Open Enrollment Procedures

  • Introduction

    Open Enrollment enables Arizona students to attend public schools outside their attendance area. In accordance with state law, the District has established an open enrollment policy and implemented an open enrollment program without charging tuition for non-resident students and resident transfer students. Open enrollment applications are available online.

    Student Definitions

    • Non-resident student is a student who resides outside of the District's boundaries who seeks to enroll in the District.
    • Resident transfer student is a student who resides in the District who seeks to enroll in a school outside of the student's attendance area.

    School Definitions

    • An attendance boundary school is a school for which the District has established attendance boundaries for resident students.
    • A non-attendance boundary school is a school for which the District has not established attendance boundaries and for which student enrollment is based entirely upon open enrollment applications.

    Admission Criteria

    The District shall determine if non-resident students and resident transfer students will be admitted in accordance with the following criteria:

    • The school in which the student seeks to enroll has the capacity to serve the student without adversely impacting educational opportunities for resident students attending their resident school. Factors to be considered in making this determination include, but are not limited to, the following:
      • Physical capacity of the school building and classrooms. If no excess capacity exists, applicants will be placed on a waiting list. If excess capacity is anticipated, the applications will be reviewed.
      • Availability of staff members to service students at each site.
      • Capacity in relevant special programs.
    • The student's prior status in the educational and juvenile court system, including:
      • Whether the student has been suspended by another school or is in the process of being
        suspended or expelled by any other school.
      • Whether the student is in compliance with any conditions imposed by a juvenile court.

    Failure to disclose the above information on the Open Enrollment application may result in revocation of the student's acceptance for open enrollment.

    • The student's admission does not violate the provisions of a court order or agreement of desegregation in the student's resident district.
    • Acceptance is on a year-by-year basis and subject to re-application and review each year.

    Enrollment Priority Groups

    The District will give enrollment priority to applicants in the following order, as long as their enrollment can be accomplished in accordance with the District's admission criteria:

    1. Students who currently attend the school and their siblings.
    2. Children of employees.
    3. Children who are in foster care or who meet the definition of unaccompanied youth prescribed in the McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act. *As allowable in the Act, the District Homeless liaison may enroll an unaccompanied homeless youth.
    4. Resident transfer students.
    5. Non-resident students.

    Transportation

    The District does not transport open-enrollment students except as otherwise required by state or federal law, with the exception of Madison Simis Elementary.

    All Simis open enrollment families are required to utilize one of two Madison bus stops for transportation to and from the school. These stops are located in the northeast corner of the parking lot at North Phoenix Baptist Church on Central Avenue and Bethany Home Road. (This is to alleviate traffic as part of a 2009 agreement with the Simis neighborhood.)

    Compliance with Rules

    Once students are accepted and attending the school of choice, they must comply with school rules. Those rules and regulations may include standards of academic effort, conduct, or attendance. Note, Madison Traditional Academy has also a family volunteer commitment required to maintain enrollment for the following academic year. Failure to comply with school rules is a breach of agreement and a cause for open enrollment revocation. Before revocation for breach of agreement, a hearing with the student, parent/guardian and other appropriate persons will be conducted. The principal explains the alleged conduct that violates the rules or regulations. Parents/Guardians are given an opportunity to respond. After the hearing, the hearing officer decides if revocation of open enrollment status is appropriate.

    Standards of Academic Effort:

    The District is dedicated to the continuous development of each student. The District standards that students must achieve shall include accomplishment of the standards in reading, written communication, mathematics, science, and social studies adopted by the State Board of Education. In addition to these standards, test scores, grades, teacher-principal recommendations, and other pertinent data will be used to determine progress.

    Standards of Conduct:

    Good conduct in the schools is of primary importance to school staff members and to parents/guardians. Orderly conduct of students is necessary in every school situation so as to ensure the safety and health of all and to maximize learning. Effective discipline is necessary for quality education.

    Standards of Attendance:

    Arizona State Law charges the parent or guardian with responsibility for the student’s consistent school attendance. Attending school each day, being on time, and remaining for the entire day is very important for the total commitment to learning. Absences, tardiness, and early checkout disrupt the learning process. Students are expected to attend regularly (minimum of 90% of the school days) and be prompt arriving at school. Parents/Guardians are encouraged to make doctor, dentist, and other appointments at times that will not interfere with school. Attendance also includes the timely pick-up from school, activities and events.

    Application Procedures for Schools with Attendance Boundaries

    The student's parent/guardian who desires to open enroll a student must complete the Open Enrollment application and submit online. Acceptance is on a year-by-year basis and subject to re-application and review each year.

    Applications will be accepted beginning December 1. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis within each enrollment priority group. Names of applicants that cannot be admitted will be placed on a waiting list established for each enrollment priority group. The District will determine whether the student's admission would be in conformity with its admission criteria. To ensure notification of admission status by March 1, the open enrollment application must be submitted by January 26. If an open enrollment application is submitted after January 26, parents/guardians may not be informed of admission status until after school begins.

    Late applications: Applications for open enrollment received after the January 26 deadline will be dated, filed, and considered only after students whose applications were submitted by the deadline have had an opportunity to enroll, regardless of enrollment priority groups. Applications received after January 26 will be considered on a first come, first served basis.

    Application Procedures for Schools without Attendance Boundaries - Madison Traditional Academy

    The District may establish schools that do not have attendance boundaries. Student attendance for such schools shall be based upon open enrollment applications. Schools without attendance boundaries may exempt from the application process described below students who are in enrollment priority group 1 (resident transfer students who currently attend the school and their siblings), and enrollment priority group 3 (children who are in foster care or who meet the definition of unaccompanied youth prescribed in the McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act).

    For students in enrollment priority groups other than 1 and 3 who are initially applying to a school without attendance boundaries, the application process shall be as follows:
    The student's parent/guardian completes the Open Enrollment application and submits it to the front office. Applications will be accepted beginning December 1 through January 26. Should December 1 fall on a non-school day, applications will be accepted starting the next school day. Should January 26 fall on a non-school day, the deadline will be the last school day prior to January 26. The school will use a random selection process (lottery) to select students within each enrollment priority group. Names of applicants not selected for enrollment will be placed on a waiting list established for each enrollment priority group as per the lottery procedures described below. The District will determine whether the student's admission would be in conformity with its admission criteria. Notification of open enrollment status will be made by March 1 for all applications received prior to January 26.

    The principal, attendance clerk, and a PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) board member will be conducting the lottery. The applicants will be divided by priority categories and have their names placed on separate pieces of paper and the papers placed in a container. Names will be drawn by priority categories and numbered in the order in which they are drawn. All applications properly submitted will be drawn and numbered for enrollment consideration. The applicants whose names are selected in order, up to the capacity limitations established, shall be permitted to enroll in the school. All others drawn will be placed on a waiting list with priority in accord with the lowest number.