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School Choice Overview
Introduction

In 1991 a law was enacted to allow parents to send their children to public schools in communities other than the community in which they live. For the coming year Westhampton will participate in this Massachusetts School Choice program. Parents do not pay any tuition costs for this program.

How Students are Chosen

Law requires that the selection process for school choice be free from any type of discrimination. Those applying to attend Westhampton Elementary School shall not be granted or refused enrollment based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, age, ancestry, athletic performance, physical handicap, special need, academic performance or proficiency in English. Solid school citizenship and a good discipline record are important selection considerations. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of available seats, a random drawing will be held to determine which applicants will be enrolled. This selection process will take place on or before May 27.

Kindergarten Entry Age

Students who are too young for entry into kindergarten in the district where they reside may be accepted as a School Choice student if they meet the District’s age standard.

Siblings

The school choice law was amended in 1994 to allowing any sibling of a student already enrolled in the receiving district to receive priority for admission to that district. Once these preferences are honored, the remaining openings will be filled through random selection.

Children of Employees
Non-resident town and school department employees who wish to have their children attend school in the district do not receive preference.


Current Residents

Residents of Westhampton who move out of Westhampton but wish to have their children remain as students in Westhampton Elementary School do not have any unique claim to the seats their children vacated. Those parents must apply for admission to the school choice program in the same manner as any other parent who does not reside in town.

Continued Enrollment

Once a child has been accepted as a choice student, he or she has the right to remain in that district until graduation from Hampshire Regional High School unless there is a lack of funding for the program or there is a serious violation of the school discipline policy.

Application Process

The following conditions must be in place in order to be eligible for admission:
1. Parent(s) or legal guardian must be a resident of Massachusetts.
2. Space must be available in the program at the grade level for which the student is applying.
3. The student must demonstrate a record of good behavior and solid school citizenship in his/her previous school(s).
4. The application process must be completed in full and submitted by May 1.

The best way for parents and students to obtain important information about Westhampton Elementary School is to arrange a visit for the purpose of an informational tour. To schedule a tour or obtain a school choice application contact the school office (413) 527-0561.