For years, parents eager to get their children enrolled in the second highest scoring public school system in the state, but who do not live in La Cañada, have camped out for days, hoping to score an interdistrict permit.
Superintendent Wendy Sinnette on Monday announced an end to what's become a yearly ritual outside the offices of the La Cañada Unified School District. The receipt of an interdistrict permit will no longer be based on who got there first, but rather, on a lottery system.
Here's the press release from Sinnette regarding the change in procedure:
The La Canada Unified School District has announced a change with regards to how it accepts and prioritizes applications for Interdistrict Permits. Parents applying for Interdistrict permits:
- Who physically work full-time within district boundaries; or
- Who are residents of the City of La Canada Flintridge whose district of residence is Glendale Unified School District (area typically known as Sagebrush) with proof of release from district of residence; or
- Who are applying under Open Enrollment provisions;
will no longer have priority by category assigned according to the order of receipt of application. Instead, priority by category will be assigned via a lottery.
Applications for Interdistrict Permits for all of the above categories of Interdistrct Permits will be accepted at the LCUSD Offices of Human Resources and Fiscal Services from March 11, 2013 through April 30, 2013. No applications for permits in the categories listed above will be accepted after April 30, 2013. After that date, the District will conduct a lottery to rank the priority for acceptance of each student by category listed above should there be space in a grade level for granting an Interdistrict Permit.
The change in practice is due to the relatively few total number of Interdistrict Permits (less than 50) that LCUSD anticipates accepting for the 2013 – 2014 school year. The number of available permits in 2013-2014 has decreased due to Interdistrict Permit percentage caps (15% total district-wide and 25% per grade level) set by the LCUSD Governing Board. These percentage caps have nearly been met due to the large number of permit students accepted over the past three school years.
The practice of basing the priority for granting available permits according to the order by which the applications are received has resulted in past years in many families “camping out” outside the District Office for up to the entire weekend prior to permit applications being collected. The District has discouraged families from lining up over the weekend, but that has not dissuaded parents from the practice. Considering that families would again line-up; that an entire weekend might be invested by some standing in line; and that expectations for permits being granted might increase due to the valuable investment of time standing in line, prompted the District to change its practice.
Students of full- and part-time employees of LCUSD and siblings of continuing permit students will continue to have priority for Interdistrict Permits and will not be ranked according to the lottery system.
Patch Asks: Do you agree with the policy change? Do you know any permitted students?