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Enrollment policy to be topic at upcoming school board meetings

The Lake Oswego School Board will soon make decisions about who can enroll in Lake Oswego schools next year.

Interdistrict transfer

It is district policy that families residing outside LOSD boundaries who wish to enroll a student in LOSD but do not have an approved interdistrict transfer agreement from their resident school district may request to pay tuition. Students who are residents of the city of Lake Oswego but are not residents of the district pay half the tuition amount.

The board voted in October to increase the district’s 2013-14 tuition rate from $6,500 to $7,000 for grades one through 12 and from $3,250 to $3,500 for kindergarten. Monthly fees for enrollment in the district’s full-day kindergarten program will be $375, an increase of $25 per month over the previous $350 monthly full-day kindergarten fee in addition to a continued nonrefundable deposit rate of $125.

The board will discuss the matter at meeting Jan. 14, the board is expected to vote on guidelines at a meeting Jan. 28, for transfer students whose resident high school has lower enrollment than their non-resident high school. Both meetings will be held at 6 p.m. at the LOSD administration building, located at 2455 Country Club Road.

Open enrollment

Under House Bill 3681, Oregon’s open enrollment law that went into effect last year, a school district may choose to accept transfer students without first receiving approval from the student’s home district after annually determining the number of open enrollment slots that will be available for the following school year. Students accepted via open enrollment are then considered resident students and the district receives the state funding allocated to each student.

Last year, the Lake Oswego School Board voted to:

• Open enrollment slots for all current students in grades K-11 who were enrolled in any LOSD school via interdistrict transfer or tuition as of March 1, 2012.

• Offer 20 open enrollment slots at the high school level for students in grades 9-12 who were residents of the city of Lake Oswego but not residents of LOSD, giving priority to applying students with high school-age siblings already enrolled in LOSD schools or with a sibling already accepted for open enrollment via lottery.

• Limit open enrollment to a portion of the West Linn-Wilsonville School District north of Mary S. Young Park, north and west of Hidden Springs, Wisteria and Woodbine roads, north of Stafford Hill Drive and north of TS1/TS2 boundary line.

• Maintain the district’s existing high school interdistrict transfer agreement with the Riverdale School District, generally 1-for-1.

• Continue to consider students for enrollment through existing interdistrict transfer and tuition application practices.

At its meeting Monday, the board is expected to make decisions regarding open enrollment opportunities for the coming school year, voting on a proposal to:

• Consider broader areas for open enrollment within the West Linn-Wilsonville SD and a more extended area within the Portland School District north of Lake Oswego, designating enrollment slots in these areas solely for Lakeridge Junior High or Lakeridge High School for students in grades 6-12.

• Revisit the district’s reciprocal transfer agreement with Riverdale SD to consider directing Riverdale transfers to the district’s lower enrollment secondary school.

• Give students in grades 6-12 who are residents of the city of Lake Oswego but are not residents of the LOSD the option of enrolling in any district secondary school.

• Also allow tuition students to enroll in schools where space is available in order for the district to continue to benefit from the district-wide economic advantage of tuition students, while open enrollment students would be invited in greater numbers.

Superintendent Bill Korach and members of the school board have characterized last year’s open enrollment policy as highly conservative.

With the proposal on the table for the coming year, “We’re considering being a little bit more strategically open,” said school board Chairman John Wendland. “The West Linn area … they opened up ... their borders to us ..., so it’s sort of a mitigating strategy to make sure that they don’t take a bunch of our kids.

"The other areas under consideration is that Portland area ... that’s kind of next to Lake Oswego, up by Jackson Middle School. We’ve had a lot of interest with people coming up to the high school and junior high, it's got a great elementary."

But, he added, “It’s still conservative.”



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