North Point Student Attendance Zone Audit Continues; Investigation Expands to La Plata

LA PLATA, Md.—Thirty-five students have either been denied enrollment or withdrawn from North Point High School during the past month as a result of a crackdown on out-of-zone students at the school.

The school system has expanded its audit to include La Plata High School, where students and parents were notified today of a residency audit of students enrolled there. Superintendent James E. Richmond sent a letter informing La Plata parents and students of the audit, asking for their cooperation and providing an Oct. 12 deadline for voluntary withdraw of a student attending under false information.

The student attendance audit at North Point, which began in mid-September, has already led to 35 students being stopped from enrolling or withdrawn from Charles County’s largest high school. According to Richmond, the 35 students include seven who were prohibited from enrolling with false information, two students who voluntarily withdrew after receiving a letter and 26 students who were asked to leave the school.

Of the 28 students who have withdrawn from North Point, 17 were out-of-county residents. Additionally, seven siblings of out-of-zone students attending North Point were also withdrawn from other Charles County schools.

The school system is still investigating the residency of about 250 North Point students, including those with more than one family using the same address.

The formal audits supplement daily efforts by schools and the Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) student services department to monitor enrollment numbers and to ensure children are enrolled at the schools they are zoned to attend.

The school system's audit to confirm students' residency status includes, but is not limited to:

-- A complete review of all residency documents, including lease agreements and statements of residency;

-- Unscheduled home visits to confirm the accuracy of residency documents; and

-- A review of publicly available information regarding property ownership.

Parents of students enrolled at La Plata under false information can withdraw their child by Oct. 12 with no questions asked. "I hope parents will respond before we need to take action," Richmond said in the letter sent home today through e-mail and with students.

Students found to be fraudulently attending a school will be sent to their zoned school or removed from the school system if they are not a resident. Nonresidents will be charged tuition, retroactively, for the time they attended school here. County students attending a school under false information will be ineligible to participate in athletics. Richmond asks anyone with knowledge of a family that is attending school who does not reside in the school's attendance zone to contact the school or anonymously call the school system's fraud hotline at 301-302-8305.

Source: Charles County Public Schools

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