Open enrollment rules are likely to be tweaked
The Reynoldsburg Board of Education is discussing changes in the district's open enrollment policy to clarify the application process.
Board members discussed the policy at their meeting on Nov. 20 and plan to continue the discussion at their Dec. 18 meeting, which will start at 7:30 p.m. at Reynoldsburg City Hall, 7232 E. Main St.
"Minor changes in the policy language were recommended to reflect what we've learned from the application process this year and for clarity," said Tricia Moore, district director of partnerships and shared services. "Further evaluation of open enrollment, in terms of student performance, attendance and discipline, will be presented after the semester and at the end of the school year."
Moore said the June 7 deadline for open enrollment applications would be changed to June 21 to give families an additional two weeks to apply.
"All applicants who apply by June 21 will be notified by July 12 on their acceptance or denial," she said. "Applications denied for capacity reasons only and applications that are submitted after June 21 may be accepted later, if space becomes available."
A number of Reynoldsburg residents opposed open enrollment before the board approved the policy on May 15. They created a Facebook group called Reynoldsburg Taxpayers Against Open Enrollment and have continued to maintain it, discussing Reynoldsburg school and city issues.
The group was created by resident Michelle Richards and now has 391 members.
Richards said she and other residents were concerned that opening the school district to students from outside the district would lower property values and crowd classrooms.
District Treasurer Tammy Miller said open enrollment could generate more than $786,000 in revenue for the district.
According to an update at the end of August, the district received a total of 245 applications for this school year and approved 187 placements. Most were from Columbus City Schools.
Twenty-two of the 187 were children of staff members who attended school in the district last year; 10 were children of new staff members; 90 were students who applied by the deadline and were accepted; 25 were students who applied after the deadline, were placed on a waiting list and accepted; and 40 were students who attended Reynoldsburg schools last year but had moved over the summer and wanted to continue to attend.
The proposed new policy also gives the superintendent the power to accept applications after the deadline from resident students who move away from Reynoldsburg during the school year and wish to continue attending Reynoldsburg schools, Moore said.