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501.05 Enrollment and Attendance

501.05 ENROLLMENT & ATTENDANCE CENTER ASSIGNMENT

Enrollment

A student is enrolled in the district when the student is attending school consistent with the district attendance policies.

Subject to the exceptions outlined herein, secondary students must be enrolled in at least six (6) credits and Physical Education each semester. Exceptions to these course requirements may be available to accommodate alternative scheduling arrangements, at-risk programs, early graduation, and/or other circumstances approved by the principal/designee.

Enrollment Eligibility (Starting School and Transfers into the District)

Subject to the policies related to resident and non-resident students below, children will be allowed to enroll in the district’s regular education program when they have reached the age of eligibility. An eligible child must be five (5) years of age on or before September 15 of the current year to participate in the district’s kindergarten program; the child must be six (6) years of age on or before September 15 of the current year to begin first grade. The superintendent/designee shall determine what is satisfactory evidence for proof of age.

Students who have reached eighteen years of age and who are still eligible to attend an Iowa public school per Iowa law may, with or without declaring their residence independent of their parent(s) residence, attend school in the District without payment of tuition, subject to the requirements for residency outlined in this policy.

For students transferring to the district from another district, the superintendent/designee shall request cumulative records from the previous district. If the student does not offer proof of grade level from the previous district, the superintendent/designee shall make a grade level determination and may require testing and/or other information to make this determination.

The superintendent/designee shall determine the credits that may transfer to the district from the student’s previous education elsewhere. If the student has not previously attended an accredited school, the superintendent/designee may accept and/or reject credits and/or grades.

Students expelled or suspended from their previous school district shall only be enrolled in the district after approval of the board.

Designated health and immunization certificates must be provided to the superintendent/designee prior to the first day of school or the district may deny admission to the student.

Resident Students

Children who are residents of the school district community will attend the school district without paying tuition.

To be considered a resident, the student must:

  • Be physically present within the district’s boundaries including at times other than when school is in session; and
  • not have an established residence in another district by operation of law; and
  • meet at least one of the following conditions:
    • Be in the district for the purpose of making a home and not solely for school purposes;
    • Meet the definition of a “homeless student” under state or federal law;
    • Live in a juvenile detention center or a residential facility in the district.

A student may establish a dwelling with someone other than the parents and attend public school in the school district without paying tuition if the primary purpose for residing in the school district is not for the purpose of obtaining a free public education.

The mere existence of a guardian residing in the district does not establish residence for educational purposes.  Open-enrollment students are not considered resident students for certified enrollment count.

Non-Resident Students

Students who are eligible to attend an Iowa public school but who are not resident students as described above are “non-resident students.” Non-resident students may enroll in the district at the discretion of the superintendent/designee upon application and payment of tuition if ineligible for open enrollment. The tuition rate for non-resident students shall be the current per-pupil cost of the school district as computed by the board secretary and as authorized by the Iowa Department of Education.

Non-resident students who are eligible to attend an Iowa public school and who have evidence that, in the district’s discretion, indicates they will become legal residents of the district by the enrollment certification date of the current school year may be allowed to attend school in the district without payment of tuition.

Students in grades eleven or twelve who are no longer residents of the district but who were resident students in the preceding school year may continue to attend school in the district without payment of tuition until they graduate. If these students are not of legal age, they shall be required to identify a place of residence and responsible adult in the district for purposes of administration. The superintendent/ designee may establish regulations for securing proof of this resident adult contact person.

Persons visiting the United States on a student visa do not meet the two basic criteria for tuition-free residence in Iowa’s public schools. They shall, therefore, pay tuition to attend school in the Ankeny Community School District. Exceptions are approved for foreign exchange students in keeping with district policy.

Subject to the exceptions set forth herein, resident students whose families move from district who wish to continue attending school in the district must complete an open enrollment application in keeping with law and policy.

Under certain conditions, students may be able to transfer between districts. These situations are determined individually by the Iowa Department of Education.

Determining Residency

Each case involving the bona fide residence of a student will be decided upon its individual merits by the superintendent/designee. Whenever a question of actual residence arises, the superintendent/ designee shall make a factual determination of the main reason for the student’s presence in the district, in keeping with Iowa Code and guidelines established by the Iowa Department of Education.

In the absence of information to the contrary, district officials may assume that students seeking enrollment are residents of the district unless application is made under open enrollment provisions.

The district need not challenge a legally-established guardianship. If the district received information that disputes the assumption of a student’s residence, the district may revise its determination of the student’s actual residence.

Attendance Center Assignment

The board shall have discretion to determine attendance center boundaries and to assign students to attendance centers.  The board shall annually make available to the public a list of the District’s attendance centers. The superintendent/designee shall make an annual recommendation to the board regarding each student’s assigned attendance center.

Subject to the limitations outlined herein and/or elsewhere in law and/or policy, the superintendent/ designee shall have discretion to assign students to classrooms.

Parents of kindergarten through fifth grade siblings who are in the same grade may request the siblings be placed in the same or different classrooms.  To be valid, the request must be written and submitted to the relevant attendance center’s principal at the time of registration for classes or within fourteen days after the children’s first day of attendance during the school year; the principal shall honor a valid request. The district retains complete discretion to select the classroom teacher(s) to which the siblings are assigned.  If, after the initial grading period following the placement of siblings in the same or different classrooms, the principal determines the placement is disruptive to the class, the principal may assign one or more of the siblings to different classrooms.

There are board approved Early Childhood Special Education and Pre-kindergarten programs dependent upon funding.

The Superintendent/designee and Board shall endeavor to assign all resident students to their zoned, grade-appropriate attendance centers and to keep students at the same attendance center as their sibling(s) enrolled in grade(s) also served by that center. However, in their discretion, the Superintendent/designee may assign resident students to their non-zoned attendance centers, including but not limited to, when:

  • Such adjustment is necessary to address class size and/or feeder capacity;
  • Pursuant to Iowa law, there has been a proven allegation of bullying and/or harassment and it is in the best interest of the student to be reassigned;
  • The resident student has moved to another attendance area in the district during the school year, the student desires to complete the school year at the attendance center s/he was attending, and the administration approves arrangements for transportation and attendance;
  • The resident student presents documentation demonstrating with a high-degree of certainty that his/her residence will change during the school year to another attendance area in the district, the student desires to start the school year in the attendance center zoned to the new residence, and the administration approves arrangements for transportation and attendance;
  • The student’s zoned in-district attendance center for their senior year of high school is different than the zoned in-district attendance center the student attended at the end of their junior year, the student and parent desire for the student to be assigned to the junior year attendance center for the student’s senior year, and the administration approves arrangements for transportation and attendance;
  • Assignment to another attendance center would provide educational benefit for the student, including because of the student’s need for special services (special education, LIEP supports, etc.); and/or
  • The student’s sibling(s) have been assigned to a non-zoned school in order to receive special services and/or due to proven allegations of bullying and/or harassment and the student requests assignment to the same attendance center as their sibling(s).

Intra-district transfers occurring due to custodial changes and/or residential changes or requirements in federal law are not subject to this policy.

All nonresident students shall attend the attendance center assigned by the Superintendent/designee. The district, in its discretion, shall assign students open enrolling into the district to an attendance center in the that has available space. Students who open enroll to continue in the district may be subject to a building reassignment.  All open enrolled students will be assigned to the feeder with the lowest certified count-day enrollment at the time of the student’s registration.

Cross Reference:
501.08 Placement and Acceptance of Credits Upon Transfer
501.31 Open Enrollment Transfers Into the District
501.32 Open Enrollment Transfers Out of the District
501.35 Intra-District Open Enrollment
504.10 Health Certificate
604.08 International and Foreign Exchange Students
606.06 Insufficient Classroom Space
606.10 Class Size
702.30 Student Eligibility for Transportation

Legal Reference:
Lakota Cons. Ind. School v. Buffalo Center-Rake Comm. School, 334 N.W.2d 704 (Iowa 1983)
Mt. Hope School Dist. V. Hendrickson, 197 N.W. 47 (Iowa 1924)
Oshel v. Creston Comm. School Dist., DPI Admin. Doc. 570 (1981)
33 D.P.I. Dec. Rule 80 (1984)
20 U.S.C. § 1232g
Iowa Code §§ 139A.8; 256.11(A); 257.6; 279.8; 279.11; 280.3, .14; 282.1, .2, .3, .4,  .6, .7, .8, .18; 299A; 599.1
Code §§ 281 I.A.C. 12.2;12 .3(6), (7); 12.5; 17.6(4); 41.404(6)(e)
1956 Op. Att’y Gen. 185.
1946 Op. Att’y Gen. 197.
1938 Op. Att’y Gen. 69.
1930 Op. Att’y Gen. 147.
1980 Op. Att’y Gen. 258.
IASB No. 501.2 (2011)

 Adopted:
April 18, 2022

 R.R. for Policy 501.05

Registration Requirements

The superintendent/designee shall annually establish student registration requirements. These may include, but are not limited to: completion of registration application(s) and form(s); presentation of proof of residency and/or proof of student birth date; delivery of documentation related to special programs (e.g., special education, gifted and talent) and/or previous school information; delivery of health documents such as records of immunization, physical examination, vision screening, and/or dental screening.

Falsification of any information or document required for residency verification or the use of the address of another person without actually residing there may result in the revocation of student enrollment, being held liable to pay tuition for the time in attendance as a non-resident student, and/or filing a complaint with the appropriate law enforcement agency for criminal prosecution against all parties involved.

Kindergarten Registration

The district shall typically conduct kindergarten registration during the first week of February and shall communicate a specific date via multiple venues including, but not limited to the district’s website. Kindergarten registrations will not be accepted prior to the start of the designated registration period.

Generally, the district will communicate building placements for kindergarten students during the second week of June. Registrations received on or after the designated final day of the registration period will be deemed late and will not be considered until all other placements have been made.

If the number of enrolling kindergarteners exceeds capacity at a school(s), the district shall consider the following when making building assignments:

  1. classroom space availability,
  2. enrollment of siblings in the school, and/or
  3. date and time the student’s online registration was completed and all other necessary registration paperwork was submitted to the district.

If the student needs special services, including but not limited to LIEP (English Language Learning) or special education, the student may be placed at an elementary school that can best serve the student’s needs, regardless of whether it is the student’s neighborhood school.

Attendance Center Assignment for Newly-Enrolling Elementary Students

Any elementary student newly enrolling in the district may be assigned to a school other than their neighborhood school. In making attendance center assignments for newly-enrolled elementary school students, the district shall:

  1. Determine if there is space in the relevant neighborhood school for all elementary-aged students within the newly-enrolling family.
  2. If there is space at the neighborhood school, assign students to the neighborhood school. If there is not space for all elementary-aged students in the family at the neighborhood school, assign the newly-enrolling students to the attendance center with lowest class ratios that can accommodate all elementary-aged members of the family.
  3. Notify parents that transportation will be provided for students if the family lives more than 2 miles from the assigned elementary school.
  4. If/when space becomes available at the neighborhood school, contact impacted families and offer them the choice of a) having students remain in the assigned school for the remainder of the year and transferring to the neighborhood school at the beginning of the next school year, or b) returning to the neighborhood school immediately.

Intra-District Transfer

Students may seek and the district, in its discretion, may consider intra-district transfer from one district attendance center to another for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Pursuant to Iowa law, there has been a proven allegation of bullying and/or harassment and it is in the best interest of the student to be reassigned;
  • The resident student has moved to another attendance area in the district during the school year, the student desires to complete the school year at the attendance center s/he was attending, and the administration approves arrangements for transportation and attendance;
  • The resident student presents documentation demonstrating with a high-degree of certainty that his/her residence will change during the school year to another attendance area in the district, the student desires to start the school year in the attendance center zoned to the new residence, and the administration approves arrangements for transportation and attendance;
  • The student’s zoned in-district attendance center for their senior year of high school is different than the zoned in-district attendance center the student attended at the end of their junior year, the student and parent desire for the student to be assigned to the junior year attendance center for the student’s senior year, and the administration approves arrangements for transportation and attendance;
  • Assignment to another attendance center would provide educational benefit for the student, including because of the student’s need for special services (special education, LIEP supports, etc.); and/or
  • The student’s sibling(s) have been assigned to a non-zoned school in order to receive special services and/or due to proven allegations of bullying and/or harassment and the student requests assignment to the same attendance center as their sibling(s).

Students seeking intra-district transfer shall submit these requests between April 1 – May 1 of the school year prior to the desired intra-district transfer unless extraordinary circumstances, as determined by the district, warrant a deviation from that time frame.

Subject to the superintendent/designee’s discretion, the following apply to intra-district transfers:

  • An approved intra-district transfer is valid for the following school year, takes effect at the beginning of the school year, and remains in effect for a minimum of one school year.
  • Parents of students who transfer within the district under these guidelines shall provide the student’s transportation to and from school without reimbursement from the district.
  • Ninth through twelfth grade students who transfer within the district shall not be eligible for varsity play for the entirety of the following school year (August 1 – July 31). However, students who transfer to another district attendance center due to a bona fide harassment and/or bullying complaint shall not be prohibited from participating in athletics and/or activities due to their intra-district transfer and shall, if otherwise eligible, be eligible for participation no later than 10 days from the date of transfer.
  • The parent of a student attending a non-zoned attendance center due to an intra-district transfer may, at any time, request that the student attend the zoned school. In evaluating such a request, the district will consider factors including but not limited to: the reasons for the student’s transfer, the physical capacity of the zoned school, and the best interests of the student and other students. A student returning to a zoned school from an intra-district transfer shall be subject to the varsity play eligibility restrictions outlined above.

The board may sever an intra-district transfer if it is in the best interest of the district to do so. Unless extraordinary circumstances require otherwise, the action to sever shall be taken on or before May 15 of the school year prior to the intended elimination of the transfer. A severed intra-district transfer shall take effect at the start of the school year following the severance unless the board and parent of the transferee student mutually agree in writing to an earlier effective date.  Restrictions on varsity play eligibility shall not apply when the board severs the intra-district transfer.

Parents may appeal intra-district transfer decisions to the superintendent/designee for review. The superintendent’s/designee’s decision shall be final and binding.

Click here for the Intra-District Transfer Application

Special Education

For building assignment of special education students, the district will use the formula for caseload determination specified in the District Developed Special Education Service Delivery Plan.