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501.31 Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment into the District

The district will participate in open enrollment as a receiving district.  As a receiving district, the board will allow nonresident students, who meet the legal requirements, to open enroll into the district.  The district shall have complete discretion to determine the attendance center of a student attending the district under open enrollment.

Unless otherwise allowed by law, by June 1 in the year preceding the first year desired for open enrollment into the district the superintendent/designee shall bring to the board for action all timely-received open enrollment requests.  A parent may request a waiver of the timeline above to open enroll into the district for “good cause,” as defined by Iowa Code and outlined in the Iowa Department of Education’s Open Enrollment Handbook provided the circumstance giving rise to the “good cause” occurred/began after March 1. The board shall consider requests for “good cause” open enrollment in alignment with the Iowa Department of Education’s Open Enrollment Handbook.

When deciding whether to approve a request to open enroll into the district, the district:

  1. Shall determine if the requesting student has been suspended or expelled; if the student has, the board will deny the request to transfer until such time as the student has been reinstated in the sending district at which time the request will be considered similar to other requests.
  2. Evaluate if sufficient classroom space and staffing as required by law and/or policy exists in the district to accept the student and deny a request to open enroll into the district if space is insufficient.
  3. If sufficient space is available, give first priority to students who have other nuclear family members already enrolled in the district (“First Priority Students”). If one or more members of the same nuclear family submit requests for open enrollment for the same academic year and insufficient classroom space exists in one or more of the grades into which enrollment is requested, the board, in its discretion, may waive the criteria for insufficient classroom space or staff for those students affected in order to prevent the division of a nuclear family.
  4. If space is still available after accommodating First Priority Students, the district may select additional students, except kindergartners, from those applications received by the first May board meeting. The district will consider other open enrollment requests in the order in which they are received. Provided, however, that kindergarten students shall not be considered until the first board meeting in July.

The district shall consider requests for special education students to open enroll into the district on a case-by-case basis, with the determining factors  being whether the district’s special education program is appropriate for the student’s needs (as determined by the Director of Special Programs) and whether the student’s enrollment will cause class size to exceed the allowable maximum. The student shall remain in the sending district until the final determination is made. For student’s requiring special education, the district will complete and provide to the resident district the documentation needed to seek Medicaid reimbursement for eligible services.

Requests for open enrollment into the district shall be granted for a minimum of one year unless the student will graduate, unless the family moves to another district within that period, and/or unless the board approves a different open enrollment term.

The superintendent/designee shall notify the sending district and petitioning parent of the board’s approval or denial of the open enrollment request within five days of board action.

Once the request is approved, the student shall be considered enrolled and committed to attend the district with the commencement of the next academic year and succeeding years as prescribed by the Iowa Code. District policies applicable to students attending the district shall apply to students attending the district under open enrollment. The district may require the parent to complete additional paperwork and may, in its discretion, reassign the student’s attendance center on a yearly basis.

Students in grades nine through twelve open enrolling into the school district will be eligible for participation in interscholastic athletics, at the varsity level, in accordance with applicable law.

Reimbursement for transportation costs may be made available to qualifying parents/guardians.


Open Enrollment out of the District

Unless otherwise allowed by law, parents wishing to open enroll student(s) out of the district under the Open Enrollment Act shall notify the superintendent/designee of that intention by March 1 of the preceding school year (for rising 1st – 12th graders) and by September 1st of the current year (for kindergarteners). The formal notification shall state that the parent/guardian intends to enroll their student in a public school in another school district and shall describe the reason(s) for enrollment in the receiving district. The notification shall be made on form(s) prescribed by the Department of Education which are available on the district website and at the district office.

A parent may request a waiver of the timeline above to open enroll out of the district for “good cause,” as defined by Iowa Code and outlined in the Iowa Department of Education’s Open Enrollment Handbook provided the circumstance giving rise to the “good cause” occurred/began after March 1.

The district shall consider requests for special education students to open enroll out of the district on a case-by-case basis to ensure that the receiving district is appropriate for the student’s needs.  The area education agency director of special education serving the receiving district will determine whether the receiving district’s program is appropriate. The special education student will remain in the district until the final determination is made.

The superintendent/designee shall present all applications for open enrollment out of the district, including those filed after the March 1 deadline for “good cause”, to the board for action in alignment with the Iowa Department of Education’s Open Enrollment regulations.

A student who is open enrolled may re-enroll in the district of residence at any time (unless under suspension or expulsion). The parent or guardian must notify the district of residence and the receiving district in writing of the decision to enroll the pupil in the district of residence. A re-enrollment in the district of residence will terminate open enrollment.

The board will not approve a student’s request to allow the receiving district to enter the district for the purposes of transportation.

Legal References:
Iowa Code §§139.9, 274.1, 279.11, 282.1, .3, .8, .18, 299.1, (1989)
470 Iowa Admin. Code 7
281 Iowa Admin. Code 11.3 (10)- (11), 11.4 (13).S.F. 2201

Cross References:
501.31 Approval of Open Enrollment Transfer In
606.06 Insufficient Classroom Space

Adopted:
August 7, 1989

Reviewed:
February 16, 2009
June 15, 2015
March 21, 2016
October 17, 2016
September 21, 2020
March 31, 2022

Revised:
February 16, 2009
June 15, 2015
March 21, 2016
October 17, 2016
September 21, 2020
April 18, 2022