Hall County Schools open for transfer:
Chestnut Mountain Elementary, second grade
Flowery Branch Elementary, first grade
Friendship Elementary, first grade
Lanier Elementary, second grade
Lula Elementary, second grade
Mount Vernon Elementary, first and third grades
Spout Springs Elementary, third grade
A handful of elementary school students may get a chance to attend a new school if space is available.
Under House Bill 251, school districts are required to allow transfers when classrooms have extra seats. Hall County Schools released a list last week, and the pickings are slim.
“Last year, about 30 students transferred,” said Eloise Barron, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning. “This year, we don’t have very many classrooms with extra space because we’re tightening our belt. The financial situation causes class sizes to be closer to the maximum.”
Capacity is defined as 85 percent of the maximum class size, according to the bill. Parents can find the transfer request on the Hall County website and must turn the form in by July 21 to be considered. They must also provide transportation to the new school.
Official enrollment starts on the 10th day of school, so parents should plan to enroll children at the assigned school until transfer decisions are made.
“Parents don’t have to tell us the reason they want to transfer, but many decide it would be more convenient for dropping off students on the way to their job, especially in elementary school,” Barron said. “We’ve had no space at the middle or high school level this year or last year.”
However, if parents want to enroll their middle and high school children in individual courses at another school, they can contact the principal to ask if seats are available.
Kindergarten options are also left off the list because they are traditionally the last space to fill.
Though pre-registration begins in the spring, many parents don’t register children until August.
However, if kindergarten classroom space becomes available after the 10th day of school, an announcement will be placed on the Hall County Schools website.
If transfer requests are approved, students can complete the highest grade level at that school, but it doesn’t automatically give enrollment preference to the feeder school. Transfer choices also do not apply to charter schools, newly opened schools for four years, or systems with an Investing in Educational Excellence contract. IE2 schools have contracts similar to charter schools.
Priority for transfer requests is given to students in Needs Improvement schools that must offer school choice under No Child Left Behind legislation and students who have defined hardship cases or special education needs.
Gainesville City Schools opened the transfer period in February, and almost all requests have been approved.
“We still take requests for transfers from new enrollees and put them on a waiting list,” said Superintendent Merrianne Dyer. “We’ve been filling it one-by-one this summer, and there’s only one student left. We haven’t had to turn anyone away yet.”