Open Enrollment Frequently Asked Questions

 What is open enrollment and why would I consider it?

Open enrollment is the District's way of offering choice, where possible, in where your student attends elementary, middle or high school.

Is the parent/guardian's choice guaranteed?

No, there must be adequate openings at the requested school, including enough space reserved for students who may move into the attendance area during the year. If the number of open enrollment requests exceeds the number of openings, selection will be made through a random, unbiased lottery process.

Are special education students eligible to apply for an open enrollment position?

Yes, if the instructional program offered at the requested school meets the student's needs as prescribed in the IEP and openings are available. Special education students should indicate IEP status on the open enrollment application form. Many special education students will be placed at a particular school based on their IEP, without the need for open enrollment process.

May we change our minds if our open enrollment application is approved?

No, once your application is approved and you accept the placement, you become an official resident of the new school. You do not have to apply for open enrollment again the following year to maintain that placement.

You may apply to return to your resident school during the next annual open enrollment period, or submit an intra-district transfer request form. The transfer request must meet the District's intra-district transfer criteria. These criteria are very restrictive. They include family or student hardship due to transportation or child care, special circumstances related to student's physical/emotional health or a change in residence during the school year.

When will parents or guardians be notified of the status of their open enrollment transfer request?

Open enrollment runs from October 1, 2019 to November 29, 2019 (TK – 12).

The District will notify all elementary, middle and high school open enrollment applicants of their status by the user account email, by early to mid- December. Students who are not selected through the random process to attend their school of choice will be placed on a waiting list, in priority order, and will be notified as capacity is available. Placements will not be made while schools are closed for summer break. Per our policy, we must maintain space for resident students first.

If I have a current "intra-district transfer," do I have to reapply each year?

No, as long as there are no changes, all intra-district transfers will remain in effect through a student's exit grade. Keep in mind, however, that elementary, middle or high school intra-district transfers may be revoked for cause. Intra-district transfer requests will not be processed until after the open enrollment period ends, based on space available for resident students.

Where do I attend middle school if I open enrolled to my current elementary school?

All fifth grade students (and/or sixth grade students at NVLA) who are attending an elementary school other than their elementary school of residence will automatically move to the middle school served by the school of residence. Students who wish to move with their class to a middle school not in their attendance area should submit an open enrollment application.

Where do I attend high school if I open enrolled to my current middle school?

All eighth grade students who are attending a middle school other than the middle school of residence will automatically move to the high school served by the school of residence. For example: If you open enrolled to a middle school that feeds into Napa High, but you live in the Vintage area, you are automatically assigned to attend Vintage High School. Students who wish to move with their class to a middle school not in their attendance area should submit an open enrollment application.

How does the student get to and from school, if the parent selects a school other than the school determined by the residence of the parents?

The general policy of the district is to provide transportation for students who live within the established attendance area of a school and in excess of the defined walking distance from that school. Parents/guardians are responsible for providing transportation to and from a school of choice. If space is available on an established bus route, they may ride a school bus. However, as part of a federal grant, resident students of McPherson and Shearer schools may receive transportation to Willow Magnet School.

Are high school students automatically eligible to participate in sports and other activities governed by the California Interscholastic Federation?

No, athletic eligibility is determined by the rules and regulations established by the California Interscholastic Federation. Questions about athletic eligibility should be submitted to the Athletic Directors at the high schools.

Open Enrollment and Intra-District Transfer Policies are available for review on the District website.


Rev. 8/6/2019 c.g.