School staff reports on central enrollment and transfers

Ponca City Now - January 12, 2016 1:47 pm

Barbara Cusick and Teri Vogele reported Monday night on the Ponca City Public Schools new central enrollment procedures and transfers among schools.

They spoke at the district’s Board of Education meeting on how the 2015 central enrollment policy worked.

The 2015 menthod had a few positives, they said, including fewer forms, less time, convenience and a well organized procedure.

Staff members told them there were fewer issues at the beginning of school; less comp time was accrued; there was less congestion in the site offices during August; site boundaries were corrected and paperwork was streamlined.

However, there were problems with the system.

"Some patrons did not adhere to the registration window, resulting in incomplete numbers for the transfer meeting," Vogele said. "Some students were not on a list for Meet Your Teacher night."

Other problems occurred if a secretary did not enroll the student in a class, some final boxes were not checked during registration and some parents failed to request a transfer during the transfer window.

One of the biggest issues in the district was the problem of overflow — when there were so many students enrolled in a school that other children were unable to enroll in their neighborhood school.

The two showed a chart which listed the number of students that the principal at each school accepted in the fall. It also showed the number of students who had to be placed at another site because of overflow.

"There are very few slots for transfers," Vogele said. "When we go into a transfer meeting without very good numbers, because parents did not enroll in a timely manner, we can have problems."

The chart showed that principals accepted 79 transfer requests and then had 41 students on overflow as of last week.

"We can go into that meeting really cautioning the principals, but we still have overflow," Vogele said.

As an example, Vogele said Union School had 17 overflow students and there was not a classroom or a teacher available to provide for them. She said there was a big first grade group in the Union site boundaries, but no place to put them in a classroom and no teacher to teach them.

"We will have overflow transfers , but my solution would be no transfers," Vogele said. "It is hard to give anyone transfers when we have 41 on overflow because we didn’t have room for them in their school."

Class sizes for pre-K to third grade are capped at 27 students, she said.

"If another one comes, we find another place," she said.

In grades . 4 and 5, class size goes to 30., she said.

Their initial recommendations for proposed changes to the transfer policy was first, no transfers would be allowed.

"We would require principals to reserve two to four slots for neighborhood students in each grade level during the transfer meeting," Vogele said.

In addition, they would examine the reasons for the transfer request.

Those include:

  • A sibling who is grandfathered in with a transfer at the site
  • Childcare is close to school
  • Conflicts among families
  • Relocation during the summer
  • Staff conflict that can’t be resolved.

This year’s transfer window is Jan. 1 to May 1.

The registration window for school year 2016-17 is:

Pre-K registration: Feb. 29 to March 11

Pre-K parent meeting:Feb. 23 at West middle school auditorium 6 p.m. This is the orientation meeting for all school sites.

Registration grades k-5 and 7th grade and students new to the district: July11-14 and July 18-21

Makeup registration dates: Aug. 2-3

Transfer meeting: July 26, 1 p.m.

Online registration: July 1-31 for grades 6 and 8-12.

"If they wait until the week before school, they may not be able to get their children in their neighborhood school," Vogele said.

In addition, parents must have provided the school with immunization records for 7th grade students to register online.

"Elementary students must still come in with proof of residence," Vogele said.

Students who have not completed the process will not get their schedules. They have the entire month of July.

The board requested the two to develop a transfer plan to be considered by the board at its next meeting.


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