Pitt County Schools to consider changes to open enrollment

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Pitt County Schools is expected to vote Monday on changes to their open enrollment policy.

Pitt County School has had open enrollment for several years, which lets parents apply to have their children go to schools outside their district.

The changes being discussed Monday will affect that application process.

Parents for Pitt County Public Schools executive director Kylene Dibble said open enrollment is well-liked.

“We have encountered numerous parents who have said we are in Pitt County Schools because open enrollment gave us options and gave us choices to consider,” Dibble said.

However, she said there is room for improvement.

“I am sure we will hear more tonight about decisions they have come to make sure this is an even better process than parents have already experienced,” said Dibble.

Decisions include whether to change the first-come-first-serve process to a random lottery selection.

“Some of the open enrollment schools have a certain number of spaces available,” said Dibble. “So in the past, parents have applied and gotten into that school on a first-come-first-serve basis, so I think there is some discussion on how to make that a more fair process.”

There will also be a decision about moving the enrollment date up to March to notify families sooner.

Pitt County Schools spokesman Travis Lewis said the board will look at several factors when determining which schools will ultimately be available for open enrollment.

Lewis said those factors include: “How much space is available in a school, some of the program offerings, and they want to be as equitable as possible in order to utilize the space that is available and provide parents and families with choices.”

Dibble said parents are anxious for a final decision, so they can move forward with their choices for their child’s education.

“There has been a great appreciation from parents that our key decision makers are taking their voices into account and whatever the decision is, they are communication the outcome as quickly as possible,” Dibble said.

Dibble said the change to a random lottery system will be crucial because last year on enrollment day families lined up outside the county office at 3:30 a.m. to be first selected under the first-come-first-served process.

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