Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) is improving procedures to better serve students whose families seek to enroll them in a school that is out of the attendance area where they live. To ensure that parents, teachers, and administrators are working together to discuss and meet student needs, the new procedures require parents or guardians to re-apply annually for renewed permission to enroll a child in an out-of-district school, not just to apply when the student transitions from pre-k to elementary, elementary to middle or middle to high school. The new process also establishes clear guidelines and timelines for submitting out-of-district transfer applications which will make the process easier to navigate for families and administrators. To promote fairness in serving all families, those whose children receive before- or afterschool childcare must provide annual documentation for out-of-district transfer approval.
The new procedures include other changes as well. For example, FCPS staff will consider a student’s compliance with school rules and regulations when determining whether a transfer is in the student’s best interest. New conditional approval will allow for extenuating circumstances and add flexibility for meeting individual student needs. Penalties for fraud or misrepresentation are designed to help keep the out-of-district transfer process fair for everyone. These measures and other new procedures are intended to ensure that FCPS is best supporting every student attending an out-of-district school.
As in the past, transfers from out-of-district students are prohibited at some schools. Each year, FCPS publishes a list of schools projected to reach or exceed capacity when the next school year begins in September. Schools where enrollment is projected to reach or exceed 100% capacity restrict their enrollment only to students who live in the school attendance area.
A full description of all changes, along with an FAQ about the new procedures, links to the regulations that contain the new procedures, the out-of-district transfer application form itself, and other helpful material for families is available online at: fcps.org. The out-of-district transfer form is also available at all local public schools or at the FCPS Student Services office, 191 South East Street, Frederick, 21701.