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Neighborhood School Enrollment

Students can enroll at their neighborhood school without applying to School Choice. School Choice applications are only necessary if you want your child to attend a school other than your neighborhood school.
You can reach us by telephone at 619-260-6410. Our goal is to return calls within 24 hours. (Due to staffing limitations, it may take longer to respond during busy periods, which are usually October 3-14, November 1–14, and during January and February, when notices are sent.) You can also submit your questions using our online Enrollment Options contact form, and receive an email response.
If you are unable to locate your child’s student ID on a Progress Report, you can ask the current school or, on the School Choice application webpage, select "Is your child new to the district?" This will allow you to submit without an ID number. We will update the ID for you. Due to privacy restrictions, our office is unable to provide student IDs over the phone or via email.

Choice Enrollment Applications

You must apply during the designated application period, which, for 2017-18, is October 3 – November 14. The process is not a "first come, first served," so there is no urgency to be first to apply. A family that applies on the first day has no advantage over a family that applies on the last day just because they applied earlier.  However, School Choice applications received after November 14th will be processed in the date and time order they are received.
San Diego Unified School District is aligning its Choice application process with other San Diego County districts by modifying the submission window dates and timeline. This will assist schools with enrollment stability and master planning. It should be noted that families who are new to the district can apply for Choice at any time.
You can apply online at your neighborhood school, the local library, and in the Neighborhood Schools and Enrollment Options office.
No, you may not use a relative’s address. You must use your child’s resident address, which is where the child sleeps.
No, only one address may be used; your child’s neighborhood school will be based on the address listed on the Choice application.
Students are selected through an unbiased, random computerized lottery system, utilizing a priority structure. Enrollment is based on space available at each grade level. For details see: Enrollment Priorities.
Our district’s Instructional Facilities Planning Department determines capacity for nonresident students at each school by grade level, using past enrollment and facility capacity.  This is reviewed with the principal and school staff.  The information is used to determine the available seats at each grade level for choice enrollment. (See School Options Applicants vs Acceptances for a data sampling.)
California Education Code only requires one level of priority (sibling pre-enrolled), but SDUSD has 7 levels of priority. The most heavily used by applicants are: 1. Magnet continuity, 2. Sibling pre-enrolled in the school of Choice, and 3. Parent is a district employee in the school cluster. After these, priorities are, in order: 4. Neighborhood school does not offer GATE, 5. Students currently enrolled in an Open Enrollment Act school, 6. General application, and 7. Non-district residents.
Your child is always guaranteed a seat at the school of residence.  Online registration for neighborhood schools opens on May 1.  You can contact your neighborhood school to begin the enrollment process and apply for the before and after school care while you are waiting to see if you are accepted into any of your Choice schools.
Once enrolled in your school of choice, you do not need to apply again to remain at the school. The only exception is if you move outside of the school district. In this case, you must then reapply as a student from outside the district and complete an interdistrict attendance permit.
If you are still interested in a choice school you will need to apply again.  Each school year’s applications are processed separately.
Only families new to the district may present themselves at a school to enroll on a space available basis. Choice applicants who did not get selected may not circumvent the process and enroll on the first day.
No. The ETK program in the Henry cluster is a pilot, and is for residents of the Henry cluster only. It has not been extended to Choice families.
No, each student is a separate applicant.  Sibling priority is only valid at the time of application for siblings of students who are already enrolled at the school for next year.
You must apply between October 3 and November 14 for sibling priority.  There is no sibling priority for applications submitted after November 14. You must have one child already scheduled for enrollment at the school next year and the children must reside in the same household.
No, in order for a sibling to receive sibling priority, the sibling currently attending the school must also be enrolled at the school requested during the same year as the applicant student.
It depends on space available at the second and third Choice school. Some schools cannot offer enrollment to all students who apply.  If the school reaches capacity with the first Choice requests, the school cannot take any more students on their second and third choice lists. See the chart that shows how many first choice students each school offered enrollment to for the current year.
No, the number of school requests is not a factor in the selection process for the first choice school.
There is a published list of rates of acceptance on the Neighborhood Schools and Enrollment Options webpage. This list tells you the percentage of accepted applicants for all schools and is a good tool to reference to predict if your child will get into the school of Choice.
No, charter school applications are separate and kept at the charter school.
Late applications will not be processed in the Choice lottery. (Late applications with first, second, and third choices are numbered 4, 5, and 6 to differentiate from “on time applications.”) These have been ranked in the computer system by time/date submission only, and will be released to schools if space becomes available.
Your child is guaranteed enrollment in the neighborhood school. Occasionally a family will apply to only highly desired and impacted schools and this can result in no Choice school being offered. You can apply again in the following fall for the next school year. There is a published list of rates of acceptance on the Neighborhood Schools and Enrollment Options webpage. This list tells you the percentage of accepted applicants for all schools and is a good tool to reference to predict if your child will get into the school of Choice.
Only families new to the district may apply for Choice after the deadline. This includes incoming Kindergarten students, those transferring from a charter or private school, or another school district. The Choice process was highly advertised by the district on our website, via school newsletters, and a district-wide mailing of the Enrollment Guide to all families. If you still wish to apply to a different school you may do so in the following fall for the next school year.
San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts (SDSCPA) is the only visual and performing arts Magnet school that requires all incoming grades 6-12 students to audition after submitting a Choice application as part of the selection process.
No, you do not need to reapply. Your daughter is entitled to continue on to the next level school in the Choice feeder pattern. In this case, she will remain at the same school since it is a K-8 school.

Choice Enrollment Notifications

Acceptance letters for 1st Choice schools are sent from the Neighborhood Schools and Enrollment Options Office in late February.  Schools will also receive the names of students selected for enrollment and will also contact families either by telephone, email, or text message. (If you wish to receive text messages, you must opt-in via School Messenger.)
If you do not accept the offer of enrollment from the district, your option will be your neighborhood school. Occasionally, space becomes available in special programs and our office works to match applicants to schools with space.
Letters will be sent via US Mail in late February to parents of students accepted into their First Choice School.
Please contact the school ASAP to confirm your child’s enrollment and initiate the registration process. This must be done prior to the published deadline and there will be no exceptions.
Your child will lose his/her seat at the school.
Present yourself at the school with your acceptance letter prior to the published deadline to verify that you wish to enroll your child. You may also contact our office via our Enrollment Options contact form or 619-260-2410 prior to the deadline to notify us that you are having difficulty contacting the school.
As schools process their first choice lists and verify that students will enroll, there is a chance a parent will decline the offer, and that will create a vacant seat. In this case, the school would contact our office for additional names, which would be released in order and only to fill the vacancy created by a decline.
As vacant seats are created by declines, our office will release names in order generated by the Choice lottery process. Wait lists will not be released to schools. It will not be possible to find out where your child is specifically in the system.
You have the option to enroll all of your children in the same school if they attend their neighborhood school.
You can apply next school year for the following year for the sibling who did not get in and have sibling priority status. If it is possible to enroll all your children in the same school of Choice, without displacing a pupil with higher priority, our office will work with you on a case by case basis.
If you did not receive a letter that means your child was not accepted into the first Choice school.
After acceptance letters are mailed in February, if vacancies occur between the end of the traditional school year and through the summer, families will be contacted and offered seats in the school of Choice. It is anticipated that the majority of Choice enrollment will be completed and stabilized by the last day of the traditional school year.
No, acceptance letters are not sent out for 2nd or 3rd Choice schools. Starting in early spring, parents of students accepted into the 2nd or 3rd Choice school will be contacted by phone by the schools as vacancies are identified.
A specialized computer program is used to run the random, weighted, unbiased lottery for Choice. The computer program generates the Choice lists, which are then provided to the school sites.
You will need to submit a Transfer Request to Return to Neighborhood School form to transfer from the Choice school after the first four weeks of school and have the agreement of the resident school principal. There must be space available at the neighborhood school for the student to return. You do not need to complete the Transfer Request form during the first four weeks of school; your child can return to the neighborhood school without approval.
Once a student returns to the neighborhood school, he/she will not be allowed to change back to the Choice school. You are welcome to apply for Choice again during the Choice application period for the next school year.

Interdistrict Attendance Permits

You must first apply online during the application period (October 3 – November 14) for the schools you are interested in. If and when your child is offered enrollment, you will then need an interdistrict attendance permit from your resident district. The permit is sent by the district to the Neighborhood Schools and Enrollment Options office. School principals are not authorized to sign interdistrict permits.
Each district maintains its own policy, so you will need to check with your resident school district. San Diego Unified’s policy states that as long as your child attends the same SDUSD school, you do not need to renew an interdistrict attendance permit each year.   However, in order to maintain an interdistrict attendance permit, your child must have satisfactory attendance, citizenship and academic grades. The school may revoke the permit if any of these are unsatisfactory.
Yes, you will need to renew the interdistrict permit if your child changes school level (elementary to middle; middle to high) or you move to a different resident district. 


There is no transportation to neighborhood schools or for School Choice/Open Enrollment Act programs. Parents must make their own transportation arrangements. Bus transportation is limited to the VEEP, Magnet, and Special Education programs only. These programs, however, have specific transportation limitations. For the most up-to-date information, please contact the Transportation department at 858-496-8460 or visit the Transportation department website.
Students enrolled at Choice schools through VEEP are entitled to transportation, though transportation is not guaranteed. Certain criteria first need to be met in order for transportation to be made available to VEEP students for any given school. Specifically: 1) There must be a minimum ridership of 25 students; and 2) Student must reside at least five miles from the Choice school.
As long as the transportation criteria (noted above) are met, transportation is only offered to students who are enrolled at a Magnet or another Choice school through VEEP. If the feeder middle (or high) school is not a Magnet school, you will not receive transportation. Likewise, unless you live in a VEEP pattern to the feeder middle (or high) school, transportation will not be provided.

Program Improvement

Program Improvement (PI) was developed as a result of No Child Left Behind legislation as a means to identify schools that did not display annual increased test scores in all demographic areas of the student population.

NCLB and PI were both replaced in December of 2015 with new legislation called the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). NCLB and the related PI ended July 1, 2016, but school districts will honor Choice applications with PI priority that were already submitted in 2015-16. Implications for the new legislation are still to be determined. You can find the most current information on ESSA and the end of PI on the California Department of Education website. Our district will not be accepting future applications via PI status.