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Defining Our Future

Waterloo Community Schools FAQ

Waterloo Community Schools

 Price Lab School Questions and Answers

  1. Which Waterloo elementary schools are full, and which grades are full.
    All Waterloo Schools, at all levels, will accept new students who are residents of that attendance area.  Transfer within the District (Voluntary Transfer) to some schools is closed due to high enrollments, however. 

  2. If parents live in an elementary school area, and if that school is full, can they select the elementary where their student can go?
    No school is “not open” for enrollment of students who live in that attendance area and who enroll by the start of school.  Students may enroll in their neighborhood school (the school in their attendance area).  Transfers to other schools are possible, but limited by the enrollment of the other school in some cases.
  3. Can parents select their elementary school in Waterloo no matter where they reside?
    No, but a “Voluntary Transfer” may be granted to another elementary within that school’s cluster that has space available.
          The clusters are:Cunningham, Kittrell, Kingsley, Lowell
          Lincoln, Becker, Orange
          Highland, Irving, Lou Henry, Poyner
  4. Can you provide parents with a date that they will know which elementary their child will attend?
    All enrollments to the school in a student’s attendance area will be approved if the enrollment is prior to the start of school.  Attendance center decisions for those requesting Voluntary Transfer will be made by as early as possible. The District cannot process internal Voluntary Transfers until we know if the State of Iowa’s waiver request from the US Dept of Education concerning NCLB transfers will be approved.  The law requires that we offer and honor transfers from SINA schools to Non-SINA schools.  We won’t know space availability for Voluntary Transfers until after that process is implemented.  Parents will be notified by mail as soon as the decisions are made.
  5. What are the maximum class sizes for Waterloo School District elementary classes?
    Class size targets used for staffing are:
  6. Which middle schools are full?
    All Waterloo Schools will enroll students who live in their attendance area.  All of the middle schools in Waterloo Community School District, except Hoover, have capacity for Voluntary Transfer students.
  7. What is the class size at the middle schools?
    Our average for core area classes is 22-24 students.
  8. Can a student who lives in one middle area select a middle school that they want to attend no matter where their resident attendance area is?
    No, but a “Voluntary Transfer”  is possible from
          Hoover to Central, Carver or Bunger;
          Bunger to Carver;
          Carver to Bunger or Central;
          Central to Carver.
  9. What specific plans are there at each school to ease the transition from MPLS to the Waterloo Schools?
    All buildings will continue to communicate with all families with regards to the opening of the school year. All registered students new to the Waterloo Schools will be invited to a special orientation or open house prior to the start of school. Parents will be contacted directly with the details of time and place.
    The staff at all our schools work to make new students welcome.  Individual concerns will always be addressed to support each student.
  10. What are the deciding factors for who is granted entrance to a specific school?
    All students are assigned to the school in their attendance area. 
    Voluntary transfers are approved on a space available, first come basis. 
    The application process for Voluntary Transfer between the middle schools and from West High to East High will begin before the end of April.  No Voluntary Transfers will be approved from East to West High due to lack of space at West.

    Voluntary transfers between elementary schools will not begin until the State Waiver for NCLB is determined so that we can comply with the law on Transfers under SINA Choice.

  11. Is there any assurance that can be made that students could transition as groups to one school or another?
  12. If Price Lab School remains open, can MPLS students remain at the Lab School even though they have filed open enrollment with another school district by the April 16th deadline?
    Yes, if they are open enrolled to PLS, they can continue at PLS.
  13. Is a parent signature required to transfer records between school districts?
    No, once a parent has enrolled their student into the school district, the transfer of records occurs between the schools (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, Buckley Amendment)
  14. Is my open enrollment form a request to attend a specific school district or a specific school building?
    The open enrollment form is a request to attend a school district, not a building.
  15. Do the MPLS parents need to fill out an OE form for MPLS if we intend to keep our kids there if the school stays open next year?
    Not if Waterloo students currently attending MPLS are open enrolled there. Waterloo has a record of all open-enrolled students, and the students can remain at MPLS should the school be open for fall 2012. This applies to all families/students currently open enrolled at MPLS. 
    If a student is attending MPLS through the payment of tuition, that tuition contract is a private matter between the parent and the school district, either MPLS or Cedar Falls, or wherever the student is to attend.  
  16. Do parents need to submit an OE form by April 16 if they wish the student to attend another district besides MPLS or their home district of Waterloo?
    If the student now on open enrollment to MPLS wishes to attend Dike or Cedar Falls (an alternative district) or any other school outside of their home Waterloo district for fall 2012, the parent needs to submit an open enrollment form by April 16, 2012.  This would be approved by Waterloo.  If MPLS stays open and the parent wishes, the student could stay OE’d to MPLS.  The parent would need to cancel the open enrollment to the alternative district so that all parties know where the student will be attending.

For information about attendance center enrollment and Voluntary Transfer, contact Cora Turner’s Office, Phone 433-1801,
For information about Open Enrollment, contact Sharon Miller, Phone 319-433-1826,