It is the policy of the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District to assign children in grades PK-5 to an elementary school according to the following guidelines:


  1. Parents of all new PK-5 students moving into the district are required to register their children at the District Office. The elementary school principals, will consistently keep track of their enrollment, the size of their classes, the balanced composition of their classes, and will keep the Superintendent informed of registration totals. The principals must also consult with the Director of Student Services, where necessary. Ultimately, the principals are responsible for placing kindergarten and other new incoming students after consulting, if necessary, with the Director of Student Services and/or Superintendent as may be needed.


  1. Although every attempt will be made to abide by the spirit of the guidelines outlined above, student assignments will be made based on the district’s class size policy, availability of specialized programs which may be needed by a student, class composition balance, and transportation considerations.

  1. Except in cases of unusual circumstances (e.g. necessary school redistricting), once a student starts in a school, he/she can be assured of finishing his/her education in that school. Since it is of utmost importance to keep families together, siblings will attend the same school unless the situation warrants otherwise.

  1. Some students with Individual Education Plans (IEP) that need the special program and/or staff support offered at a particular elementary school. These students will be placed appropriately upon the recommendation of the principals and the Director of Students Services.

  1. After consultation with a parent /guardian and appropriate school officials, students who have special non-academic needs (such as health-, social- or behavior-related issues) may be assigned outside of their attendance area which has the appropriate staff, programs, and program resources to fulfill those needs.

  1. School bus transportation will be provided for students attending school outside their attendance area as long as it can be accommodated on existing bus routes and schedules.

Procedures and Financial Implications

Should parents disagree with the placement of their child(ren), they can prepare a written request in which they must present their reasons and evidence for reconsideration to the Superintendent. Using the criteria from the above policy, the Superintendent will review the request, make a decision, and respond in a timely manner.

Sources and Review

This policy replaces the “Policy Statement for District Elementary School Placements: adopted by the School Committee on August 18, 1983. It should be reviewed by the School Committee’s Policy Subcommittee every three years or as needed.

Adopted: March 4, 1999

Reviewed: March 4, 1999