Parent Information and Deadlines

March 1 Deadline

March 1 is the deadline to file application form with resident and receiving district on or before of the school year prior to the open enrollment year.

If the application is for a kindergarten student, file the application form with both districts on or before September 1 of the school year in which open enrollment is requested.

If the district has a desegregation plan, file the application with resident district by March 1. The following districts have approved voluntary diversity plans: Davenport, Des Moines, Postville, Waterloo, and West Liberty.

Transport Student to Receiving District

Parents are responsible for transporting children that are open enrolled to another district. This applies to all students including those with an IEP. If the need for transportation as a related service is stated in the IEP, as a general rule 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 2010-2011 was $405 annually per student up to three elementary (K-8) and one secondary (9-12).

Athletic Eligibility

Students that open enroll in grades 9 through 12, shall not be eligible to participate in varsity contests and competitions during the first 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.

Additional Information

Approval for one child in a family does not guarantee approval for other children in the same family. Each child in a family must have an open enrollment request filed individually.

If desiring to change the receiving district, file petition with receiving district by March 1 of the preceding school year.

Notify the districts concerned if there is any change in the residence of the student during the open enrollment period.

If terminating the open enrollment, notify both districts involved.

If open enrollment is denied, the parent / guardian may appeal to Iowa District Court. If the application meets good cause due to alleged repeated acts of harassment or if the child is alleged to have a serious health condition that the resident district cannot adequately address, an appeal may be filed with the Iowa State Board of Education.

If the student moves from the district in which s/he currently lives during the term of the open enrollment, it is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to notify the former resident district and the new resident district.

Appeal Process

All appeals must be made to an Iowa District Court unless the application for open enrollment claims harassment or if the child has a serious health condition that the resident district cannot adequately address. Appeals should be filed in district court in the county in which the district’s administrative office is located.

The State Board of Education does not hear appeals unless one of the follow claims was made as a basis for good cause.

  • Child has serious health condition.
  • Child has experienced pervasive harassment.

If the application is denied by the resident district for either of these reasons, the parent / guardian may appeal to the local board of directors. If an application is denied by the local board of directors, the applicant may appeal to the State Board of Education. The appeal should be addressed to: Administrative Law Judge, Department of Education, Grimes State Office Building, 400 East 14th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319-0146. The letter of appeal must be postmarked within 30 days of the board decision.

The appeal letter must contain the following information:

  1. Name, address, and daytime phone number of the person appealing
  2. Name and grade level of child/children involved in the appeal (in case of expulsion, open enrollment, suspension, etc.)
  3. Name of the school district making the board decision that is being appealed
  4. Date the local board decision was made
  5. Brief statement of reasons why the decision is being appealed
  6. Notarized signature of the person appealing the decision
  7. Other information may be included if desired