07/12/13 During a regular meeting on July 9, the Plymouth School Board heard the first reading of a revised transfer student policy. Superintendent Daniel Tyree told the Board that the 2013 Indiana state legislature changed laws concerning transfer students. He said, “Because of this, we will ask the Board to look at the Policy and Guideline changes for this year.”
The policy being considered outlines the procedures for requesting an out-of-district transfer including details for the reasons for wanting a student to attend the Plymouth Schools. The parents, guardians or custodians of the students must agree to provide transportation. There is also wording in the proposed policy that states capacity limits that are set by the Board will be considered as to whether a student will be admitted or a random drawing done in terms of the capacity to determine who will be accepted.
As transfers are granted for educational purposes, wording in the proposed policy states that no transfer shall be allowed for primarily athletic reasons.
Tyree said, “In the past, schools could turn down special education students. This is not what Plymouth has ever done.” He added to his comments saying, “Some schools have the reputation for “cherry picking”.
The superintendent can deny a transfer request based on whether the student has been “suspended or expelled for more than 10 days in the 12 months preceding the request; suspended or expelled for possessing a firearm, deadly weapon, or destructive devise in the preceding 12 months; suspended or expelled for causing physical injury to a student, school employee, or visitor in the school; or suspended or expelled for violating a drug or alcohol rule”.
The policy is set for second reading at the next regularly Board meeting in August.
The capacity limits established by the Board for the 2013-2014 school year are as follows: Kindergarten, 325 students; Grades 1-2, 325 students per grade; Grades 3-4, 325 students per grade; Grades 5-8, 325 students per grade; and Grades 9-12, unlimited. Deadline of acceptance of students during the 2013-2014 school year would be June 4, 2014.
Board Attorney Jeff Houin explained that there is not an appeal process for denials, but that requests can be submitted or resubmitted until the end of the school year.
Capacity limits will be revisited each school year.
Board members present approved the selection of the Pilot News for legal advertising; approved publication of the annual financial report; approved permission for the publication of notice of project hearing; and approved the Blueberry Festival agreement concerning parking at Plymouth High School and Riverside Intermediate School.
Board Vice-President Larry Holloway was absent from the meeting.
The Board voted unanimously to appoint Gary Cook as the Board representative on the Safety Committee. Several members of the Board stated that Cook’s background in law enforcement would be a valuable asset to the committee.
Superintendent Daniel Tyree praised Dave Schoof, director of maintenance, for his dedication. Tyree said Schoof is currently overseeing all of the regular summer maintenance; renovations to the Service Center; renovation projects at PHS, Lincoln Junior High, and Riverside Intermediate; and asbestos related project at Jefferson Elementary.
Carol Anders Correspondent