FILE:  JBC

Cf:  JBCBB, JBCD, JDE, JGCB

 

STUDENT ADMISSION AND ASSIGNMENT

 

 

The Bossier Parish School Board shall have the authority and responsibility for the continued education of all students who have been properly admitted and assigned to the public schools under its jurisdiction in Bossier Parish.  All students must be eligible for admission and attend the appropriate school in the attendance zone where he/she resides unless a valid transfer is obtained.  The following requirements and procedures shall apply to the admission and assignment of students to schools in the School District.

 

The School Board shall admit a student to its schools once his/her eligibility for admission has been determined and he/she has been properly registered under the policy set out here.

 

Each student shall be assigned to attend school at the appropriate grade-level within the attendance zone where he/she resides with his/her parent/legal guardian/or otherwise as provided in this policy unless the student is granted a valid transfer to a school in another attendance zone.  To ensure a fair and consistent implementation of this assignment policy, the School Board shall require that all students be subject to the residency verification policy as set out below.

 

The Superintendent or his/her designee is authorized to develop procedures as he/she determines may be necessary to implement this policy.

 

References in this policy to “parent/legal guardian” shall include any adult presenting a student for admission/registration/transfer and any student who is determined to be an “unaccompanied youth,” both as provided in this policy and as may be otherwise provided, as may be applicable, under the law and/or provisions of the School District’s desegregation order.

 

ELIGIBILITY FOR ADMISSION OR READMISSION

 

If the student meets all of the criteria stated below, the School Board shall grant admission or readmission on a non-discriminatory basis.  No student shall be denied admission or readmission because of race, religion, sex, disability, or other protected status.  No student shall be denied admission or readmission because he/she previously voluntarily withdrew from school, is pregnant, is a parent, and/or is married.

 

  1. Admission Criteria

 

    1. In general, a student who meets all of the following criteria shall be eligible for admission or readmission:

 

      1. Resides in the geographic boundaries of the Bossier Parish School District;

      2. Meets the eligibility requirements for school entrance pursuant to statutory provisions;

      3. Is nineteen (19) years of age or younger on September 30th of the calendar year in which the school year begins or is twenty (20) years of age on September 30th of the calendar year in which the school year begins and has sufficient course credits that he/she will be able to graduate within one (1) school year of admission or readmission, with the condition that the admission or readmission of a student who will be twenty (20) shall be limited to admission or readmission to grade twelve (12);

      4. Has not received a high school diploma or its equivalent; and

      5. Is otherwise eligible for enrollment in a public school pursuant to state law and the policies of the School Board and the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

 

    1. Admission of Students with Exceptionalities

      The admission or readmission of a student with an exceptionality shall be subject to federal and state law governing the age of eligibility and a placement for services for students with exceptionalities.

    2. Admission of Expelled Students

      No student who has been expelled in accordance with state law from any public school in the State of Louisiana shall be admitted to any school in the School District except upon review and approval of the School Board.

      No student who has been expelled from any nonpublic school in the State of Louisiana or from any school, public or nonpublic, outside of the State of Louisiana for committing any of the offenses enumerated in state law as grounds for an expulsion shall be admitted to any school in the School District except upon review and approval of the School Board.


    3. Admission of Students who Commit a Felony

      The conviction of any student of a felony or the incarceration of any student in a juvenile institution for an act, whether committed in Louisiana or any other state or country, which had it been committed by an adult would have constituted a felony in Louisiana, may be sufficient cause for the Superintendent to refuse admission of the student to any school in the School District except upon review and approval of a majority of the elected members of the School Board.


    4. Admission of Homeless Students

      Except as provided above with regard to students who have been expelled, no provision in this or any other School Board policy shall be interpreted to impede the immediate or continued enrollment of homeless youth as addressed in policy JBCBB, Homeless Children and Youth.  The Superintendent/designee shall ensure compliance with the requirements of the
      McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, 42 USC 11431, with regard to the registration, admission, and assignment of any child who is homeless, as defined under that federal law.

 

  1. Pre-admission Requirements

    No student shall be granted initial admission to any school in the School District until the following items are presented to the appropriate school official by the parent, legal guardian, other registering adult under specified circumstances, or the student if determined to be an unaccompanied youth:

 

    1. An official birth certificate

      A short-form birth certification card shall be acceptable.  Only records from the local or state registrar of vital statistics shall be accepted for children born in Louisiana, except as otherwise provided herein.  In the event a student presents for admission within fifteen (15) days of or after the first day of class in any given year without a proper birth certificate, the child shall be conditionally admitted but the parent/legal guardian must submit the required certificate as follows:  (a) for a child born in Louisiana, within fifteen (15) days of the date of initial registration; or (b) for a child born outside of Louisiana, within thirty (30) days of the date of initial registration. In cases where birth certificates and/or birth verification forms cannot be obtained, the Superintendent or his/her designee may accept other positive documentary proof of age and parentage that may be available; however, such discretion must be exercised on a case-by-case basis in consideration of special extenuating circumstances.  The Superintendent or his/her designee shall also retain the discretion to consider the circumstances on a case-by-case basis to determine whether or not a student may be permitted to continue in school upon failure to submit the required birth certificate.


    2. Immunization records

      A doctor’s immunization record or other satisfactory evidence of immunity to or immunization against vaccine-preventable diseases according to the age appropriate schedule approved by the Louisiana Office of Public Health, Department of Health and Hospitals shall be acceptable.


    3. Previously Attended School Records

      When a student is transferring from a school outside of the School District, all official school records from the school(s) where the student previously attended must be provided.  The information needed to request and access such records as well as the necessary authorization to obtain and/or access any and all such records must be provided.


    4. Kindergarten Records

      When a student is registering to attend the first grade in the School District but did not attend kindergarten in the School District, acceptable evidence of completion of at least a full-day public or private kindergarten for a full school year must be presented.  Alternatively, before being admitted to the first grade, the student must pass an academic readiness screening administered by the School District at the time of enrollment for the first grade.


    5. Proof of Bona Fide District Residence

      As provided below, acceptable evidence that a student actually resides with his/her parent/legal guardian in the geographical boundaries of the School District must be submitted to determine both bona fide residence for admission to any school in the School District and for assignment to a particular school within the proper attendance zone.  Only the limited circumstances addressed below shall provide exceptions to this requirement.

 

REGISTRATION

 

Each student seeking to attend school in the Bossier School District shall be required to register at the school to which he/she is assigned according to the attendance zone of his/her residence.

 

Beginning with enrollment for the 2019-2020 school year and every year thereafter, all students attending schools in the School District or enrolling for the first time shall be required to submit valid residency verification, as described below, for enrollment and assignment for the 2019-2020 and subsequent school year, as applicable.  Such documentation must be presented to the student’s assigned school at time of registration for the next year.  Each school principal shall be responsible for ensuring that residency verification has been submitted for each student for each school year.

 

All students must provide residency verification every school year subsequent to the initial registration or re-registration in order to continue attending schools in the School District.

 

  1. Registration Procedure

    In order to register a child to attend school in the School District, the parent/legal guardian must complete a registration form, as provided by the School District, and submit the required residency verification documentation, as described below.  No child shall be granted admission in the School District or permitted to attend class, participate in extra-curricular activities (including athletics), or otherwise be supervised in any manner by the School District until the required registration, including valid residency verification, is completed and approved unless otherwise provided in accordance with federal/state law.


  2. Residency and Verification

 

    1. Residency Defined

      A student’s residence shall be the place where he/she lives with his/her parent, legal guardian, or, under certain particular circumstances, with an adult other than his/her parent/legal guardian.  A student shall only have one (1) residence for school admission and assignment purposes.  A student’s residence shall be the place where he/she predominantly takes meals, sleeps, and maintains his/her personal belongings.


    2. Verification Requirements

      The School District shall verify the residency of each student according to the procedures set forth below.

 

      1. First Time or Re-Registration

        Each student entering the School District for the first time or reentering after interrupted attendance shall be required, consistent with paragraphs 3) a, b and c below, to verify his/her residence address as part of the registration process.


      2. Home Visits

        The Director of Student Services/designee shall have the discretion to determine when a home visit may assist in the residency verification or homeless determination process for any student and to conduct such unscheduled home visits as and with the assistance of such employees and/or other personnel he/she may be deemed appropriate.  The failure of a parent, legal guardian, or other adult/person with whom a student is claimed to reside to permit and/or to cooperate with any home visit that may be made by the Director of Student Services and/or his/her designees for purposes of verification of residency or lack thereof may be cause to deny admission, assignment, or transfer, as applicable.


      3. Students Residing with Parent or Legal Guardian

        The parent or legal guardian of a student seeking to be admitted in any School District school must provide a utility bill as described in item a. below and at least one (1) of the items listed under item b. below as verification of their residential address.  Each document must include a physical 911 address and be in the name of the parent/legal guardian.  No document with a post office box as an address shall be accepted.

 

        1. Required:  One (1) current utility bill showing the physical residence address for service at that address (Note: Multiple utility bills shall not be accepted for residency verification; only one (1) utility bill together may be submitted along with another of the listed documents to meet this requirement);

        2. One of the following:

 

          1. Property tax records (but only in conjunction with one (1) other form of verification, as listed here);

          2. Mortgage documents or property deed;

          3. Apartment or home lease or notarized statement of the verified property owner (by submitted property deed or other valid ownership documentation) identifying himself/herself as the property owner, describing the property, the term of lease, and identifying the leaseholder; or

          4. Affidavit and/or personal visit by a designated School District official.

 

        1. Required, where applicable:  In every case where a student is living with a legal guardian, the court decree declaring the School District resident to be the legal guardian of the student must be presented.

 

    1. Students Residing with Adult Other Than Parent/Legal Guardian

      If a student resides with an adult who is not a parent or legal guardian or with a parent/legal guardian in a residence owned/leased by an adult other than the parent/legal guardian, the adult claiming School District residency for purposes of enrolling the student must provide the following to verify the student’s residency:

 

      1. The adult claiming School District residency must meet the criteria of sub-part B.3) above, as required of a parent or legal guardian; and

      2. The adult must  provide a federal court-authorized declaration stating his/her relationship to the student, confirming that the student will be actually residing in his/her home for a period of time encompassing the entire upcoming school year, and fully explaining the reason(s) for the living arrangement.  In order to validate residence with an adult who is not a parent or legal guardian for school admission and assignment purposes, the Superintendent or his/her designee must consider the reasons for such residence arrangement on a case-by-case basis and must determine that the reasons are extraordinary such that they support the exception which allows a residence.  School attendance in the School District or a particular attendance zone shall not be an acceptable reason for validating residence with an adult who is not a parent or legal guardian.

      3. No “custody by mandate” or “provisional custody” shall be acceptable to validate residence with an adult who is not a parent or legal guardian, regardless of any familial relationship.

      4. Custody or legal guardianship orders entered by any court will be valid only for the purpose of determining residency based on the validated residency of the primary parental custodian or legal guardian shall not be valid to assign students to any particular school otherwise.

 

ASSIGNMENT

 

As long as the School Board is subject to compliance with the terms of a desegregation order governing student assignment or, in the event such an order is no longer applicable, until further action by the School Board, the attendance zones approved by the United States District Court in the desegregation case shall be utilized for purposes of student assignment.

 

A student properly determined to be “homeless” under McKinney-Vento shall be assigned in accordance with the provisions of that federal law unless otherwise required by any desegregation order that may be in place.

 

The School Board shall assign each student to the grade-appropriate school within the attendance zone of his/her residence as determined by the residency verification process.  Once the attendance zone of residency is verified, a student may apply for a transfer from the attendance zone of residency to another attendance zone and such transfer request may be granted or denied in accordance with the provisions set out below.

 

TRANSFERS

 

A student’s assigned attendance zone may be changed in only in two (2) circumstances:

 

  1. He/she moves his/her actual residence from one attendance zone to another;

  2. He/she is granted a valid transfer pursuant to the policy below.

 

No transfer shall be permitted other than those approved, according to the provisions herein, by the Director of Student Services/designee.  Transfers can be restricted in the event that cumulative transfers under the options provided are found to be undermining the goals of the desegregation order.

 

The decision of the Director of Student Services/designee to deny a transfer may be appealed to the Superintendent/designee, whose decision shall be final.

 

  1. Transfer Requests

 

    1. Requirements

      Any parent/legal guardian who desires a transfer from one attendance zone to another within the District must comply with the following requirements:

 

      1. Fully complete a transfer request, in writing and on the form provided by the School District;

      2. Provide all of the information and documentation required for the particular type of transfer requested, as detailed below; and

      3. Provide any further information pertaining to the requested transfer as may be requested by the Director of Student Services/designee.

 

    1. Deadline

      The completed transfer request must be submitted to the Director of Student Services/designee by the end of the business day on the first Tuesday of July prior to the academic school year for which the transfer is requested.  An exception to this deadline may apply only if the Director of Student Services/designee determines that the reason for the request did not arise or was not known/could not have been known before the deadline as evidenced by supporting documentation.  Failure to be aware of the deadline shall not be an acceptable reason for extending the deadline.

 

  1. Transfer Request Processing

    The Director of Student Services/designee shall consider all properly submitted transfer requests in order to determine whether the request should be granted or denied.  The Director/designee shall have the discretion to request further information from the parent/legal guardian if such is necessary or would assist in reaching a fair conclusion as to the validity of a transfer request.  Failure of a parent/legal guardian to comply with a request for further information may be grounds to deny a transfer request.  Unless further information/documentation is necessary or in the event of exigent circumstances, the Director/designee will make a determination on the request within five (5) business days of the date the request is received.

    The Director of Student Services/designee shall ensure that proper notice, via the method he/she deems to be most effective, is provided to the parent/legal guardian within a reasonable time following the decision to grant or deny the transfer request.  Such notice shall include whether the transfer was granted or denied and, if denied, the reason for such denial.

  2. Duration of Transfers

    Majority-to-Minority (“M-to-M”) transfers shall continue until the student completes the highest grade offered at the school to which the transfer was granted; no re-application is necessary for the receiving school as long as the student’s residency does not change.  However, if the M-to-M student changes his/her residency during the term of his/her M-to-M transfer, the parent/legal guardian must notify the school principal and, his/her qualification for an M-to-M transfer shall be redetermined based on his/her new residential school zone.  Further, once the M-to-M transfer student completes all grade levels at the receiving school, the student must apply for a new M-to-M transfer if he/she desires to continue his/her education at the next grade-level school in the attendance zone.

    All transfers other than M-to-M transfers shall be granted and valid for one (1) school year only and students must reapply every year by the deadline.  Receiving a transfer for one (1) school year shall not ensure that the same transfer will be granted for subsequent years.

  3. Applicability of All Desegregation Orders

    The School Board shall comply with all provisions related to M-to-M or other transfers which may be included in any of the School District’s desegregation orders relevant to student assignment.

  4. Reasons for Transfer

    Transfers shall be approved only if the student is eligible for one of the following reasons.

 

    1. Majority-to-Minority Transfers

      Majority-to-Minority (“M-to-M”) transfers will be available for any student in grades kindergarten through 12 whose race is in the majority at his/her grade-appropriate school in his/her residential attendance zone school to transfer to a grade-appropriate school in another attendance zone in which school his/her race is in the minority.  Any student meeting this standard shall be granted an M-to-M transfer, regardless of the type of transfer for which application is made.

 

      1. Transportation - The School District shall provide all students granted M-to-M transfers with free transportation to and from school.

      2. Capacity - The School Board will ensure that a space is made available at the school to which a student is granted an M-to-M transfer.  The lack of capacity at a receiving school shall not be justification for denying any M-to-M transfer request.

      3. Home School - The school to which the M-to-M student transfers shall become the student’s home school for all purposes until the student completes all grade levels at the particular school.  The M-to-M transfer may not be revoked due to disciplinary, academic, capacity, or other reasons.

      4. Race Designation - A student who is granted an M-to-M transfer may not obtain a subsequent M-to-M transfer based on a race designation different from that which was provided by self-identification upon original enrollment in the School District or, if no self-identification was made, upon which the initial M-to-M transfer was granted.

      5. Athletic Exception - A student who is granted an M-to-M transfer shall be immediately eligible to participate in athletics.  However, this exception will apply only with an initial M-to-M transfer and not to subsequent M-to-M transfers to another high school or to a return to the school of residence.

 

    1. Child of Employee Transfers

      Regardless of residence within or outside the School District, children of school administrators, teachers, and other faculty members, non-instructional support personnel, and other personnel assigned to a particular school shall be granted a transfer to attend a school within the feeder pattern within which the school to which the parent/legal guardian is assigned.  Transportation will be provided by the parent at no cost to the School District.  This transfer shall not be available for students who are grandchildren or other relatives of employees or for students who live with an employee who is a non-parent/non-legal guardian.

    2. Health of the Student

      A student may be granted a transfer where attendance at his/her residentially assigned school would create a medical hardship.  “Medical hardship” is defined as a severe and/or life threatening medical problem of a student necessitating placement of the student in a particular school for immediate receipt of medical attention.  This type of transfer may be granted subject to the following requirements.

 

      1. The student’s application for such a transfer must include a statement of support signed by at least two (2) non-associated medical doctors or mental health providers, which must provide:

 

        1. A certification of the student’s health condition that meets the definition of a “severe and/or life threatening medical problem;” and

        2. An explanation, in detail, of why attendance at the sending school places the student’s health in jeopardy and why attendance at the requested school is better for the student’s health condition and justifies such placement for immediate receipt of medical attention.

 

      1. At least one (1) of the doctors providing the required supporting statements must be the student’s treating physician.

      2. The Director of Student Services/designee and/or, in the case of a review, the Superintendent/designee may require additional medical information/documentation in the event that he/she finds the information/documentation submitted by the parent/legal guardian/ other registering adult to be incomplete or insufficient.

 

    1. Safety of the Student

      A student may be granted a transfer if his/her safety is in jeopardy if attendance continues at his/her residentially assigned school and intervention is required or for other justifiable reason, subject to the following requirements.

 

      1. A student’s application for such a transfer must include a statement signed by the student’s parent/legal guardian/other registering adult and/or the principal of the sending school which must provide:

 

        1. An explanation of the potential harm to the student in that school;

        2. Any supporting documentation that may be available; and

        3. An explanation of how the transfer will address the student’s specific safety concerns.

 

      1. In the event the reason for this transfer is to avoid young children being alone at home either before or after school, the parent/legal guardian must provide the following in addition to the information required in subpart a above:

 

        1. A federal court declaration signed by the parent/legal guardian verifying the following:

 

          1. The child is in grade K-6;

          2. The parents/legal guardians are both employed full-time, outside of the home, including identification of the place of employment;

          3. the identification of the individual or business providing the before school and/or after school care; and

          4. A detailed explanation of why there is no child tending service or individual available in the residential attendance zone.

 

        1. A federal court declaration signed by the individual or authorized person of the business providing the child tending service verifying the following:

 

          1. The physical address of the location where the service will be provided;

          2. The relationship of the child to the provider and/or the term of service; and

          3. That transportation will be provided to and/or from school.

 

        1. Participation in Y.E.P. cannot qualify as a provider for this transfer.

        2. Also in order to qualify, the physical address of the provider must be within the requested transfer attendance zone.

 

    1. Senior Privilege Transfer

      Any student who has completed his/her junior year at a high school in which he/she was zoned or attending under a valid M-to-M but, as a result of a valid change of residence following the completion of that year, would be otherwise zoned may request a transfer to complete his/her senior year at that school.

    2. Academic Transfer

      Any high school student who desires to enroll in an academic course that is not offered at his/her residentially zoned high school may be granted a transfer to another high school that offers such academic course.

    3. Barksdale Air Force Base Transfer

      A military-dependent student qualified for grades K-12 whose parent or legal guardian (only) is a member of the United States military stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base and who resides with that parent or legal guardian on the military base may elect to attend any grade-appropriate school in the School District.  However, if the military-dependent student chooses to attend a high school other than Bossier High School, a middle school other than Rusheon Middle School, or an elementary school other than Kerr Elementary School or Waller Elementary School, that student must request a transfer in accordance with this policy and, if approved, must provide his/her own transportation.

    4. Extraordinary Hardship Transfer

      A student may be granted a transfer based on an extraordinary hardship arising from a situation that does not fall within any of the student transfer provisions listed above but which warrants the transfer of that student to another school in the School District (including, but not limited to, a natural disaster, incarceration of the parent/legal guardian, severe illness of a parent/legal guardian, domestic abuse in the student’s home, neglect or other child welfare needs), subject to the following requirements.

      The student’s parent/legal guardian/other registering adult and/or appropriate child welfare official may apply for an extraordinary hardship transfer, which application must provide a signed, dated, and notarized statement providing:

 

      1. A detailed explanation of the extraordinary hardship;

      2. Why the hardship requires a transfer from the sending school;

      3. Why the receiving school can best accommodate the exceptional hardship; and

      4. Supporting documentation, if any is reasonably available to the applicant.

 

UNAPPROVED OUT-OF-ZONE ATTENDANCE

 

In the event an employee of the School District has reason to believe that a student is attending school in an attendance zone other than his/her residential or without a valid transfer for the attendance zone, the employee shall provide such information to the school principal and the Director of Student Services/designee, who shall conduct an investigation to determine the proper assignment for the student.  The investigation may include unannounced home visits, interviews, requests for additional documentation, and/or other steps as may be appropriate under the circumstances.  Failure of the parent/legal guardian/other adult with whom the student may be residing to cooperate in such investigation may result in an adverse decision regarding residency.

 

If it is determined that a student is not attending school in the proper attendance zone, Director of Student Services/designee shall issue such notices and take such steps as necessary to withdraw the student from the improper attendance zone and, if attendance is proper at another school in the School District, to enroll the student in the proper attendance zone.

 

FALSIFICATION OF DOCUMENTS OR OTHER MISREPRESENTATION OF RESIDENCY

 

As long as the School District is subject to compliance with the terms of a desegregation order governing student assignment, a person shall be subject to penalties for perjury or for making a false statement in a federal legal proceeding if he/she presents or participates in the presentation and/or processing of any document that is falsified or fraudulent or in making other false representations for the purpose of having a student assigned to a school to which the student is not zoned to attend under the provisions of this policy.

 

Regardless of whether a desegregation order is applicable to student assignment, falsification of any documents or presentation of false information for the purpose of obtaining a student’s admission, assignment, or transfer to/in the School District shall be grounds for rejecting admission, assignment, or transfer without further consideration.  The Superintendent or his/her designee shall have the discretion to make such determination, which shall be final.

 

The Superintendent/designee shall ensure that notice of this provision is published to all School District employees and the public in the manner he/she deems most effective and efficient to make this provision known to all persons who may be affected by it.

 

EFFECT OF PROVISIONS

 

This policy implements certain remedial measures designed to assist in meeting desegregation obligations in accordance with the orders entered in Lemon v. Bossier Parish School Board, Civil Action No. 64-10687 (W.D.La.); therefore, as long as the applicable desegregation obligations remain in effect and unless an order of the desegregation court provides otherwise, the provisions of this policy shall supersede any other student admission, assignment, transfer, or related requirements in conflict with these provisions whether under federal or state laws or other School Board policies.

 

Revised:  December 18, 2014

Revised:  February 2, 2017

Revised:  February 7, 2019

 

 

Ref:    42 USC 11431 (Education for Homeless Children)

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§17:151.3, 17:167, 17:221, 17:221.2, 17:222, 17:235.1, 17:238, 17:416, 17:3914

Singleton v. Jackson Municipal Separate School District, 419 F. 2d 1211 (5th Cir., 1970)

Louisiana Handbook for School Administrators, Bulletin 741, Louisiana Department of Education

Board minutes, 12-18-14, 2-2-17, 2-7-19

 

Bossier Parish School Board