Open enrollment brings new students to CISD


By Kelly Stewart

Opinions Editor

CISD elementary schools are seeing some new faces this year with the help of Open Enrollment.

A plan implemented by the board of directors to increase enrollment in Cottonwood Creek and Town Center elementary schools (known as open enrollment) is allowing students who do not live in the district to attend Coppell schools. The offer is open to all elementary school students who live in the City of Coppell, but already 68 students have taken advantage of this decision since it was made in the spring of 2011.

“[This plan] allows students in the K-5th grade that live in the City of Coppell, but outside of Coppell ISD the opportunity to attend our schools. Often these children play sports, attend church and other community activities with our students…” said Assistant Superintendent for Administration Brad Hunt via email. “So this gives them the opportunity to attend school with the same students they know from other community activities.”

The district also made this plan in an effort to keep teachers, as some would have to be let go if all of the spots for students were not filled.

“Open Enrollment was proposed by our Business Assistant Superintendent,” said Open Enrollment administrator Kim Graham. “And he did it to increase efficiency […] and maximize the enrollment capacity of the [elementary schools], and [that is] because the [elementary school’s] gross neighborhood capacity had slowed down and […] the number of elementary school children in the neighborhood had decreased from past years.”

Some have said that the new students’ families will have to pay tuition for their children to go to school in CISD, but according to the Assistant Superintendent for Business Sid Grant, this is not true.

“Our additional revenue comes from the state of Texas. We receive money throughout the year from the state,” Grant said via email. “Approximately $400,000 [is expected] per year.”

As for the 68 new students, they will be allowed to attend CISD schools throughout middle school and high school if they wish, which means that in a few years CHS will be seeing new faces that might not otherwise have attended this school. But the 68 free spots that the district needed to fill will also be available for the middle and high school level as well.

According to the online information about Open Enrollment on the district website, there are a few other requirements that must be met, besides living in the city, for a child to be considered eligible. These include having proof of a 95% attendance rate for the previous semester, passing all classes for the previous semester and currently, have passed all parts of the latest state test and have no more than one infraction on their disciplinary record.

For parents who are wondering, Open Enrollment may not be offered next year; it depends on the number of spots available in the elementary schools.

“The board will re-evaluate toward the end of this school year,” Hunt said. “To determine if we will continue to accept new students.”