DCSS posts school choice list - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

DCSS posts school choice list

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Fourteen Dougherty County Schools are on the parent choice list released  by the school system.

Georgia schools systems must post a list of schools with eligible space to accept transfer students under the state's new choice transfer law. But there are some things parents need to know before signing their children up.

For parents who think Northside Elementary is a good fit for their kid, but they live in a different zone, now under this new parent choice program students in grades first, second and fifth can apply to transfer, but getting in the classroom may not be as easy as it sounds.

"A lot of stuff they don't keep the parents informed like they us to, but something like that I've never heard of they should have been doing that to let parents know thy do have that possibility," said Dougherty County Parent Sophia Mars. 

Fourteen of the system's 26 schools have space available but not in every grade. Parents wishing to change their child's school would be responsible for their child's transportation and special needs students must go where the programs are and if a high school student transfers they must surrender a year's varsity eligibility.

"If you transfer they don't want systems to be able to build up one school to dominant a sport in athletics," said DCSS Public Information Officer R. D. Harter. 

In recent years Dougherty County's School Board had enacted a mobility program to try to cut down on the number of transient students and will be watching closely to see how this new program might affect the mobility program's success.

"This program has successfully reduced our students being retained in the lower grades and has helped our student achievement in the lower grades measurably," said Harter.

While some parents say they're pleased where their kids are, they're glad to know if a problem arises, they now have an option.

"I'm happy where they're going, but if I was to try and find a better school for my kids to go to I would probably try and take advantage of moving my kids to another school," said Mars.

 The state mandates schools give parents 14 days to enroll their students in the program, but in Dougherty County they've extended the enrollment period through the 21st of July. School officials say this is a one time move and if parents aren't happy with the decision they won't be permitted to make a change in the middle of the year.

If more students apply to a specific school than the number of spaces available, the system plans to hold a lottery to determine which students will be allowed to make the switch.

Here are the Dougherty County Schools with potential space for student choice for the 2009-2010 school year:

 Name of School  Grades

Alice Coachman Elementary

Jackson Heights Elementary

Live Oak Elementary

Magnolia Elementary

Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary

Morningside Elementary

Northside Elementary

Radium Springs Elementary

Sylvester Road Elementary

Turner Elementary

Albany Middle School

Southside Middle School

Albany High School

Dougherty High School

K, 1, 2, 3, 5

K, 2, 5

1, 2, 3, 4

2, 3, 4

2, 3, 4, 5

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

1, 2, 5

2, 3, 4, 5

2, 3

2, 3, 4, 5

6, 7

6, 7


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