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Board approves 10 open enrollment slots at LOHS

There also will be unlimited enrollment in some grades at Lakeridge High and in all grades at Lakeridge Junior High

WENDLANDAfter a discussion about transparency, the Lake Oswego School Board voted 4-1 on Monday to approve its open enrollment policy for the 2017-18 school year.

The board agreed to allow 10 open enrollment slots at Lake Oswego High School in grade 9, unlimited open enrollment slots in grades 9-10 at Lakeridge High and unlimited slots in all grades at Lakeridge Junior High.

Every year, the board votes on how many open enrollment slots to allow and at which schools, and whether to permit tuition students and inter-district transfers. Each spring through open enrollment, a student can apply to move within the district or to another district without paying tuition.

Board member John Wendland cast the lone "no" vote, saying he felt the decision was too far away from the open enrollment spring sign-up period and that it wasn’t enough to have discussion about the issue at a meeting this week and last week.

“I’m uncomfortable with it,” Wendland said. “I had a couple of people tell me, ‘You guys are trying to sneak things through, and you’re not being very open and transparent.’”

School board Chairwoman Sarah Howell said the timing of the vote has more to do with providing more lead time for families with potential students.

“I do support having an early decision, because I do think it allows for more time for planning,” Howell said.

The board also decided to accept some inter-district transfers, which require approval from both the resident district and the receiving district. If a resident school denies the application, the student would need to pay tuition to shift to the other district. Although amounts vary based on need, the state generally offers districts about $7,000 per student, and tuition-paying students pay the same amount.

School board member John Wallin submitted a written motion to fellow board members, which they also approved. It included accepting tuition students at all junior high and high schools, but not elementary schools; and accepting inter-district transfers at Lakeridge High and LOHS.

The board limits open enrollment slots at LOHS because of a desire to bring total enrollment numbers at the district's two high schools closer together. In May, Lakeridge High had 1,128 students, while 1,298 attended LOHS. The board decided not to offer open enrollment at LOHS for the 2016-17 year, but 25 slots were opened the year before, 18 of which were filled.

For more information, visit tinyurl.com/LOSDenroll.

By Jillian Daley
503-636-1281, ext. 109
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