Parents of students at 11 low-performing schools in the Lafayette Parish district can apply through Aug. 12 to transfer their child to a higher-performing school.
School starts on Aug. 13, and parents won’t know whether their transfer request was approved until after the district’s staff reviews enrollments at those schools identified as potential transfer sites, school system officials said Monday.
The Louisiana Public School Choice Act approved by the Legislature in the 2014 session allows parents the option to transfer their child to a different school if their current school has a D or F letter grade based on state accountability measures. The law was effective for the 2014-15 school year. Information on the number of choice transfers requested and granted last year wasn’t immediately available Monday.
The online application process started Monday. The school system advises parents who don’t have Internet access at home to visit a public library, and if that’s not possible, they may set up an appointment to use a school system computer at the central office.
To apply at the central office, call Dina McCulloch at (337) 521-7142 to make an appointment.
The majority of the D and F schools — eight of them — are elementary schools: Alice Boucher, Carencro Heights, Duson, J.W. Faulk, S.J. Mongtomery, Ossun, Westside and Evangeline.
The other schools on the list are Lafayette Middle School and two high schools: Carencro and Northside.
All but two of the schools — Faulk and Northside — are D-rated schools based on school performance scores released in fall 2014. Those scores indicate performance in the 2013-14 school year. Performance scores based on the 2014-15 school year won’t be released until later this fall.
The school system plans to provide bus transportation to the transfer students.
Transfers are based on “sufficient capacity” at the receiving A-, B- or C-rated school, according to the law. As part of the placement process, students from the lowest-performing schools and whose own scores are low will have priority placement, based on information about the process provided by the school system. School system officials also said there is limited space available at schools in the upcoming 2015-16 school year based on the board-approved staffing formula for teachers. While the board voted to maintain staffing levels at the district’s D and F schools, it decided to increase class size by one student at all other schools.
After the start of school next week, staff will review existing school enrollments to determine space availability at the receiving schools. Once parents are contacted about the transfer, they have five days to withdraw their student and register them at the transfer school or lose the spot at the new school.
The school district identified 14 schools with some capacity to receive more students — though the list is expected to be updated by Aug. 19 pending enrollment changes after the start of school. The A-rated receiving schools include: L.J. Alleman Middle, Broadmoor Elementary, Milton Elementary and Woodvale Elementary.
The B-rated receiving schools are Paul Breaux Middle, Broussard Middle, Comeaux High, Katharine Drexel Elementary, Edgar Martin Middle, Plantation Elementary, Prairie Elementary and Charles Burke Elementary.
Schott Middle and Ridge Elementary, both C-rated schools, also will receive some students.
Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.