As enrollment increases, Arab City Schools might exercise a long-standing policy more frequently

ARAB, Ala.  -- Arab High School ranked 16th in top public high schools in Alabama. School leaders say class sizes contributed to that. As enrollment increases, a long-standing policy might be exercised more frequently.

Because of where the City of Arab is located, students from four counties enroll in Arab City Schools. The system doesn't charge tuition. "Over the last year our enrollment has risen and we value our academic achievement, and part of our academic achievement is we have maintained small class sizes," Arab City Schools Superintendent John Mullins said.

Mullins added they want to be an open school district, but at the same time, maintain high academic standards. He says the system might have to enforce a long-standing policy more strictly this summer than it has in the past.

"If you live outside our school district or you're trying to enroll here, when situations arise where we are at large numbers, we have a policy that allows us to deny enrollment or to deny continued enrollment," Mullins said.

That's based on attendance, behavior, and academic achievement. "If someone tries to enroll here and they had unacceptable attendance or behavior or grades in another district and they're trying to come here and they don't live in our district, their application will be scrutinized, and there will be a process as there has been for years for students currently enrolled who live out of the district, we will look at their situation and make decisions."

"This has impacted less than one percent of the children here, but, as our enrollment has increased, it could impact a very small additional percentage," Mullins added.

He said the move also takes into account teacher workload and the limited space in the schools.

"We're trying to protect the integrity of academic success," Mullins said, "We also have an obligation to serve the children who are already here and the children who live within the school district."