School Assignment Policy
The St. Martin Parish School Board shall have authority and responsibility for the assignment, placement, transfer, and continued education of all students attending schools within its jurisdiction. The School Board shall require a student to attend the appropriate school as determined by the domicile of the parent and legal guardian. Each student shall have only one residence (domicile) which is determined to be the place where he/she predominantly sleeps, takes meals, and maintains personal belongings. When legal custody has been awarded by a court of law, or by provisional custody by mandate by court decree, the domicile shall be the principal residence of the parent awarded primary or domiciliary custody, or if he/she is eighteen years old or has been emancipated by a court order, by the student’s own domicile, if not specifically contrary to the provisions of an order of a court of competent jurisdiction providing for the assignment of students.
The United States District Court order governing desegregation of St. Martin Parish Schools generally requires students to attend a school located in the attendance zone in which the custodial parent or legal guardian of the child is domiciled.
LEGAL CUSTODY DECREES IN DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS
In case of divorce, a student shall attend school in the zone in which the parent who has domiciliary custody resides. Proof of domiciliary custody shall be a certified copy of the decree of the court which issued the custody order, whether the order grants temporary or permanent custody. Where the custody decree provides for split custody, the decree should specify at which parent’s domicile the child should attend school. A custody decree which orders a student to attend a school which is located in a zone other than a zone in which the child’s domiciliary parent or other party enjoying legal custody resides would violate the desegregation order and cannot be implemented unless the child’s assignment is approved under the process of approval of attendance out-of zone spelled out below.
AWARD OF CUSTODY OF PERSON OTHER THAN A PARENT
If a court determines that joint or sole custody to either parent would result in substantial harm to a student, and awards custody to another person, then the child shall attend school in the zone where the custodial person is domiciled. A certified copy of the court’s order shall be provided to the school board.
PROVISIONAL OR TEMPORARY CUSTODY BY COURT DECREE
Where any other legally valid temporary or provisional custody decree has been granted by a court giving an individual of legal age custody of a minor student, then that student may attend school in the zone where the student’s provisional custodian is domiciled. A certified copy of the temporary or provisional custody decree shall be provided to the school board.
JUVENILE COURT CUSTODY DECREES IN CASES OF ABANDONED OR ABUSED CHILDREN
When a child has been abandoned by the being placed in the physical custody of a non-parent or the Louisiana Department of Social Services and/or if parental rights have been terminated by a juvenile court for any of the grounds specified in Article 1015 of the Louisiana Children’s Code or any other applicable law, then the child shall attend school in the zone where the person or persons given temporary custody of the child by the juvenile court are domiciled. A certified coy of the juvenile court’s order shall be provided to the School Board.
CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE
A child placed in foster care by the Louisiana Department of Social Services and/or pursuant to Juvenile Court Order and temporarily residing in the district shall be enrolled and allowed to attend school in the zone where the foster parent or parents are domiciled.
CHILDREN OF EMPLOYEES
A child of employees who reside in St. Martin Parish shall be allowed to attend the school where their parent is employed.
STUDENTS FROM OUTSIDE THE PARISH WHO ARE CHILDREN OF EMPLOYEES
Normally, a student who does not actually reside in the geographical boundaries of a St. Martin Parish School System shall not attend a school in the system. However, if in the opinion of the principal, the child of an employee can enroll without creating an undue hardship in respect to overcrowding, or materially impacting the racial balance at the school, he/she may attend school in the school system with School board approval.
STUDENTS FROM OUTSIDE PARISH REQUESTING ATTENDANCE
Students who reside in parishes other than St. Martin but where the parish school board has a cooperative agreement with the St. Martin Parish School Board permitting students in certain designated areas to attend school in St. Martin Parish shall attend the appropriate school closest to their domicile. The principal of the St. Martin Parish School involved shall verify all necessary data to determine whether a particular student should be accepted. Requests of out-of-parish students to attend a St. Martin Parish School will be reviewed school principal. The final decision whether to grant a student’s request will be made by the Transfer Review Committee upon due consideration of the request.
STUDENT FROM ST. MARTIN REQUESTING ATTENDANCE IN ANOTHER PARISH
Requests of students who are domiciled in St. Martin Parish to attend public schools located outside of St. Martin Parish will be reviewed by the Supervisor of child Welfare and Attendance and the Superintendent of St. Martin Parish and by the principal of the out-of-parish school, which the student desires to attend. The decision to grant or deny the requests will be made by the Transfer Review Committee.
PROCEDURE FOR ST. MARTIN PARISH STUDENTS REQUESTING ATTENDANCE IN ST. LANDRY PARISH SCHOOLS
Students attending school in St. Landry Parish in 2007-2008 will be allowed to complete the grade levels taught at the school they are currently attending. Beginning with the 2008-2009 school year only students living in the city limits of Arnaudville in St. Martin Parish will be allowed to attend school in St. Landry Parish unless the Transfer Review Committee has approved an application as stating a hardship case. Addresses of students must be verified by the Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance of St. Martin Parish.
AVOIDING SPLIT OF FAMILIES IN STUDENT ASSIGNMENT
Where two or more students from a particular family are being assigned or transferred siblings should not be split in the process.
Information provided to the Supervisor of Child Welfare & Attendance to be presented to the committee may be verified with a homevisit by the Superintendent’s designee.
ASSIGNMENTS FOR DISABLED STUDENTS
The School Board shall require that disabled students be assigned to programs within attendance zones, if possible. However, if an appropriate program is unavailable within a student’s attendance zone, the student may be placed in a school specifically designed to provide for the appropriate needs of the student.
ATTENDANCE OUT OF ZONE- EXCEPTIONS
Special Education Students
Special exceptions may be granted for the children attending special education classes. These students must be recommended and approved by the Supervisor of Special Education in order to attend a school other than the one in their zone.
TRANSPORTATION OF OUT OF ZONE
Students granted an exception for attendance may be provided transportation by St. Martin Parish School Board unless the bus is overcrowded. Overcrowding will be determined by the Director of Operations and/or Supervisor of Transportation. At that time, students riding the bus based on a hardship will be removed first, upon administrative review and/or recommendation. The final decision will be made by the superintendent or a designee.
On the ruling of the Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance, a hardship temporary transfer may be granted for the following reasons:
A) Medical or psychological recommendation from competent authority that a child’s health requires for a change of school or residence. A certified medical record supporting such a recommendation must be supplied with a request.
B) Serious illness in the family that warrants a change of residence.
C) Other extraordinary circumstances wherein the best interests of the pupil would be served by a transfer.
D) Location of a child care provider’s residence will not suffice to create an extreme hardship to justify a student's transfer.
A transfer request shall not be considered unless form T-100 is submitted to the Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance.
TRANSFERS AND TRANSFER REVIEW COMMITTEE
The school board will grant transfer to a student from one attendance zone to another, only when a student moves from one zone or district to another or if the student requires special education or hardship exception. All request for transfer shall be evaluated and either granted or denied by a Transfer Review Committee which shall be composed of four central office administrators and four principals from St. Martin Parish Schools. The racial composition of the Transfer Review Committee shall be four blacks and four whites. The Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance and the Truancy Coordinator shall serve as two of the administrators on the transfer review committee.
DEADLINE FOR TRANSFER REQUESTS
All requests for transfer for the coming academic year must be made on FORM T-100 to the Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance by the end of the day on July 1st of each year.
DECISION OF TRANSFER REVIEW COMMITTEE FINAL
All decisions granting or denying a request for transfer by the Transfer Review Committee are final.
MAJORITY TO MINORITY TRANSFER POLICY
A student attending a school in which his or her race is in the majority may request assignment to another school where space is available and where his race is in a minority. All such requests shall be made to the Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance.
VERIFICATION OF DOMICILE
The principal shall be responsible for monitoring school enrollment and shall have authority to remove or transfer any student attending school out of district or out of zone. When investigating the domicile of a student, the School Board, through the principal, shall attempt to verify that primary place of residence of the legal parent or legal or provisional guardian. Such verification of domicile shall be based on such items as the following:
A. Voter registration data, utility deposit receipts, homestead exemption receipts, 911 addresses, home rental receipts, and home visit by a school official, or
B. Certified copy of a judicially ordered tutorship, custody or guardianship of any minor child student not domiciled or in the custody of their natural and/or legal parent. Verification of the physical residency of the legal custodian, tutor/tetra or non-parent shall also be required, or
C. Any other documentation as may be stipulated by the Board.
The school principal or his/her designee shall be responsible for monitoring the school enrollment list and shall immediately refer to the Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance to determination or proper school assignment.
DISCOVERY OF ATTENDANCE OUT OF ZONE
If a principal or administrators in St. Martin Parish discovers that a student is attending school out of the proper zone during the course of the school year before mid-term, the student must be withdrawn and enrolled in the proper school in the student’s correct zone. In cases discovered after mid-term, the student will be allowed to complete the school year at the student’s current school. The student must be transferred to the correct school in the proper zone for the beginning of the next school year.
FALSIFICATION OF DOCUMENTS
Falsification of any documents or information provided to the St. Martin Parish School personnel by someone seeking the transfer or admission of a student to a particular school shall be grounds for rejecting the request for transfer or admission without further consideration.