The Saline Area School District will reduce the number of "schools of choice" slots available for kindergarten pupils for the 2018-2019 year from 40 or 50 in the previous few school years to 30 this year.
Only one slot is available for the Young 5's program and first through eighth grades. Two slots are available for each year of high school, one for each grade nine through 12 at Saline High School and one for each grade nine through 12 in the Alternative High School.
Supt. Scot Graden recommended the plan to the board of education at its Feb. 27 meeting as part of a consent agenda that was passed unanimously by trustees.
Graden said while Saline has traditionally participated in schools of choice, very few slots are open because 96 percent of students living in the district are “captured” by the public school system, rather than choosing to go to private schools, chartered academies, or public schools in other nearby districts.
That percentage is the highest in Washtenaw County, tied only with Chelsea’s school district. The next highest is Dexter, which captures 94 percent of its resident students.
Supt. Scot recommended a report with finalized head counts in a report to the board of education during its Feb. 27 meeting. The board has set a cap on out-of-district students who can transfer in at 10 percent to keep enrollment in the district stable.
After the meeting, Graden clarified that more slots are open at the kindergarten level because many families who move to Saline do so when their children are older, so kindergarten classes are often quite small compared to the number of students who graduate from the school system.
Out-of-district parents can apply for a slot in the Saline Area Schools through schools of choice from April 30 through June 8 by downloading a form from the website (to be available later this spring) or by calling the district office and asking to have a form mailed or faxed to them.
After the deadline of 4 p.m. June 8, the school hosts a “lottery” June 11 where names are drawn to decide who gets the few open slots.
More information about the schools of choice program in Saline is available by visiting https://www.salineschools.org/ and choosing "schools of choice" from the "District Resources" menu.
In other news from the Feb. 27 meeting of the school board:
- The board approved a consent agenda that included approval for a field trip to the FCCLA State Competition in Midland March 21-23.
- Trustees announced that the next meeting of the board of education will take place at 6:30 p.m. March 13 at the Liberty School Media Center.