Open Enrollment

State law requires that California school districts offer open enrollment opportunities to parents within certain guidelines. The District first offered Open Enrollment during school year 1995/96. Open Enrollment will be offered to parents every year, at the start of each school year.

The information below reflects the guidelines within the law allowing parents to enroll their children in District schools with available space, so long as certain requirements are met.

  • State law provides the parents (guardians) of each school age child who is a resident of the school district the opportunity to select the school the child will attend.

  • Open Enrollment Schools are determined according to individual school capacities. Schools which have space available for additional students are identified. Space availability depends upon:

    • District growth patterns
    • Physical capacity of the school (based on the number of classrooms and seats at standard capacity)
    • School's current racial/ethnic make-up
    • Staffing allocations at the school (the law does not require that school districts add teachers to accommodate Open Enrollment transfers)
    • The school must have space without displacing students currently living within the school's attendance area
    • The District must be able to maintain a reasonable racial/ethnic balance among schools
  • Any student who lives within District boundaries.

  • Interested parents can complete an application form and return it to the Office of Child Welfare & Attendance according to the established timeline (See Open Enrollment Calendar on page 76 of Information Handbook).

  • A lottery drawing is held from the applicant pool--a random, unbiased process that prohibits an evaluation of whether a student should be enrolled based upon academic or athletic performance.

  • No. Students attending school on intra/inter-district permits will not be displaced through Open Enrollment.

  • The lottery drawing selects for an entire family, not just one student in the family. Placement of siblings, who will be enrolling in the future in the Open Enrollment School will be given first priority. However, their placement will depend upon available space.

  • For the 2019/2020 school year, parents are asked to submit Open Enrollment applications by November 21, 2018. If selected, students must register in the Open Enrollment School by February 22, 2019.

  • No. Once accepted, students are considered residents of their Open Enrollment School. They need only apply for Open Enrollment at the next level (junior high school/middle school and high school).

  • No. A parent who transfers a child to an Open Enrollment School is responsible for transportation.

  • Yes, if there is space available and the student returns at the trimester (K-6) or the semester (7-12).

  • When special education students are attending special classes and/or receiving specialized services, it is recommended that their families consult with the student's IEP team or program specialist before applying for Open Enrollment.

    • Modesto City Schools
    • Child Welfare & Attendance
    • 426 Locust Street, Modesto, CA 95351