. are in order at the student's designated school. Transfer students who are accepted on a probationary status must fulfill the conditions of their probationary contract or their permit for enrollment may be revoked.
- Upon denial of initial or continuing enrollment of a transfer student (already in the district), the decision may be appealed to the Board. Written notice of the request for appeal to the Board must be submitted to the Board within 15 days of the date of the Board's/School's denial of the application or the discontinuing enrollment notification. Denial for discontinuing enrollment of a transfer student for a subsequent year shall be given by March 15.