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Open enrollment options limited in North Fulton


No room for additional students at any area middle school



May 07, 2014
NORTH FULTON, Ga. – North Fulton parents interested in sending their child to a school outside their attendance zones may find slim pickings in the list of 23 schools participating in open enrollment for the 2014-2015 school year.

Elementary options abound in North Fulton, with eight of the 14 available schools located in the area. However, no middle schools have capacity, and only two high schools – Cambridge and Alpharetta – are open for students outside the attendance zone.

Parents interested in open enrollment must fill out an application by May 15. Applications can be found online (www.fultonschools.org) or picked up at the Milton Center (old Milton High School) in downtown Alpharetta. Parents will be informed of the decision by June 30. If accepted, the student or parent must provide transportation to the school.

Since 2009, state law requires school districts to provide options for parents who wish to send their children to schools outside their assigned school – based on available space. Fulton Schools officials said middle schools and most high schools in North Fulton are at or above capacity, which limits the options for choice.

"Space offerings in North Fulton are limited due to their projected enrollment and the schools' existing capacity," said Susan Hale, spokesperson for the Fulton County School System. "Schools are chosen for open enrollment using the classroom allocation model, which considers projected enrollment and the instructional program needs of each student."

Therefore, even if a school has a state capacity of 1,000, special programs may dictate how the space is being used, which limits the seat capacity.

Fulton School Board member Katie Reeves said she is not surprised by the low number of options available to middle and high school students through open enrollment.

"The fact there are only two high schools available [indicates] additional space is going to be on the agenda for North Fulton," said Reeves. "The growth is there… [and] how to manage our middle and high school growth for the next two years will be an ongoing board and community discussion."

Three middle schools in North Fulton will be receiving additions over the next few years, which should address the crowded conditions at the middle school level.

Open enrollment schools in North Fulton

Elementary High

Findley Oaks Alpharetta

Medlock Bridge Cambridge

Mountain Park

New Prospect

Shakerag

Summit Hill

Sweet Apple

Wilson Creek

MH 05-07-14

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