Section J - Students
Policy Title: Open Enrollment and School Choice
Policy Code: JFB
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The District has an open-enrollment program as set forth in A.R.S. 15-816 et seq. In addition to the open-enrollment program, the District has a magnet program; together they form the District's School Choice Program. The school choice program described in this policy shall be placed on the District website and made available to the public on request.
District resident student means a student who resides within the school district boundaries.
Resident transfer student means a resident student who is enrolled in or seeking enrollment in a school that is within the school district but outside the attendance area of the student's residence.
Nonresident student means a student who resides in this state and who is seeking enrollment in a school district other than the school district in which the student resides.
Child of Employee means a child or ward of an employee, including nonresident employees.
Oversubscribed School means a school where more students are seeking to enroll than the capacity of its facility.
District resident students may enroll in another school district or in another school within this District. Resident transfer students and nonresident students may enroll in schools within this District, subject to the procedures that follow.
Information and Application
The Superintendent shall prepare a written information packet concerning the District's application process, standards for acceptance or rejection, and policies, regulations, and procedures for school choice. The packet will be made available to everyone who requests it.
The information packet shall include the enrollment application form and shall advise applicants by what date they must submit school choice applications to be considered for priority enrollment for the following school year.
The Superintendent shall annually estimate how much excess capacity may exist to accept transfer students. The estimate of excess capacity shall be made for each school and grade level.
Each student shall be assigned to an attendance zone school based on the student's legal address. If a student does not file an open enrollment/magnet application, the student will automatically be assigned to his or her attendance zone school.
A student wishing to enroll at a school other than his or her attendance zone school may apply to one of the following school choices:
- Magnet Schools/Programs
Magnet Schools/Programs offer a specialized curriculum to a student body representing a cross section of the community and reflecting its diversity. The District may establish entrance criteria for Magnet Schools/Programs, and only those students who meet the criteria shall be eligible to attend these chools or programs. Eligible students will be placed in oversubscribed magnet schools pursuant to the same rank-ordered priorities shown in Open Enrollment below. Eligible students seeking placement into schools which are not oversubscribed shall be placed in their preferred choice.
- Pipeline Schools
Pipeline Schools are K – 12th grade schools designed to enable students to continue a theme or magnet program throughout their educational career. Students enrolled in an elementary or middle school identified as Pipeline Schools will be eligible to attend the associated pipeline middle or high school upon promotion from the student's current school and will be placed in that school if the student, parent or guardian accepts that placement.
- Open Enrollment
If a student wants to attend a TUSD school other than that student's attendance zone school, but not a magnet school/program, the student may apply to that school through open enrollment. Students seeking placement into schools which are not oversubscribed shall be placed in their preferred choice. Students applying for open enrollment into an oversubscribed school will be placed pursuant to the following rank-ordered priorities. Nonresident students, who are already enrolled in a TUSD school or program or who have a sibling so enrolled, are considered, for the purposes of school choice placement, as District resident students.
- Students who are siblings of students currently enrolled at the requested school.
- Any student, including any nonresident student, who is the child of an employee as defined above.
- All other District resident students.
- All other nonresident students.
Students who are not accepted into magnet schools, magnet programs, or open enrollment will be placed in an applicant pool and considered for acceptance when space becomes available. Placement will be made according to the priorities listed above.
A student who has been expelled, or is in the process of being expelled, by any school district in this state or who is not in compliance with a condition of disciplinary action imposed by any other school or school district or with a condition imposed by the juvenile court shall not be admitted. Acceptance for enrollment may be revoked upon finding the existence of any of these conditions.
The District shall notify the emancipated student, parent, or legal guardian in writing whether the applicant has been accepted, placed on a waiting list pending the availability of capacity, or rejected.
As provided by A.R.S. 15-816.07, the District and its employees are immune from civil liability for decisions relative to the acceptance or rejection of the enrollment of a nonresident student when the decisions are based on good faith application of this policy and the applicable statutory requirements and standards.
Adopted: August 4, 2010
Revised: October 18, 2012 (updated legal ref only)
Revised: May 27, 2014
Revised: July 14, 2015
Revised: November 10, 2015
Revised: January 24, 2023