For many years, most Missoula high school students have had the ability to go to the school of their choice regardless of where they live in the county, but that option is getting increasingly difficult.  According to MCPS Superintendent Mark Thane, many middle school classrooms in town are at capacity, and the High schools are trending that way too.

"We're not going to displace somebody whose residence is near a school in order to accommodate someone who is not. That same scenario is now happening in our high schools: we don't have enough seats in English, enough seats in Math to accommodate all the requests... it's all based on the date and time stamp of those requests."

Thane says the requests are still being considered, but that filling them all is getting harder to do.

"I do think our capacity to accept out-of-area students will be reduced in some areas," thane said. "If you have 40 students from each of our three urban high schools that are looking to effect a transfer to another school, well that creates capacity when students leave one school so, I think there is a certain amount that can be accommodated and accomplished. There are a variety of reasons, and some very good reasons that that takes place."

While many students may want to go to a particular high school for club sports, Thane says “we generally would not approve a transfer for athletic reasons only.”