The Gilmer County School System (GCSS) offers Public School Choice in compliance with House Bill 251 (2009).
I. A parent/guardian can elect to send a child to another public school in the GCSS as long as there is classroom space available at the school after the initial enrollment period of students. If a parent elects to exercise this choice option, the parent assumes all costs associated with transporting the student to and from the selected school. Also, a student who transfers to another school pursuant to HB 251 may, at his or her election, continue to attend such school until the student completes all grades of the school. Note: A transferring student who completes all grades available at the receiving school does not automatically receive enrollment preference to the feeder school.
II. The GCSS may deny a parental request for transfer based on a lack of capacity for any of the following reasons:
a. Capacity of the school building based on established health and safety provisions;
b. Class-size capacity by grade and subject, based on state law and rule; and
c. A student for whom federal law provides a selected space (e.g., for students transferring from needs improvement (NI) schools under No Child Left Behind; for special education students whose Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) calls for placement at a particular school).
III. Pursuant to HB 251, newly opened schools are not eligible to receive transfer students for a period of 4 years from their opening date. Classroom capacity is determined by State funding limits and by establishing a 10% margin for annual campus growth.
IV. Students who transfer to another campus under House Bill 251 will fall subject to the Georgia High School Association's Migrant Rules for extra-curricular eligibility.
V. The following lists the procedural guidelines for the implementation of Public School Choice:
1. The Gilmer County School System will determine every year, by June 25th, the number of vacant seats available at schools that are eligible to receive transfer students under HB 251. Campus vacancies will be established based upon grade-level.
2. Vacancies will be published on the district's website (www.gilmerschools.com), on or before June 30th. Vacancies will also be posted at the Central Administrative office.
3. Parent(s)/Guardian(s) may apply for vacancies through the following application process:
a. Applications will be taken at the Central Administration office only.
b. Applications will only be accepted by 1st class mail (no hand delivered applications).
c. Only applications received during the month of July (the 1st-31st), will be considered valid and eligible for the placement lottery.
d. Parent(s), Guardian(s), and students are eligible to transfer only once per academic school year under the school choice option. Only students who participate in the lottery placement drawing are eligible. Students who enroll into the GCSS during an academic year must wait until the following summer to enter the placement lottery through the application process.
4. After the application window has closed, eligible applications will be sorted by campus preference then a random drawing will occur at the Central Administrative office of applications.
5. Prior to the first day of instruction, Principals will notify out-of-district parent(s)/guardian(s) that their student was selected for assignment at the school of choice and of campus enrollment procedures.