Student transfers

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The current discussion about school transfers in the Cape Girardeau School District is good. The district has, over the years, attempted to make transfers within the district easier for students. But the district's policy, which allows principals and the superintendent to permit students to stay in familiar surroundings even when they move into the attendance area of another elementary school, is pretty much left up to each administrator. Perhaps most surprising is the fact that no records are kept of these waivers.

When a student moves from one attendance area to another, parents can request approval for the student to stay with his teacher and classmates. But for how long? Until the end of the semester? The end of the school year? Until the student moves on to the middle school? And what about the student's siblings? Do they get to go to the same school for the convenience of transportation and school activities?

These are all good questions, and they are being given serious consideration by parents and school officials. School board members have acknowledged that the current system of granting attendance waivers is ambiguous. At least one board member has had personal experience with the system.

A committee -- interim superintendent Pat Fanger, new superintendent Jim Welker, board president Kyle McDonald and board member Steve Trautwein -- will look at the transfer policy and make a recommendation to the board.

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