Specialized Agricultural and Natural Resources Programs Nonresident Student Enrollment Advisory
This advisory has been written to address concerns regarding CMR 603 Section 4.03(6)(b)1: ……non-resident admission for the purpose of exploring specialized agriculture and natural resources programs and Section 9 of Chapter 463 of the Acts of 2004: ……admission to the vocational technical agriculture programs at Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical High School.
In accordance with the recent amendments to the Vocational Technical Education Regulations, 603 CMR 4.00, ninth grade students who reside in cities or towns that offer a Chapter 74 exploratory program may not attend an out of district exploratory program, unless they are seeking to explore a specialized agriculture and natural resources program that is not available in their district of residence. Section 4.03(6)(b)1 of the regulations provides as follows:
Students who reside in cities and towns that do not maintain an exploratory program may apply for admission to a school of another city, town or district offering an exploratory program. Ninth grade students who reside in cities and towns that offer an approved exploratory program shall attend the exploratory program provided by the district of residence; provided however, that students may apply for non-resident admission for the purpose of exploring specialized agriculture and natural resources programs designated by the Commissioner and not available in the student's district of residence.
Thus, the district of residence should approve students' non-resident applications to explore and enroll in specialized agriculture and natural resource programs not available in the district of residence. Both the district of residence and the receiving school should inform students and parents that if a student decides to change their selected program, a new non-resident application is required to be filed with the district of residence.
In accordance with Chapter 463 of the Acts of 2004, An Act Establishing the Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical High School District, admission to the agricultural programs is open to all students, without regard to residency. Section 9 of the act states as follows:
The district shall offer, in addition to its other vocational technical programs, comprehensive vocational technical agriculture programs in grades 9 to 12, inclusive. The vocational technical agriculture programs shall be under the supervision of a full-time coordinator. Admission to the vocational technical agriculture programs shall be open to all students in the commonwealth regardless of residence; but, the district may establish, with the approval of the commissioner, admissions criteria unrelated to residency. The vocational technical agriculture programs shall have a minimum full-time combined enrollment of 300 students unless a lesser number is approved by the commissioner. Section 12B of chapter 76 of the General Laws shall not apply to the admission of students to the programs. Tuition for all non-resident students in the vocational technical agriculture programs shall be established and paid pursuant to section 7C of chapter 74 of the General Laws. In approving the tuition rates, the commissioner shall take into account the specialized nature of vocational technical agriculture programs, and shall also include capital and debt service costs attributable to the programs.
Thus, students seeking admission to the chapter 74 Essex North Shore agricultural programs are not required to file a non resident application with their district of residence. However, the Department will encourage Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical High School to establish a notification system to inform the student's district of residence when a student applies to a specialized agriculture program.
Students seeking admission to any other chapter 74 vocational technical education programs who are not residents of Essex North Shore's member communities are required to file a non- resident application with their district of residence.