BY MATT MACKINDER
Clarkston News Staff Writer
On May 13, the Clarkston Community Schools Board of Education unanimously approved the district’s plan to create open-enrollment (schools of choice) kindergarten and Young Fives opportunities for the 2019-20 school year.
“The Board of Education’s unanimous approval represents their support of our schools, community, and kids,” said Superintendent Shawn Ryan. “We are very grateful for the support of the Clarkston Community Schools Board of Education.”
Under this plan, students who reside outside of district boundaries are now eligible to enroll in CCS and continue with the district throughout their academic career.
“When we examined enrollment trends for the next five years, we saw a declining birth rate in Oakland County, so even though we are consistently capturing around four percent of the county’s total birth rate, there are fewer little ones coming in,” said Ryan. “By opening a very small number of school-of-choice opportunities at the Young Fives and kindergarten level, we not only stabilize our enrollment for years to come, but we also have the ability to place those students in buildings that perhaps wouldn’t otherwise have the numbers to run a Young Fives class, or a second section of kindergarten.”
No more than 10 non-resident kindergarten applicants and 15 non-resident Young Fives applicants will be accepted district-wide. Once students are accepted and placed in an elementary school by the district, they will remain in that school through fifth grade before continuing their education at Sashabaw Middle School, Clarkston Junior High School, and Clarkston High School.
Out-of-district student placement will also help balance class sizes, in order to maintain a low student-teacher ratio.
“We know families are drawn to our district’s longstanding reputation of excellence in all we do: academics, the arts, athletics,” Ryan said. “Clarkston Community Schools offers a wide variety of opportunities and pathways for our students to pursue and a positive learning environment where they are challenged, healthy, engaged, safe, and supported. We think our open enrollment kindergarten and Young Fives programs will be the right fit or families who are looking to partner with Clarkston schools for their child’s entire educational journey.”
The 2019-20 open-enrollment application period for kindergarten and Young Fives is Monday, July 15 through Thursday, Aug. 8.
To apply, visit www.clarkston.k12.mi.us/enroll/open-enrollment.