No More Room

With larger total enrollment, RBUSD gives fewer permits to students


*A source wants to remain anonymous. She will be referred to as Jane Doe.

If students do not live in Redondo Beach and wish to attend RUHS, they must go to the district office and apply for a permit.

According to Assistant Principal Dargen, students who have a parent who works for the school district or a sibling who goes to RUHS get bumped to the top of the list. If there are remaining permits, there is a lottery to determine who gets the spots.

“We want to give somebody the opportunity to go to the same school district as their sibling,” Dargen said. “We only have very few permits available, so then it’s a matter of a lottery of who gets picked.”

With most students on permit at RUHS having once lived in Redondo Beach — elementary, middle or high school — RBUSD administration tries to allow students who move away to graduate.

“Our district belief is that students who have been in our district for multiple years and move out of our district during high school should be allowed to graduate from RUHS if they are meeting the Terms & Conditions,” Dr. Nicole Wesley, Director of Student Services for RBUSD, said.

According to RUHS administration, athletes and people with very high grades do not get any advantage in terms of permits over students who are not athletes and those who do not have high grades.

“If someone is an athlete or not, they get put in the same batch of people who want to get a permit, and there’s a certain amount of luck of whether you get picked or not,” Dargen said.

The number of people receiving permits to attend RUHS has decreased over the years because of a lack of space.

“Because our school is very full and we don’t have extra spots available, it is extremely limited,” Dargen said. “We have a lot of people that we would probably love to have here who don’t have the opportunity because there’s not enough room.”

Jane Doe, sophomore, was living in Redondo Beach and attending RUHS, but her and her family had to move to Torrance at the end of first semester due to high rent. When her family told administration, they were told that Doe needed to get a permit.

“When we went to get the permit approved by Redondo they didn’t approve it,” Doe said. “They said there was “lack of space,” which was weird since I was already in the school first semester.”

Doe and her grandparents proceeded to go to the district office to fight for it, and they granted her 30 days so they can go look for houses and try to stay in Redondo.

“We’re looking for a house in Redondo because I like this school district better than Torrance, but if we don’t find a house by March 6th I have to go to West.”

One of Dargen’s jobs is to monitor the students who are on permit at RUHS by paying attention to their attendance and academic records as well as their behavior. If someone is falling behind in their classes, Dargen will have a meeting with them.

The district has not accepted permits for students to join the freshman class for the last two years, unless they are a child of a current employee or they have a sibling in an RBUSD school, according to Wesley.

“I describe what their expectations are and help them find ways to make sure they maintain a good GPA and get help from teachers so it doesn’t come to the point where it’s such a bad situation that we would consider revoking their permit.” Dargen said.

However, there are exceptions if students do end up receiving below a 2.0 GPA for one semester. If they are putting in effort but still get below a 2.0 GPA, they do not automatically get their permit withdrawn, according to Dargen.

“We want to take into consideration the fact that everybody makes mistakes, everybody falls below expectations sometimes — but are they working in the right direction? If someone is consistently below a 2.0 then they should expect to have the permit revoked.” Dargen said.

In order to receive a permit, the student must get permission from both the school district they are leaving as well as the one they want to get into. While RUHS does not have many students trying to leave, many schools do.

“Sometimes [districts] are really worried about losing a lot of students, so some will fight them on it,” Dargen said. “They’ll go to court and try to prove the reason why they need to be released from the current district.”

According to Dargen, the administration is thankful for permit students.

“We really do appreciate the permit students that we have here because much like our athletes, they generally have higher expectations on them and they respond by having a higher GPA and fewer problems in general,” Dargen said.