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ASSIGNMENT OF STUDENTS TO SCHOOLS, SCHOOL CHOICE AND OPEN ENROLLMENT - REGULATION

Policy Number: 
Board File: JCA/JFB-R

OPEN ENROLLMENT / SECOND ROUND ENROLLMENT / NEW STUDENT CHOICE ENROLLMENT

For the purposes of this policy the phrase "neighborhood school" is defined as the school students are assigned to attend based on their place of residence. For purposes of this policy the phrase “school of choice” is defined as the school students are assigned to attend when the school principal has approved a parent's or legal guardian's request for open enrollment, second round enrollment or new student choice enrollment, including magnet, alternative and charter schools.

FIRST ROUND OPEN ENROLLMENT APPLICATION PERIOD

The first round open enrollment period will open on November 1st at 8:00 am and end December 1st at 4:00 pm annually unless either day is not a school day, in which case the next regular school day will be the opening or ending day, respectively. 

For the first round open enrollment application period, the school will notify the parent of the status of the request (application accepted, denied or placed on the annual prioritized list) by December 8th annually or the first workday following the 8th. Once notified of acceptance by the school, the offer of enrollment must be accepted by the parent or guardian by 4:00 p.m. on December 15th annually or the first workday following the 15th. Applicants not accepted by the school during the first open enrollment round will automatically be placed on the annual prioritized list and will have priority over those applicants applying during the second round. If an opening becomes available during the second round application period, applicants will be notified by phone and by electronic means regarding the opening. 

Parents or guardians must accept a second round notification within 72 hours. First round applications are time stamped only for the purpose of determining whether the first round application was timely filed and not for a determination of priority.

Approved applications are valid for attendance at that school throughout the grades served by the school. After leaving an elementary level school of choice, the student will automatically be enrolled in their neighborhood middle school. However, a student may apply for open enrollment at a different middle school of choice through the open enrollment process. 

Approved choice applications at the middle/secondary level will allow the student to continue to attend the middle school and high school within that feeder system without requirement of further open enrollment. Students enrolled in a school of choice who wish to return to their neighborhood school at any level the following school year may do so by submitting a “Notice of Intent to Return” to the neighborhood school no later than January 5th, or the first workday following the 5th.

Students who move within the district but who wish to remain at the school where they are currently enrolled will be able to remain at that school by submitting a “Notice of Intent to Remain” at the school, and do not need to open enroll to remain at that school.

Students who were homeschooled for at least one semester during the prior academic year, but whose prior line of enrollment was not at a charter or magnet school, will be re-admitted to the school of their prior line of enrollment. Homeschooled students whose last line of enrollment was at a charter or magnet school and who wish to return to their neighborhood school for the following school year will automatically be enrolled in their neighborhood school. 

In the event that a student withdraws from the school they are currently attending in the middle of the academic year, final authority for placement will reside with the school building administrators and the directors of schools.

PRIORITIZING APPLICANTS

Where the number of eligible applicants during the first open enrollment period exceeds the spaces available in a particular program or school, as determined by the principal of the school, applications will be prioritized by grade level on the annual prioritized list first by the priority choice selected by the parent then by the following priorities:

FIRST Priority - Resident siblings of students currently enrolled and projected to be enrolled in the school for the following school year, this includes student applications applying to a middle school who have a sibling attending the feeder high school.

SECOND Priority - Student applicants who have a new neighborhood school due to District boundary decisions and wish to remain at their prior neighborhood school.

THIRD Priority - Students applicants who live at the household address of DCSD staff.

FOURTH Priority - Student applicants who are resident within the District seeking new open enrollment placements outside their attendance area.

FIFTH Priority - Student applicants who are not residents of the District seeking new open enrollment placements.

SECOND ROUND APPLICATION PERIOD

The second round open enrollment period opens January 22nd at 8:00 am and closes on August 1st at 4:00 pm annually unless either day is not a working day, in which case the next regular working day will be the opening or closing day, respectively.

Second round applications will be time stamped and processed on a "first come, first served" basis behind the first round applications that were not accepted and were added to the annual prioritized list. All transfers of students taking place other than at semester breaks will only be pursuant to the Administrative Transfer process, other than in the case of students new to the District.

NEW STUDENT CHOICE OPTION

Parents and guardians who move to Douglas County during the school year who want to enroll their student into a school other than their attendance area school may apply for enrollment by submitting a New Student application form.

Eligible students are those new to DCSD or students who are returning to DCSD who did not attend a Douglas County school in the prior school year.

New students are not eligible to enroll if the requested school is at capacity for that grade level or has students pending on an annual prioritized list. The applicant's name can be added to the list if requested.

Completed applications are submitted to the requested school. Applications will be approved as soon as practicable by the principal if there is space available, the application has been submitted in accordance with the procedures specified above and other requirements in Policy JCA/JFB and JCA/JFB-R have been met.

ANNUAL PRIORITIZED LIST

The annual prioritized lists at schools will be purged on October 1 of each year.

GROUNDS FOR DENIAL OF ANY TYPE OF ENROLLMENT APPLICATION

  1. An open enrollment application will be denied if:
    1. There is a lack of space or teaching staff in the requested school or program (as collaboratively determined by central office planning, the applicable area Director of Schools, and the principal), in which case resident students will have priority;
    2. The requested school does not offer appropriate programs for the student or does not offer a requested program;
    3. The requested school is not structured or equipped with the necessary facilities to meet the special needs of the student;
    4. The student does not meet the established eligibility criteria for participation in a particular program, including age requirements, course prerequisites and required levels of competence;
    5. A desegregation plan is in effect for the District, and denial is necessary to enable compliance with the plan;
    6. The student has graduated from the twelfth grade or holds a document evidencing completion of the equivalent of a secondary curriculum;
    7. The student has been expelled from any school district during  the  preceding twelve months or is being expelled for the reasons specified in C.R.S. 22-33-106(1)(c.5) or (d); or the student may be denied permission to enroll pursuant to C.R.S. 22-33-106(3)(A),  (B), (C), (E), or (F);
    8. The student exhibited behavior detrimental to the welfare and safety of other pupils or school personnel in another school district in the previous twelve months; or
    9. The student fails to comply with District policy with regard to immunization (JKD/JKE);

      In implementing the provisions of this policy the District need not:

    10. Make alterations to the structure of a requested school or make alterations to the arrangement or function of rooms within a requested school;
    11. Establish and offer any particular program in a school if the program is not currently offered at the school;
    12. Alter or waive any established eligibility criteria for participation in a particular program, including age requirements, course prerequisites, and required levels of performance; or
    13. Open enroll any student in any program or school after October 1.
       
  2. ​​As authorized by law, the Board or Superintendent reserves the right to rescind and/or amend any or all open enrollments or transfers at the end of any semester if, in their respective opinion, overcrowding of facilities or undesirable conditions develop.
     
  3. Per CHSAA rules, interscholastic eligibility may be affected if a student changes schools after the school year begins or if the student has practiced with a school team before the start of the school year.

APPEAL PROCESS

The parent or legal guardian may appeal the denial of an open enrollment, second round enrollment or administrative transfer by filing a statement of the grounds for appeal with the appropriate Director of Schools within five school days of the receipt of the principal's decision. The Director of Schools will consider the appeal and may request additional information from and/or a meeting with the parent or legal guardian, student and/or affected principal(s). The Director of Schools’ decision will be communicated to the parent or legal guardian within 10 school days after receipt of the appeal and will be final and not subject to further appeal.

ADMINISTRATIVE TRANSFERS

Administrative transfers to a particular school may be made by the Superintendent or designee for educational or disciplinary reasons at any time.  Applications for administrative transfer must be submitted on the District's approved form. The student's current school principal and the receiving school principal must agree to the transfer. The parent or guardian will be notified of approval or disapproval of the transfer application as soon practicable.

Administrative transfers, when granted, will enable the student to remain at that school throughout the years served by the school upon compliance with the terms of the administrative transfer.
 

Issued and Board-approved:  October 18, 1977, and December 3, 1991
Revised: June 21, 1994
Revised: December 19, 1995
Revised: December 7, 1999
Revised: October 15, 2002
Revised: October 17, 2006
Revised: September 28, 2009
Revised: March 15, 2011
Revised: October 4, 2011
Revised: November 13, 2012
Revised:  October 20, 2015
Revised:  July 11, 2017