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School Choice process for 2021/2022

The Kelso School District Board of Directors recognizes that each student in the district is required to attend the school designated for the geographic attendance area in which he or she resides, unless a school choice waiver is approved. 

With the closing of Catlin and Beacon Hill Elementary Schools after the 2020/21 school year, and the new addition of Lexington Elementary School opening Fall 2021, boundary adjustments of attendance areas have become necessary.

For the 2021/22 school year only, all current In-District and Out-of-District choice students currently attending Barnes, Beacon Hill, Catlin or Wallace Elementary Schools, will be reassigned back to either; (1) their residential assigned attendance school based on the new boundaries or (2) their residential assigned school district. In-District and Out-of-District students, attending other elementary schools will remain at their current schools.

Those currently affected school choice students of Barnes, Beacon Hill, Catlin or Wallace Elementary Schools are invited to reapply for In-District Choice consideration on, or before, December 4th, 2021, if they desire to attend a different elementary school from their newly assigned neighborhood school.

We will attempt to accommodate all In-district and Out-of-District transfers during this process. In-District Choice requests for the Barnes, Lexington or Wallace Elementary Schools will be considered in the order set forth below.

For a PDF copy of the School Choice Handout, click here.


Order of Consideration

1.  Students who previously attended the school on an in-district transfer.

2.  Years of historical attendance of the student at the requested elementary school.

3.  Whether space is available in the grade level or classes at school, in which the student desires to be enrolled.

4.  The applicant student meets all District transfer requirements (not including attendance area requirements) for enrollment in the requested school.

5.  Keeping siblings within the same residence, together at the same elementary school.

6.  There is some other special hardship or detrimental condition affecting the student or the student's immediate family, which would be alleviated as a result of the transfer.

Starting August 16th, 2021, if additional space within Barnes, Lexington or Wallace Elementary Schools is identified, previous in-district transfer requests that were originally denied due to any of the above conditions, will be reconsidered in the order set forth above.

Out-of- District choice applications for Barnes, Lexington or Wallace Elementary will be considered upon completion of the In-District choice process and if additional space remains. Out-of- District choice applications will be considered in the order set forth above.


Special Circumstances

1.  Students who qualify for services under the McKinney Vento Homeless Education Act shall be exempt from involuntary attendance area transfer.

2.  Children who are displaced due to the military orders of one or more parents will be enrolled according to requirements of RCW.28A.225.217

3.  Transfers must be granted if the student is a child of a full-time certificated or classified school employee unless he/she meets any of the criteria for denial as listed within Policy 3131.

4.  The district reserves the right to base final decisions on the needs of all schools in the district. When fall enrollments in an attendance area substantially exceed class size guidelines, students may be required to attend a school in another attendance area.


Timeline

September 21st, 2020 Affected parents sent letters identifying school placement for the 2021-2022 school year and option of reapplying for in-district choice at their preferred school.
October 5th - December 4th,  2020 In-district choice applications for boundary-affected schools are accepted. All forms to be time/date stamped.
December 7-17th, 2020 In-District Choice requests for the elementary schools affected (Barnes, Catlin, Wallace) will be considered in the order set forth above.
On or before, December 18th, 2020 Acceptance/Denial letters are sent to parents identifying their students assigned school for 2021-2022
January 11th - 15th, 2021 Window for Appeal. If a student transfer request is denied, parents have the right to appeal that decision thru a district internal appeal process. The appeal process will be included in the denial letter that is sent home to parents.
On or before, August 16th, 2021 If additional space within the boundary revision schools is determined, the following choice applications will be considered in the order presented below:

1.  Previous in-district transfer requests that were originally denied due to space will be reconsidered in the order set forth above.

2.  New in-district choice forms that were received after the December 4, 2020 deadline.

3.  Out of district choice applications.

Should you have additional questions, please contact the Student Services Offices at (360) 501-1905.