Three Forks Voice - Connect With Your Community!

By Jack H. Smith
Three Forks Voice 

Out of district policy discussed


April 24, 2019

The Three Forks School District is examining their out-of-district student policy.

At a Tuesday night community meeting, Three Forks Superintendent Jeff Elliott told audience members the district is at a point where they are full, and changes need to be made to their out-of-district student policy.

Elliott said they have to really look at redrafting their policy and not allowing out of district students if it changes the educational setting of the school.

"We are full, we don't have any place to put them," he said.

Elliott told the crowd they need to add a little more strength and teeth to their policy and mentioned the Jefferson and Manhattan Districts have more specific lines in their policy about out of district students.

Elliott discussed current out-of-districts and said they would like them to stay, but would have to reapply each year. There are currently 49 out of district students with 39 in the high school and 10 in the elementary.

He said they plan on sending out a letter out May 1 to all non-resident families and they will have to go through the application process and need to reapply by June 15 to be accepted.

Board member Sheri Brown said allowing out-of-district students made sense from a financial standpoint when rooms were not full, but added they now need to enforce the existing policy. She also added students reapplying would need to be in good standing.

During the 2019-20 year, the district has turned away three elementary and five high school students.

Elliott told the audience they want all out of district students to enjoy what they have, but they just don't have the room.

The district will also be looking at how boundaries will affect the policy.

Elliot showed audience members a map of the current boundaries where some students would attend elementary school in Three Forks and high school in another district, adding they would need to make concessions for those circumstances as well.

Elliott said they would like to allow existing students that have been part of the schools to stay, but they should be reapplying every year and that isn't happening.

Elliott added it is important for the district to be consistent with what they do and also have to be prepared for in-district students moving to Three Forks.


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