NKSD recommends closing transfer requests at 4 schools next year

In efforts to keep enrollment and staffing stable, the North Kitsap School District is recommending that four schools be closed to new transfer requests for the 2023-24 school year.

Those schools are Gordon, Vinland and Poulsbo Elementary and Poulsbo Middle. NKSD Communications coordinator Jenn Markaryan said this topic is an annual recommendation to the school board based on enrollment and program capacity.

Exceptions would be: students with siblings who have already been accepted and are enrolled in the requested school; elementary students who wish to continue in their school’s feeder pattern to middle school; or students of full-time school employees.

Prior to 2019-20, transfer requests had been accepted for all schools, which created a challenge as some are at or approaching their physical and programmatic capacities, school board documents state. Principals, directors and the school board have needed to deny requests due to lack of space within buildings and programs.

Additionally, allowing transfers without restriction could result in significant costs needed to add capacity and staffing at impacted schools, per documents.

“School enrollment should ideally be kept as consistent as possible from school to school,” documents read. “Of course, there will always be variation depending on population growth or decline in given areas and the realities of capacity in our different school buildings. This will save families from time and frustration in the application process, and will prevent the lengthy appeals process from playing out in ways that are often disappointing.”

The topic will be voted on at NKSD’s school board meeting in March.