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Open Enrollment

Partnering With Parents in Selecting the Best Learning Environment for Each Student 

 

Start here: EngagED Parent Portal (Open enrollment tool)

 

We embrace school choice by offering a wide variety of pathways to learning, including: neighborhood schools, magnet, charter, online, home education, contract schools, and scholarships to private partner schools. We then empower families to find the best educational fit for their children.

Families who wish to enroll their student in a school other than their neighborhood school must complete an Open Enrollment application during one of two open enrollment periods DCSD offers annually. 

New Kindergarten parents intending to enroll in their neighborhood school do not need to open enroll. Contact your neighborhood school for more details on Kindergarten registration details.

  • You may apply for up to four schools to open enroll.
  • First round open enrollment is not first-come, first-served; you have until January 5 to complete this process.
  • You can choose to receive a confirmation email after you request open enrollment
  • You can change your choices at any time until January 5.
  • Schools have until January 12 to offer you an open enrollment slot, based on space availability. You can log back into the Open Enrollment Tool after January 12 to check your status.
  • You have until January 19 to accept an open enrollment offer from a school through the Open Enrollment Tool.
  • If your application is not accepted by any school, or you didn't accept your offer in time, you will automatically be placed on the second round open enrollment list, which runs from February 15 to June 15.
  • Second round open enrollment is "first come first serve" your student will be placed on the wait list behind those that are currently on the wait list from first round.
  • Schools will reach out to you after 2/15 as space becomes available.

DCSD Open Enrollment Windows

Round One: November 1 - January 5

Round One applications are accepted for the following school year on a space available basis. Waiting lists, which are prioritized according to Board of Education Policy JCA/JFB-R, will be created if the number of applicants exceeds space available at the requested school. NOTE: Round One applications are NOT "first come, first served," You may request open enrollment at any time up to January 5. Round One applications are granted on a space available basis.

 

If a student is not accepted at a school during the first round choice enrollment, the student will remain on the school’s prioritized waitlist and be carried over to the second round choice enrollment.

Round Two: February 15 - June 15

Applications during the second round are added to the prioritized round one list on a first-come, first-served basis.


Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about Douglas County School District's Open Enrollment process.

Q: What is Open Enrollment, and who can apply?

A: District policy states that any student shall be allowed to attend any school of their choice for which they are eligible on a space available basis, subject to district policy. Here are links to the Open Enrollment policies:

Board File: JCA/JFB: ASSIGNMENT OF STUDENTS TO SCHOOLS, SCHOOL CHOICE AND OPEN ENROLLMENT

Board File: JCA/JFB-R: ASSIGNMENT OF STUDENTS TO SCHOOLS, SCHOOL CHOICE AND OPEN ENROLLMENT

The first round window is open from November 1 to January 5. The second window is open from February 15 to June 15. Open Enrollment applies to the following school year.

Q: How do I access Open Enrollment forms?

A: To access the Open Enrollment Tool locate the Open enrollment button on the district website. The button will go live and will appear on November 1.

Q: What is the difference between the two windows?

A: Applications filed with the district in the first window will be notified of the results (application accepted, denied, or put on the annual prioritized list) by January 12. Parents must then go in and accept those applications by January 19. Applicants not accepted during the first Open Enrollment period are automatically placed on the annual prioritized list and shall have priority over second round applicants.

Q: What is the annual prioritized list?

A: Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the space available in a school, applications are prioritized by grade level according to the priorities set forth in district policy. The annual prioritized list is purged on October 1 of each year.

Q: How will I be notified about the status of my application?

A: Applications filed with the district in the first window will be notified of the result through the open enrollment tool as well as email by January 12. Applications submitted during round 2 may receive notification of status at any time between February 15 and June 15 depending on space availability at that school.

Q: How long is my application valid?

A: Your application is valid until wait lists are purged on October 1. You will need to reapply each year during the Open Enrollment period.

Q: How does the second window work?

A: Applications received during the second window are time stamped and processed on a “first come, first served” basis. However, First Round Open Enrollment applications that were not accepted during the first Open Enrollment period are automatically placed on the annual prioritized wait list and have priority over second round applicants.

Q: How many schools can I apply for in Open Enrollment?

A: You can apply for up to four schools.

Q: What about charter schools?

A: Most Charter schools are a bit different, in that each charter school may maintain a wait list per grade, depending on the space available, and conducts a lottery each year for available seats. The Open Enrollment time frames also apply to charter schools, but each charter has its own enrollment policy. Contact the charter school directly for more enrollment and lottery information, with the exception of Sky View, they will be using the open enrollment tool this year.

Q: What is my school of Choice?

A: Your "school of choice" is the school your student attends based on acceptance of an Open Enrollment or charter school application. Your "Neighborhood" school is the school that you are assigned to based on your residence address.

Q: My student attends our neighborhood school. Do I need to open enroll to stay at this school? What if we move within the district?

A: No. Your student will be enrolled at the neighborhood school throughout the years that school serves. If you move within the district, you may also elect to stay at this neighborhood school by filing an "Intent to Remain" form with the neighborhood school, per district policy.

Q: My student was open enrolled at a school other than my neighborhood school. Now my student wants to transfer to our neighborhood school. Do I need to open enroll my student?

A: No. an open enrolled student at any level may always return to their neighborhood school by filing a Notice of Intent to Return form by Dec. 1 to return for second semester or Jan. 5th to return for the fall semester of the next school year.

Q: My student is currently open enrolled at an elementary school. If we want to attend our neighborhood middle school, do we need to open enroll in that middle school?

A: No. Elementary students will automatically be enrolled in your neighborhood middle school.  Charter school students will need to file at that school an Intent to Return form. (Click Here for the Form.) If your student wants to attend a middle school other than your neighborhood middle school, you will need to open enroll in that other middle school.

Q: My student is currently open enrolled at a middle school. Do we need to open enroll in that middle school’s feeder high school?

A: No. Your student will automatically be enrolled in your feeder high school. If your student wants to attend a high school other than your feeder high school, you will need to open enroll in that other high school.

Q: My student is open enrolled at a middle school outside my feeder. Do we need to open enroll in our neighborhood high school?

A: No.Your middle schooler may attend your neighborhood high school by filing an "Intent to Return" form with that neighborhood high school. If your middle schooler wants to enroll in any high school other than that middle school’s feeder high school, or your neighborhood high school, you will need to Open Enroll.

Q: Can my student transfer to a different school during the school year?

A: Students may not change their assigned school during a school year or for the ensuing year after the Open Enrollment time period has expired unless they receive an approved administrative transfer. The student’s current school principal and the requested school principal must agree to the transfer.

Q: Can I open enroll my special education student?

A: Possibly. Requests from parents of special education students are reviewed in accordance with state and federal law. The student’s IEP will be reviewed by the school’s IEP team to determine whether the requested school can meet the student’s educational needs.

Q: We are new to the district, and moved here after the windows have closed. How does Open Enrollment work for new residents?

A: Families who move to Douglas County outside the Open Enrollment windows should fill out a New Student Choice Application. Contact your neighborhood school for the form. If the new student wishes to attend a school other than their neighborhood school, the New Student Choice Application should be submitted to the requested school. Applications are approved as soon as practicable if space is available. If no space is available, the student’s name can be added to the annual prioritized list.

Q: My student's middle school open enrollment application was accepted. Do I need to open enroll her for the feeder high school?

A: No. So long as your student wishes to attend the feeder high school, no Open Enrollment application or other form is required.

Q: Our open enrollment application was accepted. Do I need to open enroll my student each year at that same school?

A: No. Approved applications are valid throughout the grades served at that school.

Q: Is each child in a family required to apply for Open Enrollment?

A: Yes, the online application form must be completed for each child.

Q: What are the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) guidelines about transferring to another school?

A: 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. A student who transfers schools over the summer without a bona fide family move will have restricted eligibility for the first 50% of the regular season and may have varsity eligibility during the second 50% of the regular season. Additional information is available on the CHASAA website.

Q: What are the grounds for denying an Open Enrollment application?

A: An application will be denied if:

There is a lack of space or teaching staff;
The school does not offer appropriate or requested programs;
The school is not structured or equipped with the needed facilities for special needs;
The student does not meet eligibility criteria, such as age, prerequisites, etc.;
The student has already graduated from 12 grade or holds a GED;
The student has been expelled within the prior 12 months;
The student’s behavior was detrimental to health and safety in another district;
The student fails to comply with district immunization requirements

Q: Can I appeal a denial?

A: A parent can appeal an Open Enrollment denial by filing a statement of the grounds for appeal with the Director of Schools for that level within 5 school days of receipt of the principal’s decision. The Director’s decision will be communicated to the parent or guardian within 10 school days after receipt. The Director’s decision is not subject to appeal.

A: Yes, you may enroll in the neighborhood school associated with your new address. Enroll as soon as possible after your move by contacting that neighborhood school.

Q: Where can I get more information?

A: Contact the Choice Programming Coordinator, Kristin Schmidt, at kristin.schmidt[at]dcsdk12[dot]org, or call 303-387-9506.

Open Enrollment

*Click here for the Intent to Remain / Return Form

*Link to View Summary of Open Enrollment Policy Changes.

New Kindergarten parents intending to enroll in their neighborhood school do not need to open enroll. Contact your neighborhood school for more details on Kindergarten registration details.

Parents wishing to enroll their three & four year olds in district preschools do not go through open enrollment.  Preschool registration will take place in late January. Follow this link for more information.