Open Transfer (formerly Open Enrollment)
Open Transfer (formerly Open Enrollment) is the time each year when families may request to attend a school other than their neighborhood school. If selected through Open Transfer, your student will attend the new school beginning the first day of school in the next school year.
The Open Transfer (formerly Open Enrollment) application is NOT for:
- Students who plan to attend their neighborhood school. Students are guaranteed enrollment at their neighborhood school and can simply enroll at their neighborhood school.
- Students who are already open enrolled or have an approved transfer to attend their desired school. Students automatically roll up to the next grade if they have an approved transfer.
- Students who are currently receiving Self-Contained Advanced Learning Services or services in Special Education center-based programs. Appropriate school placement for students in centered programs is determined by the department providing the services.
Lotteries will be conducted for all schools and grade levels.
After the initial placement period the Student Placement Office will maintain a waitlist for all schools if necessary. No waitlists will be carried over from year to year.
Late applications will not be considered.
In order to place students and plan for the upcoming school year in a timely manner, we are unable to accept late applications.
Transportation is NOT provided for open enrolled students.
High school students may access the Metro bus route arrangement with the school district. Open transferred students may ride existing bus routes on a “space available” basis. The Transportation Department will not advise parents/guardians if there is space available until mid-September. Please plan on providing transportation for your student as space may not be available.
Siblings have preference.
If the student who is applying has a sibling at the requested school through Open Transfer, the applying sibling will have preference in admission providing that both siblings will attend the school together for a minimum of one year.
Open Transfer applications are NOT used for choice schools/programs.
Families interested in applying to International, Big Picture, Puesta del Sol, Jing Mei or the Spanish Dual Language Program should attend an information session to learn about the application process. The application period for choice schools/programs is December 7, 2020 through January 15, 2021.
Approved Open Transfer application is not necessary to continue at the same school.
When a student has been accepted through Open Transfer, they may finish the school level without reapplying. The acceptance may be rescinded if the student is excessively tardy or truant, and/or engages in frequent misconduct.
Open Transfer students do not follow their new school’s feeder pattern.
When it is time to go to the next school level (from elementary school to middle school or middle school to high school) the student defaults back to their attendance area school. You must apply through Open Transfer to request a school other than your attendance area school.
Open Transfer students entering 9th grade may participate in athletics.
If your student is going to a new school in 9th grade, they will be able to participate in athletics at the new school. If your student is transferring to a new school in 10th, 11th or 12th grades, they may not be eligible to participate in sports. Please review the Washington Interscholastic Athletics Association (WIAA) guidelines for eligibility.
Who Can Apply?
Open Transfer is only open to students who live within the Bellevue School District. To participate in Open Transfer, the student must be physically living within the boundaries at the time of application. If the student does not live in the district at the time of application, you may not submit an application.
Nonresident students of Bellevue School District full-time employees may participate in Open Transfer. Full-time status will be verified with Human Resources before placement in the lottery.
You may not apply through Open Transfer to request a transfer in a center-based program such as Advanced Learning or Special Education. School placement for students in centered programs is determined by the department providing the services.
You may not apply for Open Transfer if your student does not live within the Bellevue School District and you are not a full-time employee of the district. In this situation, you would apply for Inter-district Transfer. New Interdistrict Transfer applications for the 2021-22 school year will be accepted starting February 1, 2021.
Which Schools are Available?
You may apply for any neighborhood school in the district. Choice Schools and Programs are NOT part of Open Enrollment (International School, Big Picture School, Jing Mei, Puesta del Sol and the Spanish Dual Language Program). Applications for these schools/programs must be submitted separately during the choice school program application period, January 6, 2020 through January 31, 2020.
The Student Placement Office will approve or deny transfer based on the following criteria:
- Projected enrollment numbers for the building and specific grade at both the neighborhood school and requested school
- Projected staffing levels
- Building capacity
Status of Schools
For the 2020-21 school year all schools are closed for transfers.
Possible means there may be some space. Although we will maximize opportunities for all students who wish to attend a requested school, this does not mean we will be able to admit all students who apply. Notification for high school will be in February, middle school in March, and April for elementary schools.
Limited means there may be some opportunity at specific grade levels closer to the start of school. It will depend on actual enrollment numbers and class sizes. Notification will likely not be until August or September.
As schools are filled, we will move them to a Closed status.
- Ardmore Elementary
- Bennett Elementary
- Cherry Crest Elementary
- Clyde Hill Elementary
- Eastgate Elementary
- Enatai Elementary
- Lake Hills Elementary
- Medina Elementary
- Newport Heights Elementary
- Phantom Lake Elementary
- Sherwood Forest Elementary
- Somerset Elementary
- Spiritridge Elementary
- Stevenson Elementary
- Wilburton Elementary
- Woodridge Elementary
- Chinook Middle School
- Highland Middle School
- Odle Middle School
- Tillicum Middle School
- Tyee Middle School
- Bellevue High School
- Interlake High School
- Newport High School
- Sammamish High School
Open Enrollment transfers normally continue until the student completes the educational program at the current level of enrollment (elementary, middle or high school). Open Enrollment transfers granted will continue until such time as a request for a transfer to another school is granted, or until the period of time set forth in the transfer has expired except as follows:
1. Open Enrollment students may be required to transfer to another school if the enrollment in the school or grade level at the school in which they are enrolled increases to the point where there would be inadequate space for transfer students. Enrollment increases may be caused by an influx of new resident students within a school’s existing boundaries or by the addition of new resident students to a school as the result of a boundary change or movement or expansion of a district program.
2. Open Enrollment transfers granted are discontinued at the time the student leaves the school for any reason or if a student withdraws from the Bellevue School District.
3. Open Enrollment transfers may be discontinued if the student is excessively tardy or truant, or if the student engages in frequent misconduct, and/or disruptive behavior in violation of school/program rules that indicate the student is not being successful in the school or program.
4. Before the transfer of such a student is terminated under provision three above, the student and the parent/guardian will be notified that the student’s continued attendance at this school or program is in jeopardy. Should a decision be made to terminate the student’s transfer under this provision, the parent/guardian will be notified and may appeal that termination to the Superintendent’s designee within three days of the notification.