Schools within the Roseburg Public School district denied transfer requests for some students this year because of increased enrollments and class sizes in specific areas.
“Melrose and Hucrest have met intra-district building capacity levels,” the district’s Director of Human Resources Robert Freeman said. “There are pockets of grade levels that have reached grade level limits.”
There are two ways students can transfer: intra-district, for students who live within the boundaries of the school district but outside the boundaries of those schools; and inter-district transfers, where students who live in one school district would like to attend school in another.
“We’re trying to ensure that each school has adequate resources they need to serve their kids in a way that makes sense,” Roseburg Public School Superintendent Jared Cordon said. “I think the intent this year was to say we can accommodate some inter-district transfers up to this spot but once we hit that level we don’t have enough space to take any more kids.”
Each school has designated resources, including teachers, for the estimated amount of students expected.
“What we can’t say to parents when they move into the attendance boundary is, ‘We’re full here, there’s no room here. Sorry,’” Cordon said.
Current limits for inter-district transfers are 18 students for kindergarten, 20 to 23 students in first through third grade, 25 to 28 students in fourth and fifth grade. Principals use those numbers to initially deny or accept requests from outside the district.
“Buildings are staffed based upon student enrollment. Anytime student enrollment is changed it affects that building, grade level, or classroom,” Freeman said. “Because of the caps, buildings are really not impacted that much by the inter-district request process.”
Increased enrollment, especially in the lower grades, was a contributing factor to limiting the number of transfers.
There are currently two different transfer processes — one for inter-district, another for intra-district transfers — at Roseburg Public Schools. Both have to be renewed annually by the families.
Roseburg may deny student transfers based on building capacity, individual grade-level capacity, program at capacity and if a student has been expelled from another district.
“It is not common for Roseburg Public Schools to deny a request to leave the district or enter the district,” Freeman said. The district denied two transfer requests — one based on building capacity the other due to a prior expulsion.
Building principals have denied additional students based on building resources.
“The school in the last 10 years has grown about 20%, so we have a lot of families in the area,” Melrose Elementary School Principal Tammy Rasmussen said. “Unfortunately that meant that this year we had to restrict enrollment and that is a process that was really hard to do. We have a lot of families that would enjoy being a part of our school environment but we do have, this year, a situation that resulted in us restricting any out-of-area placements in certain grade levels.”
Freeman said there are a number of reasons why students and parents want to transfer district. As of Wednesday, Roseburg Public Schools had 203 students transferring out of the district and 209 students transferring in.
School districts around Douglas County are working toward streamlining the transfer process, including an effort by the Douglas Education Service District to convert the annual paperwork into a DocuSign process which would allow families to file transfer requests online.