School Board oks transfer requests for non-resident grandkids of Piedmont residents; Kindergarten space available

By a vote of 3 to 1, the PUSD Board of Education on June 12 voted to expand its interdistrict transfer policy to include a prioritized category for non-resident grandchildren of Piedmont residents. PUSD is now accepting transfer requests for limited Kindergarten spots for the 2019-2010 school year.

According to Superintendent Randall Booker, the district hopes that an expansion will attract an additional 10 to 15 Kindergarten-age students. “This isn’t increasing class size. This is to ensure that we are filling classes up to the allowed limit,” said Booker, who noted that Havens Elementary School was down a full Kindergarten class. He noted that other school districts are considering similar policies to address declining enrollment trends. Because Piedmont’s enrollment needs this year are limited to Kindergarten-age students, an older or younger sibling of a grandchild admitted to Kindergarten in Piedmont may not be granted the same privilege.

Although a majority of board members supported the redefined policy as written (Trustee Megan Pillsbury was absent), Trustee Sarah Pearson, the only “no” vote, shared concerns about institutionalizing intergenerational privilege. She also took issue with the prioritization of grandparents over residents living on split parcels — those families who may be paying taxes on a minor Piedmont parcel but have Oakland addresses. “While I definitely agree with the desire to reach our enrollment objectives and I see wide-ranging benefits to having children of grandparents in the schools, I think we should prioritize children of people who pay taxes” and take more time to consider the effects of this policy change.

“We’re updating a policy that can be revisited at any time,” Booker told the Board before the vote. “We can try this out and if it doesn’t work, we can bring it back for reconsideration.

After Wednesday night’s vote, the school district announced the openings in a press release posted on Thursday, June 13:

“The Piedmont Unified School District (PUSD) announces the opportunity for interested families to apply for interdistrict transfers for the 2019-2020 school year. Currently, there are openings at the Kindergarten level. With approximately 15 kindergarten spaces available, a lottery will be held if there are more applications than space availability.

Additionally, new to 2019, the Board of Education revised Board Policy and Administrative Regulation (AR) 5117 that permits children of grandparents who currently reside in the city of Piedmont to apply for an interdistrict transfer.  Enrollment will be based on the priority order outlined in AR 5117 and space availability.

Interested families can find more information about interdistrict permits on our District’s website under the “District Info Tab” – Admission and Enrollment.

1. Complete an interdistrict permit (contact your school district of residence for the form).
2. Visit your district of residence and submit the completed interdistrict permit for approval. Your district may require additional items and/or an in-person visit. Please speak with them about their requirements for your permit.
3. Once you have been approved by your district of residence, please submit the original approved permit, along with the required proofs outlined in AR 5117, to Sylvia Eggert, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent, PUSD, 760 Magnolia Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611.
4. PUSD will begin processing submitted interdistrict permits on June 24, 2019. If your permit is approved, you will be contacted by a PUSD representative by August 1, 2019.

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