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Policy
Descriptor Code: JBCA
Resident Students  
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Policy JBCA - Resident Students is organized into three distinct sections: 

  • Section I addresses the requirements to establish residency for Henry County Schools. 
  • Section II addresses School Choice (as defined by House Bill 251 and Senate Bill 10), which is the process by which a parent may request to send their student to a school other than their school of residence for the duration of that specific school’s grade levels. 
  • Section III provides the Henry County Board of Education options that allow a parent to temporarily (school-year only) transfer their students to another location.

SECTION I:  RESIDENT STUDENTS

To be eligible to enroll in Henry County Schools, students must reside with their natural parent(s), legal guardian(s), or legal custodian(s) within the boundaries of Henry County.

Before enrolling students, principals should obtain documentation showing: (1) that the person enrolling the student is the student's natural parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian; and, (2) that the address of the student and parent/guardian is located within the attendance zone for the school.

Students who are 18 years of age may enroll themselves in school provided they present documentation that their residence is located within the attendance zone for the school.

A.  Definitions

Cluster Schools - a group of elementary, middle and high schools that serve a residential community in the Henry County School District.

Designee – means an individual who is employed by the Henry County School District that the Superintendent has designated to carry out a specific obligation or task referenced herein on behalf of the Superintendent.

Employee - an employee of the Henry County Board of Education who is classified as a full-time, benefited employee in his/her position/job title.

Feeder School - a school whose graduates continue their education in a designated middle or high school in the Henry County School District.

Legal Custodian - the person who has been given legal custody by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Legal Guardian - the person to whom a court of competent jurisdiction has given statutory parental rights.

Parent - the natural or adoptive father or mother.  The term parent as used hereinafter shall be inclusive for the terms legal custodian and legal guardian.

Resident – an individual who is a full-time lawful occupant of a dwelling located in Henry County and who, on any given school day, is likely to be at their stated Henry County address when not at work or school.

Sibling - the natural or adoptive brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or other school-age child residing at the same residence.

Step-parent - the spouse living in the same residence with the student's parent.

B.  Proof of Residence

To be eligible to enroll in Henry County Schools, students must reside full-time with their natural parent within the boundaries of Henry County.  Students and their parent must be full-time Henry County residents for the entire period of enrollment of the child in the Henry County School System.  A parent who owns property, or rents a home or apartment, in Henry County, but who does not reside at their stated Henry County address full-time, is not considered a resident for enrollment purposes.

Proof of residence is required when a student initially enrolls in a Henry County school, whenever a change of residence occurs, or any time proof of residency is requested by authorized school district personnel. 

1.  The principal or designee shall accept the following records as proof of residency:

  1. A lease or rental agreement consisting of written evidence that the agreement is valid and current, and a current electric or gas bill or letter of service from said company (utility bill must be separate from rental agreement). The electric or gas bill or letter of service must be dated within the last 60 days. Rental agreements must identify the parent as the tenant of record fiscally responsible for the residence listed in the agreement.  Parents listed as mere occupants of a stated residence are not considered tenants of the property for the purposes of enrollment. All records must include the name and street address of the parent and service addresses must be plainly visible on the electric or gas bill or letter of service provided as proof; OR
  2. A current residential property tax statement, settlement statement, or closing disclosure, and a current electric or gas bill or letter of service from said company.  The electric or gas bill or letter of service must be dated within the last 60 days Parents not listed in ownership documents who are willing to provide evidence of their legal relationship to the property owner may submit legal documents for consideration as an authorized representative of the titleholder.  All records must include the name and street address of the parent and service addresses must be plainly visible on the electric or gas bill or letter of service provided as proof; OR
  3. A Henry County Schools Affidavit of Residency.  A parent who resides full time in Henry County but is unable to provide the consistent records listed above may complete a Henry County Schools Affidavit of Residency.  The affidavit shall be completed in the presence of school system personnel and be sworn to and signed by the parent in the presence of a notary public.  In addition, the legal owner or authorized tenant of the property where the student and parent reside may complete and sign the affidavit with school system personnel and provide the documentation required as proof of residence as noted in sections (a) and (b) above. The legal owner or authorized tenant of the property may also complete the affidavit and acquire notarization at another location, but it is the parent’s responsibility to deliver the original paperwork and the required proof of residence as noted in sections (a) and (b) above to school system personnel along with their documentation. The affidavit will be in effect until the parent provides proof of residence as required by this policy, but no longer than the end of the current school year.

All such documents must be in the name of the student's parent and must consistently identify that individual with the property address of the residence.

2.  Construction, purchase, or lease of a permanent residence in another school attendance zone in Henry County.

When a parent and child who reside in Henry County are in the process of relocating to a permanent residence in another school attendance zone within the county, the child may be enrolled in school based on the attendance zone for the parent's and child's new residence provided the following conditions are met:

  1. If the parent commences construction of a permanent residence on property in Henry County, the parent shall provide to the principal a recorded property deed, building permit and valid construction contract showing an occupancy date within four months (120 calendar days) from the beginning of the school year or the date the child was enrolled in school.
  2. If the parent enters into an agreement to purchase an existing permanent residence located in Henry County, the parent shall provide to the principal a copy of a valid and binding contract showing that possession, occupancy and title to the property will be granted within four months (120 calendar days) from the beginning of the school year or the date the child was enrolled in school.
  3. If the parent enters into an agreement for the lease of an existing permanent residence located in Henry County, the parent shall provide to the principal a copy of a valid and binding contract showing the parent to be the legal tenant and showing that occupancy of the property will be granted within four months (120 calendar days) from the beginning of the school year or the date the child was enrolled in school.

Upon occupancy of the said residence, the parent shall provide to the school the required proof of residence.  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.

3.  Verification and Violation of Policy

A school system representative may visit the address given by any parent to verify residency.  If it is determined that the enrollment of any student is in violation of board of education policy, any of the following actions may be taken individually or in any combination:  1) the student shall be immediately withdrawn from school; 2) the parent shall be charged tuition for the period of the violation together with all court and legal expenses incurred by the Henry County Board of Education regarding the matter pursuant to O.C.G.A. 20-2-133; and, 3) parties who provide false information to circumvent residency requirements shall be prosecuted for false swearing pursuant to O.C.G.A. 16-10-71.

C.  Student Assignment to Schools

1.  Attendance Zones

Students shall be assigned to specific schools according to the school attendance zones approved by the Henry County Board of Education.  School bus transportation services are provided only for eligible students who attend school within their school attendance zone.

2.  Special Education Services

A child who is classified as a Special Education student under the appropriate federal and state statutes and who cannot obtain required special services within the child's school attendance zone shall be assigned to a school where such services are provided in accordance with that student’s Individual Education Program (IEP).  School bus transportation services for special education students are provided according to each student's IEP.

3.  Homeless Students

Henry County Schools will work with homeless students and families to provide stability in school attendance and other services in the manner required by federal and state law.  Henry County Board of Education Policy JBC-1 and the administrative procedures thereof shall be followed regarding homeless students.

4.  Exception

Except as provided in paragraph (C) (2) of this section, transportation of students that attend a school in Henry County that is not within the students' school attendance zone will not be provided by the Henry County Board of Education.  

SECTION II:  SCHOOL CHOICE (HB251 and SB10) 

A.  Options 

1.  Georgia Public School Choice Option (HB 251)

Subject to the requirements of state law, a parent can elect to send their child to another public school in the Henry County School System if there is available classroom space at such school. Newly opened schools shall not be available to accept such transfers for a period of four years from the date of opening unless approved by the Henry County Board of Education.

If a parent elects to exercise this option, the parent assumes the responsibility and costs of transporting their child to and from school.  A student who transfers under this option may continue to attend such school until the student completes all grades of the school.

By July 1 of each year, the Superintendent or designee will notify parents by letter, electronic means, or by such other reasonable means regarding which schools have available classroom space, and the time line and procedures for submitting transfer requests in a timely manner as required by state law.

2.  Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program (SB 10)

Subject to the requirements of state law, a parent whose child meets the eligibility criteria for participation in the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program has the right to request a transfer to another school.

Transfer requests from within the Henry County School District are contingent upon the requested school having available classroom space AND a program with the services agreed to in the student's individual education program (IEP).  If permission is granted to attend the requested school, the parent shall be responsible for transporting their child to and from school.  A student who transfers under this option may continue to attend such school until the student completes all grades of the school, graduates, or reaches the age of 21, whichever occurs first, pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 20-2-2113 (b) (2).

The Superintendent or designee shall provide specific written notice of the options available under this program to resident parents at the initial Individual Education Program (IEP) meeting in which a disability of the parent's child is identified.  Thereafter, the Superintendent of designee shall annually notify resident parents of a student with a disability, prior to the beginning of each school year, by letter, electronic means, or by such other reasonable means in a timely manner of options available to the parent under this program pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 20-2-2113 (a).  

B.  School Choice Process

1.  School Capacity

Each year, the Superintendent or designee will determine which schools have available classroom space and are eligible to accept school choice transfers contingent upon school capacity.  This determination will be based on an analysis of the school’s projected enrollment (as calculated by the Superintendent or designee), the school’s capacity (as calculated by State Instructional Unit Allocations), the capacity of the school building and permanent classrooms based on applicable health and safety laws, and a factor determined by the Superintendent or designee to account for attendance zone growth and legally mandated school transfers. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, any school with any portable classroom(s) shall not be deemed to have available classroom space.

2.  School Choice Applications

All school choice applications (SB10 & HB251) must be submitted in writing on the official form and according to the procedures and designated time frame. For School Choice, the applications will be accepted from the first business day of March to the last business day of April in the spring preceding the school year for which parent/guardian is seeking transfer.  All applicable forms, procedures and time lines with respect to school transfers that are not specifically set forth herein shall be determined by the Superintendent or designee.

3.  School Choice Selection

School Choice selection is not conducted on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Applications will be accepted at the Student Services department between the first business day of March to the last business day of April.  After the deadline, the applications will be tallied to determine if enough open slots are available to satisfy the requests.  If more applications than slots are received, a lottery for the available spaces will be conducted. There is no preference in the lottery for sibling placements or placements in schools where siblings may already attend.  Parents/guardians will begin to receive notification of the decision within the first weeks of May.  Parent/Guardian are expected to utilize the approval to enroll their student(s) for the next school year in the selected school no later than July 15th or permission for School Choice may be revoked.

4.  Length Of Approval

If selected through School Choice, a student may continue to attend the selected school until the student completes all grades of the school.  School Choice does not guarantee or provide preference in a lottery for the student to attend subsequent feeder schools. If parent/guardian desires for the student to continue with feeder schools, an application through School Choice for the desired school, if available, would be required.

C.  Student Eligibility for Athletic/Extracurricular Activities

Students and parents should be aware that school transfer through School Choice may affect the student’s eligibility to participate in athletic and extracurricular activities governed by the Georgia High School Association (GHSA).  It shall be the parent's responsibility to verify whether GHSA requirements may affect their child’s eligibility prior to submitting a School Choice request.

SECTION III:  SCHOOL TRANSFER

A.  Guidelines

1.  Priority Consideration for School Transfers

Certain provisions of federal and state law, and of board of education policy, provide the option for a parent to transfer their child to another school.  To ensure compliance with all such laws, school transfers shall be prioritized in the following manner:

  1. The first priority shall be school transfers which are authorized for eligible students based on federal and/or state law or Henry County Board of Education policy, regardless of school capacity.
  2. The second priority shall be school transfers which are authorized for eligible students based on federal law, contingent upon school capacity.
  3. The third priority shall be school transfers which are authorized for eligible students based on state law and/or Henry County Board of Education policy, contingent upon school capacity.  Under this priority level, if the number of transfer requests for a particular school exceeds the available capacity of a school, a random lottery shall be conducted to ensure each interested student has an equal chance to be admitted.

2.  School Transfer Applications

All school transfer applications must be submitted in writing on the official form and according to the procedures and designated time frame established for each transfer option. All applicable forms, procedures and timeliness with respect to school transfers that are not specifically set forth herein shall be determined by the Superintendent or designee.

3.  Attendance and Behavior Expectations

Applications for transfer can be denied if the student has a history of poor attendance or disciplinary issues.  Students approved for school transfer are expected to have regular and punctual attendance and to abide by all disciplinary rules at the school where they attend.  Student’s approval for transfer can be revoked by the Superintendent or designee if attendance or disciplinary issues occur at the requested school, and the student will be expected to immediately enroll in the school of their residence.

4.  Transfer to EXCEL Academy

The Superintendent or designee shall transfer students who have a pending felony criminal charge, as defined by Georgia law, to EXCEL Academy until the pending criminal charge is resolved.  If a student is subsequently adjudicated as guilty of committing a felony criminal charge, as defined by Georgia law, a disciplinary hearing will be held pursuant to the Henry County School System Code of Conduct, and the student's placement will be determined.

5.  Student Eligibility for Athletic/Extracurricular Activities

Students and parents should be aware that school transfers may affect the student’s eligibility to participate in athletic and extracurricular activities governed by the Georgia High School Association (GHSA).  It shall be the parent's responsibility to verify whether GHSA requirements may affect their child’s eligibility prior to submitting a school transfer request.

B.  School Transfer Options

1.  Unsafe School Choice Option

  1. Victim of a Violent Criminal Offense:  Subject to the requirements of federal and state law, any student who is the victim of a violent criminal offense that occurs on the property of the Henry County school in which the student is enrolled, while attending a school-sponsored event that occurs on school property, or while attending an event under the jurisdiction of the school shall be permitted to transfer to another public school in Henry County.  This transfer shall occur within ten school days of the commission of the violent criminal offense, and to the extent possible, the student shall be permitted to transfer to a school that is making adequate yearly progress and has not been identified as being in school improvement, corrective action, or restructuring.

Per State Board of Education Rule 160-4-8-.16, for the purposes of this rule, a violent criminal offense includes the following felony transgressions of law as defined in state statute: aggravated battery, aggravated child molestation, aggravated sexual battery, aggravated sodomy, armed robbery, first degree arson, felony weapons charge, kidnaping, murder, rape, voluntary manslaughter, or terroristic threats.

  1. Persistently Dangerous School:  Subject to the requirements of federal and state law, any student whose assigned school is classified as a persistently dangerous school shall be permitted to transfer to another public school in Henry County.  Within ten school days of notification by the Georgia Department of Education, the Superintendent or designee shall notify parents of students enrolled in a school classified as persistently dangerous and specify the process for the transfer of a student to another school. This transfer shall occur within 30 days of the request, and to the extent possible, the student shall be permitted to transfer to a school that is making adequate yearly progress and has not been identified as being in school improvement, corrective action, or restructuring.

School transfer under the Unsafe School Choice Option is contingent upon school capacity at the requested school.  The transportation of students to and from school shall be the responsibility of parents. A student who transfers under this option may continue to attend such school until the student completes all grades of the school.

2.  Siblings of Students

Siblings of students who are required by Henry County Schools to attend a specific school may be enrolled in the same school (not cluster) so that children who are full-time residents at the same home address may attend school together.  For example, this option applies to siblings of Special Education students who cannot obtain required special education services within the child's school attendance zone.

This option is not contingent upon school capacity at the requested school. However, approval to remain at the requested school may be revoked by the Superintendent or designee due to attendance or behavior concerns. Transportation to and from school of students who are not receiving special education services shall be the responsibility of the student’s parents.

3.  Before-School and/or After-School Child Care (Grades K-5)

If for any child in Kindergarten through fifth grades, a significant childcare hardship exists that cannot be met by regular bus transportation and Henry County Schools After-School Program care, parents may request consideration for school transfer.

In order for such transfer requests to be considered, the parent must provide sufficient evidence that changing the present before and/or after school care for the child (children) would cause a hardship, or provide evidence that alternative before and/or after-school care is not available.

This option is not contingent upon school capacity at the requested school. However, approval to remain at the requested school may be revoked by the Superintendent or designee due to attendance or behavior concerns. The transportation of students to and from school shall be the responsibility of the student’s parents.

4.  Academy for Advanced Studies

The Academy for Advanced Studies, located on the campus of Henry County High School, provides students access to secondary and postsecondary coursework not available at other schools in the district.

Students who gain admission to secondary or postsecondary course work shall be allowed to attend such course work on a shared-time basis and participate in this course work while maintaining school enrollment through his/her home school.  Admission may be limited by the enrollment capacity of the program offerings.

The approval to remain at Henry County High is contingent upon the student’s continued participation in Academy for Advanced Studies coursework and may be revoked by the Superintendent or designee due to attendance or behavior concerns.

5.  Course Selection

If a Henry County high school offers a Career Pathway course that is not offered in the Henry County school of residence, a parent may request permission for the student to transfer to another high school so that the student may enroll in the desired course.  If the desired course is offered in a school that was available under House Bill 251, and still has space available, enrollment will only be allowed at one of those schools.  The Superintendent or designee will determine which school can accommodate the requested transfer.  Such transfers will be required to immediately enroll in the school and desired course, and if enrollment and participation in the desired course does not occur, the child will be immediately withdrawn and referred back to the school of residency.  Renewal must occur yearly.

6.  Parent Moves to Another School Attendance Zone in Henry County (Move during a School Year)

  1. If a child is enrolled in Henry County Schools at the beginning of the school year, and the child's parent moves to another school attendance zone within the county after the school year begins, the parent shall have the option to apply through transfer to have the child remain in the original school for the remainder of the school year.  At the beginning of the next school year, the child shall enroll in the school in the attendance zone where the child and parent reside.
  2. If a Henry County student is a rising high school senior and their parent moves to a residence in another school attendance zone within the county prior to the beginning of the school year, the parent shall have the option to apply through transfer to the student remain in the original school for the completion of the student's high school senior year.

These options are not contingent upon school capacity at the requested school. However, approval to remain at the requested school may be revoked by the Superintendent or designee due to attendance or behavior concerns. The transportation of students to and from school shall be the responsibility of the student’s parents.

7.  Child of Henry County School System Employee

If the Henry County School System employs a child's parent or step-parent as a full time, benefited employee, the child of this employee may be enrolled in the appropriate grade level and Henry County school desired by the parent.  Once enrolled, the child will be expected to attend that school for the duration of the school year unless extenuating circumstances warrant reconsideration of the decision and a school transfer is authorized by the Superintendent or designee.

This option is not contingent upon school capacity at the requested school. However, approval to remain at the requested school may be revoked by the Superintendent or designee due to attendance or behavior concerns.  The transportation of students to and from school shall be the responsibility of the student’s parents.

If a child is granted enrollment under this provision and is subsequently charged with a felony criminal charge, as defined by Georgia law, the Superintendent or designee shall assign the child to EXCEL Academy until the pending felony criminal charges are adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction.

A nonresident child of a Henry County School System employee who has a pending felony criminal charge, as defined by Georgia law, will be ineligible for enrollment into the Henry County School System pursuant to this provision until there is a final adjudication of the child's felony criminal charge by a court of competent jurisdiction.

A nonresident child of a Henry County School System employee who has a felony conviction for a criminal offense, as defined by Georgia law, is ineligible for enrollment in the Henry County School System under this policy and the provisions set forth herein.

8.  Parent Moves Outside Henry County

  1. If a child is enrolled in a Henry County school at the beginning of the last grading period (last nine weeks) of the semester, and the child's parent moves outside the County, the parent shall have the option to request that the child remain in the original school for the remainder of that semester.
  2. If a high school senior is enrolled in a Henry County school through the completion of the second grading period (second nine weeks) of the child's high school senior year, and the parent moves outside of Henry County, the parent shall have the option of allowing the child to remain in the original school for the completion of the child's high school senior year.

Such options are not contingent upon school capacity at the requested school. However, approval to remain at the requested school may be revoked by the Superintendent or designee due to attendance or behavior concerns. The transportation of students to and from school shall be the responsibility of the student’s parents.

C.  Superintendent Authorization

To the greatest extent permitted by law, the Superintendent or designee is authorized to enroll a child in any school within the system and may terminate any approval for school transfer without notice or hearing.  The decision of the Superintendent or designee as to whether a requested school transfer will be permitted shall be final.

 

Henry County Schools
Original Adopted Date: 7/1/2003
Last Revised: 4/11/2016
Crossing Attendance Lines forms must be obtained from the school in your attendance zone.
 
 
 

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