AISD’s Transfer Freeze
Trustees approved the 2017-18 school year list at their Dec. 19 meeting
For the third year in a row, the Austin Independent School District is freezing 23 campuses to student transfers. And for the third year in a row, it's a different list of campuses. Trustees approved the 2017-18 school year list at their Dec. 19 meeting, and the locations reflect an ongoing conundrum for facilities: While many campuses in East and Southeast Austin are underenrolled, clusters in North Central and Southwest Austin are bursting at the seams. The schools frozen to transfers are:
High Schools: Akins, Bowie, Lanier, and McCallum
Middle Schools: Burnet, Lamar, and Murchison
Elementaries: Baldwin, Baranoff, Blazier, Casis, Cowan, Doss, Graham, Gullett, Hill, Kiker, Maplewood, Menchaca, Perez, Ridgetop, Wooten, and Zilker
AISD has long prided itself on its open transfer policy, allowing students to request to move from their home campus to any other school within the district. However, that can only happen when the receiving campus has space. This year the district continues its policy introduced last year of only allowing priority transfers (keeping siblings together, following a vertical team tracking pattern, or majority-to-minority transfers) in non-frozen campuses.
AISD board president Kendall Pace said some of those capacity issues reflect successful policies, as Maplewood, Ridgetop, Wooldridge, and Wooten have all introduced successful two-way dual language programs. Moreover, some campuses have a wait list but are not included on the list, such as Blackshear Elementary. Pace said, "It's got capacity, but those extra rooms are being used by administration." Her concern is that parents on that kind of wait list will eventually give up and move their kids to a charter or private school, or a nearby district. "If people want to go to our campus, and there's space, then it's our job to make sure that they can."
The district will take in-district transfer requests (either in person, or via mail, email, or fax) Jan. 3-31, and then accept out-of-district applications beginning Feb. 1. More info and forms at www.austinisd.org/transfer.