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New law allows student movement
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    A new state law allows parents to request a transfer for their children to another public school outside  their school zone, providing the parents provide transportation.
    A lottery will determine which students are approved for transfers, depending upon whether there are spaces available in the particular school, according to a letter sent to Bulloch County parents by School Superintendent Dr. Lewis Holloway.
    The law exempts schools less than four years old, as well as charter schools, he said.
    Parents have until July 14 to submit applications, obtained either from the Bulloch County Board of Education Central Office on Williams Road, or online at, he said.
    Fully completed applications must be hand delivered to the school board office by 4:30 p.m. July 14; applications sent by mail, fax or e-mail will not be considered, he said.
    House Bill 251 dictates parents must "assume all costs and responsibilities related to the transportation of your child to and from school as long as your child remains at that school."
    A public lottery will be held Thursday, July 16, at 9 a.m. in  the Central Office board room to determine which applications will be approved or denied, depending upon  the number of applications received per school and the number of spaces available at that school.
    "Once available classroom space is reached at a school, no additional transfers will be accepted at that school," Holloway said. " Since it is possible you may not receive y our first choice, you may indicate more than one choice on  the transfer request form."
    Parents must list the schools in order of preference, he said.
    At the lottery drawing, principals from each school will draw a ball from a hopper. All balls will be labeled with numbers correlating to applications, which will be given numbers as they are received, he said.
    Parents must designate on applications whether their child is a twin; twins are given the same number and will be transferred together, he said. Other siblings will not be automatically chosen together, however,
    After numbers are called filling spaces available, waiting lists will be compiled in case other spaces become available, Holloway said.
    If a student is chosen for more  than one school he or she will be assigned to the school listed as highest on the preference list on the application.
    Parents not at the lottery will be notified within one week. If a parent decides not to accept the transfer drawn, he or she forfeits the right to request a transfer until the following year - when transfer requests will be once again accepted from July 1-14.
Holloway anticipates challenges
    Holloway said he expects to see " white flight"  in some schools, especially Langston Chapel Elementary and Middle schools. Some schools are located in areas where there are many lower-income housing neighborhoods, and should some parents move their children, it could lead to schools with a higher concentration of lower-income students, he said.
    "I am concerned with this type of law, we'll be having people who try to move out of their zone," he said. White flight is a "term used across America" that describes white and more affluent families moving from urban to suburban areas, leaving urban schools with a higher percentage of students who are lower income, lower performers and "don't do as well," he said.
    After HB 251 passed, the Bulloch County Board of Education rewrote the county policy regarding transfers from one school to another and sent a letter to parents informing them of the choices available to them.

        The policy outlines the fact that schools that do not provide certain services some students require in their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) will not be required to develop those classes or programs just because a student requests a transfer to that school, as long as those services are available elsewhere in the district.

 Spaces available this year   
      Spaces available for each school and grade are as follows: Brooklet Elementary School — six in first grade; 16  in second grade; five in third grade; nine in fourth grade; and seven in fifth grade.

        Julia P. Bryant Elementary School — four in fourth grade; nine in fifth grade.
        Langston Chapel Elementary School — 26 in first grade; 15 in second grade; 38 n fourth  grade; and 20 in fifth  grade.

        Mattie Lively Elementary School — 20 in first grade; five in second grade; two in third grade; 27 in fourth grade and 10 in fifth grade.

        Mill Creek Elementary School — 30 in third grade; 38 in fourth grade and 27 in fifth grade.
        Portal Elementary School — 21 in first grade; 31 in second grade; 17 in third grade; nine in fourth grade and five in fifth grade.

        Sallie Zetterower Elementary School — nine in first grade; 10 in second grade; 11 in third grade; six in fifth  grade.

        Stilson Elementary School — 17 in first grade; 13 in second grade; five in third grade; 20 in fourth grade and five in fifth grade.

        Langston Chapel Middle School — four in sixth grade and 22 in eighth grade.
        Portal Middle School — 22 in sixth grade; 12 in seventh grade; one in eighth grade.
        Southeast Bulloch Middle School — 14 in sixth grade.
        William James Middle School  — 32 in sixth grade; 14 in seventh grade and 24 in eighth grade.
        Portal High School is an open school, and requires no lottery for transfers.
        Southeast Bulloch High School and Statesboro High School are new schools and are exempt from the HB 251 transfers, Holloway said.

        For more information contact Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kevin Judy 764-1622 or by e-mail at  

        Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at 489-9414.
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