Columbia Heights Public Schools closed open enrollment to Highland Elementary and ninth and 10th grade at Columbia Heights High School.

After enrollment numbers exceeded capacity, Executive Director of Education Services Zena Stenvik and Superintendent Kathy Kelly recommended to the School Board Aug. 27 that open enrollment be closed.

“We believe that we have an overflowing placement center and there are some schools that really have reached capacity,” Kelly told the board.

Highland Elementary is well over its capacity of 525 students, Stenvik told the board. Grades nine and 10 at the high school are just over capacity as well, with each exceeding 300 students as of Aug. 27, Stenvik said.

Enrollment numbers for ninth and 10th grade are higher than previous years, Stenvik said.

“When one of our schools is above capacity, the school principal and district staff collaborate to create workable plans to ensure that (this) does not impede with students’ education,” Stenvik told ABC Newspapers.

Closing open enrollment means those with addresses outside the district can no longer enroll at Highland Elementary or in ninth or 10th grade at the high school. However, students living within the district are still able to enroll if they have not done so already.

Anyone looking to open enroll their elementary students in the Columbia Heights School District can still enroll at Valley View or North Park Elementary Schools.

“Those schools still have ability for open enrollment,” Board Member Lorien Mueller said at the meeting.

The board voted 4-0 in favor of closing open enrollment at Highland and in grades nine and 10 at the high school. Board members Hala Asamarai and John Larkin were absent.

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