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Getting a handle on intradistrict transfers

March 29, 2001|By Angelique Flores

HUNTINGTON BEACH-- A year after calling for a new policy to resolve

the annual predicaments over intradistrict transfers, the Huntington

Beach City School District approved a change to its current policy last

week.

The new guidelines allow students on intradistrict transfers to

elementary schools to attend the middle school that elementary school

feeds into without going through the open enrollment process again.

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This means that students who have intradistrict transfers to Eader,

Hawes or Moffett elementary schools will attend Sowers Middle School,

although they may actually reside within the Dwyer Middle School

attendance area. The same is true for students who have intradistrict

transfers to Huntington Seacliff, Perry or Smith schools. They will

attend Dwyer Middle School.

The change would affect only 13 children who are on open enrollment

transfers within the district at the present time. Other students who

don't live in the attendance area of the middle school they wish to

attend will still have to go through the open enrollment process.

"I think it's a positive move that shows the district is responding to

the community," Trustee Shirley Carey said. "It certainly will resolve it

for this year and next, but we still have to look long term."

The open enrollment process, which has upset some parents for about 10

years, became problematic when the schools began filling up. Some

residents, mostly from the Landmark tract between Adams and Yorktown

avenues and Newland and Magnolia streets, apply for intradistrict

transfers to Sowers each year.

Their neighborhood schools are Moffett Elementary School and Dwyer

Middle School. Some of the parents in the neighborhood don't want to

separate their kids from friends who will attend Sowers next year.

Further, they have concerns about children having to cross Beach

Boulevard to get to Dwyer Middle School. Years ago, rumors sprang up that

the transfers out of Dwyer -- a more racially diverse school -- were

racially motivated. However, evidence was never produced, and talk of

racial issues has died down over the years.

Still, some parents were agitated when they learned their children's

transfer could be turned down in favor of students outside the district.

According to state guidelines, intradistrict transfers are allowed to go

on to the feeder school without another transfer.

So far, district officials have been able to accommodate students each

year the problem has surfaced, including last year. But district

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