Every year, students have the option to move from the Jonesboro Public School district into another district, and it seems more and more students are taking this course of action.
“We have a couple of different ways students can transfer districts, and it goes by the district not the school,” said JPS Assistant Superintendent Karleen Sheets. “Legal transfers take place month by month and with school choice applications have to be submitted by May 1 for the following Fall semester.”
According to data supplied by minutes from monthly JPS Board Meetings over the past two years, transfers out of the district have consistently been higher than transfers into the district.
During the 2014-2015 school year, 73 students legally transferred from Jonesboro Public Schools into neighboring districts such as Nettleton School District and Westside Public Schools. Only 30 students transferred in.
So far in the current school year, 81 students have legally transferred into another district and 32 have transferred in.
“When students legally transfer school districts we review them each month and decide depending on the student,” Sheets said.
There are less rules for student transfers and the board reviews these each month and decides whether to accept or deny applications.
“When students decide to submit an application for school choice there are more rules involved. They have to submit the application by a certain time, there are different rules if the student has a sibling already in the district, stuff like that,” Sheets said.
The benefit of school choice which only happens once per school year is that students do not necessarily have to live within the desired school district, only be able to supply their own transportation. On the other hand, legal transfers require proof of address.
In the last two years, 171 students have transferred from Jonesboro Public Schools into the Nettleton School District, legally and by school choice.
In the graphic below, JPS is represented by the darkest shaded district. The lighter the districts, the less amount of students transferred there form Jonesboro. The darker the color, the higher number of transfer rates between legal transfers and by school choice.
The Arkansas Department of Education application for school choice can be found on the Jonesboro Public School website, http://www.jonesboroschools.net underneath the parents tab. To contact a school about legal transferring a student, contact the Magnet office at (870) 933-5800, ext. 12253.