Late registration could keep students from school of choice

Carolina Astrain By Carolina Astrain

March 31, 2013 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated March 30, 2013 at 10:31 p.m.

Victoria school district administrators are hoping parents register their students for the next school year by the end of spring.

Knowing how many students are expected in spring helps the district project how many teachers they need to hire before fall, said student services coordinator Tammy Nobles.

The Victoria school district received about 400 last-minute registrants during the first month of the 2012-13 school year.

"We want to reduce that number," said Nobles. "Preregistration is critical because it helps us in advance as a district to determine staffing and space needed at each campus."

Under the Texas Education Code, a school district may not enroll more than 22 students in a kindergarten, first-, second-, third- or fourth-grade class.

Last fall, the VISD applied for class-size waivers to allow 12 of its elementary school campuses to expand student capacity from 22 to 24.

That means the 25th student registered in a kindergarten through fourth-grade classroom was either transferred to a nearby campus or neighboring district, said Nobles.

VISD had to transfer 62 students because of class-size limitations, said Nobles.

On VISD's website, parents new to the area can look up what campus their students are assigned to according to district zoning.

Fifth-grade classrooms were as large as 27 students per teacher, and classroom sizes varied on middle and high school campuses at VISD.

An additional classroom and teacher transfers caused a disruption to learning at Torres Elementary last fall, said principal Sherry Gorsuch.

"We had to start capping (transferring) students on the first day of the school year," Gorsuch said. "Switching teachers is hard on the students because they have to start all over again with someone new after creating a bond with their teachers on the first day."



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