Columbia County parents wishing to move their children to a new school next year have this week to make the request.
The school system will accept permissive transfer requests until Friday.
Signed into law in May, Georgia House Bill 251 allows parents to ask that their children be transferred to any school within the same system with available capacity.
Columbia County schools with space available for next school year include Blue Ridge Elementary, with 24 open spaces; Euchee Creek Elementary, with 86; North Columbia Elementary with 19; Greenbrier Middle School, with four; and Harlem High, with 261.
Last year, because of the late passage of HB 251, schools that initially reported open spaces later reduced that availability and some pupils had to be turned away.
School officials hope to avoid that problem this year by collecting transfer requests now.
"What we're doing this year is finishing prior to registration, so it won't affect our teacher allotment," Assistant Superintendent Robert Jarrell said. "If we have 100 students who want to go back to Harlem High School, we can allot the teachers for that amount."
Shuffling teachers around at the last minute before the start of the current school year would have been too problematic, Jarrell said.
Caveats in the law allow local school officials to block transfers to schools already at capacity and schools less than 4 years old, such as Grovetown High School. Also, parents must provide transportation to the preferred school.
Those wishing to fill out a permissive transfer form can do so online at www.ccboe.net/boe/policies and seek out "Procedure JBCC," or at the Board of Education office at 4781 Hereford Farm Road in Evans.
Participating schools with excessive requests likely will conduct a lottery for the open spots on the Monday following the deadline, Jarrell said.
For information, call Kendra Sheldon at (706) 541-0650.
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