Administrative Rules and Procedures to Implement Policy 502.03

Enrollment Option Program Timeline

September 1
Begin accepting applications

On or before March 1
Board adopts capacity standards for the acceptance or rejection of applicants

March 15
Application period ends.

Prior to April 1
Board acts to accept or reject each application

Prior to April 1
Elkhorn Public Schools notifies resident districts of names of applicants

Prior to April 1
Elkhorn Public Schools notifies by certified mail the non-resident applicant, resident school district, and the State Department of Education of approval or denial of application to attend Elkhorn Public Schools

First School Day
Approved option students attend Elkhorn Public Schools.

Adopted: October 12, 1992
Revised: November 15, 1993
Revised: December 11, 1995
Revised: September 12, 1996
Revised: April 10, 2006
Revised: March 8. 2010

 

Enrollment Option Program

COMPLIANCE

The Enrollment Option Program shall be operated according to the State statutes and rules for the Option Enrollment Program.

TERMS DEFINED

As defined in the statute, “an option school district shall mean a public school district that a student chooses to attend other than his or her resident school district. An option student shall mean a student that has chosen to attend an option school district. Option enrollment applies to students who request movement into the district from outside the Douglas/Sarpy Learning Community, or to students requesting movement to a district outside the Learning Community. A resident district shall mean the public school district in which a student resides or the school district in which the student is admitted as a resident of the school district pursuant to State statute.

CAPACITY

The Board of Education will determine and set, on or before March 1, the maximum number of open and option enrollment capacity for the district. The criteria to determine “capacity” of a building, class, program or grade level may include available personnel; grade level enrollment projections; housing construction projections; educational program capacity; instructional methods; physical space, equipment and materials available; existing contractual arrangements; and the district’s stated instruction and curriculum goals. The Board of Education may by resolution declare a program, a class, or a school unavailable to option students due to lack of capacity. The district shall not be required to hire additional staff in order to accommodate Option Enrollment students. The determination and declaration made for any school year shall continue for the next and subsequent school years unless otherwise determined and/or declared.

STANDARDS FOR APPLICATION

The Enrollment Option Program in the Elkhorn Public Schools will be available to students regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, marital status, or age, except for those restrictions regarding age prescribed in statute. Enrollment option in the Elkhorn Public Schools is not available to students who reside in districts within the Douglas/Sarpy County Learning Community, or who reside in districts within the learning community, or students who contract with, or have contracted the last two years with, Elkhorn Public Schools in such student’s grade level. Enrollment option shall be available only once to each student prior to graduation unless the student relocates in a different resident school district.

For a student to attend Elkhorn Public Schools as an option enrollment student, the student’s parent or legal guardian must submit an application to the Elkhorn Public Schools Board of Education between September 1 and March 15 for enrollment during the following and subsequent school years (the “application period”). In the event a student relocates from the Elkhorn Public Schools to a school district outside the learning community and wishes to attend the Elkhorn Public Schools as an option student, the application period is within thirty (30) days after the relocation.

Standards shall not include previous academic achievement, athletic, or other extracurricular ability, handicapping conditions, proficiency in the English language, or previous disciplinary proceedings except as provided in Ne. Rev. Stat 79-266.01. The Elkhorn Public Schools may refuse to accept the application of a student who is, at the time of application, suspended or expelled from the student’s resident school district. The application may be resubmitted at such time as the student is reinstated in the educational program of the resident district.

APPLICATION

For a student to attend an option school district, the student, parent or legal guardian shall submit an application to the option school district between September 1 and March 15 for enrollment during the following and subsequent years. The filing deadline of March 15 will not be waived for students applying to opt into the district. After March 15, applications for opting out of the district must be accompanied by a written release (deadline waiver) from the resident district. In the event the Elkhorn Public Schools merges with another school district and a student wishes to attend Elkhorn Public Schools as a an option student, the application period is within thirty (30) days after the effective date of the merger.

Application forms shall be those prescribed by the Nebraska Department of Education. These may be obtained from the Department of Education or from the Superintendent’s Office, 20650 Glenn Street, Elkhorn, NE 68022, (402) 289-2579. A parent or guardian may provide information on the application regarding the applicant’s potential qualification for free or reduced-price lunches. Any such information provided shall be subject to verification and shall be used only for the purposes of open/option enrollment selection priority as a student who contributes to the socioeconomic diversity of enrollment. A parent or guardian is not required to provide such information. Determinations about an applicant’s qualification for free or reduced-price lunches for purposes of open/option enrollment selection priority as a student who contributes to the socioeconomic diversity of enrollment shall be based on the application. If no such information is provided, the student shall be presumed not to qualify for free or reduced-price lunches for the purposes of open enrollment selection priority as a student who contributes to the socioeconomic diversity of enrollment.

Application forms must be completed in total. A particular school may be requested, but the school assignment and/or class schedule of the option student shall be determined by the Elkhorn Public Schools.

Applications will be accepted for the immediate following year only. The Elkhorn Public Schools Board of Education shall act to accept or reject each application.

By April 1, the Elkhorn Public Schools will notify by certified mail the non-resident applicant, resident school district, and the State Department of Education of approval or denial of application to attend Elkhorn Public Schools.

PUBLICITY

The Elkhorn Public Schools shall make information about the school district and its schools, programs, policies and procedures available to all interested people, who may obtain such information by contacting the Elkhorn Public School District Office, 20650 Glenn Street, Elkhorn, NE 68022, and (402) 289-2579.

PRIORITY FOR ENROLLMENT

The selection priority for option enrollment shall be based on grade level capacity determinations and according to the following selection priorities. Priority shall be accorded in the following order: (1) first, to those applications required to be given priority by law (i.e. open enrollment applications), selection shall be on a random basis; (2) second, to students who reside outside the Douglas/Sarpy County Learning Community and who contribute to the socioeconomic diversity of the enrollment of the district or requested building, selection shall be on a random basis; and (3) third, to students who reside outside the Douglas/Sarpy County Learning Community do not contribute to the socioeconomic diversity of the enrollment of the district or requested building, selection shall be on a random basis. The Superintendent determines the process for random basis selection.

REASONS FOR REJECTION OF APPLICATION

1. Capacity: An option enrollment application shall be rejected in the event the capacity of a program, class, grade level, school building or the availability of appropriate special education programs operated by the Elkhorn Public Schools would be exceeded by acceptance of the application, and an option enrollment application shall be rejected in the event the application is for enrollment in a program, class, grade level, or school building which has been declared unavailable to option students due to lack of capacity.

2. Timeliness: An option enrollment application shall be rejected in the event the application is not filed on a timely basis and the filing deadline has not been waived.

3. Previous Option Enrollment: An option enrollment application shall be rejected in the event the student has previously filed an option enrollment application for enrollment in any school district and has had such application accepted, unless a statutory exception to the “one-time” rule is applicable to the student’s circumstances.

4. Other Reasons: An option enrollment application may be rejected in the event the Superintendent or the School Board determines: The application is not submitted on a form prescribed by the State Department of Education, is not completely and accurately filled in, is not received within the time required by law, or any additional information requested to be supplied is not supplied to the District within the time lines indicated; or in the event acceptance of the application is not required and/or is prohibited by law. Matters which are legally prohibited from being considered as standards for acceptance or rejection of applications (including “previous academic achievement, athletic or extracurricular ability, disabilities, proficiency in English language, or previous disciplinary proceedings” and further including, without limitation, race, ethnicity, sex, or marital status) shall not be considered as a reason for acceptance or rejection.

NOTIFICATION OF ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION

In the case of an application to option enroll into the Elkhorn Public Schools, the Superintendent shall notify, in writing, the parent or legal guardian of the student, the resident school district, and the State Department of Education whether the application is accepted or rejected on or before April 1 or, in the case of an application submitted after March 15, within sixty (60) days after submission.

If an option enrollment application or a request for release is rejected by the Elkhorn Public School District, the Superintendent shall provide written notification to the parent or guardian stating the reasons for the rejection and the process for appealing such rejection to the State Board of Education within thirty (30) days after the date the notification was sent. Such notification shall be sent by certified mail.

REQUEST FOR RELEASE

A request for release of a resident student of the Elkhorn Public School District who submits an enrollment option application after March 15 or any other statutory deadline will be granted unless the release shall not be granted if the administration is considering or has recommended expulsion of the student at the time the application is filed, and the administration determines it is appropriate to complete the expulsion process.

DUTIES TO STUDENTS

Option students, once accepted, shall be treated as resident students by the Elkhorn Public Schools in all matters except transportation. Accepted option students shall be required to provide such enrollment information and documentation as is required for enrollment of other students (e.g. certified birth certificate and evidence of physical examination, visual evaluation and immunization), shall be required to be enrolled on a full-time basis, and shall be required to adhere to student conduct rules. The building assignment for an option student, as well as classroom and grade level assignments, shall be determined by the administration.

TRANSPORTATION

According to statute, the parents or legal guardians of the option student participating in the Enrollment Option Program shall be responsible for required transportation except as noted below.

For parents of students with disabilities who option enroll in another district, and when this student’s current Individualized Educational Plan requires the Elkhorn Public Schools to make available transportation services, the Elkhorn Public Schools will reimburse the parents or legal guardians at the state approved rate.

Parents or legal guardians of option students who qualify for free lunches may apply to the Elkhorn Public Schools for the mileage reimbursement prescribed in Neb. Rev. Stat. 79-241. The Elkhorn Public Schools will provide these parents information and forms for this purpose.

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

Enrollment option applications submitted by parents or legal guardians of students with disabilities will not be considered for approval until the availability of an appropriate special education program within the Elkhorn Public Schools can be documented. If the appropriateness of the program is in question, the student will remain enrolled in the program of the resident district until a final determination is made. A student with disabilities that is receiving services from the Elkhorn Public Schools pursuant to a contract due to the lack of an appropriate program in his or her resident school district shall not be eligible to participate in the Elkhorn Public Schools Enrollment Option Program.

The initial application shall constitute consent for the resident school district to release student records information regarding special education services to the option school district. Within fifteen (15) calendar days of the receipt of request for records the Elkhorn Public Schools will provide the option school district the appropriate records.

LENGTH OF ATTENDANCE AT AN OPTION SCHOOL DISTRICT

If accepted, the student shall attend the Elkhorn Public Schools until graduation unless the student relocates in a different resident school district, transfers to a private or parochial school, or chooses to return to the resident school district. In each case of cancellation of option enrollment, the student’s parents shall provide written notification to the school board of the option school district, the resident school district and the Department of Education on forms prescribed and furnished by the Nebraska Department of Education in advance. The application and cancellation forms shall be prescribed and furnished by the State Department of Education. An option student who subsequently chooses to attend a private or parochial school shall be automatically accepted to return to either the resident school district or option school district upon the completion of the grade levels offered at the private or parochial school. If such student chooses to return to the option school district, the student’s parent or legal guardian shall submit another application to the school board of the option school district, which shall be automatically accepted, and the prescribed deadlines prescribed in this section shall be waived.

SIBLINGS OF OPTION STUDENTS

The sibling of any option student accepted in the Elkhorn Public Schools must option into the Elkhorn Public Schools based on their own status and subject to approved building capacity limitations and selection priorities. There is no automatic option for siblings of option students.

AUTOMATIC OPTIONS

State law requires the automatic option of students who move out of the Elkhorn Public Schools to another Nebraska district outside the Douglas/Sarpy County Learning Community and who want to continue attending in the Elkhorn Public Schools. This provision applies only to students who have attended the Elkhorn Public Schools for a minimum of two years. Also, students who are residents of another Nebraska district who are option students in the Elkhorn Public Schools and who move to another Nebraska district and want to continue attending the Elkhorn Public Schools are automatically accepted. The deadlines in both of the automatic option situations are waived.

CREDITS AND GRADUATION

Elkhorn Public Schools will accept credits toward graduation that were awarded by another accredited school district. The district will award a diploma to an option student if the student meets district graduation requirements.

APPEAL PROCEDURE

The parent or legal guardian may appeal a rejection, by certified mail, to the State Board of Education within thirty days of the date the notification of the rejection was sent.

Legal Reference:
Neb. Rev. Stat. 79-232 to 79-246

Adopted: October 12, 1992
Revised: November 15, 1993
Revised: December 11, 1995
Revised: September 12, 1996
Revised: April 10, 2006
Revised: March 8, 2010