HPISD Trustees Revise District Transfers Policy

The Highland Park ISD board of trustees Dec. 10 approved a policy revision clarifying language regarding transfers within the district and specifying the circumstances under which they’d consider such transfers.

Specifically, the revision amended the previous policy to say that all intradistrict transfers ‘shall be limited to,’ rather than suspended with, the following exceptions: students who are victims of bullying, students who require special program placement that’s only offered at a specific elementary campus, students approved for voluntary intradstrict transfers two years in a row, students who are involuntary transfers (transfers required by administration to attend a school other than the one closest to them for reasons like space) to a non-attendance zone campus can choose to stay at the same campus, or students with other compelling circumstances.

“The reason for (changing the language from ‘suspended with’ to ‘limited to’) is simply to clarify that there’s never been an intention to suspend any appeals process at all,” Superintendent Tom Trigg said. “It’s not the entire policy that’s been suspended, we’re simply limiting the types of appeals.”

Parents can file a request with the principal of the elementary school serving the attendance area based on where the student lives, according to the policy. Transfer requests are approved or denied by the originating principal, the receiving principal, and the student and administrative services director, who consider factors like class size when making their decisions. The superintendent is also authorized to investigate and approve transfers.

Officials plan to offer an early decision transfer request application window and process for the 2020-2021 school year, the first year the new boundaries will be in effect. Applications received during the designated time period will be submitted to the student services office, and a district committee will consider and respond to the requests.

Trigg said in a November work session that district officials were considering asking for forms for transfer requests related to boundary decisions by Jan. 24 to allow them to make staffing decisions.

Students currently enrolled in the third grade will have the option of attending their current school or the new school to which they’re zoned after the board approved the boundary committee’s recommended plan at the Oct. 15 meeting.

He said Dec. 10 that officials aren’t recommending additional grandfathering.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at [email protected]

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