Reflecting the belief that parents should have a choice of schools, the Irvine Unified School District established at its inception an Open Enrollment Policy. This policy provides the opportunity for parents who reside in the district to enroll their student in any school within the district on a space available basis.
Each school is required to serve the students who live within its attendance area prior to accepting any students from outside its boundary.
Though the district supports parental choice and is committed to Open Enrollment, once enrollment reaches school capacity, that school or grade level will be closed to Open Enrollment. Some schools are currently closed to Open Enrollment. The following conditions also restrict the opportunities for Open Enrollment:
Approvals are for one year and are reviewed each year.
Parents must provide transportation.
Space must be available at the requested school.
Transition to middle school or high school is based not on previous school of enrollment, but on the school attendance area assigned to the neighborhood of residence.
Approval Process for Open Enrollment
To assure that the approval process for those interested in Open Enrollment is random and unbiased, a waiting list is maintained at each school based on an annual lottery. Students who are transitioning from one secondary level to the next (6th-7th or 8th-9th) should adhere to the following components and timelines of the open enrollment process. Existing students who would like to transfer from a school they are currently attending should submit their request to their existing site and are considered on a case by case basis. This procedure is implemented as follows:
Parents complete a School Choice Form and submit it to the principal of the school being requested.
School Choice Forms are available at any school office the Monday following winter recess.
Parents complete a separate School Choice Form for each student.
Requests for each different school are entered on a separate form.
The deadline for submitting a request is noon on the fourth Friday in February.
Based on forms submitted by the deadline, principals draw names and establish waiting lists (by grade level at the elementary level).
Requests received after the deadline are added to the school's waiting list on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Sibling Enrollment For each academic year, priority consideration over all other open enrollment applicants shall be extended to the siblings of students concurrently or formerly enrolled at a given school under this policy. Please note that siblings do not take precedence over the students who live within the attendance boundary. Siblings are only admitted when there is space above and beyond what is needed to accommodate resident students.
Continued Enrollment in a Non-Neighborhood School If a student is enrolled in a non-neighborhood school and continued enrollment at that school is desired, a School Choice Form need not be completed. Once enrolled in a non-neighborhood school, students and their siblings receive priority at that school for enrollment over all other open enrollment applications. If, for any reason, the school is unable to permit continued enrollment, the principal will notify the parents. This provision also applies to students whose non-neighborhood school status is the result of a family change of residence within the district.
Returning to a Neighborhood School or Changing Schools After A School Year Has Begun Students who elect to begin a given academic year at a school other than their neighborhood school may be refused enrollment at their neighborhood school for the balance of the same academic year due to restricted space availability. Students may transfer back to their neighborhood school, or to the school of geographic proximity inside their super attendance area, during the school year, except that no elementary student will be transferred after February 1. Exception: Students who have started a school year at a year-round school shall not be accepted for transfer by a traditional calendar school during that same school year.
After February 1, in schools at or near capacity, an open seat may be claimed by a student who resides in the attendance area, or who resides in geographic proximity inside their super attendance area, but transfer may be delayed until the beginning of the next school year.
Middle school students may only transfer at the beginning of a trimester. High school students may only transfer at the beginning of a semester.
Displaced Students Due to overcrowding, a student may be requested to enroll in a school that is not their assigned neighborhood school. In such cases, students have the right of continued enrollment at their new assigned school and it is treated as their neighborhood school. If there is an interest to return to their assigned neighborhood school when space becomes available, the principal of the neighborhood school should be contacted no later than noon on the fourth Friday in February.
One-for-One Exchange at High School At the high school level, when more than one high school is closed, the Board of Education may provide an additional alternative for incoming 9th graders based on a one-for-one exchange among the waiting lists at each high school. Using the forms that are submitted by the February deadline, principals draw names and establish a waiting list at each high school. Requests received after the deadline are placed on a first-come, first-serve basis. For each pair of high schools, one-for-one exchanges are approved up to the number of students on the shorter of the two lists. All students on the waiting list will receive notification by mid-April.
Priorities within Super Attendance Areas
The District has a Super Attendance Area: Culverdale/Westpark. Unless already closed to further enrollment, students residing in a super attendance area are entitled to a seat at one of the two schools in that super attendance area.
In the event requests exceed available seats at a grade level during the normal enrollment period, or there is a waiting list at any grade level of a school in a super attendance area, first priority will be given to requestors on the list who reside closest to the preferred school within the designated super attendance area.
All policies and attendance areas are subject to change by the
Board of Education of the Irvine Unified School District