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Open Enrollment Frequently Asked Questions
What is Open Enrollment?
Open Enrollment is a period of time each year when Bellevue School District RESIDENT students may apply to attend a school other than their neighborhood school.
Do we have to go through Open Enrollment each year?
No. Once a student has been accepted through Open Enrollment, they can stay at the school if the student is not excessively tardy or absent and does not engage in frequent misconduct. For more information, refer to Procedure 3120.1P.
What is the timeframe?
For the 2020-2021 school year open Enrollment applications will be accepted from 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 9, 2019 through Friday, January 24, 2020 at 4:30 p.m.
How many spaces are available at each school?
When deciding if students can be admitted, we look at projected enrollment and staffing numbers at both the releasing and receiving schools.
- Initial Open Enrollment placements: If space is available, students will be offered placement at the requested school and grade in the order in which their number is drawn in the lottery.
- Late August Open Enrollment placements: placements at this time may be to alleviate over- crowding at a school; in this case students from the overcapacity school will be offered placement to their requested school without regard to their waitlist number.
What is meant by school status?
This is an indication of projected available space in the individual schools.
What are the school statuses?
The descriptions for school status are: “Limited,” “Possible,” and “Closed”.
- “Limited” means there may be some opportunity at specific grade levels closer to the start of school as it will depend on the actual enrollment numbers and class sizes. Notification will likely be made in August or September.
- “Possible” is based on the forecast and we expect some space at all grade levels. 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. We plan to have middle and high school notifications out by the beginning of February 2020 and by the beginning of April 2020 for elementary schools.
- As a school’s enrollment numbers reach capacity, we will move them to a “Closed” status.
Who can apply for Open Enrollment?
Open Enrollment is only open to residents of the Bellevue School District– the student must be physically living within the boundaries of the district at the time of application.
The address provided on the application must be where the family is living at the time of application. If it is discovered that this has been falsified, the application and any placement offer given will be null and void. There will be no exception to this rule.
I am a full-time employee of the Bellevue School District but I don’t live in BSD attendance boundaries, can my student apply?
Yes, per Washington State Law and District Policy, the nonresident children of full-time employees* of the Bellevue School District may apply as resident students. Student Placement will verify full-time status with Human Resources before the student is placed in the lottery.
*The parent/guardian is working for the Bellevue School District (i.e. teacher, principal, in a support function) not that the parent/guardian works in the Bellevue community.
What is the definition of a Bellevue School District full-time employee?
For the purpose of enrollment, full-time employees in the Bellevue School District are defined as:
- classified employees who work more than 30 hours per week for 180 days or more or,
- certificated employees who work .75 FTE or greater.
What if my student wants to attend the same school as their sibling?
If the sibling is attending the requested school on an approved Open Enrollment or Transfer Request, the new sibling must apply and then will have preference in admission provided that both siblings will attend the school together for a minimum of one year. Siblings who do not apply will not be considered for admission.
My student is in a centered program (i.e. Advanced Learning, Special Education, etc.) can they apply for Open Enrollment?
Not for centered program placement. Placement of students in centered programs is determined by each individual program. Open Enrollment is an Attendance Area Transfer, these transfers are only between “neighborhood” schools for general education students.
What if my student accepts an Open Enrollment placement and then qualifies for the Advanced Learning program?
For the 2020-21 school year: if after accepting an Open Enrollment placement but before attending at that school, the student qualifies for and accepts centered services in Advanced Learning, the Open Enrollment placement will be cancelled; the school assignment will be determined through the Advanced Learning department by the student’s home attendance area school.
Note: If the student is already attending an Advanced Learning school (Cherry Crest, Medina, Somerset, Spiritridge, Odle, Tyee, Interlake) in general education through an Open Enrollment placement, then qualifies for and accepts placement in the Advanced Learning self-contained/centered program, and the parent/student wishes, they will be allowed to continue at that school.
How do we apply?
During the Open Enrollment period applications are completed online at www.bsd405.org. Families may access online applications from their personal computers or smart phones, or by using a kiosk at any school or the district office, or they may complete a paper application available at all schools. Paper applications will be forwarded by school personnel to the Student Placement Office for entry into the online application process.
If we apply early are we guaranteed a place at our requested school?
No. Placement is not made on a first come, first served basis. All Open Enrollment applications received during the Open Enrollment period are considered equally and all numbers will be placed in a lottery by grade level for the ONE school requested.
How many schools can we apply for?
You may apply for one school per student. If you submit multiple applications for a student, all your applications will be discarded.
Can we apply multiple times to one school to improve our chances in the lottery?
No. Any student with multiple applications will have all submissions discarded and will be removed from the Open Enrollment process.
What if we do not receive an email confirming our application has been received?
Please provide the contact information (i.e. name, phone number and email address) of the person who will respond, take special care to include the email address you check frequently on the application. This will be the email we use to contact you for placement offers. If you do not receive the confirmation email, please check your spam and junk boxes before contacting us.
When do we get our lottery number?
You will NOT get a lottery number for Open Enrollment. You will receive an email confirming that your application has been received and you do not need to do anything more.
How do the lotteries work?
Following the close of Open Enrollment, a lottery will be held. Students will be placed on a list in the order drawn for each school by grade level.
Can we attend the lottery drawing?
No. All lotteries are closed to the public.
How will we be notified of the results of the lottery?
Notification will be made via email using the email address provided on the application. Families will receive either a placement offer or their student’s number on the waitlist. Please add the firstname.lastname@example.org email address to your list of safe emails so you can receive notifications. If you do not receive the confirmation email during the notification time frame, please check your spam and junk boxes before contacting us.
When can we expect to be notified and how long do we have to respond?
Initial notifications for high school will be sent by the beginning of February 2020. Middle school notifications will be sent the beginning of March 2020.
Initial elementary school notifications will be sent by the beginning of April 2020. Please check your spam and junk email box during this time; you will have 1 week to respond to a placement offer or it will be rescinded and the spot will be offered to the next student on the waitlist.
How long do we have to accept an Open Enrollment placement?
Families will be given one week to accept an Open Enrollment placement. If there is no reply or the spot is declined the spot will be offered to the next student on the waiting list.
Late August placement offers: Because the start of school is eminent, Open Enrollment offers made in late August or early September will have less time to accept a placement offer, this will be stated in the emailed offer or phone call, during this time the acceptance is typically expected within 24 hours.
What happens if we are placed on a waiting list?
If your student is placed on a waiting list, please plan on attending your neighborhood school. If space becomes available, Student Placement will contact families immediately to get students in their schools as soon as possible.
Can I submit a Transfer Request to help get a place at my desired school?
No. Transfer Requests are not part of this process. If you feel there is a specific reason that your student needs to be transferred, please work with your student’s current principal who will work with Student Placement.
If selected, when does my student begin at the new school?
If selected through Open Enrollment, the student will attend the new school beginning the first day of school for the upcoming school year.
Is there paperwork required if we accept an Open Enrollment placement?
Yes. All students accepting Open Enrollment placement will be required to submit residency documents and current enrollment paperwork to their new school within 2 weeks of accepting placement. Failure to submit the paperwork in the timeframe requested may result in the offer being rescinded.
If we get accepted to a school through Open Enrollment, can we change our mind?
Yes. You can always go back to your neighborhood school. If you will be canceling your approved open enrollment placement please let us know as soon as possible by sending an email to email@example.com so that we can have accurate enrollment numbers. Be sure to include your student’s full name, grade and both schools involved.
Do we have to be at school for the first day of school if accepted through Open Enrollment?
We want to stress the importance that all students be in attendance the first day and week of the new school year. Students accepted through Open Enrollment MUST attend their new school on the day of the statewide enrollment count – Wednesday, September 9, 2020 or the approved open enrollment placement will be rescinded; they will be withdrawn and enrolled in their attendance area school.
Does the district provide transportation for students who are Open Enrolled to a school?
No. Transportation is the family’s responsibility for all elementary and middle school students. High school students will be given an ORCA card for Metro Transit.
What happens when my student moves up to middle or high school?
When it is time to go to the next school level, the student will automatically be enrolled in their neighborhood school and must apply through Open Enrollment to request a different school.
Can my high school student participate in athletics?
If your student is going to a new school in 9th grade, they will be able to participate in athletics as the new school will be their school of record. If your student is transferring to a new school in 10th, 11th or 12th grades, it is possible that they may not be eligible to participate in varsity sports but would be able to participate in sub-varsity competition. Please review the Washington Interscholastic Athletics Association (WIAA) guidelines for varsity eligibility.
Who do we contact if we have questions?
If you have questions, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with specific information: student name, grade, school, address, etc. We will answer your question as soon as we are able.