Two Schools Get a Pilot Program For Open Enrollment

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- Two schools will get a chance to start a new pilot program with open enrollment.

This program will allow any elementary school student in Hamilton County to attend either school even if they are not zoned to it.

Rivermont Elementary and Brown Academy will be apart of a new pilot program to provide open enrollment to students, but it didn’t come without criticism.

Rhonda Thurman stated, “I am tired of showing preferential treatment to certain people because I guarantee you that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Certain people are going to get into these schools and if everyone deserves the opportunity for an option it ought to be for everybody.”

School Board Member Rhonda Thurman said believes that open enrollment has already been tried and feels that this program will be unfair to students and parents looking for the right place for their child due to potential bias.

Some Board Members think different.

Tiffanie Robinson said,  “This is why I ran for School Board , to see things like this happen because to be Frank Real Estate shouldn’t dictate where you go to school and every child needs something different.”

Karista Jones said, “It’s been done before, but it is 2017 vs. 1993… I just think that into consideration to that we’re dealing with a different time, our system is in a different place and people are going to be more inept to try something new because they don’t trust what’s old.”

The school’s principal’s will determine the number of open enrollment slots with a first come first serve basis, but board members will be looking to see if this plan will work for all school.

“It’s a pilot trying to figure out you know how to make this work in a new and different way and what may happen if this works well is you sort of fill up a school through open enrollment one year. Those same kids stay and then open enrollment may actually be in a different school based on space for a different year.”

Rivermont Elementary and Brown Academy will start the open enrollment process for their K through 5 for the next academic school year.

Categories: Local News

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