Portage Public Schools Transfer Program

Thank you for visiting Portage Public Schools Schools of Choice/Transfers Program page.  Please find information and applications for our transfer program below. If after reviewing the process you still have questions please do not hesitate to contact:
Janet Johnstone
Coordinator of Instructional Services
269-323-5140
jjohnstone@portageps.org

Overview

The State of Michigan Schools of Choice program offers a variety of options; however, Portage Public Schools only participates in the 105c program (families must apply by the deadline to be eligible), but does not participate in the 105 or intra-district programs.
Option 105 – school selection within the county of residence.
Option 105c – school selection to any district within a county bordering the county (ISD/RESA) of residence (service).

What does Portage offer instead of 105 Schools of Choice?

In-District Transfer Program 

This program is for students who live in Portage Public School district requesting a transfer from their boundary-assigned school to an alternate school within the district.
The expectation is that families are to send their child to the school corresponding to their address, therefore;
These transfers are for families with unusual circumstances or hardships that prevent the ability to attend their assigned school.
Processed by building principals and Instructional Services.

Non-Resident Transfer Program

This program is for students who live in a district outside of Portage PS that is still serviced by Kalamazoo RESA and are requesting a transfer from their resident district to a school within Portage PS.
These transfers are for families with compelling academic reasons for why they prefer to attend Portage Public Schools.
Processed by Instructional Services Office.

**Both In-District and Non-Resident transfer students are expected to provide/coordinate their own transportation.**

If approved, families should contact the school of placement to begin the registration process. Click here for more information about enrollment.

Application Deadlines:
 

F
ebruary 1-March 31*: Window to submit applications for the next school year and open enrollment window for 105c applicants. Families will be notified of the district's decision by early May.
December 1-December 31: Window to submit applications for second semester of current school year and open enrollment window for 105c applicants. Families will be notified of the district's decision by January 20

*Applications will still be accepted beyond the March 31 deadline and considered only if capacity permits. The application window will close March 31 and reopen in May. Families who apply for transfer after the March 31 deadline will be notified of the district’s decision no later than August.

In-District Transfer Program Details

In regard to school enrollment and school attendance, the Portage Public Schools and the district Board of Education have developed guidelines with the expectation that students enroll in school based on the location of their permanent residence.  The district operates within a neighborhood schools model as defined by the geographical boundaries established at the district level.  Families should expect, and are required, to enroll their children in the school(s) corresponding with their resident address.  A map of these boundaries can be found by clicking here for the PPS street guide.  These maps are widely shared with realtors and the community in general.  

A transfer request to attend a school outside of a resident’s boundary will only be considered for unusual circumstances and cases of family hardship which make it difficult for a the family to attend their assigned school.   

Furthermore, parents should be aware that transitioning from one school to another is often problematic for children and parents.  Research indicates that both academic performance and student behavior are often adversely impacted by transitions.  Therefore, Portage Public Schools strongly discourages transfers from an existing school unless all other means of resolving issues in the currently-attended school have been exhausted.  As Portage Public Schools has a high rate of success when partnering with parents to resolve issues, such transfers are rare.

In-District Transfer Process

Click here to complete our 2017/18 In-District Transfer Application (see deadlines above).
Decision letters will be mailed home by May if deadline met; August if after.
If approved, the student’s transfer status will remain in effect for the duration of time in which the student remains at that school/school level (elementary, middle, high school).  When the student changes levels, the student will be scheduled to attend the appropriate boundary-assigned school.  A new request must be submitted if an alternate school is needed.
Also, if approved, the student will be expected to attend school regularly and on-time and abide by the Student Code of Conduct. The school/district reserves the right to take formal action to rescind a student’s transfer due to circumstances such as poor attendance, inappropriate behavior, or declining academic performance. 
A parent may also request to rescind a previously approved transfer, but it must be submitted in writing and requires district approval if the request is made mid-year. 

Non-Resident (KRESA Served) Transfer Program Details

Portage Public Schools occasionally allows students that do not live in the Portage Public School residential boundary to attend school within the district if certain criteria are met. We make an effort to accommodate family requests and place students at the building of their choice; however if a student is approved, placement is up to the district, and student will be placed at whichever school has availability.

Families that live within Kalamazoo County in one of Kalamazoo RESA serviced districts will follow the process below.  If you are not certain if your district is serviced by KRESA pleas eclick here to find out.

Non-Resident (In-County) Transfer Process

Click here to complete our 2017/18 Non-Resident Transfer Application (see deadlines above) Obtain a release from your resident district (even if your student has never attended your resident district) and submit it to Janet Johnstone, Coordinator of Instructional Services at jjohnstone@portageps.org (State of MI Pupil Accounting Requirement).
Decision letters will be mailed home by May.
If approved, the student will be expected to attend school regularly and on-time and abide by the Student Code of Conduct. The school/district reserves the right to take formal action to rescind a student’s transfer due to circumstances such as poor attendance, inappropriate behavior, or declining academic performance. 
Per State of Michigan Pupil Accounting Requirements, this process must be completed annually for your student's continued attendance in the district to be considered. 


Schools of Choice 105c (Contiguous ISD/RESA Served) Transfer Program Details

Portage Public Schools participates with the State of Michigan Schools of Choice 105c Program and operates under an open enrollment period.  This means the district accepts all students that apply during the enrollment window that qualify under the 105c state program. Families that qualify as 105c are those that reside in a district serviced by a contiguous/bordering ISD/RESA to Kalamazoo RESA.   If you are not certain if your district is serviced by a contiguous/bordering ISD/RESA please consult the map below: 


Map of Contiguous ISDs

Those that qualify for 105c include families that reside in any district serviced by one of the following counties: Allegan Area ESA, Barry ISD, Calhoun ISD, Lewis Cass ISD, St. Joseph ISD, or Van Buren ISD. Please note that you may live in one county, but be serviced by another. The map above details your specific county of service.  If you are serviced by one of the mentioned counties, please follow the process below. Please note that we make an effort to accommodate family requests and place students at the building of their choice; however, if a student is approved, it is to the district and will be placed at whichever school has availability.

Schools of Choice 105c (Out-of-County) Transfer Process

Click here to complete our 2017/18 Non-Resident Transfer Application during the open enrollment window (see deadlines above)
A release from the resident district is NOT required so long as the application is submitted during the open enrollment window. 
Placement letters will be mailed home by mid-May.
The student will be expected to attend school regularly and on-time and abide by the Student Code of Conduct. 
If the student has an IEP or develops the need for an IEP once attending a cooperative agreement must be on file between Portage Public Schools and the district of residence regarding the services and associated costs.  Unfortunately, if an agreement cannot be made between the two districts, the student will be expected to attend or return to the district of residence.
All students approved under 105c, the placement will be considered permanent through graduation. Therefore, on the initial application you will be required to indicate which building pathway you’d like your student to follow while in Portage (selecting the Elementary, Middle, and High School you’d like your student to attend).

If your residence qualifies your student for a 105c transfer, but you miss the open enrollment window, you must follow the standard Non-Resident Transfer Process above and reapply for a 105c Transfer during the next available open enrollment window.


What is PA227 and how does it work?

If you are a Portage Public Schools employee, under Public Act 227 you may request that your child(ren) attend the PPS District, without requiring a release from your resident district.  At Portage we like to support all our staff and families, but please be aware that these requests still must be granted approval to attend.  

Also, please keep in mind that PA227 grants acceptance to attend a district, not a specific school within the district.  That decision will be determined by the district, while keeping the family’s request in mind.

If your student is accepted to attend Portage, the placement will be considered permanent through graduation. Therefore, on the application you will be required to indicate which building pathway you’d like your student to follow while in Portage (selecting the Elementary, Middle, and High School you’d like your student to attend). Also, the student will be expected to attend school regularly and on-time and abide by the Student Code of Conduct. The school/district reserves the right to take formal action to rescind a student’s transfer due to circumstances such as poor attendance, inappropriate behavior, or declining academic performance.  

Release from Portage Public Schools 

If you are requesting to have your student released from Portage Public Schools to attend an alternate school district please complete our electronic application at the link below indicating a compelling academic reason for your request to release.  Requests made in writing will no longer be accepted. 

Click here to complete a Release Request

Once a decision is made, a copy of the release will be emailed to the parent and the requested school district