Open Enrollment Between Districts

What is between district open enrollment?
In the state of Iowa, a parent or guardian residing in a school district may enroll their child in a public school in another school district without paying tuition, provided they comply with filing deadlines and procedures.

How do I apply?
You may request an open enrollment form from any DCSD school, from any Iowa school district, area education agency, or the state department of education. An application must be completed for each child and filed with the resident school district. Applications must be turned in to the Achievement Service Center, Attn: Marcene Johnson, 1606 Brady St., Davenport, IA 52803. You will receive written acknowledgement of the receipt of the form.  Open Enrollment Application 2014-15

When do I apply?
Forms must be filed with the resident district by March 1 of the school year preceding the school year for which open enrollment is requested. For example, an application must be filed by March 1, 2014, in order to be approved for the 2014-15 school year. This deadline also applies for students who will be starting Kindergarten.

Does each child need to file an application?
Yes. Approval for younger children in the same family is contingent upon meeting the provisions of Iowa law and DCSD policy.

May I choose which school my child will attend?
While open enrollment is approved into a district rather than a particular school, you may indicate your first, second, and third choice of elementary school by completing the question pertaining to preference of attendance center on the application. Every effort is made to place students in their school of first choice.

What are the procedures for placement of open enrolled students into an elementary school?
A parent may request an elementary school for placement. Placement is made for the entire school year, based on the availability of space and is considered the “home school” placement of the child for the student’s elementary school career. The child living in the attendance area shall have a priority claim on the availability of the space.

Is there a cost involved?
Your resident school district will be responsible for paying the cost of tuition each year for your child to attend school in the receiving school district. However, all miscellaneous registration fees for participation in the educational programs will be your responsibility.

Do I need to file a new application each year
No. Once an application is approved, your child may continue in the receiving district until they graduate, or you move from your resident district.

What is the deadline for filing open enrollment?
March 1 of the school year preceding the school year for which open enrollment is requested. For further information on the definition of good cause, please contact Marcene Johnson, the Administrative Assistant at (563) 336-5090 or refer to Iowa Code section 282.18 (16).

Will the district provide transportation for my child?
If a parent/guardian meets the income eligibility guidelines for transportation assistance, application for that assistance should be filed with the resident district. Transportation assistance is available only between contiguous districts. Income eligibility guidelines are available with the open enrollment application packet.

Can my request be denied?
Generally, a request can be denied if filing deadlines are not met, if there is not classroom space for the student, or if the student is under suspension or expulsion from his/her current school district. Requests may also be denied under the provisions of the Davenports Schools’ Diversity Plan or any diversity plan that may exist in the other district involved in this request (resident or receiving).

What are my options if the open enrollment application is denied?
You may file an appeal with the state District Court.

Do we need to open enroll if we move and want to remain in the same school district?
Yes. You must file for open enrollment by the Thursday preceding the third Friday of the following September after your move, or you may be denied.

What if we move to another district after we file for open enrollment and want to continue to attend in the current district?
Simply send written notification to the new district, the resident district, and the current district that you wish to transfer your open enrollment to the new district. This applies to a move within Iowa only. Out of state residents are not eligible for open enrollment and would need to pay tuition to continue.

May an 11th or 12th grade student complete his/her education at the resident district if his/her family moves to another district?
Yes. See Iowa Code 257.6(d). 11th and 12th grade nonresident students who were residents of the district during the preceding school year are enrolled in that district until they graduate. An open enrollment application is not required.

Does open enrollment apply to pre-kindergarten?
Parents may open enroll students for a pre-kindergarten program if the student is age 5 by September 15 and the pre-kindergarten program is part of the regular school program with established curriculum and an appropriately certified teacher. Special education students under the age of 5 are eligible to open enroll if the receiving district has the appropriate program and the student has a current IEP.

Whom should I contact with further questions on open enrollment?
You may contact Marcene Johnson, Administrative Assistant, at (563) 336-5090 or via email at johnsonma@mail.davenport.k12.ia.us. To review the related Board Policy click 501.16 Open Enrollment Between Districts.