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District School Attendance Areas Review Committee

Purpose

The District School Attendance Area Review Committee (DSARC) is formed to advise the Superintendent on matters relating to school attendance areas including boundaries, facilities, school openings and closures, magnet schools, alternative schools, student transfer practices, school consolidations, and modifications of enrollment practices which would reduce inequities in educational opportunities.

Membership

The DSARC will be composed of the following members or their designees:

  1. Planner/Researcher for student population projections
  2. Deputy Superintendent
  3. Director of the Facilities Planning Department
  4. Director of the Student Support Services Department
  5. Director of the Information Technology Services Department 
  6. Chairpersons (3) of the level principals’ associations 
  7. Assistant superintendents 
  8. Transfer Coordinator(s)
  9. Chief of Facilities Planning

Process

The committee is charged with the following tasks annually:

  1. Examine the factors identified in the School Attendance Areas Policy (J.01) in light of current data and practices, gather additional information as necessary and assess their implications for the future of the District. 
  2. Review current and anticipated status of adequacy of the site, location, access, surrounding development, traffic patterns, student safety, the geographic location of the school relative to the population, the school services, and other environmental conditions and gather additional information as necessary.
  3. Review enrollment relative to the size of the school, demographic trends affecting the attendance area, and the number of elective student transfers.
  4. Review school bus transportation guidelines and requirements published by the State of New Mexico. 
  5. Consider the ethnic and socioeconomic mix of the community, the preservation of neighborhood integrity, and the objective of achieving pure feeder schools, whenever possible. 
  6. Develop a list of current and anticipated schools to be studied for possible changes. Formulate a list of alternative ways of modifying enrollment or operational practices at the identified schools to assure their compliance with the policies and administrative directives related to school attendance areas. 
  7. Provide the Superintendent with the list of schools and recommended modifications by November 15.

Special Planning Committees (SPC)

Purpose

Local ad hoc Special Planning Committees for schools or clusters of schools, named by the Superintendent upon the advice of the District School Attendance area Review Committee (DSARC), should be organized to provide local citizen advice to the Superintendent and the Board of Education on various alternatives relating to the operation of schools affected by increasing or declining enrollments, underutilized spaces, socioeconomic enrollment shifts and/or other enrollment issues. The ad hoc committee shall be given a name, duty, timeline, and disbanding date.

Formation

Each school or cluster of schools identified by the Superintendent upon the advice of the Attendance Area Review Committee and/or the Superintendent, should form an ad hoc Special Planning Committee (SPC). If members of a community that has not been identified in the above process feel the need for a formally established SPC, these citizens may appeal to the Superintendent.

Responsibilities

The Special Planning Committees are charged with the following tasks:

  1. Identify the particular problem (s) affecting their schools.
  2. Review and examine information about their local and nearby schools in relation to the problem (s) they have identified.
  3. Keep their local communities informed about all studies, reports, activities and plans that might affect the school with regard to this policy. 
  4. Work closely with other community groups, and the Area Citizens Advisory Councils, to exchange information, analyses, and views.
  5. Develop and evaluate options and alternatives regarding boundary changes or other operating practices with their justifications, proposed implementation schedule, timeline, and priority tasks, and communicate their recommendations to local citizens, nearby SPC’s, the Area Citizens Advisory Councils, and the Superintendent. 
  6. After the Superintendent reviews the recommendations, the Superintendent will appoint ad hoc Special Planning Committees (SPC) by December 15 to further research the issues and develop final recommendations for implementation based on the timeline and deadlines established by the Superintendent. Appointees to these committees should be sensitive to the scope of the issues and should, to the extent feasible, be representative of the schools involved and their communities while maintaining a districtwide perspective. Membership and size of the committees will vary widely depending on the scope of the issues involved.

Membership

All special Planning Committees will be free to submit recommendations for membership to the Superintendent and develop plans of operation within these guidelines.

  1. The appropriate assistant superintendent, local principal, and parent organization president of each identified school will be responsible for the formation of a Special Planning Committee with specific recommendations of the area citizens advisory councils (CAC’s) and other local and community groups.
  2. Members of the SPC’s must be broadly representative of the school community: parent organization, CAC’s, civic groups, local organizations, school staff, and individual citizens. Minority groups and differing economic levels, where this can be determined, are to be represented. Major identifiable groups which have activities in the school should be represented. 
  3. A maximum of 15 persons should be appointed.
  4. The members should be prepared to meet at least bi-weekly, do appropriate homework, meet the timeline for completion of their work as outlined in the School Attendance Areas Administrative Procedure, and serve during the entire term of the SPC.
  5. Any SPC member who resigns or fails to participate in any SPC activity for a period of three consecutive meetings should be replaced by the same appointment procedure used for the original committee members.

Operation

The SPC’s will operate in accordance with the School Attendance Areas Policy and Administrative Directives for implementing the Policy.

  1. All committee meetings will be open to the public; the chairman of the committee will notify the Public Information Office and the families served by the affected schools of meetings at least one week prior the meeting.
  2. Each SPC will determine the requirements for a quorum at its first meeting. 
  3. The SPC, at its chairperson’s request, may call upon APS resources and staff for assistance.
  4. The Chairman will provide minutes of their meetings within seven days of date of the meeting to the DSARC and the Superintendent.

Cross Ref.: Board Policy J.01

Legal Ref:

  • 22-5-4 NMSA 1978
  • 1979 Op. Atty. Gen. # 79-36
  • 65 A.L.R. 1523
  • 135 A.L.R. 1096

NSBA/NEPN Classification: JC, JCA

Revised: May 1995
Revised: April 1996
Revised: April 1997

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