Policy JC-RZ

A. Generally

Students must attend school in the zone where their parents or legal guardians reside. The Superintendent or designee may, however, assign a student to a school in a different attendance zone if a specialized instructional program, determined to be most appropriate for the student by the Superintendent or designee, is available in that school but not in the school serving the student's attendance zone. In such cases in which students are assigned full time to another building because of a specialized program, e.g., magnet schools, IEP determined placements, the reassigned students will have no further involvement in the school serving the student's attendance zone, e.g., student activities or athletics.

Although a high school student may take a course or courses at a school different from the one in his or her attendance zone, upon approval by the Superintendent or designee, this student will be eligible for extra-curricular activities only at the school serving his or her attendance zone.

B. Designation

The board shall adopt those attendance areas as considered appropriate by the board. The following will be among the factors to be considered:

  1. Capacity of facilities
  2. Student demographics
  3. Geographic or other hazardous conditions

C. Change of Residence Within the City

If parents or guardians move within the city during the school year, their children shall transfer to the school serving their new residence. However, if the parents or guardians would like their children to remain in the school in which they are presently enrolled, the parents or guardians must make a written request for an exemption to the principal of that school at the time of the change in residence. Such a request must specify whether the children are to complete either (1) the remainder of the current school year or, if they meet the eligibility criteria below, (2) the remainder of the school's program. A decision on the request will be made by the Superintendent or designee and will be based on, among other things, factors such as the number of grades the child has completed at the current school and the enrollment in the current grade at both schools. A student may not change interscholastic teams, after a change of residence, in a particular sport or season as defined by the VHSL.

In order for a request to be considered that a student remain in the current school for the remainder of that school’s program, the student must have completed a minimum of four consecutive years in one elementary school, or two consecutive years at one middle or high school at the time of the change of residence. After the student has completed either (1) the remainder of the current school year, or (2) the remainder of that school’s program, the student must then attend the school serving his new residence.

D. Elementary Child Care (Babysitter Hardship)

A parent/guardian may request an alternative school assignment for elementary students if there is a documented hardship involving a working parent/guardian and the need for child care services. The following procedures will be used to implement this policy:

1. Alternative placement of elementary children will be based on documented evidence of hardship.

2. No transportation adjustments will be made due to the alternative placement and parents must insure that the children arrive and depart at the scheduled hours. If a bus serving the legal residence of the parent/guardian stops at the child care facility, the student must attend the school which serves their residence and no alternative placement will be provided. If there is an established bus stop for the assigned alternative school that serves the private child care provider’s home or the child care facility, and no bus for the base school serving the legal residence of the parent/guardian, the student may ride the bus to the alternative placement. Students receiving alternative placements may not ride buses for the schools for innovation or the Gifted Opportunity (GO) Center unless they have been accepted into one of these programs. No individual bus schedules will be developed for reassigned students.

3. Alternative assignments will be made on a space available basis.

4. Decisions regarding elementary school reassignments will be based on an application/approval process handled by the Department of Student Services.

5. Only one alternative placement will be made during a child's elementary years. If a change occurs in the child care situation, the parent/guardian may choose to return to the school serving their legal residence.

6. Each child for whom an elementary school reassignment is requested must be approved on an individual basis.

7. Elementary school reassignments will be valid for a period of one year. Parents/guardians must reapply for consideration annually.

8. Parents/guardians must insure that reassigned students maintain good attendance as well as consistently arrive and depart school according to the published hours of operation for elementary schools.

9. Reassignments may be revoked for students who experience issues related to Student Code of Conduct violations or truancy; including, but not limited to, excessive absences, tardies, or early dismissals, and repeated late pickups from school. If revoked, the child/children may be required to attend the school serving the legal residence of the parent/guardian.

10. Parents/guardians must notify the Department of Student Services of changes in their work schedule that would affect the documented work-related hardship. Work-related changes that no longer warrant a reassignment and/or failure on the part of the parent/guardian to notify the Department of Student Services of such changes may result in revocation of the elementary school reassignment. The child/children may be required to attend the school serving the legal residence of the parent/guardian.

11. Providing false information to obtain an alternative placement will automatically void the reassignment and the child/children will be required to attend the school serving the legal residence of the parent/guardian.

12. Applications for elementary school reassignments must be received in the Department of Student Services by November 30 of each school year. No reassignments will be considered for the school year after this date with the exception of families who move into the city of Lynchburg after November 30.

13. Elementary school reassignment does not apply to elementary schools for innovation.

14. Students who have completed a minimum of four consecutive years in one elementary school may continue in that same school until the end of their elementary program without completing further elementary school reassignment applications.

15. Upon completion of the elementary school program, the student must then attend the middle school serving his or her residence.

Adopted by School Board: June 19, 1973
Revised by School Board: September 7, 1976
Revised by School Board: January 6, 1981
Revised by School Board: August 2, 1983
Revised by School Board: September 3, 1985
Revised by School Board: August 1, 1989
Revised by School Board: August 2 , 1994
Revised by School Board: August 27, 1997
Revised by School Board: April 24, 2001
Revised by School Board: May 6, 2008
Revised by School Board: May 7, 2019

Legal Refs.:

Code of Virginia, 1950 as amended, §§ 22.1-78, 22.1-79, 22.1-253.13:7.