Shawnee Mission School District announces changes to transfer policy

The district announced today its new guidelines for considering transfer applications. Photo via SMSD Facebook page.
The district announced today its new guidelines for considering transfer applications. Photo via SMSD Facebook page.

The Shawnee Mission School District today announced it was altering the policy it uses to guide decisions about requests to have students transferred away from their neighborhood schools.

In an email sent to district parents, Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Leadership Michelle Hubbard said Shawnee Mission was shifting to an all-electronic transfer application system. “In an effort to ensure the district has a process for considering transfer requests that is fair and equitable, school district leaders have been reviewing existing policies and procedures,” Hubbard said. “As a result of this review, some changes have been made to create a centralized process that promotes fairness, equity, and will keep family members together to the extent possible.”

In addition to the new application system, Hubbard said the district had established the following as top priority considerations for granting transfer requests:

  • Siblings of current in-district transfer students will receive priority consideration.
  • The district will review in-district transfer requests first.
  • Remaining transfer requests are considered in the order they are received.

Superintendent Jim Hinson addressed the change during a press conference Thursday morning, and indicated it represented part of a process to strengthen the neighborhood school system and a move away from allowing many out-of-district transfers.

“We have made it very clear, I think, that we are not taking new out-of-district transfer requests,” Hinson said. “The block grant requires us to continue to allow all out of district transfers prior to the block grant to continue to attend the school district.”

The application window for transfers will be March 1 to April 30. Families who don’t have access to the internet will be permitted to submit a paper form in lieu of the electronic application.