Answers to Some Frequently Asked Questions

What is the St. Louis Student Transfer Program?  
The St. Louis Student Transfer Program was established under a Settlement Agreement reached in the St. Louis desegregation case and approved by the Federal Court.  This Settlement Agreement allows African-American students residing in the City of St. Louis to attend one of several school districts in St. Louis County provided certain requirements are met. Transportation is then provided by the transfer program to schools within your attendance area.

How are the county school districts rated?  
All participating school districts are fully accredited by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (and some are accredited with distinction).  In addition, all participating high schools are accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Should I apply for all of my children at the same time?  
YES.  The VICC makes every effort to keep children living in the same household in the same district, whenever possible.  If you need more applications than are included in this booklet, feel free to photocopy the enclosed application or call the VICC at 314.721.8422, ext. 3023 or 3025.  The VICC must receive a separate application for each student.

Is it possible that my child could be turned down for a transfer?  
YES.  The transfer program does have some eligibility standards that must be met.  If your child has demonstrated disruptive behavior in school during the last two years, as reported by the school he or she is now attending or had attended during the past two years, your child could be turned down.  Lack of available space at your child's grade level could also result in a child not being placed.

Also, students receiving special education services on a full-time basis are not eligible to transfer.  Furthermore, the St. Louis Public Schools may elect to serve students with special needs at their own facilities. 

If my child is accepted by a suburban district, can his or her enrollment be revoked at a later date?  
YES, but only if important information was omitted or was inaccurate on the original application.  In such cases, your child's enrollment could be canceled upon discovery of the omission or inaccuracy.  In addition, for new students just entering the transfer program, if records indicating past disciplinary action or criminal behavior, which would have made your child ineligible for a transfer because of the Safe Schools Act, become available after a transfer is completed, that student's enrollment will be canceled.  In such cases, he or she normally returns to the assigned school in the city or to some other private arrangement.

How will I know if the VICC has received my child's application?  
The VICC sends post cards weekly to parents acknowledging receipt of all applications.  If you do not receive a post card within ten business days after mailing your application, please notify the VICC, 314.721.8422, ext. 3023 or 3025. 

How is eligibility determined?  
Applications are reviewed initially to determine eligibility based upon race and city residency.

After this preliminary eligibility screening, behavior information is requested from current and/or previous school attended for all eligible students.  As this information is returned to the VICC, applicants will be reviewed for behavior eligibility. Applications of students who meet all eligibility requirements are approved for transfer subject to space availability in a school district.  Applicants who are determined not to be eligible based on past disruptive behavior are notified in writing.

If the VICC is not able to obtain a completed behavior form from the current/previous school, the parent will then be sent written notification in May to submit the child's final report card as a substitute for this behavior information.  If your child attended multiple schools during the year, you will need to submit report cards from each school reflecting grades received for each quarter of the school year.

How is placement made in the district?  
Students who are siblings of an existing transfer student and students who applied the previous year and were not enrolled are assigned first.  After this initial assignment, new applications are then processed in the order received.  Eligible applications will be sent to suburban districts in the proper attendance area according to grade and space availability based upon the date of the VICC's receipt of the application.  Parents will then be contacted directly by the district, either by phone or by letter, notifying them that their child has been accepted for the upcoming school year. Parents will be invited to personally visit the district in order to complete the pre-enrollment process.  VICC will provide taxi transportation for this pre-enrollment visit, if needed.

If you decline the district's invitation to enroll, the application will be returned to the VICC and a post card will be mailed to you asking if you want VICC to continue efforts to place your child in a county school. You must respond to this post card if you want your child's application to remain active and eligible to be sent to another district for placement.

However, if you decline a district's invitation to enroll your child, please be aware that there may not be another spot in a county school for your child.

If my child is accepted by a district that I did not list as a choice, must I accept?  
NO. Your enrollment is voluntary at all times.  You are not obligated to accept a transfer to any school district.  However, if your child is accepted by a district you did not list as a choice that means the districts you selected did not have space at the grade level requested.  The VICC urges you to visit the accepting district and school and ask as many questions as possible before making a decision to decline placement.  A district you may not have originally considered could turn out to be an excellent choice for your child.

Will I be notified if my child is not assigned to a district even though his/her application was eligible?  
YES.  If your child meets all the eligibility requirements, but the VICC is unable to assign him/her due to lack of space availability in his/her grade level, the application is placed into a category identified as "No Space Available."  You will receive written notification from the VICC if this process occurs.

Will my child be eligible to participate in sports during his or her first year at a county school?  
YES. There is no waiting period before participation in sports providing the student otherwise meets school district and State of Missouri requirements regarding proper eligibility.  

How can I find out more about the school I want my child to attend before I submit my application?  
If you have more questions about school districts in your attendance area, you are encouraged to visit those districts' web sites or call those districts' contact persons. Each district's contact person and web address is listed in the district description.

What should I do if my address and/or phone number changes after submitting an application?  
It is very important for you to call the VICC office at 314.721.8422, ext. 3023 or 3025, immediately to report your new address and telephone number. Because new students are assigned according to their residential attendance area, a change in address could result in different school choices being available to your child.

What happens if I move into a different attendance area of the city after being accepted by a county district, or after school begins?  
If you move into a different attendance area after being accepted by a county district (or after school starts), reassignment to an in-area school and/or district will be pursued as soon as possible.  If you wish to continue at your original school, you may do so, but you will need to provide your own transportation and complete the Parental Transportation Agreement.

If my child enrolls in a district and decides that he/she does not want to stay there, what options do we have?
Because this is a voluntary choice program, your child can always elect to withdraw and return to his or her home school in the city.  However, you and your child are strongly encouraged to allow for a period of adjustment to your new school before deciding to return to your home school.  Counselors are on staff at the VICC to assist families with adjustment issues.   


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