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10/5/2018 11:53:00 AM
Mt. Vernon schools halt transfer acceptance after reaching 682 out-of-district students

Rorye Hatcher, Daily Reporter

FORTVILLE — Mt. Vernon Community School Corp. won’t accept transfer students or out-of-district students until June 2019.

School board members voted to pass a resolution prohibiting transfer students from Oct. 1 until June 1, 2019, based on in-district housing growth affecting the district’s population, officials said.

The district currently has an enrollment of about 4,125 students, said interim superintendent Chris Smedley. Mt. Vernon currently hosts some 682 out-of-district students.

“We’re at a point where we’re keeping a close eye on internal growth in our district with the number of building projects going on,” he said. “We’re trying to keep our enrollment numbers where we can provide optimal services for students with the staff and the space we have.”

Currently enrolled transfer/out-of-district students and their siblings, foreign exchange students attending through a contractual relationship and employees’ children are exempt from this resolution and may attend school at Mt. Vernon schools, according to a news release.

Mt. Vernon schools leaders plan to conduct a demographic study of the district to predict what enrollment numbers may look like in the next five to 10 years, Smedley said.

“Our next step is to get that demographer into the district and conduct the study to help us forecast what those numbers are going to look like,” he said.

The district aims for a ratio of 25 students per teacher in its classrooms, and at this point, most classrooms are at that ratio or better, Smedley said. Elementary school classrooms are closer to 22 or 23 students per teacher, he said.

Mt. Vernon High School faces different challenges when it comes to ideal class size, he said. Trying to get every student the courses they need, whether they’re vocational, AP dual credit courses or others, while keeping class sizes optimal, can be complicated, he said.

MVCSC administration meets quarterly with the economic development representatives from the county and all three towns in our district to assess housing growth and developments, which helps the district prepare for future growth, according to a news release.

The school board will re-evaluate its stance on allowing transfer students in the spring, officials said.

“At this point, we felt like it was the right thing to do, based on where we are with enrollment,” Smedley said. “It’s not a permanent decision.”

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