Sep 24 2012

Interdistrict Enrollment Policy Returns to School Board

Superintendent Recommends No Change in Policy-

At its meeting on September 27, 2012, the Piedmont School Board will review its Interdistrict Transfer/Attendance Policy as it applies to non-resident grandchildren of Piedmont residents.

A number of resident grandparents have encouraged the District to allow non-resident grandchildren to attend Piedmont schools.   School Superintendent Constance Hubbard is recommending no change in the District policy — which prohibits non-resident grandchildren enrollment — “due to the district’s current fiscal crisis and enrollment capacity.”

Hubbard is proposing to table the issue until 2013-14 for consideration in the 2014-15 school year. (See Information based on Staff Report below). The meeting will be held in the City Council Chambers, with the issue  scheduled to be heard at 7:45 p.m.

Non-resident students currently enrolled in the Piedmont Unified School District:

Transfer Category –                Number of Students

 District Employees                             133

City Employees                                       13

12th grade students (Seniors)              6

Romero Bill (open enrollment)            1

Safety                                                          1

Millennium High School                      38

SELPA Placement                                    1

Calvert Court                                             3

Continuity                                                  5

Approved by appeal to ACOE                2

TOTAL Interdistrict transfers =  203

2011-2012 Guidelines for Enrollment Capacity

The Piedmont Unified School District strives to meet the needs of each student and believes that lower class sizes are desirable for providing a high quality educational program. We believe that the high performance of our students is in part attributable to the intense level of adult support they receive on a daily basis. In fact, our current parcel tax language encourages the District to maintain lower class sizes.

The following capacity standards are essential to providing the current program:

General Education Program Capacity Beach, Havens, Wildwood Elementary Schools
20:1 in grades K-3
25:1 in grades 4-5

Piedmont Middle School
26:1 in grades 6-8

Piedmont High School
26:1 in grades 9-12

Millennium High School
20:1 in grades 9-12

The ability to maintain these levels of capacity is financially supported by State Class Size Reduction funding and a community parcel tax. Due to unprecedented challenges caused by the State’s financial crisis in education funding, we have been required to make some class size increases and operate over capacity. Although increases have been minimal, as noted on our most recent CBEDS report, the District has incurred financial penalties for classes exceeding 20:1 in grades K-3.

Special Education Program Capacity
Capacity in special education is guided by a programmatic design that prioritizes low adult to student ratios and is consistent with caseload limitations defined by Education Code. Per Education Code, Resource Specialist Caseloads must not exceed 28:1. Caseloads at the beginning of each school year are set at 20:1 in order to allow for the increase in special education students that occur over the course of a school year.

Special Day Class (aka Home Base and Intensive Language Intervention Classes) teacher to student ratios should not exceed 12:1 as the intensive needs of students in such a class require a highly individualized and closely monitored learning environment. In order to provide a high level of student support and communication with parents of students with special needs, caseloads for special education specialists (e.g. Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, Adaptive Physical Education Teachers) are set at 35:1 to begin each school year.

Implications of Program Capacity
The District’s programmatic capacity as defined above will be utilized in making decisions about the placement of resident students who, in some cases, must be redirected to sites that are outside of their neighborhood school zone when capacity will be exceeded. In addition, programmatic capacity will guide the District’s ability to accept or deny and place inter-district transfer requests.

Staff Report from Constance Hubbard, Superintendent; Michael Brady, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services; Randall Booker, Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services:


Attached is the presentation from a Special Board Meeting held on November 1, 2011 and the current Piedmont Unified School District Policy 5117 and corresponding Administrative Regulations. Also included are the capacity guidelines approved by the Board, a list of enrollment for 2012-13 by school by grade, and list by category of current number of approved interdistrict transfers.

At that meeting, the Board heard considerable input regarding possible changes in the Interdistrict Transfer Policy, especially as it related to changes to include the eligibility of grandchildren of current residents. There were several good compelling reasons to consider their inclusion. However, the risks include exceeding capacity in grades or programs, which may have an adverse impact on the District’s operating budget. The inability to predict which children may enroll at which grade/program makes planning very problematic, particularly given that the District is currently at capacity for most programs and grade levels. A new student who enters in a program with capacity will likely need to progress to/through grades and/or programs that are at capacity and would require additional resources. More students translate to the need for additional staff.

We are in our fifth year of an economic crisis in terms of the State funding of public education. The primary responsibility of Piedmont Unified District is to provide the best educational program for all students enrolled in our schools. Our current budget projections include the possibility of facing up to a $3.5M gap between revenue and expenses in the next two years. We are likely facing reductions in program and staff layoffs as part of closing that gap.

Broadening the eligibility of the current interdistrict transfer guidelines to include additional students would require additional staff and would likely result in exceeding capacity in grades and programs. Given the fiscal risks involved, it is recommended that this discussion is tabled until 2014-15 when funding from the State is expected (hoped) to be stabilized.

Review and make no changes at this time.



Categories of Eligible Nonresident Students
The following categories constitute the types of nonresident students eligible for interdistrict attendance. Nonresident attendance in the District is subject to those terms and conditions expressed in the Administrative Regulations which apply to this section.

1. Parents Constructing or Remodeling a Home in Piedmont
After design review process approval has been granted by the City of Piedmont City Council and written verification is provided by the City (property owner’s responsibility to obtain this information and provide to District); and after the property owner has provided written documentation and verification from the City of Piedmont Building Department that construction (pouring of the foundation and/or erection of forms) is underway, the District may conditionally admit to attendance any nonresident/resident student whose parents have begun construction or extensive remodeling of a home in Piedmont into which they intend to
move/move back into.

2. Parents Purchasing a Home in Piedmont
The District may conditionally enroll a nonresident student whose parents have purchased a home in Piedmont into which they intend to move within thirty (30) days, with proper written documentation and verification from the title or escrow officer stating the name of the purchasers, address and parcel number of the property; that escrow has closed on the property; and that the parties are on title at the address.

3. High School Seniors Who Have Moved Out of the District
The District may allow high school seniors eligibility for interdistrict attendance, if they meet all of the following conditions:
a. it has been confirmed that the student(s)/parent(s) were legally residing in Piedmont immediately previous to the request for “senior privilege”
b. the student moves away after completion of his/her junior year in high school and has satisfactorily completed at least 165 units in a Piedmont high school with a “C” average, and no unsatisfactory citizenship grades;
c. the student will complete his/her senior course of study in one school year or less. In all of the situations listed above, a student must have an interdistrict transfer permit on file.
No interdistrict transfer will be approved for a student requiring more than one school year to meet graduation requirements.

4. Children of Piedmont Unified School District Employees
The District may admit the children of District employees. To be eligible, certificated (K-12) teachers and classified employees must be employed at least 40% of full-time or a classroom aide for 10 hours a week. In order to balance class size and composition, the District has the discretion to assign students to the school site and classroom of its choice. As stated in District policy, admission will be contingent on space availability, and at the elementary level, the District has through the first two weeks of the beginning of the school year to move students.

Children of District employees enrolled as of the 2002-03 school year shall retain eligibility for subsequent school years if the parent’s employment  status is reduced below the minimum requirement due to lay-off or a voluntary reduction in time in lieu of layoff as a result of budget cuts.

For the 2009-10 school year, only, the District will allow District employees who were laid off and not reinstated in the 2009-10 school year and have students enrolled in the District for the 2009-10 school year, to retain eligibility for subsequent school years through the natural grade level break.

An interdistrict transfer permit for the student must still be approved annually. When a District employee ceases employment with the District, he/she shall withdraw his/her child from the District no later than the end of the current semester.

5. Children of the City of Piedmont Government Employees
The District may admit children of full-time City government employees. A City government employee is defined as an employee who is on a regularly scheduled City of Piedmont government employee payroll on which appropriate deductions occur. It does not include consultants for the City of Piedmont, nor persons who are employed within the City of Piedmont limits.
The District will hold open fourteen slots for the children of full-time City employees. These slots will be filled at the discretion of the City under the conditions specified in Board policy and in the Administrative Regulation.

6. Children Residing on Calvert Court
Because ingress and egress to all properties on Calvert Court are through the City of Piedmont, some of which properties are located in Oakland, children residing on any of the Oakland parcels on Calvert Court may be admitted to Piedmont schools, with the required proofs of residency (see AR 5111.1), and the annual submittal of an interdistrict attendance permit.

Regulations Governing the Interdistrict Attendance of Children of District and City Government Employees Priority
If space is not available to accommodate all interdistrict transfer requests related to employment, eligible employees will receive priority in the following order:
1. Piedmont Unified School District Employees
2. Full-time City of Piedmont government employees

If eligible applicants within a priority category exceed the number of openings, an administrative committee will review the requests based on a variety of criteria including but not limited to the following:
a. The length of time a student has been in Piedmont Unified School District;
b. The length of employment of the parents;
c. The full-time (City and District employees) or part-time status (District employees) of the parent;
d. Siblings enrolled in the District; and
e. The unique needs of the District or the City
These criteria are not listed in priority order.

7. Residences on Approved Split Parcel Properties
Children of homeowners whose property is a split parcel, meaning a residential property located within both the City of Piedmont and City of Oakland boundaries, may be eligible for admittance to Piedmont schools based on meeting all of the following conditions and regulations:
a. The parcel in Piedmont must have its own separate Assessor’s Parcel Number, as assigned by the Alameda County Assessor’s Office;
b. The amount to be assessed will be determined by the use code assigned by the Alameda County Assessor’s Office and any disputes would be between the property owner and the Alameda County Assessor’s Office. The District will abide by the decision of the Alameda County Assessor’s Office.
c. The property owner will be responsible for paying Piedmont Unified School District parcel taxes on its Piedmont parcel in addition to all other applicable City of Oakland taxes
d. If the homeowner discontinues paying the school parcel taxes on the Piedmont parcel, children of the homeowner will no longer be eligible to attend Piedmont schools
e. The property owner must be either the parents or court-appointed legal guardians of the children. The property owner must reside at that address, as well as the children, and the property owner must be paying Piedmont Unified School District parcel taxes on the Piedmont parcel. In the event of joint custody, a student must reside on the split parcel at that address with the Piedmont parent at least 50% of each school week. The District has the legal right to verify residency by conducting home visits or through other information provided (including neighbors).
f. If the split parcel homeowner moves from the property to a residence outside of Piedmont, students will no longer be eligible to attend Piedmont schools. This includes if a homeowner rents the split parcel property: children of the renters may attend Piedmont schools, but not the children of the homeowner
g. Proofs of residency must be provided (see “Proofs of Residency” list). The District reserves the right to annually request proofs of residency and Piedmont school parcel tax payments if any residency issues arise.
h. An approved Interdistrict Transfer Permit from Oakland must be obtained annually.
i. Approval by the school district for student enrollment does not make the split parcel owner or student(s) with an Oakland address eligible for any City of Piedmont services, such as 911 emergency services, City of Piedmont Recreation Department residency discounts, etc.
j. If the assessment of Piedmont Unified School District taxes on the Piedmont portion of the split parcel is approved by the Alameda County Assessor’s office but the Oakland Unified School District does not approve the Interdistrict Transfer permit, the student(s) of the homeowner will not be eligible to attend Piedmont schools.

Limitations of Interdistrict Transfers
1. No student will be accepted for interdistrict transfer where the cost of his/her education will exceed the amount of additional state funds received by the District as a result of the transfer.
2. No student will be accepted for interdistrict transfer where he/she requires services which adversely impact District finances or programs.
3. No student shall be enrolled on an interdistrict transfer basis if that student’s enrollment will cause any class to exceed class-size limits set by the District.
4. The interdistrict transfer agreement of any student who violates the disciplinary provisions of Education Code section 48900 will be subject to revocation, pending the outcome of disciplinary proceedings.
5. No student shall be enrolled on an interdistrict transfer basis if the District has inadequate facilities to accommodate the student or if it would require the District to create a new program or provide a new service to serve the student. (Education Code 48209.3)
6. Transportation shall not be provided for students attending on an interdistrict attendance agreement at any time.
7. The Superintendent or designee may revoke any individual interdistrict attendance agreement at any time.

Nonresident Admission to Millennium High School
The Superintendent will review all interdistrict transfer applications for admission to Millennium High School.

General Requirements for Continuing Enrollment in Piedmont Unified School District
In general, students admitted under this policy must meet and maintain the following standards:
1. A satisfactory scholarship record (Elementary: at a sufficient rate to ensure promotion; Secondary: minimum “C” average)
2. Satisfactory attendance record (not willfully or habitually truant or tardy; no unexcused absences)
3. Satisfactory citizenship record (satisfactory citizenship in all classes and on the campus; no “U’s”)

Notice of acceptance or denial of an application for interdistrict transfer may occur as late as the first week of the semester for which the student has applied.
(see also Administrative Regulation 5111.1, “Residency”)

For complete information contact the Piedmont Unified School District.

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