Keller ISD simplifies transfer process

03/12/2014 1:35 PM

03/12/2014 1:36 PM

Keller district officials are making the transfer request process more user friendly to benefit students and their families.

Administrators have eliminated the $75 transfer fee and no longer designate campuses as open or closed to transfers, or even “at capacity.”

“We’re in a period where we’re facing a lot of competition,” said Superintendent Randy Reid. “We want our families to feel like they have choices within our system.”

Transfers may still be denied based on a lack of space in a school, but officials will look at each request on an individual basis instead of declaring some campuses off limits. Students must continue to maintain satisfactory attendance and behavior to remain as a transfer at a school.

For the current school year, 20 schools were deemed “at capacity” and 19 “below capacity.” In 2012-13, 22 campuses were closed to transfers. Fossil Ridge High School was the only high school open to transfers for the last few years.

Families with approved transfers may pay a small fee of a few dollars for the cost of online registration. A new automated process makes the system less of a burden to support staff members, said Dustin Blank, executive director of leadership.

Reid said the old $75 fee raised less than $5,000 for the district.

“That’s not much compared to making it more user friendly,” Reid said.

District administrators received about 300 transfer requests for 2013-14 and approved 271.

In an environment where traditional public schools face competition from charter schools, private schools, surrounding districts with open enrollment and cooperative/home schooling, districts need to focus more on serving the community, Reid said.

Keller district officials also have opened up more slots at the four high schools for foreign exchange students. Administrators will request a waiver from the Texas Education Agency to cap the number of foreign exchange students to five per high school.

For 2013-14, every high school has between two and five foreign exchange students; five were allowed at Fossil Ridge and two each at Central, Keller and Timber Creek. Allowing the students on every campus represented a change from the previous decade when no foreign exchange students were allowed on campuses closed to transfers.

Administrators presented the new information on transfers and foreign exchange students at the Feb. 20 board meeting.

For more information on transfer requests, go to kellerisd.net, click on the “Students & Families” link, then “Need to Know,” and, finally, “Student Transfers.”

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