DEARBORN, Michigan – It wasn’t easy, but with $1 million at stake, the Dearborn Board of Education made the very tough decision to open the district’s classrooms to students living outside its boundaries.
The district will hold open enrollment for “School of Choice” for Nowlin Elementary, 23600 Penn, Dearborn 48124, for six kindergarten seats beginning December 11, 2012 and running through January 9, 2013 for residents of the Wayne County Intermediate School District.
Applications are available at www.dearbornschools.org or at the Student Services Office, 18700 Audette, Dearborn 48124. Applications must be returned to Student Services, no later than January 9, 2013 at 4:30 pm. If more than 6 applications are received a random lottery will be conducted by the Student Services Office. Parents will be informed if they were selected and student enrollment will begin January 14, 2013. Selected students will begin classes January 28, 2013, the start of the second semester.
Nowlin Elementary was selected to pilot this new program for several reasons including the availability of space to accommodate new students and the school’s close proximity to a neighboring school district.
Unlike many surrounding districts that have experienced a decline in enrollment, Dearborn has had increasing enrollment for 26 consecutive years topping out at more than 19,100 students for the 2012-13 school year. So additional students was not the main reason to try the program, rather the State of Michigan is pushing for more districts to offer School of Choice and placed a financial windfall on the table for districts meeting 7 out of 8 state defined Best Practices. “School of Choice” is one of the options included in the list, and for Dearborn meeting the requirements will bring in an estimated $1 million.
Nowlin also has a long history of having a very close-knit, warm, and friendly parent community who work very hard to support the school and student achievement. Any new families coming from outside the district will need that warm and friendly Nowlin welcome. They will also need to understand that being an active part of the Nowlin school community plays an important role in the success of their children.
In related news, Dearborn Schools Superintendent, Brian J. Whiston said Proposed Legistation Will Have Devastating Effects – including a spelling error on the Nowlin School blog post.