FC(LOCAL) - SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AREAS
The Board shall establish attendance zones for students attending the elementary and secondary schools and shall determine the schools in which the students residing in those zones shall enroll.
The purpose of boundary revisions is to optimize school facility usage and to accommodate growth patterns throughout the District.
Attendance areas for District schools shall be established by the Board. Students shall attend school in the attendance zone in which they reside unless enrolled in a magnet school, assigned to another school through an enrollment capping procedure or special program placement, assigned to another school for disciplinary reasons, or approved for continued enrollment or transfer. Under special circumstances, the Superintendent may approve individual exceptions to this assignment policy.
Prior to the adoption of attendance zones (areas) for new schools or changes in attendance zones for existing schools, the Board shall provide for patron input through a school boundary advisory committee (SBAC). This committee shall be a standing committee that addresses kindergarten through grade 12 boundary issues.
The Superintendent shall develop a process to solicit nominations for this committee from principals, PTA presidents, booster club presidents, and homeowner/neighborhood association presidents. The process shall also allow for nominations from individuals and for self-nominations. The SBAC shall be composed of one parent of a high school student from each comprehensive high school attendance zone and one parent of an intermediate student from each intermediate school attendance zone. Fifteen additional members shall consist of three parents of elementary students from each high school attendance area. Two additional members shall be community representatives who may or may not be parents of District students. Employees of the District shall not be eligible to serve on the committee. All members shall be selected by random drawing.
Of the elementary members selected, no two members shall be selected from the same elementary attendance zone. A neighborhood may not be represented more than once on the SBAC.
In order to establish continuity on the committee, members shall normally serve on two consecutive SBACs. To establish a staggered rotation, initial members shall participate in a drawing to determine which half shall serve only once and which shall serve twice. Because an SBAC is convened only when necessary, service may not necessarily be in consecutive years.
Vacancies occur when members complete their term of service, no longer reside in the attendance zone from which they were selected, resign, or are removed by a vote of two-thirds of the membership for failure to perform the duties of members of the committee. At the discretion of the Superintendent, vacancies that occur during the term may be filled immediately through a random drawing from the original list of volunteers using the same selection criteria without waiting for the start of the next committee year.
The SBAC shall elect a chairperson and vice chairperson as soon as possible.
The SBAC chairperson shall:
- Consult with the administrative liaison to develop agendas for meetings of the committee;
- Oversee preparation and presentation of committee reports and recommendations; and
- Review written minutes of each SBAC meeting to be filed by the administrative liaison and posted on the District's Web site.
The SBAC vice chairperson shall:
- Perform the duties of the chairperson in his or her absence; and
- Assist the chairperson as needed in overseeing and facilitating the work of the committee.
Attendance zone recommendations shall be developed through the following process:
- The SBAC shall develop a preliminary report, which should include demographics, facility utilization, alternative attendance zone possibilities, and other pertinent considerations. The SBAC shall present the report to the Board in a workshop format.
- The final options proposed by the SBAC shall be followed by one to five public hearings, as appropriate for the number of schools involved, to be determined by the Superintendent or designee. Public hearings to discuss proposed options or changes shall be held no earlier than seven days from the date that the proposed options or changes were made available to the public. With the assistance of staff, these public hearings shall be conducted at sites convenient to the patrons affected by the proposed changes. The administration shall advertise these public hearings through news releases and through District communications channels. Principals of the schools affected shall assist in notifying area patrons.
- At each hearing, following a presentation of the SBAC report and recommended options, the committee shall solicit comments, questions, and suggestions from patrons present. Staff may assist as needed in responding to questions from patrons. A record shall be made of all comments and suggestions to assist the committee in its deliberations.
- SBAC members shall study the information received during the public hearings, seek clarification of any questions, and develop new options if appropriate. Any new options, or changes to existing options, proposed by the SBAC shall be made available to the public at a public hearing in which the options or changes will be proposed.
- After the final public hearing, the SBAC shall present its report to the Board in a workshop format.
- At the same or a subsequent meeting, following study and discussion of the committee report and consideration of any recommendation from the Superintendent, the Board shall take appropriate action with respect to the establishment of school attendance boundaries.
Upon consideration of all information and input, a final decision shall be made by the Board. Action shall normally be taken no later than March of each planning year.
The following principles shall be among the factors explicitly considered in making attendance zone changes:
Where feasible, boundaries shall support the neighborhood school concept by combining geographically proximate neighborhoods, subdivisions, multi-family dwellings, and developments into school attendance zones. Where feasible, entire neighborhoods shall be assigned to the same school(s). Where practical, major thoroughfares, creeks, drainage ditches, utility easements, and similar elements shall be utilized as boundaries.
The committee shall not consider actual or perceived demographic characteristics when assigning students to attendance zones. These include but are not limited to: race/ethnicity, language, income, socioeconomic status, and historical or anticipated academic performance.
Assignment of students shall be made based on building capacity and growth projections.
Program Accommodation / Student Needs
Attention should be given to the unique needs of the student population at a given campus, which may not be reflected in numbers alone, unless this would conflict with the Equal Opportunity principle.
The costs of portable classrooms, transportation, additional staffing requirements, and other costs related to attendance boundary options shall be considered.
When a new school opens, students in its attendance area shall be assigned to the new school. Exceptions to this general rule are as follows:
- New high schools generally open without a senior class; therefore, seniors may remain at their former schools.
- When a new intermediate school opens, returning grade 8 students may continue at their former school. Transportation shall not be provided by the District.
In emergency situations, as determined by the Board, boundary changes may be adopted upon recommendation of the Superintendent without invoking the process established by this policy.