|The School Board of Leon County|
|Bylaws & Policies|
|Unless a specific policy has been amended and the date the policy was revised is noted at the bottom of that policy, the bylaws and policies of The School Board of Leon County were adopted on September 4, 2012, and were in effect beginning September 5, 2012.|
5112 - STUDENT ASSIGNMENT AND ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS
The School Board directs that the assignment of students to schools within this District be consistent with the best interests of students and the best use of the resources of this District. The Superintendent shall periodically review existing attendance areas and recommend to the Board such changes as may be justified by school and grade level capacity, considerations of safe student transportation and travel, convenience of access to schools, financial and administrative efficiency, a wholesome and educationally sound balance of student populations, and the opening of a new school, closing of an existing school or changes in functions. Acting upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, the Board shall determine the school attendance areas of the District and shall expect the students residing within each area to attend the school so designated.
No assignment to schools or attendance schedules shall discriminate against students on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sex (including transgender, gender nonconforming status, sexual orientation, and diverse gender identities) marital status, age, ethnicity, religion, military status, pregnancy, disability, or genetic information.
Methods of School Assignment
|A.||Primary Residence - Students are assigned to a school based on the location of their primary residence. F.S. 1013.357 gives the Board authority to establish zoning.|
|B.||Class Reassignment - The Principal shall assign students in his/her school to appropriate grades, classes, or groups. This action shall be based on consideration of the needs of the student as well as the administration of the school.|
|C.||School Choice - Pursuant to Policy 5120 - School Choice, students may be able attend a different school within the District. Examples of school choice include active military, sibling support, grandfathering, over to under capacity, employee choice, court placement, hardships, magnet programs, McKay Scholarships and controlled open enrollment for schools with enrollment below ninety-five percent (95%) of the school's capacity.|
|D.||Assignment Exception - The Superintendent may assign a student to a school other than that designated by the attendance area when such exceptions are justified by circumstances and is in the best interest of the student.|
|E.||Homeless Students - Pursuant to Policy 5111.01 - Homeless Students, students who meet the definition of homeless may attend their school of origin or the school assigned to their current, temporary residence.|
The School Board hereby establishes entrance age requirements for students that are consistent with statute and sound educational practice and requires the equitable treatment of all eligible children.
Pursuant to State law, all children who have attained the age of six (6) years or who will have attained the age of six (6) years by September 1st of any school year or who are older than six (6) years of age but who have not attained the age of sixteen (16) years, except as otherwise provided in Florida law, are required to attend school regularly during the entire school term.
In addition, consistent with rules adopted by the State Board of Education, children with disabilities who have attained the age of three (3) years shall be eligible for admission to the District's special education programs and for related services. Children with disabilities younger than three (3) years of age who are deaf or hard of hearing, visually impaired, dual sensory impaired, orthopedically impaired, other health impaired, who have experienced traumatic brain injury, who have autism spectrum disorder, established conditions, or who exhibit developmental delays or intellectual disabilities may be eligible for special programs and may receive services in accordance with rules of the State Board of Education. The identification of established conditions for children birth through two (2) years of age and developmental delays for children birth through five (5) years of age shall be in accordance with rules adopted by the State Board of Education.
Further, as required by F.S. 1003.22 and Policy 5320 - Immunizations, all children enrolling in a District school shall meet the immunization requirements set forth in State law, as well as provide evidence of a physical exam as required by State law.
Children entering kindergarten in this District for the first time must comply with F.S. 1003.21 regarding entry age. A child must be five (5) years old on or before September 1st, in order to meet the Florida age requirement for kindergarten. A child under age six (6) who is enrolled in kindergarten will be considered of compulsory school age.
Children entering first grade in this District for the first time must comply with F.S. 1003.21. Any child who has attained the age of six (6) years on or before September 1st of the school year and who has been enrolled in a public school or who has attained the age of six (6) years on or before September 1st and has satisfactorily completed the requirements for kindergarten in a non-public school, or who otherwise meets the criteria for admission or transfer in a manner similar to that applicable to other grades, shall progress according to the District's student progression plan.
Students transferring to first grade from a kindergarten program other than the one offered by the District will need written verification of satisfactory completion of kindergarten from the public or non-public school attended. Verification forms are available at each elementary school.
|A.||Children entering the District for the first time must comply with F.S. 1003.21 and with the District's Student Progression Plan. Students must have an immunization record on file at the school. Any student who does not have the proper immunization shall be temporarily excluded from attendance until compliance has been documented.|
|B.||Each child who is entitled to admittance to kindergarten or is entitled to any other initial entrance into a public school in the District must have a certification of a school-entry health examination performed within one (1) year before enrollment in school. Students transferring into the District from a school within the State of Florida who have completed physical examination form as part of their school record need not be re-examined. Examinations taken out-of-state may be accepted if performed within one (1) year of entry and include documentation and reported on the official forms of the physician.|
|A student shall have up to thirty (30) school days to present a certification of a school-entry health examination. Children and youths who are experiencing homelessness and children who are known to the Department, as defined in F.S. 39.0016, shall be given a temporary exemption for thirty (30) school days. The school health services plan shall contain provisions to assist students in obtaining the health examinations.|
|C.||In accordance with F.S. 1003.22, a child may be exempted from the required health examination and/or immunization upon written request of the parent or guardian of such child stating objection to examination and/or immunization on religious grounds or for medical reasons certified by a licensed physician, licensed physician assistant, or Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP).|
Evidence of Birth Date
One (1) of the following legal evidences of age is required for all students. If the first prescribed evidence is not available, the next evidence obtainable in the order listed below must be accepted.
|A.||Record of Birth: A duly attested transcript of the child's birth record filed according to law with a public officer charged with the duty of recording births (Certified copy of birth certificate).|
|B.||Certificate of Baptism: A duly attested transcript of a certificate of baptism showing the date of birth and place of baptism of the child, accompanied by an affidavit sworn to by the parent.|
|C.||Insurance Policy: An insurance policy on the child's life that has been in force for at least two (2) years.|
|D.||Religious Record: An authentic contemporary religious record of the childís birth accompanied by an affidavit sworn to by the parent.|
|E.||Passport: - A passport or certificate of arrival in the United States showing the age of the child.|
|F.||School Transcript: A school transcript showing the childís date of birth for at least three (3) years prior to application.|
If none of these evidences can be produced, then (a) a sworn affidavit of age by the parent, accompanied by (b) a certificate of age signed by a public held officer or by a public school physician; or if neither of these is available in the county, by a licensed practicing physician designated by the Board which certificate states that the health officer or physician has examined the child and believes that the age as stated in the affidavit is substantially correct.
A homeless child, as defined by F.S. 1003.02, shall be given temporary exemption from this requirement for thirty (30) school days.
For the purpose of administering this policy, the residence of the student shall be the primary residence of the studentís parent/guardian, the custodial parent/guardian with whom the student maintains primary residence, or of either parent when custody is shared and mutually agreed upon.
Divorced, Separated, or Never Married Parents
|A.||In situations where the studentís parents do not live together, the student shall attend the school zone where the student lives with a parent the majority of the time during the school year. If the student equally divides time between the parents during the school year, the parents shall agree on which residence will determine the studentís school zone. If the parents cannot agree, the parents will be directed to promptly obtain an order from the Family Division of the Circuit Court that clearly delineates each parentís rights regarding custody or time-sharing, and that explains who has primary responsibility for educational and general welfare decisions concerning the student. In the event the parents refuse to obtain such an order, or the order obtained awards shared parental responsibility without specifying a particular parent as making educational decisions, and the parents cannot agree on making a significant decision affecting the student in the educational environment or on matters affecting the health, safety, or welfare of the student, the Superintendent or designee shall make the determination based on the best available evidence and the best interest of the student.|
|B.||The District will not serve as mediator to the parents. Schools are not the venue for custody or visitation enforcement. The District will not be caught in the middle of disputes, take sides, or show preference to one (1) party over another.|
|C.||The enrolling parent is required to list both parents on all enrollment forms and contact lists affiliated with a student's enrollment at a District school unless the other parent's parental rights have been terminated by court order. Any claim that the other parent has had rights relinquished or terminated must be substantiated through a certified copy of a court order.|
Anyone attempting to enroll a minor student other than a parent must show proof of legal guardianship or complete Family in Transition (FIT) documentation.
Verification and Evidence of Residence within School District
Verification and evidence of a parent or guardian's residence shall be required at the time the child registers in a District school. Proof of residence must be provided at both initial enrollment and upon promotion to the next level (from elementary to middle school or from middle to high school). Verification of residence may also be required at any other time at the discretion of the Superintendent or designee.
Reasonable proof of residence must include one (1) item from each of the following categories:
|broker's or attorney's statement of parents' purchase of residence, a mortgage statement or deed, properly executed lease/rental agreement, property tax record, or current homestead exemption card|
|driver's license/ID card, home insurance bill, vehicle registration, cell phone statement, electric deposit payment receipt or current utility bill dated within thirty (30) days, bottom portion, showing name and service address|
The Superintendent reserves the right to utilize other means to independently verify a student's residence and/or guardianship status.
If an electric deposit payment receipt is used as verification and evidence, the electric bill (bottom portion) must also be submitted to the school within thirty (30) calendar days after registration. If the parent is unable to furnish the school with the requested electric deposit payment receipt, the student will be allowed to enroll in the new school, but must submit the electric bill (bottom portion) to the school within thirty (30) calendar days.
All submitted documents, addresses, and changes of address are subject to independent verification.
Change in Residence during School Year
It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian or adult student to promptly notify the current assigned school of any change in residential address and provide appropriate documentation. If a student changes residence from one (1) school attendance zone to another within the District during the school year, the student may remain at the current school until the end of the current semester provided that all attendance and discipline requirements are met. Students who move out of county may remain at their current school only until the end of the current grading period. Any student whose residence is changed during the school year, and who is permitted to remain at the current school, shall be required to furnish all necessary transportation.
Where a student is enrolled in the last grade offered at a school (or, for high school, is enrolled in 11th or 12th grade) and the student moves to a residence outside the attendance area of the current assigned school, the student may remain in the current assigned school through the last grade offered (or, for high school, through graduation) provided that all attendance and discipline requirements are met. No transportation will be provided. (see Policy 5120 - School Choice for grandfathering qualifications)
Purchase or Construction of a New Home
Where a parent or guardian is in the process of relocating to a permanent residence in an attendance zone of a school in Leon County, the student may be enrolled in the school provided the following conditions are met:
|A.||If the parent commences construction of a permanent residence, the parent shall submit a copy of a building permit and a valid and binding construction contract showing an occupancy date within four (4) months (120 calendar days) from the beginning of the school year or the date the child was enrolled in school.|
|B.||If the parent enters into an agreement to purchase an existing permanent residence, the parent shall submit a copy of a valid and binding contract showing that possession, occupancy and title to the property will be granted within four (4) months (120 calendar days) from the beginning of the school year or the date the child was enrolled in school.|
If the parent enters into an agreement for the lease of an existing permanent residence, the parent shall submit a copy of a valid and binding contract showing the parent to be the legal tenant, which includes an occupancy date that proceeds the enrollment date, and showing that the lease term is no shorter than the remainder of the school year.
Upon occupancy of the said residence, the parent shall provide to the school the proof of residence by this policy. If the parent and child do not reside in said residence within forty-five (45) days of the stated closing date, the child shall be returned to their assigned school based on the parent's current residence. In the event extraordinary circumstances occur which prevent the parent and child from occupying said permanent residence within the said period, the parent may apply to the Superintendent or designee for an extension of time. The Superintendent or designee may grant up to an additional sixty (60) days if sufficient evidence is presented to authorize the extension.
Contingency contracts that do not meet the requirements of this policy shall not be accepted as proof of residency.
Student Promotion to Next Level
When students are promoted to the next level, from elementary school to middle school or from middle school to high school, the parent/legal guardian must provide current proof of residence in order to obtain a schedule prior to promoting to the next level.
Maximum Age of Enrollment
All District students shall be eligible for enrollment in the appropriate general education program authorized by the District and the State of Florida except under ANY of the following conditions:
|A.||The student has received a high school diploma or its equivalent.|
|B.||The student has attained the age of twenty (20) by September 1st.|
|Those who attain the age of twenty (20) during a school year may complete the school year. For students with disabilities who have not graduated with a standard diploma, the District will provided services until the end of the semester in which the student turns twenty-two (22) years of age.|
|C.||The student is eighteen (18) years of age or older and cannot meet regular graduation requirements by the end of the school year in which they attain the age of twenty (20). Such persons shall be afforded an opportunity to pursue a high school diploma through the Adult Education or General Educational Development (GED) programs of the District.|
|D.||Principals may refuse enrollment in the regular high school program if the student has:|
|1.||a documented history of disruptive behavior in the school setting and who has attained the age of eighteen (18) years; or|
|2.||previously dropped out of or discontinued enrollment in a regular high school program and has attained the age of eighteen (18) years.|
|E.||Students attending a Department of Juvenile Justice program or a contracted program with the District may be exempt from the requirements for maximum age of enrollment. Once a student has exited the program, they are no longer exempt.|
Any student entering the public school system from outside the United States will be placed by a combination of the following criteria:
|B.||previous school experience|
Care shall be exercised to ensure that the studentís limited English proficiency is not a factor in determining grade placement.
Each foreign student with educational documentation will receive a recommended grade placement after an evaluation of the studentís educational records has been made. The family is responsible for providing a certified English translation of all records. Adjustments to these recommended placements may be made by the school principal in accordance with relevant State Board of Education rules. Students who do not meet regular age requirements for entering kindergarten in Florida but who have attended kindergarten in their native country must have an official letter or transcript from the proper school authority which shows record of attendance, academic information, and grade placement.
Enrolling in Public School from Home Education
A student seeking to enter or re-enter the District from a home education program must meet all entrance requirements (State and District) that any other student must meet. The principal or designee shall determine the grade placement through any of the following methods:
|A.||review of student portfolio;|
|B.||administration of any placement tests normally used;|
|C.||testing using prior year course final examinations;|
|D.||any other assessments, written or oral, deemed appropriate by the principal and/or faculty.|
The student shall be placed academically as any other student who seeks to enter a public school. Home education students may enroll in regular and special education programs on a part-time basis at the discretion of the principal, executive director, and/or director of ESE, subject to State statute, the rules of the State Board of Education and/or the Board.
Students enrolling from home education may be placed on probation until the school determines that the student can be successful at the grade placed.
Re-entry from Department of Juvenile Justice Programs, Adult Correctional Facilities, or Other Involuntary Residential Placements
Pursuant to F.S. 1003.52(10)(b), for the purpose of transition planning and reentry services, representatives from the school district and the one-stop center where the student will return shall participate as members of the local Department of Juvenile Justice reentry teams. The School District, upon return of a student from a juvenile justice education program, must consider the individual needs and circumstances of the student and the transition plan recommendations when reenrolling a student in a public school. A local school district may not maintain a standardized policy for all students returning from a juvenile justice program but place students based on their needs and their performance in the juvenile justice education program, including any virtual education options.
Parents/Legal guardians and adult students shall be responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the primary residence address furnished to the school and for maintaining such information. Students assigned to any public school based upon a false, incorrect, or inaccurate residence address, choice documentation or other false information, including homeless status, shall be immediately reassigned to the appropriate school by the Superintendent, or if out of county, withdrawn to their county district of residence.
State law provides that whoever knowingly makes a false statement in writing with the intent to mislead a public servant in the performance of his/her official duty commits a misdemeanor of the second degree. Additionally, a person who knowingly makes a false declaration under penalties of perjury commits a felon of the third degree. (F.S. 92.525 and 837.06)
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