By Kate Thurston Rushville Republican
---- — When moving to a new place with children, the most important thing to think about is school.
Rush County has five elementary schools that cater to the community. Depending on where you move in the county, this will define which school you will go to. Elementary schools are Arlington, Mays, Milroy, Rushville East and Rushville West. These are grades K-6.
For middle schoolers, there is Benjamin Rush for grades seven and eight and for high school there is Rushville Consolidated High School for grades 9-12.
School registration is from late July to early August. Registration can be done at the school where the child will be going or done online.
“Each school has the same standard enrollment process,” current superintendent Dr. John Williams said. “We are hoping down the road to have a map on our school website where parents can click on their area and can enroll that way, but it will be something later on that we would like to work on.”
When enrolling in elementary school, most parents can determine their school by where they live.
“If a parent is confused on which school their child will attend, they can call the central office and we can help them determine which school is in their area,” Williams said.
When a new student enrolls there is a process.
“If it is a new student going into kindergarten for the first time, they must enroll and have their birth certificate and immunization record,” Williams said. “If a child doesn’t have their shots done yet, they have a certain amount of time they have to get them done. If they do not get them done, they will be excluded from school.”
Matthew Vance, assistant superintendent of Rush County Schools, says it is different for current students.
“If a child is enrolled in another school and is transferring, the parent needs to request to have all their information forwarded to their new school,” Vance said. “Then we can have all the information we need here.”
Once a child is enrolled in elementary school, the student can start immediately as long as all the correct information is obtained.
“For elementary school students, majority of the time they can start right away,” Williams said. “If you are going into middle or high school, it may take a day or so. The faculty will have to make up a schedule for the student and that can take some time.”
If students need to enroll or transfer in the middle of the school year, they must contact the school they will be attending or contact the central office.
“Once enrollment is over in August, we take it offline as well,” Vance said. “You won’t have the opportunity to do it online like you would’ve at the beginning of the school year.”
If a parent struggles with fees and lunches, the school system can help.
“Parents who need assistance can apply to get free lunches,” Williams said. “If they don’t qualify for that and it becomes a financial struggle, we can set up a payment arrangement for lunches and book fees. We have done this before for parents who needed it.”
All fees are standardized for elementary and middle schools.
“Fees at the high school will be different than elementary and high schools,” Vance said. “High school fees will vary on classes taken. If a parent questions the fees, they can contact the school they will be attending to get an estimate on fees before the register.”
Williams and Vance want to remind parents that Kindergarten Round-Up will be coming up in April.
“It is important to get kindergarten students registered so we can get an idea for enrollment figures, determine class sizes and do employment assignments,” Williams said. “Registration will be at RES West for next year.”
For more information parents can go online to http://rcs.rushville.k12.in.us/ or call the central office at 765-932-4186.
For students who would rather go to a private school, they have the opportunity at St. Mary’s Catholic School.
“Parents can contact our school and we can set a student up to visit for a day or an afternoon to see if they like the school,” Principal Stephanie Hasecuster said. “It’s kind of like a try before you buy deal. Students can see if they like it before then complete the enrollment process. It’s important that the child feels comfortable here. This is a unique alternative; we walk the line because that is what Jesus would want us to do. The children can learn our Christian values and have an upbringing public schools can’t.”
Parents can contact the school and set up an appointment. In the upcoming school year, there will be a School Choice Program. Parents can find out more about the School Choice Voucher Program and where they can apply for scholarships and financial help. The program provides scholarships to eligible Indiana students to offset tuition costs at participating schools. Students must satisfy both household income requirements and student eligibility criteria to qualify.
“There will also be scholarships that are raised here, internally,” Hasecuster said. “The money is put into a scholarship and applications can be filled out for students who would like to apply. Also tuition can be subsidized through the Tuition Assistance Program. There are lots of avenues.”
For more information about enrolling at St. Mary’s they can call 765-932-3639.
Contact: Kate Thurston at 765-932-2222, ext. 105