School transfers explained

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 23, 2014

Whether it’s because of a move or a student wants to study a specific subject, anywhere from 300 to 500 Rowan-Salisbury students request to transfer schools each year.
The purpose of the transfer process is simply “to give parents a choice,” said Rowan-Salisbury Assistant Superintendent of Administration Nathan Currie.
Transfers happen for a variety of reasons, including moves, academic or physical needs, availability of childcare and special course offerings.
From March 3 to April 30, students were able to request general transfers and academy transfers. Students have until July 1 to request school choice transfers.
Transfer applications can be found at all school locations, the district’s Long Street and Ellis Street offices and online. Once completed, they can be had delivered or mailed to any of those locations.
Unlike the past, there will be no emergency window. Applications must be submitted during the spring transfer window.
“There’s no bad choice of a school in this district at all,” said Rowan-Salisbury Student Assignment Specialist Terri Stevenson.
She added that oftentimes, “transfers arise out of need.”
There are six reasons a student can request a transfer.
When a student’s family moves within the school district during the school year, the student may request to finish out the school year at the same school. If they wish to attend that school the following year, they must apply again.
If a student can’t take the classes they need at their assigned school, they can request a transfer to a school that offers the appropriate curriculum.
The district may choose to reassign or transfer students in order to better use or operate schools in the district. This could happen if a school becomes unusable due to damage induced by inclement weather.
Students with special needs may transfer to a different school in order to receive the physical, emotional and educational assistance they need.
Likewise, students can request a transfer based upon a health problems, as long as they provide a written statement from a doctor explaining why it would be advantageous for a student to transfer.
Students may also request a transfer due to extreme or unusual circumstances that cause hardship that would affect the child’s performance at school.
These transfers are only good for one academic year, and families must provide their own transportation. These students must wait 365 days before joining any athletic team.
Transfer applications are considered on a case-by-case basis.
“Each application is looked at individually,” Stevenson said, adding, “not all the transfers might be approved.”
If a student’s transfer is denied, the parent can appeal the decision by submitting a short, clear explanation to Stevenson along with documentation for the request within five business days of the denial. Within 10 days, Stevenson will review the case and make a final decision.
Handling transfers is a time consuming and tedious process. The student assignment specialist position was created seven or eight years ago “as a result of the massive amount of students” the district serves, Currie said.
Stevenson took on the role May 1. A product of the Rowan-Salisbury School System, she has an “extensive amount of experience dealing with students,” he said.