Friday, January 24, 2014

TOP STORY >> PCSSD signups next week for new students

Leader senior staff writer

The Pulaski County Special School District’s registration for first-time students and those transferring from other districts opens Monday and runs through Friday, according to Deborah Roush, the district’s communications director.

About 600 students are expected to register for kindergarten and pre-kindergarten, according to Janice Warren, interim assistant superintendent for equity and pupil services. Space is available for 700.


Regular school registration next week will be done at the school where the new child will attend pre-kindergarten, kindergarten or elementary school, according to Warren.

Students headed to junior high or high school will go to one of three registration hubs.

Those in the west will register at Maumelle High School, others will go to Sylvan Hills High School or the district’s central office on Dixon Road, she said.

An additional summer enrollment registration will be held in August, right before school starts, she said.

Not yet determined or set is registration for the legal transfer of as many as 30 students from the PCSSD attendance area who want to attend Little Rock schools and another 30 students for North Little Rock schools.

According to the terms of the six-party desegregation settlement approved two weeks ago by U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall Jr., PCSSD can allow an additional 30 students to transfer to each of those districts for four subsequent years, with a maximum of 150 students attending each.


“We’re in the process of getting procedures in place for legal transfers,” Warren said.

Dates and locations to register for those will be announced. Also, the district must decide how to parcel out those legal transfer slots if the number of applicants exceeds the number of slots.

Will it be done by lottery? Will students with siblings already in the program get preference or will those whose parents work or teach at schools in Little Rock or North Little Rock get preference? Warren said that’s among the procedures yet to be decided.

Once a student receives a legal transfer, it’s good through high school graduation, she said. It is not a reciprocal deal, according to Warren.

“Dr. Guess (PCSSD Superintendent Jerry Guess) says that when transportation (to those districts) stops, most M-to-M transfer and magnet school students will return to us,” Warren said. So PCSSD is not accepting legal transfers from the other two districts — and hasn’t in the past.


According to the agreed-upon terms of the desegregation agreement settlement, all M-to-M students from any of the three districts are eligible to continue in that program through graduation, regardless of the grade they are currently in.

Not so for students in the magnet school program. Those students may finish at the school they currently attend. A student at the Carver math and science elementary magnet school can finish there, for instance, but can’t advance to an out-of-district magnet middle school, according to the terms of the settlement.