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Open enrollment to online academies (March 2015 School Leader Update)

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Since March 1 fell on a Sunday this year, state law extends the deadline to today, March 2, for open enrollment applications.

Here are a few reminders with regard to open enrollment applications into the online academies at CAM or Clayton Ridge:

  • Students can open enroll to CAM or Clayton Ridge if they file their application by March 1 or meet “Good Cause.”
  • A student who misses the deadline or does not meet good cause but alleges pervasive harassment or a serious medical condition in his or her application will need approval from the resident district before the receiving district can accept the student.
  • Students must meet residency and age requirements to open enroll into these academies. They cannot be under suspension, expulsion, or already have a high school diploma or high school equivalency diploma.
  • There is still a 1 percent cap on students being sent – both the sending and the receiving districts are responsible to know the cap.
  • Parents open enroll students into districts and not attendance centers. You cannot deny an application based on sunset date in statute. A student could still attend another attendance center in the district or the student could terminate the open enrollment if the online academies close.

State Board reverses local board’s decision

In a recent appeal to the State Board of Education, the Board reversed the decision of the local school district denying the student’s open enrollment to one of the online academies. The case involved a student who filed an open enrollment application on the basis of both pervasive harassment and having a serious medical condition that could not be adequately addressed by the school district.

The local board found that the student was not subject to pervasive harassment and further noted that the district could serve the student in their own online credit recovery programming, thus denying her application.

However, the local board overlooked the fact that the student had been undergoing truancy proceedings with the district for several months due to depression. As part of the truancy proceedings, the student was ordered to get a mental health evaluation. Additionally, at a truancy mediation meeting, the principal and assistant principal encouraged the student and her mother to enroll in one of the online academies because they felt this may be the best option for the student.

The State Board found that the student did have a serious medical condition that could not be adequately addressed by the district and the district conceded this fact when they encouraged her to enroll in the online academy. See the link below for the full text of the case cited above.

In re Open Enrollment of C.N., 27 D.o.E. App. Dec. 571 (2015).

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on September 21, 2017 at 2:39pm.