17 Jan It’s Back to School Time!
February is the new back to school month. You read that right. At least it is for children of divorced couples. In Louisville, KY, February is the month to make sure that you and your former spouse are on the same page as far as what school your child will attend in August.
As most Jefferson County parents know, the deadline for public magnet schools has already come and gone. This year, the deadline was on December 19, 2018, and it seems to be getting earlier every year. (See https://www.jefferson.kyschools.us/schools/apply/optional-and-magnet-programs.) Local Catholic schools have similar deadlines. For example, December 8, 2018, was the placement testing date for next year’s admission to those private high schools.
However, February is the month to decide which “resides” school your child will attend. You can find an explanation of Jefferson County Public Schools’ Student Assignment policy here: https://www.jefferson.kyschools.us/school-choices/student-assignment.
Will the school be in Dad’s neighborhood or Mom’s? And why decide so early?
The answer is based on the crowded nature of dockets, or calendars, in Family Court. Local judges have approximately 2000 active cases on their docket each year. They are not “on call” to determine school choice issues for divorced couples in July or August, when most families are getting ready for school.
A typical decision on an issue like school choice can take anywhere from six weeks to six months in the Family Court system. A judge may order divorced parents to attend mediation on the school choice issue before coming to court. At any rate, Louisville judges do not want school cases to initially appear on the docket in midsummer.
Our advice: Make sure that everyone is agreed on the best school for next fall in February. Get this agreement in writing, and register early for the chosen school using the correct parent’s address. (Of course, if your child is interested in magnet or private schools, this process needs to be completed months earlier.) If an agreement cannot be reached, contact us here at Helmers+Associates to file a motion on school choice early.