“Which school can my kids attend?” This is a topic that comes up often and REALTORS are often asked by buyers who are either new to our area or moving to a different part of our area. When choosing a new home, most people with school-age children give great consideration to which school their children will attend. Although the Shoals is blessed with many incredible school choices, most people still have a preference. It’s an important part of the home-buying decision, and I have always recommended that my clients double-check with the school system to be certain.
A few years ago, I decided to look into it a little further to see if I could be more helpful. We caught up with and had a conversation with Mike Stamps, who was the Assistant Superintendent of Lauderdale County Schools at the time. He shared with me how Lauderdale County handled school selection.
This being back-to-school season, and with all of the administrators being unbelievably busy, I thought this would be a great opportunity to re-visit the topic and share what we found out.
According to Stamps, most of their students lived in Lauderdale County but outside the city limits of Florence. Lauderdale County Schools will, however, accept out-of-district students “on a case-by-case basis.” He said that the parents must initiate a request through the particular school they are interested in. If the student is accepted, there is no out of-district tuition.
Transportation is not provided for students who live outside the district, and that brings about a really important point: bus zones. The Lauderdale County school system is divided into several bus zones, which dictate the school to which a student living at a certain address will be transported. Here’s the kicker: bus zone also dictates athletic eligibility. Stamps pointed out that the zones sometimes meet in the middle of a county road. Literally, one house might have players at Rogers High School, while their neighbors across the road play for Brooks. This was surprising news to me, and Stamps said that I’m not alone. He said that many people assume that because a bus runs by their house, they could put their kids on it. “If anyone has a question, we encourage them to call that individual school to ask what zone the address is in”, Stamps said.
Each school district has its own rules. We’ve only discussed the policy of one district here, but Mr. Stamps’ advice is good for everyone. Wherever you’re looking to buy, check with the school first.
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Questions for Mike Randall
Coldwell Banker Pinnacle Properties
2093 Florence Blvd, Florence, AL 35630
Mike Randall, REALTOR® Associate Broker | ABR, CRS 256.366.9779 | www.mikerandallhomes.com Coldwell Banker Pinnacle Properties 256.766.0069 Office 256.766.0926 Fax