The Modesto City Schools has adjusted attendance boundaries to try to better balance the count at its seven comprehensive high schools, which now vary widely in size. Those boundary changes go into effect in the fall.
One of the reasons for the imbalance is that the boundaries had not been significantly changed since 2005, when new lines were drawn in preparation for the opening of Enochs High in 2006 and Gregori in 2010.
In addition, the enrollments shifted because of transfers within the district. There are three types of transfers:
Intradistrict transfers For students who want to go to a school other than the one they would typically attend because that campus offers a particular academy or special program. Probably the best example is the International Baccalaureate program at Modesto High, which draws many students. Child care and parent employment also are reasons for intradistrict transfers.
No Child Left Behind transfers As the district's website explains, "When schools do not meet targets for improving the achievement of all students, parents are provided options, including the opportunity to send their child to another school." Students at four high schools Davis, Downey, Johansen and Modesto were eligible to transfer this year, to either Beyer or Enochs.
Open enrollment State law requires districts to allow students to transfer to another school within their district if there is space available. Each year the district designates which campuses can accept open enrollment transfers; the most crowded campuses, Enochs and Modesto, for instance, are not available for open enrollment transfers.
We provide the chart below simply because we think parents and others may be interested in how many transfers are in place and how they have contributed to the imbalance among the high schools. Davis High's declining enrollment can be attributed, in part, to the number of students who would normally go there but choose to transfer elsewhere. Modesto City Schools leaders need to stop the slide at Davis.