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Approved plan would allow students to go to school closer to home

By Staff | Nov 22, 2011

The Lee County School Board approved a revision to the student assignment plan that includes two large new concepts – proximity preference 2 and the implementation of a parental involvement index.

Proximity preference 2 (P2), which will be implemented during the 2012-2013 school year for kindergarten through 8th grade students, “provides a second level of proximity preference from the end of the proximity one area reaching up to approximately five miles. Students residing in this zone will be provided a preference in the lottery for schools that fall within that distance from their permanent residence.”

P2 will provide elementary and middle school students with the ability to attend schools closer to their homes for transportation purposes.

Board member Thomas Scott said he supports the revised student assignment plan because he supports neighborhood schools particularly at the elementary level. He said it is important to give parents an opportunity to look at schools closer to home.

Scott said he looks forward to seeing what the data will tell them to see how many parents are taking advantage of P2.

The district also hopes to implement an index by the 2013-2014 school year for the other new concept, parental involvement. This concept will allow the district the opportunity to study any additional assignment preference based upon a parent involvement index.

Board member Jeanne Dozier said she believes the parents have been surveyed and they indicated what they wanted in terms to student assignment.

“I would like to make sure that we keep accurate data to see how many people are actually utilizing these new changes,” she said.

Other areas that were affected include application preferences for middle school students who are applying to specific high schools.

The new verbiage addresses those students who are enrolled in middle school Career and Professional Education Academies beginning during the 2012-2013 school year. Those students will have the opportunity to attend the high school with the appropriate programs in their zone.

The policy states that “if they participate in the first application period, select that school as their first choice and are recognized by their middle school as successful candidates for industry certification.”

The last portion of the new student assignment policy includes those students who attend magnet schools. If the status of a magnet school changes, the preference for the student will be taken away. This rule applies only to incoming kindergarten students.

In other news, Mary Fischer was selected as the new board chairman, replacing Scott and Jeanne Dozier was selected as the vice chairman replacing Fischer.