Thursday, March 25, 2010

School board approves limited Schools of Choice plan for in-county residents

The Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education has approved a limited
Schools of Choice policy that would allow families from throughout
Washtenaw County to consider attending school here.

Enrollment will be limited to selected elementary schools with 60
seats in kindergarten and 60 in first grade; 50 seats also will open
at the sixth-grade level in any of the district's middle schools. The
board approved the measure at a second reading on March 25.

Applications for the Schools of Choice seats will be accepted from
April 1-30 and must be postmarked during that time period. Applicants
will be notified of their status by May 15 via the U.S. mail. Student
acceptance is conditional until the Ann Arbor Public Schools receives
and reviews all school records, according to information from the
district's application process.

The addition of 170 out-of-district students would bring new revenue
to the district, as state funding is based on per-pupil head counts.
Section 105 of the State School Aid Act allows local school districts
to enroll students who reside in the same intermediate school
district. Schools of Choice students would bring the dollars normally
allocated to their district of residence, according to the provision.

Ann Arbor elementary schools that have openings include: Abbot,
Bryant, Carpenter, Dicken, Eberwhite, Lakewood, Logan, Northside,
Pittsfield and Wines. Middle schools include: Clague, Forsythe,
Scarlett, Slauson and Tappan.

Once a student has been accepted, they can stay within the Ann Arbor
Public Schools for the remainder of their K-12 education, even if the
district decides not to continue to enroll new students through
Schools of Choice in the future, school officials said.

If the number of qualified non-resident applications eligible for
acceptance exceeds the number of seats available, a random draw system
will be used to make a selection. A waiting list will be maintained
for the remaining applications and prioritized through random draw.

Residents of Washtenaw County public school districts are eligible to
apply. These include: Chelsea, Dexter, Lincoln, Manchester, Milan,
Saline, Whitmore Lake, Willow Run and Ypsilanti.

For information or to register for Schools of Choice in Ann Arbor,
call the Department of Student Enrollment at 734-994-2249.