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Some parents may transfer students under new state law

COVINGTON - Under House Bill 251, or the Quality Basic Education Act, which Gov. Sonny Perdue signed into law in May, some parents may request to transfer their student to another school in their district under certain circumstances.

The Newton County School System announced Thursday that officials have identified three schools that may be eligible to receive students whose parents wish to transfer them under the new law.

According to a press release, five slots may be open at Middle Ridge Elementary School in fourth grade, nine slots may be open at Oak Hill Elementary School in fourth grade and 17 slots may be open at Porterdale Elementary School - five each in kindergarten and first grade, one in third grade and six in fourth grade.

Other schools may not have openings due to increases in their initial enrollment projections. Transfers may also be denied if it is anticipated that a school will become overcrowded due to transfers under the No Child Left Behind Act.

Those students approved to transfer will be eligible to attend the assigned school for the 2009-10 school year, but parents who are granted the transfer under HB 251 are responsible for the transportation of the child to and from school.

To request a transfer, parents must complete a form, which will be available at the Newton County centralized registration office located at Clements Theme School beginning Wednesday and continuing until July 16. Forms also are available for download on the NCSS Web site, www.newtoncountyschools.org.

Parents or guardians must complete and submit these forms to the school district by July 16. The hours of centralized registration are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday at Clements, 66 Jack Neely Road, Covington. Forms also will be accepted at the Newton County Board of Education offices, which are located at 2109 Newton Drive N.E. in Covington, or faxed to 770-784-4969.

NCSS will not accept forms after July 16 for the 2009-10 school year, and parents moving into the district after July 16 are not eligible to request a transfer for their students.

If the number of transfer requests is more than what is available, NCSS will hold a lottery to determine who will fill the slots.

NCSS will mail out letters to parents regarding the acceptance or denial of the transfer by July 24.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.