Attending a School in another School District

Archived Responses: 
Questions  

Can I apply to a school that is not the district I live in?

Sept 2015

Hi,
I'd like to check if anyone knows any K-8 public school near Concord and Clayton Valley or Walnut Creek? Also, does the child have to live in the same school district in order to apply for a school that the child is not living in??

many thanks!!


I'm not sure if you are asking about a single public school for grades K-8, or schools in general for those grades. Addresses in Concord, Clayton, and Walnut Creek fall in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District or the Walnut Creek School District, and generally students need to live in the district to attend public schools there. Inter-district transfers are possible, but only if space is available - and I have heard that it's harder to get an interdistrict transfer to WCSD than it used to be. I suggest spending some time on the districts' websites to figure out which addresses go to which schools - for the most part, you need to live in the zone for a particular school, not just the district.


Your public school district is the district that you live in. Most cities have their own school district. A few cities have more than one school district, and some cities are in a school district that includes other cities. If in doubt, look at their web page to find out what district you live in.

In California you can apply to a school district that you don't live in if one of the parents works in the other district, or your childcare is in the other district, or there is some other reason such as the other district offers classes or services that you can't get in your home district. Usually you need to visit the school district office in person to apply.

However, the school district you are applying to gets to decide whether they will accept you. Different districts have different criteria about what they accept. Some districts want to increase diversity and will accept transfer students that further this goal. Some districts are already crowded handling kids who live in the district and might accept the children of teachers at their schools but no one else. So if you want to apply to a popular district your chances are slim. Also your home school district must approve the transfer. What this means is that if your home district is relatively poor in comparison, they may not approve the transfer because they want the per-student funding.

So the bottom line is: don't count on being able to transfer to a different school district.

You could also check out charter schools. They are also public schools (so free) but they are not associated with a particular school district. In theory anyone who lives in California can apply to any charter school. Some very popular charter schools that get a lot of applications give priority to students who live in the same city, but most don't. Hope that helps mom of 3
 


Can my child go to a school where I work?

Jan 2013

Hello, I was wondering if my child could attend a school in the city where I work instead of the city where I live. I have heard of this happening, however I cannot find any information online about it. Thank you very much!



The Allen Bill allows children to attend school in the district where their parent works. However it is not guaranteed -- the new district and the home district must both approve the transfer. Here is the law: http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/di/fq/districttransfers.asp



Yes, your child can go to school where you work. However, you have to be released from the school district where you live. They will give you a form called an inter-district transfer which after filling has to be approved by your school district superintendent. Of course, you have to have a valid reason e.g. having no-one to pick up your child in your home district, etc. Then the school district where you work can accept you if they have a place for you or deny you.

In my case, we live in San Leandro and I work in Berkeley, where my son goes to school. Back in 2008, San Leandro District approved our request to transfer to Berkeley district. BUSD denied us a place. I had to appeal to Alameda Board of Education to fight BUSD's position. It was a very challenging thing. I did it all by myself and was very emotional when I was addressing the Board during their meeting but I won. My son has been in Berkeley public school and I never regretted my decision to pursue it.

During the process of appealing to the Alameda Board of Education to overrule the BUSD decision, I met a very caring person who was the families liaison(adviser), Jan, appointed by the Board. She was of tremendous help to me and my family and made a very difficult process much easier. In fact, without her would have been a different story. She was with me at the meeting when I spoke to the Board. So I wasn't alone, she was beside me all the way.

If you need any further info the BPN moderator can give you my contact info.

Good luck to you.


 

Earlier Advice

Aug 2000

 

Under the Allen Bill (CA state law), you can send your kids to school in the district where you work IF they have room. You need to go to the Oakland district office and apply for an interdistrict transfer. You may not find out from Berkeley if they have room till after school starts.



It's simple. For the Berkeley side, call the BUSD attendance office and they will advise you. On the Oakland side, go to the attendance office at Portable 15 at the administrative offices downtown. Bring proof of your employment in Berkeley and fill out the form. It's usually done in January or February of the year before enrollment.