501.32 Open Enrollment Transfers

The District shall participate in Open Enrollment both as a sending and receiving district.

Parents/guardians wishing to transfer students out of the District under the Open Enrollment Act shall notify their Superintendent, in writing, of that intention by March 1 of the preceding school year. If a parent/guardian fails to file notification that the parent/guardian intends to enroll the parent’s/guardian’s child in public school in another district by March 1 of the previous year, and good cause exists for the failure to meet the deadline or if the request is to enroll a child in kindergarten in another district, the parent/guardian shall be permitted to enroll the child in the other district in the same manner as if the deadline had been met. 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 reasons for enrollment in the receiving district.

The receiving district board shall take action on the request. The notification shall be made on forms prescribed by the Department of Education and available at the office of the Superintendent/designee.

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

An open enrollment request out of the District from parents of a special education student is reviewed on a case by case basis. The determining factor for approval of such an open enrollment request will be whether the special education program available in the receiving school district is appropriate for the student’s needs. The area education agency director of special education serving the receiving district will determine whether the program is appropriate. The special education student will remain in the District until the final determination is made.

It is the responsibility of the Superintendent/designee to maintain open enrollment request applications and notice forms. It will also be the responsibility of the Superintendent/designee to develop appropriate office procedures and administrative regulations necessary for open enrollment requests.

Consideration will be given to the requests in chronological order of receipt, with special preference being given to students who are part of the same nuclear family of a student(s) already enrolled in the District. The Board shall enroll all students whose requests are received if policies 606.06 Insufficient Classroom Space and 501.31 Approval of Open Enrollment Transfer In are satisfied. Board action shall be taken no later than June 1. Board approval or denial must be sent to the parent/guardian and resident district within 5 days of Board action.

In the event that one or more members of the same nuclear family submit requests for the same academic year and insufficient classroom space exists in one or more of the grades 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 between two school districts.

Requests for transfers into the District shall be for a minimum of one year unless the student will graduate within that time period or the family moves to another school district. It shall be up to the discretion of the Board to grant the request. In exercising that discretion, the Board shall consider the potential impact of the transfer on the student, the effectiveness of the educational program, the budget of the District, and other items deemed important by the Superintendent and the Board.

The Superintendent/designee shall have the authority to approve all applications received within the timeline or for just cause. The Superintendent/designee will notify the sending district.

August 7, 1989

February 16, 2009
June 15, 2015
March 21, 2016
October 17, 2016

February 16, 2009
June 15, 2015
March 21, 2016
October 17, 2016

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

R.R. 1 501.32 Open Enrollment Transfers


Unless the application for open enrollment claims harassment or if the child has a serious health condition that the resident district cannot adequately address, all appeals must be made to an Iowa District Court. Appeals should be filed in district court in the county in which the resident district’s administrative office is located.

The State Board of Education does not hear appeals unless one of the following claims was made as a basis for good cause:

  • Child has a serious health condition (see page 6 of State Board of Education Open Enrollment Handbook for description).
  • Child has experienced pervasive harassment (see page 5 of State Board of Education Open Enrollment Handbook for description).

State Board of Education website referencing open enrollment.

If the application is denied by the resident district for either of these reasons, the parent / guardian may appeal to the local board of directors. If an application is denied by the local board of directors, the applicant may appeal to the State Board of Education. The appeal should be addressed to: Administrative Law Judge, Department of Education, Grimes State Office Building, 400 East 14th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319-0146. The letter of appeal must be postmarked within 30 days of the board decision.

The appeal letter must contain the following information:

  1. Name, address, and daytime phone number of the person appealing
  2. Name and grade level of child/children involved in the appeal (in case of expulsion, open enrollment, suspension, etc.)
  3. Name of the school district making the board decision that is being appealed
  4. Date the local board decision was made
  5. Brief statement of reasons why the decision is being appealed
  6. Notarized signature of the person appealing the decision
  7. Other information may be included if desired.


October 17, 2016