Work Under Way On Flexible Enrollment Plan For Ruch SchoolWednesday, November 07, 2012
Area pupils will have more opportunities to enroll in Ruch School under a plan endorsed by the Medford School Board. The plan will increase transfer options for pupils who are not already enrolled in one of the districtís other 13 regular elementary schools.
Ruch currently has 122 students in kindergarten through sixth grade, and needs at least 150 to operate efficiently. Since 2005, Ruch has accepted transfers for students in grade K-8 in an effort to stabilize its enrollment. The new plan will make transfers easier for some elementary pupils while protecting enrollment in the regular elementary schools.
The plan also will allow Ruch to stay open at least through 2014-15. The school will be included in planning for full-day kindergarten, if legislative funding is available beginning in 2015, and for a possible realignment of attendance boundaries. If state funding fails to keep up with district needs, Ruch will receive the same consideration for reductions as all other district schools and departments.
Ruch School offers a curriculum tailored to the Applegate areaís environment of farms and forestland, and relies heavily on community involvement to operate. The school has strong local support but, like other schools in the Applegate Valley, is affected by a long-term decline of school-age children in that region.
A Ruch community organization, Applegate Partners Promoting Local Education, has worked on a renewal plan for the school and has consulted with Medford Superintendent Phil Long on development of the new plan.
The plan applies to K-6 pupils who do not live in the Ruch attendance area and have not been enrolled in one of the districtís regular elementary schools for at least 180 days. Their parents must file a transfer request to their neighborhood elementary school principal before the transfer is forwarded to the Ruch principal. The Ruch School principal retains the authority to approve or deny such requests. Transfer requests for middle-school students will continue under the regular district process and require the approval of the Hedrick or McLoughlin principal, depending on where the student lives.
It is thought that the easier transfer procedure will appeal to the families of approximately 150 home-school pupils living in the Medford district.
Under the plan, the district also will work with the Three Rivers School District to be responsive to transfers between Ruch and the nearby Applegate School.
To review a copy of Superintendent Longís report to the School Board about the plan, click here
. For additional information, please contact the Superintendent at 541-842-5002.