Fayette Schools to get strict on ‘out-of-area’ requests

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS ARE ONLY ONES AFFECTED

jwarren@herald-leader.comMarch 10, 2013 

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Some parents might have a tougher time getting the Fayette Public Schools to approve "out-of-area" attendance requests for the coming school year.

Fayette schools officials say they’ll be more strict when it comes to granting requests for elementary students to attend school out of area in 2013-14.

The more stringent approach, which applies only to elementary school applications, is necessary because many Fayette elementaries already are at or near capacity, officials said.

Middle and high school applications will not be affected. Elementary students who are already attending school outside their regular attendance area also will not be affected.

Out-of-area applications for 2013-14 will be available online at the Fayette Schools’ website starting at 8 a.m. April 9.

Fayette Schools spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall said the district’s out-of-area policies aren’t changing. But district officials will be more careful in granting exceptions from those policies when it comes to elementary school students, she said.

"Every year we receive applications from families that for whatever reason don’t wish to attend the school they are districted in," Deffendall said. "They file out-of-area requests, and sometimes we are able to make an exception and grant them. But now it’s causing a problem because our elementary schools are so full."

The Fayette Schools’ new facilities plan calls seven new schools, including three new elementary schools to meet booming population growth.

According to Deffendall, granting large numbers of out-of-area requests can create various problems, such as a school having to turn away neighborhood kids because so many slots have been filled by out-of-area students.

"What we’re saying is that until we get some new schools built, we have to cut back on this," she said. "We’re going to be very specific in saying that here are the reasons that you can apply, and don’t apply if you don’t have one of these reasons. We have to stop making all these exceptions."

According to district officials, priority in granting out-of-area applications for 2013-14 will be given to children of school employees; walkers who live within one mile of a school; fifth-graders wishing to finish elementary in the same school they have been attending; siblings; and students anticipating a family move before Oct. 31.

For more information, go to www.fcps.net/outofarea  . For questions, call Jean Salley in district’s department of pupil personnel at (859) 381-4122.

Jim Warren: (859) 231-3255.

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