Perkins closing the door on many open enrollment requests

If you want your child to attend the well-regarded schools in the Perkins Schools district, you may have to move into the district.
Tom Jackson
Dec 8, 2012

 

Open enrollment, a program that Superintendent Jim Gunner launched after taking over as superintendent in May 2008, currently takes up about 525 slots in the school system.

That’s most of the available places, and there are 80 students on a waiting list, Gunner said.

“We have very little space. We are full at most grade levels,” Gunner said.

There were 50 students on the waiting list last year, he said. Because a waiting list has developed, families moving to Erie County are advised that the only way to guarantee admission of their children to the Perkins Schools is by living in the school district.
 

For more on open enrollment at Perkins schools and how it has changed the district's finances, pick up a copy of Saturday's Register.

Comments

donutshopguy

If new kids move into the district does the school send open enrollment kids back to their original district? Do they do this mid-year? Do they do this after the open enrollment child has been in the district a few years?

Looks like the exodus from Sandusky schools would still be in full swing if there was space in Perkins. They are now stuck in Sandusky. At least now the Sandusky board of education can say they stopped the flight from their system.

5feettall

I totally agree with Perkins2060. I always supported levies before, but not with open enrollment. My daughter was signed up for a class, but then open enrollment came right before school that fall, and she was closed out of it. What about the Perkins athletes that don't get to play because open enrollment kids are taking positions? Our kids should be considered first.

booster

I have not seen the printed article but what is listed here on the web is "non-news."
To quote from above:
"There were 50 students on the waiting list last year, he said. Because a waiting list has developed, families moving to Erie County are advised that the only way to guarantee admission of their children to the Perkins Schools is by living in the school district."
So, there is a waiting list...no surprise.
Living in the district is a guarantee, just living in the county is not...no surprise.

Perkins2060

The only way a levy will Pass is if they stop open enrollment.

booster

2060,
I suspect that you, like most people, want the district to be smart with their money. Open enrollment is a way to run a smart business (yes, the business of education.) If a classroom can hold 27 kids and there are only 23 kids in the classroom doesn't it make sense to allow in 3 more kids and 3 more kids worth of money? This is just maximizing efficiencies. No new teachers need to be hired and no more buses. Just work the teachers harder but work them to a level that they agreed to (max class sizes.)

It sounds to me that you think residents are willing to give more (levy money) if they can be assured that decisions will be made that encourage inefficiencies (empty desks) but "exclusivity" can be guaranteed.

Perkins2060

Don't twist my words. No levy will pass as long as there is open enrollment.

donutshopguy

I agree booster.

The concept maximizes the efficiency of the staff and the building. Minimal additional cost with millions in state funding following the open enrollment students.

For those who want your schools to be run more like a business, you got it.

Smoke

So Superintendent Jim Gunner wants to build new schools in perkins.Are these new schools going to be over sized to allow for the 500 extra students?That means the Perkins home owners have to pay more taxes for the larger schools for Sandusky students.The money that Perkins gets from the state for Sandusky students would be used for more Teachers and Admin.Pay and Raises.While Perkins home owners taxes pay for Larger schools And maint.cost. I hope this is not the case becouse the home owners in Perkins would be getting screwed on that deal.

Smoke

(Open enrollment is a way to run a smart business (yes, the business of education.)That's a fairy tale philosophy when your dealing with people and unions.

Perkins2060

Exactly Smoke.

booster

Personally, I am glad that Gunner does not live here. I would rather have someone that makes decisions based on the spreadsheet as opposed to a leader who falls to local tradition and local attitudes.
In no way would Gunner want you to build a new Sandusky HS in Perkins. He needs to maintain an efficient business.

For a more direct answer, no, the proposed new buildings were not "oversized."

cam

There is no extra cost in this. If anything there is a surplus. Perkins also gets the cream of the crop for there sports programs. Some of you will bash that last comment but lets face it. Sports programs do bring in money. If there was no open enrollment and class size was down and the state cut some of the funding you would be calling for Gunner's head. Its a no win deal for him with some of you. I live in Perkins so I do have a say in this as I pay taxes to Perkins Twp. My say is Gunner is doing a fine job and I hope he keeps doing what he is doing.

deertracker

Don't bash open enrollment. That worked out well for Perkins and I am all for success of the 'ol alma mater. Cam is absolutely correct. Also if you tout your school as one of the best, why wouldn't parents want their kids to go there? Oh, how about that sports program? No complaints about that!!!

God Of Thunder

So, I don't know if I'm missing it, or just not interpreting it right.. Are all of the kids that live outside the school district not gonna be able to go here now? Or is it that the ones who are on the waiting list are out of luck and the kids in the schools now ok to stay??

underthebridge

From what I read in the print edition, this article is just highlighting that Open Enrollment is continuing, it has a waiting list, and only those students on the waiting list will not be attending Perkins.

9299

Open enrollment dollars have delayed the district from having to put a levy up for a vote for at least 2-3 years. I agree with the comments above regarding operating as a business; it's what many publicly advocated. Any business tries to use its facilities to the maximum efficiency. Oddly enough, teachers were asking for open enrollment back in 2004 to help offset expenses with revenues. Those who voice a no vote for a levy due to open enrollment would find another reason to vote no. Some of those naysayers probably voted yes for the EHOVE levies which is a whole lot more open enrollment than Perkins; kids from three counties go there and our tax dollars pay for those facilities and salaries to educate kids from a lot farther away than Sandusky (as well as Sandusky and Perkins kids). Perkins tax dollars are not being used to educate Sandusky kids; Sandusky (and Margaretta and kids from other districts) bring state money with them. If anything, Sandusky residents should be upset about their tax dollars leaving their district to educate kids in another district. Its the box that the state has put districts in-don't like it, change leadership in Columbus.

Board meeting discussions have stated that the board is comfortable with the current number of students in the district and are not building to add more. Also, if more people move in, that creates a higher demand for housing which helps to increase property values. am assuming that most of us property owners would like to leave our current property at a higher value than when we acquired it.

Perkins 2060 must have some axe to grind; can't remember reading any positive comments posted about the district.

Perkins2060

Nope, no ax. Just ask around. No levy will pass as long as there is open enrollment. The feeling in the community (not the employees of the district posting on here) is that as long as we have open enrollment, we obviously have more than enough room at the existing buildings to house all of our Perkins kids. As for a levy, that won't happen. Especially considering how Gunner and the Board moved funds around to build the new schools AFTER the taxpayers voted NO on this issue. Good luck trying though!

Kelly

I have asked around and the majority of people I know approve of open enrollment.

9299

I don't think that "having enough room to house all of our Perkins kids" is the reason new facilities are needed. I believe it has more to do with the type of environment and decay of infrastructure that our Perkins kids are being educated in. Plus, by consolidating students to fewer buildings, other efficiencies related to operating costs are realized. Businesses look to those strategies, as well.

BW1's picture
BW1

The building obsolecence argument doesn't hold water when you consider that some of the nation's most pretigious universities and prep schools manage to produce the cream of the academic crop at least partially in ivy covered buildings that were old when Abraham Lincoln was born.

That includes advanced technology training. My college physics lab was in 50 year old building where early work was done on the H bomb, and I used state of the art engineering and computer labs in buildings constructed in 1904.

MP

You're wrong 2060. People know open enrollment has saved us all money. If you don't understand it, educate yourself. There is a reason all the schools in the state do it. Perkins gets more than all but two schools in the entire state. Brilliant. New schools are for same number of kids. More kids move in, less open enrollment. Don't twist the facts, learn them. 

HoMeMaKeR2005

I am with god of thunder.. i dont think i am understanding. Are the kids that are already in open enrollment staying? Or are they just not excepting anymore? My children are open enrollment in perkins and would hate to break it to them that they cant stay. :(

luvblues2

If you are concerned about your children, HoMe, why are you asking in a comment section of a newspaper? Call the school board on Monday.

underthebridge

The print edition story is more clear. Open Enrollment is staying, the kids who are in staying, but the kids on the waiting list will stay on a waiting list.

HoMeMaKeR2005

They are getting a call on monday. Just figured someone knew on here. Didn't realize there was a problem with me asking.

God Of Thunder

Not a problem... Apparently no one knows. I would've thought they would make that clear in the article

donutshopguy

Ho,

I was asking the same thing with the first post on this article. Here's my interpretation of what's going on.

There is no room for any additional open enrollment students to be accepted this year. If you move into the district they are obligated to find room. No open enrollment students will be sent back to their previous district this year.

Now, if 25 new students move into the district the Perkins school system may have to deny some existing open enrollment students the ability to attend their school system.

My feeling is if your child has been in the system a few years the school system would do everything in their power to keep them through graduation. But, there are no guarantees unless you live in the district.

HoMeMaKeR2005

Thank you! That makes more sense :) thats all i was looking for.

smeltz

Here is why the levy won't pass, it simple. Superintendent Jim Gunner. Look back over the years (I am sure I won't get them all, but here are a few highlights of his tenure).

Windmills that were supposed to teach students about renewable energy: Problems with the contractor and manufacturer that caused them to be taken down for safety reason and then for whatever reason never reinstalled.

STEM School: We were told that our school was going to become a STEM school to help our students prepare for the 21st century. When in reality this was done just to get a grant and now we are no longer a STEM school or even pursuing STEM.

Facility: Though I do believe the concept that Mr. Gunner had about one campus was very good, the problem was communication! It was never "sold" to the community in a way that they could wrap their minds around it. I agree that we need new schools. It ridiculous that our students have to sit in incredibly hot classrooms in the spring and early fall. Unfortunately Mr Gunner and the board have not done an adequate job of communicating to the community. Just as mentioned above the shady actions of Mr Gunner and the board to move funds from the general fund to the building fund and then cause a shortage in the operating funds is just totally unacceptable.

Future RUMOR: I want to emphasize the rumor portion of this one, but I have had HS students and staff mention this one. Gunner is looking at the next few years to have some type of "Academy" structure where students are not in school all day, but do some of their learning online at home. Again...this is just something I have heard.

Mr. Gunner is a nice person, I don't want anything I have said to be taken as a personal attack. I have met him a couple of times and he seems like a nice person and very smart. He just lacks in leadership. I do believe that it should be a requirement for the Superintendent of Schools to live in the district. I would assume that it is a requirement to serve on the school board, it only makes sense that the District Superintendent would have the same requirement. This is another thing that has really hurt Mr Gunner standing within the community.

I have young children in the schools and I hope for their sake their is some consistent direction taken rather than changing programs and methods just to get more $$!!

smeltz

Here is why the levy won't pass, it simple. Superintendent Jim Gunner. Look back over the years (I am sure I won't get them all, but here are a few highlights of his tenure).

Windmills that were supposed to teach students about renewable energy: Problems with the contractor and manufacturer that caused them to be taken down for safety reason and then for whatever reason never reinstalled.

STEM School: We were told that our school was going to become a STEM school to help our students prepare for the 21st century. When in reality this was done just to get a grant and now we are no longer a STEM school or even pursuing STEM.

Facility: Though I do believe the concept that Mr. Gunner had about one campus was very good, the problem was communication! It was never "sold" to the community in a way that they could wrap their minds around it. I agree that we need new schools. It ridiculous that our students have to sit in incredibly hot classrooms in the spring and early fall. Unfortunately Mr Gunner and the board have not done an adequate job of communicating to the community. Just as mentioned above the shady actions of Mr Gunner and the board to move funds from the general fund to the building fund and then cause a shortage in the operating funds is just totally unacceptable.

Future RUMOR: I want to emphasize the rumor portion of this one, but I have had HS students and staff mention this one. Gunner is looking at the next few years to have some type of "Academy" structure where students are not in school all day, but do some of their learning online at home. Again...this is just something I have heard.

Mr. Gunner is a nice person, I don't want anything I have said to be taken as a personal attack. I have met him a couple of times and he seems like a nice person and very smart. He just lacks in leadership. I do believe that it should be a requirement for the Superintendent of Schools to live in the district. I would assume that it is a requirement to serve on the school board, it only makes sense that the District Superintendent would have the same requirement. This is another thing that has really hurt Mr Gunner standing within the community.

I have young children in the schools and I hope for their sake their is some consistent direction taken rather than changing programs and methods just to get more $$!!

smeltz

Sorry for the double post...

MP

The way I see it...

Windmills- better to have tried and fail then never try at all. From what I understand, they never paid for them, and decided the company wasn't qualified so they had them yanked out. No loss to taxpayers, just public misunderstanding. 

STEM and academies- you're  wrong and right. Academies are coming, of which STEM is one I them. Will there be more flexibility with schedules, yes. Will it save money, yes. The state has made significant cuts and Gunner is trying to get ahead of it. It's a progressive model that has been discussed at numerous school bots meetings. I know most people rely on the register for info but SR rarely sends a reporter. Onus is on the school to communicate what is happening. 

Facility and communication- yep, we need new buildings, badly. Communication, it's tough because people don't want to listen. They seem ok with things how they are. Gunner may be too progressive for Perkins but his ideas are dynamic. As far as living in the district, I could care less. The last super lived here and she sucked  Give me the best guy for the job. Period. I wish gunner nothing but the best. His fresh perspective is a breath of fresh air for our area. 

Like it our not, with education funding so screwed up In Ohio, balancing dollars and the quality of education that a community wants will be driving decisions for years to come. What Perkins wants will show In May I guess.

underthebridge

The print edition of the article actually articulates the stipulations under which a student may not be accepted as an open enrollment student even if they apply within a timely fashion.

When this was originally promoted to the community, it was suggested that the school district could be selective about who they allow to enter the school district. Furthermore district officials suggested they were able to more easily expel open enrollment students.

Turns out that the law doesn't allow that. If a school district has open enrollment, they are required to accept all students who apply (within their # limits) if they haven't had a suspension of 10 days. Once they accept a student, they can't expel them any easier than they can a student who resides in the district.

There are some pros and cons to all of this, but it is important that the community knows exactly what the law says rather than just what is promoted to pass a policy change.