Open Enrollment Application: Protocol and Procedures:
Effective with the 2020-2021 school year, the Upshur County Board of Education will implement the requirements of §18-5-16 which stipulate that all county school systems shall enroll non-resident students in their schools.
Nonresident enrollment in the Upshur County Schools shall be subject to availability of space in a desired school or classroom. It shall be cost free; and enrollment does not require approval of the board of education of the students’ county of residence.
Nonresident parents/guardians and students who wish to exercise this option must complete an application form that is available in the central office of the Upshur County Board of Education, in the various county schools, and on the county web site. The completed form must be filed with Upshur County Schools by March 1 of the year preceding the school year for which open enrollment is desired for students entering grades Pre-K-12.
Definitions Relevant to the Open Enrollment Process:
For the purpose of this policy the following definitions shall apply:
“Nonresident student” means a student who resides in this state and who is enrolled in or is seeking enrollment in a county school district other than the county school district in which the student resides.
“Open enrollment” means a policy adopted and implemented by a county board to allow nonresident students to enroll in any school within the district. Open enrollment is distinct from a mutual agreement of two county boards regarding mass transfer of students, as contemplated in §18-5-13(f)(1)(C) of this code.
All nonresident applications for enrollment in Upshur County Schools must be submitted by March 1, and all written responses to parents will be provided by July 15th. Requests for a transfer must be processed through the office of the Attendance Director. Requests from families moving into the area will not be held to this timeline.
The following circumstances are considered "good cause" and are acceptable conditions for a timeline waiver request IF the change occurred / began after March 1.
- Change in family district of residence
- Change in the marital status of the student's parents resulting in a change in resident district
- Placement of the child in foster care resulting in a change of residence
- Participation in a foreign exchange program
All nonresident students shall meet the same enrollment requirement as resident students. These requirements may be found in UCBOE Policy 4001:1.1 - 3.1,Age and Immunization Requirements; UCBOE Policy 4001: 4.1 - 4.5, General Enrollment Requirements; and UCBOE Policy 4001: 4.3.1 - 4.3.4, Early Entrance into Kindergarten of the Upshur County Schools Policy Manual.
Nonresident students seeking admission to Upshur County Schools may be granted permission to enroll in the school of their choice under the following conditions:
- The enrollment at the school of choice and the specific grade level requested currently has and is projected to have vacancies for the upcoming school term;
- The school of choice’s program of studies matches the needs of the nonresident student and will not require the addition of professional, support, or service personnel at the school;
- Nonresident students who are serving a long-term suspension or an expulsion imposed by their county of residence may not enroll in a Upshur County school until such time the terms of the suspension or expulsion have been fulfilled.
The Attendance Director, the principal of the proposed receiving school, and the Superintendent (or his/her designee), will review the application and any supporting data accompanying the application to determine if the application is complete and the circumstances at the school are such that the application may be approved.
In considering enrollment requests, priority may be given to:
- Siblings of students already enrolled through the open enrollment policy;
- Secondary students who have completed 10th grade and, due to family relocation, become nonresident students, but express the desire to remain in a specific school to complete their education;
- Students who are children, grandchildren, or legal wards of employees;
- Students whose legal residences, though geographically within another county, are more proximate to a school within the receiving county, whether calculated by miles or transportation time; and
- Students who reside in a portion of a county where topography, impassable roads, long bus rides, or other conditions prevent the practicable transportation of the student to a school within the county, and a school within a contiguous county is more easily accessible.
Note: Students with priority status will be placed first and all other applicants will be processed based upon availability of space and the date on the application form.
Students in Foster Care:
The Upshur County School shall comply with all enrollment requirements for children who are in foster care or who meet the definition of unaccompanied youth prescribed in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. § 11434a(6).
Students with Special Needs:
Nonresident parents/guardians of students with special needs may follow the same application procedures as those parents/guardians of students who do not have special needs. Special needs nonresident students may be accepted under the following guidelines:
- Space is available in an appropriate program within the receiving school that meets the student’s needs;
- The proper documents regarding the student’s placement in his/her current school are made available to Upshur County School System officials for review as a part of the application process; and
- The Upshur County School System will not create an appropriate placement program in order to honor a request for open enrollment purposes; and
- Per the West Virginia Code, the Upshur County Board of Education will provide transportation to and from the school of attendance, or to and from an agreed pickup point on a regular transportation route, or for the total miles traveled each day for the nonresident student to reach the school of enrollment if the nonresident student is a student with disabilities and has an individualized education program that specifies that transportation is necessary for fulfillment of the program.
County boards of education are authorized, but are not required to uniformly provide nonresident student transportation. It is the Upshur County Board of Education’s policy that nonresident students and his/her parent/guardian must supply transportation to school or to an existing Upshur County Schools’ bus route which may be utilized. Existing bus routes will not be extended to accommodate nonresident students.
Participation in Athletics:
Nothing in this policy supersedes the eligibility requirements for participation in extra-curricular activities established by the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission.
If a student wishes to change schools through inter-district open enrollment, the student should consult with the school administration and follow the guidelines for athletic eligibility as established by the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission.
Is an annual application required?
Yes, for the purpose of accurate tracking of student enrollments within the school system only.
West Virginia code provides that open enrollment in the school district continues until the student graduates, drops out of school, or until the parents/guardians notify the school district that they desire to terminate the open enrollment agreement
Transfers Between States:
Transfer of students from this state to another state shall be upon such terms, including payment of tuition, as shall be mutually agreed upon by the board of the receiving county and the authorities of the school or district from which the transfer is made. Transfers of students from another state to Upshur County shall be contingent on the approval of the Superintendent of Upshur County Schools. Parents or guardians must pay the average per pupil cost or WV State Aide funding amount per pupil, plus any additional costs if the student has special needs. Attendance may commence only upon verification of paid tuition (annually determined based upon per pupil costs required by W. Va. Code 18-5-16 and WVDE Policy 8100).
A parent or guardian of a student may appeal the refusal of a county board to accept the transfer of the student, according to the policy adopted by the State Department of Education for that purpose. If during the appeal process, the State Superintendent discovers that the education and the welfare of the student could be enhanced, the State Superintended may direct that the student may be permitted to attend a school in the receiving county
For purposes of net enrollment as defined in §18-9A-2 of this code, whenever a student is transferred on a full-time basis from one school district to another district pursuant to the provisions of this section, the county to which the student is transferred shall include the student in its net enrollment: Provided, That if, after transferring to another county, a student chooses to return to a school in his or her county of residence after the second month of any school year, the following applies:
- The county of residence may issue an invoice to the county from which the student transferred for the amount, determined on a pro rata basis, that the county of residence otherwise would have received under the state basic foundation program established in §18-9A-1 et seq. of this code; and N/A
- The county from which the student transferred shall reimburse the county of residence for the amount of the invoice