Open Enrollment is the process by which parents/guardians residing in an Iowa district may enroll their children into another Iowa school district under the terms and conditions of Iowa Code section 282.18 and 281–Iowa Administrative Code chapter 17. Open Enrollment applications must be submitted to the resident and to the receiving districts.
Regular education students are eligible to open enroll for grades K–12, if the student is 5 years of age on or before September 15. Kindergarten does not include preschool. Students that are younger than 5 years old do not qualify for open enrollment unless the student has an instructional Individualized Education Program (IEP), where the student is eligible to be counted for certified enrollment.
• Students cannot open enroll into Statewide Voluntary Four Year Old Preschool programs. Parents can enroll a student into any district that offers a Statewide Voluntary Four Year Old Preschool program whether or not it is their resident district without the need to open enroll.
• A special education preschooler with an instructional IEP is eligible for open enrollment if services are provided in an early childhood special education program and if the preschooler is eligible to be included in certified enrollment. Iowa Code section 282.18(8).
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.
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. Income verification must be provided to the resident district.