OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City school board has denied all out-of-district transfers into Classen School of Advanced Studies for the next school year, even though a number of those students had been accepted and even already enrolled at the school.
Students have to apply to get into Classen in either fine arts talent or academics.
It’s been a long-standing policy that they will accept transfers from out of the district but school board members said that’s all changing.
Kaitlyn Tran was accepted into Classen SAS as a violin major for next school year; she had even enrolled.
“We got the admission letter, we got the acceptance letter,” Tran’s dad, Sang Tran, said. “They said, ‘Hey, you’re going to go’ and they know we’re out of district. We were just frustrated. We were confused.”
Board member Bob Hammack said mistakes were made at the school level by accepting transfers without board approval.
“I’m sorry, life’s not always fair,” Hammack said. “This was a decision that we as a board felt was not administered properly. We wish that it had of but the rules say these transfers will come to the board. We looked at the evidence and thought it was a bad idea.”
Even though they only denied the transfers to Classen, Hammack said that will probably expand.
“We have brilliant kids all across the Oklahoma City public school system and if those kids are not allowed to go to Classen because those seats are taken by out-of-district students, that’s wrong,” Hammack said.
Tran already has a sibling at Classen.
Her parents will now have to figure out where to send her next year.
“We’re just infuriated by what’s happened,” her dad said.
Hammack said his recommendation to parents is simple.
“If you want to go to our schools, move back to Oklahoma City,” he said.
The board officially denied eight transfers Monday night but there were 40 more transfers who they said did not fill out their paperwork properly; they will not be able to attend Classen next year either.