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School district scales back spots for nonresident students

West Linn-Wilsonville schools scaled back its original number of out-of-district students that it will accept under the new House Bill 3681, which required school boards across the state to make a specific decision by March 1 about space available for nonresidents. Originally, the board approved 255 slots for nonresident students in addition to the nonresidents who already attend its schools. But after hearing what neighboring districts were doing, it held a special session to change the number to only 180 slots.

The slots will be: 50 in grades K-1, 50 in grades 2-5, 30 at the middle schools and 50 between West Linn and Wilsonville high schools. The number at the K-1 level stayed the same, while the other three grade levels were changed.

'We were watching what other districts did,' said Deputy Superintendent Jane Stickney.

When other area districts opened a lower than expected number of slots, 'our risk went down,' said Stickney.

Lake Oswego opened 28 slots at Lakeridge High School for out-of-district students who will be freshman next year and live just south of the district in the Stafford Triangle or in the north part of West Linn. Canby is opening only to students who live within 10 miles of its schools, which means some Wilsonville students could apply.

Oregon City will be opening to a maximum of 225 students, Tigard-Tualatin will hold 81 spots, and Sherwood is opening 85 spots -- all in specific grade levels and schools. Gladstone opened broadly ready to add up to 398 more students to its 1,980 enrollment.

Estacada and North Clackamas will remain closed for next year.

The WL-WV district will maintain its earlier decision not accept any nonresident students at Lowrie Primary, Trillium Creek Primary, Arts and Technology High School, in the language immersion program or in grades 10 and 11.

School districts can repeat the process each year, selecting a different number of slots. Outside of that window, WL-WV will adhere to its current policy for accepting nonresident transfers.Within the HB 3681 window, nonresidents will have until April 1 to apply for transfer into the district. If there are excess applicants, then there will be a lottery. After that the district will see if it can accommodate families' preferred school choice. If there are too many applicants at a school, then there will be a continued lotteries until a match is found.

Then, all school districts must notify the students' old districts of the transfer by May 1.

Under HB 3681, the state will transfer the funding to the student's new district without needing a release from the home district. The state spends about $6,000 per student. Currently, if students want to attend another district, they must get the permission of their resident district or pay tuition.




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