Open Enrollment Application-Directions/Definitions (From the Iowa Department of Education)
The deadline for filing an open enrollment application for the next school year is March 1st. If the student will be entering school for the first time as a kindergarten student, the deadline is September 1st. Open Enrollment applications must be submitted to the resident and to the receiving districts.
Students that open enroll in Grades 9-12, shall not be eligible to participate in varsity contests and competitions during the first ninety (90) school days of transfer. Please contact the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union at (515) 288-9741 or the Iowa High School Athletic Association at (515) 432-2011 for questions regarding eligibility.
Continuation – Students in a family moving from District A to District B after March qualify for open enrollment and are not subject to provisions of a diversity plan or eligibility for extra-curricular activities. Diversity Plan and Sibling
Preference- Home School (Competent Private Instruction) CPI students may open enroll. The deadline for CPI applications is March 1st. Dual enrollment for academics, extra-curricular, and Home School Assistance Programs are available to students open enrolling from one district to another. Students may open enroll for home school (CPI) without dual enrollment.
Good Cause - In order to qualify for open enrollment after the March 1 deadline, the applicant must meet one of the conditions specified in # 12 on the application.
- Change in resident district due to:
- A Family Move or
- Change in State
- Change in student’s residence due to:
- Change in residence from one parent/guardian to another,
- Change in the marital status of the student's parents that results in a change in resident district
- Change in guardianship/custody proceeding
- Placement of the child in foster care, or
- Participation in foreign exchange program
- Participation in a substance abuse or mental health treatment program that results in a change of residence
- Initial placement of preschool student in special education
- Failure of negotiations for reorganization or whole grade sharing
- Loss of accreditation or revocation of a private or charter school contract
- Child’s school building is identified in need of significant need for improvement as defined by the Iowa School Performance Profiles or the federal Every Student Succeeds Act for two or more proceeding school years
- Pervasive harassment or a severe health condition
- A consistent failure to reasonably respond to a student’s failure to meet basic academic standards (Note: The State Board of Education will establish rules to implement this provision.
Pervasive Harassment - The resident district determines if the applicant qualifies under the criteria of pervasive harassment. The following guidelines are used to determine if an applicant qualifies under the "good cause" provision. A parent or guardian who files an application for open enrollment after the March 1st deadline and alleges repeated acts of harassment is entitled to a hearing before the resident school board to try to prove that the application should be granted.
- The harassment must have occurred after March 1st or the student or parent is able to demonstrate that the extent of the harassment could not have been known until after March 1st.
- The harassment must be specific electronic, written, verbal, or physical acts or conduct toward the student which created an objectively hostile school environment that meets one or more of the following conditions:
- Places the student in reasonable fear of harm to the student's person or property
- Has a substantially detrimental effect on the student's physical or mental health.
- Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student's academic performance.
- Has the effect of substantially interfering with the student's ability to participate in or to benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.
- The evidence must show that the harassment is likely to continue despite the efforts of school officials to resolve the situation.
- Changing the student’s school district will alleviate the situation. In re Hannah T., 25 D.o.E. App. Dec. 26 (2007).
Severe Health Need - An applicant may qualify under the severe health need provision if one of the following exists. An official in the resident district determines if the applicant qualifies under the criteria of severe health need:
- The serious health condition of the child is one that has been diagnosed by an appropriate health care provider, and the diagnosis has been provided to the district of residence.
- The serious health condition is neither short-term nor temporary.
- The district has been provided with the specifics of the child’s health needs caused by the serious health condition and knows, or should know, what specific steps its staff must take to meet the child’s needs.
- School officials, upon notification of the serious health condition and the steps to be taken to meet the child’s needs must have failed to implement such steps or, despite the district’s efforts, its implementation of the steps was unsuccessful.
- A reasonable person could not have known before March 1st that the district could not, or would not, adequately address the child’s health needs.
- It can be reasonably anticipated that a change in the child’s school district will improve the situation.
Transportation assistance- Parents are responsible for transporting children open enrolled to another district. This applies to all students, including those with an IEP. As a general rule, if the need for transportation as a related service is stated in the IEP, the parent is responsible for this obligation under open enrollment. If a child open enrolls to a district that is contiguous (borders) to the home district, and the parents’ income meets economic eligibility requirements, the family may receive a stipend for transportation or be provided transportation by the district. The stipend for was $454.00 annually per student up to three (3) elementary and one (1) secondary (Grades 9-12) student. Income verification must be provided to the resident district.