Students Attending a School Outside their Attendance Boundaries
For purposes of this procedural directive, “site capacity” means number of students that can be served at a location taking into account maximum class sizes allowed by law, regulation and policies, physical space available and program availability.
For purposes of this procedural directive, “SINOI” means a school in need of improvement.
Students who reside within the Albuquerque Public Schools district boundaries shall have first priority to enroll at the school designated by the Board of Education to serve the attendance area within which the student resides. Students may apply for a transfer to attend a school outside of their assigned school area. All approvals for a student to attend a school outside of his/her assigned area shall be subject to space and program availability throughout the school year. Families of all students enrolled outside their local school attendance boundaries shall provide their own transportation to school unless the enrollment is an Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind) transfer which requires that the district provide transportation or in cases when the student is placed at the school by the district through an Individual Education Program.
The district shall define the availability of the program physical site capacity (classroom space) and classroom size for each school in the district. Transfer requests shall be approved as long as there is appropriate site capacity. Transfers shall be granted on a site capacity basis, using a random lottery selection process and priority system in compliance with state and federal requirements. Transfers shall not be first come, first served.
Enrollment Priority Process
- Students residing within the assigned geographical attendance area of the school and students who had resided in the attendance area prior to a parent/legal guardian who is an active duty member of the armed forces of the United States or a member of the national guard being deployed and whose deployment has required the student to relocate outside the geographical attendance area for custodial care.
- Students enrolled in an Albuquerque Public Schools’ school ranked as a school in need of improvement (SINOI) requesting a school which is a non-SINOI school.
- Students who previously attended the school.
- Students who indicate enrollment preferences.
- Students who have siblings already attending the school requested and will be attending simultaneously.
These students shall be placed at the requested school regardless of whether there is site capacity or program availability, but only when there are no students on the waiting list for that particular grade who are of priority two (2) or three (3) status. The name(s) of siblings attending the school shall be provided by the parent/legal guardian completing the transfer request. Transfer approval shall be revoked if the claim of having a sibling at the requested school cannot be verified. The superintendent may override the automatic placement of students qualifying in priority 4.A in any case where it is not physically or financially feasible for the district.
- Students who qualify in one of the following preferences shall be given the next consideration of the fourth priority level using a random lottery selection process as site capacity allows:
- students who have other siblings requesting the same school but none are currently attending the requested school; (names must be provided by the individual completing the transfer request)
- students who are children of an employee of the school being requested; (employee name must be provided by the individual completing the transfer request)
- students who have at least one parent/legal guardian who is an active duty member of the armed forces of the United States or a member of the national guard on active duty assignment. (unit and unit phone number must be provided by the individual completing the transfer request)
The Student, School and Community Service Center shall verify the cases above. A transfer approval shall be revoked if the claim of the stated condition cannot be verified.
- Students who qualify in one of the following preferences shall be given the next consideration of the fourth priority level using a random lottery selection process:
- after school care for students
- child care for siblings of students attending the requested school
- extreme hardship
- location of the student’s previous school
- student safety
- Students who indicate other preferences shall be given the final consideration of the fourth priority level using a random lottery selection process. This category shall include preferences such as, but not limited to, proximity to parents’ workplace, proximity to relatives, school size, to be with friends, program desires (i.e., bilingual, dual language, special education, athletics, band, ROTC, gifted, and so forth).
5. All other applications.
Should a transfer not be granted, the student shall be placed on a waiting list for consideration of future enrollment during the school year. If there are any changes in site capacity which allow for additional enrollees during the school year, students shall be given the opportunity to enroll in the order on the waiting list.
- Enrollment requests must be initiated by parent(s)/legal guardian(s) or students 18 years of age or older or students who are emancipated by the courts. The Transfer Office, housed in the Student, School and Community Service Center (6400 Uptown Blvd. NE suite 100 west, 855-9050) shall begin accepting transfer applications on February 1 for consideration for the following school year. A separate application form must be completed for each child requesting a transfer.
- The district shall utilize a series of enrollment windows to accept applications. The first window shall take place from February 1 through March 15. Subsequent lottery windows shall run periodically, as determined by the Transfer Office. All applications received during each window shall be processed as having been received on the same day.
- Up to three school choices may be listed on the transfer application. When multiple schools are requested they shall be considered as first choice, second choice and third choice in the order listed. If a transfer request cannot be approved, the student’s name shall be placed on a waiting list. When multiple schools are requested, and approval is granted to any one of the schools, the others shall be withdrawn from consideration, and the student’s name shall not be placed on waiting lists.
- Individuals may contact the Transfer Office if a student’s name is placed on a waiting list and assistance is needed in attempting to locate a different school which has site capacity.
- Waiting lists shall not carry over from one year to the next. A new application shall be submitted for the following year in the event a student or parent continues to be interested in a school to which a request has not been approved.
- Notification of the approval or waiting list status of first window applicants’ requests shall be sent by mail to the address found in the Albuquerque Public Schools database at the time of mailing before the last day of the school year. Subsequent random lottery selection processes shall be held periodically as determined by the Transfer Office with notification to follow the lottery. Notification shall be mailed to the address found in the Albuquerque Public Schools database at the time of mailing. This address may not be the address written on the transfer application form. It shall be the responsibility of the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) to ensure that the school site, at which their student is registered, has the most current address. Parents may contact the Transfer Office to verify the transfer status if notification has not been received.
- If a transfer is approved, the written approval notification in addition to the withdrawal papers from the previous school shall be presented to the transfer school in a timely manner. It is the responsibility of the parent/legal guardian to act upon a transfer granted during the summer break by registration at the transfer school. It is the responsibility of the parent/legal guardian to immediately act upon a transfer granted during the school year upon receipt of notification of the transfer approval. Transfer approvals which are not acted upon in a timely manner shall be void.
- Pending transfer approval, the student shall attend his/her assigned school or pursue other schooling options. The assigned school is determined by the street address of the home where the student resides. School verification for a given address may be obtained by contacting the Student, School and Community Service Center (855-9040) or at www.aps.edu.
- Students who are granted a transfer approval do not need to reapply each year unless they are switching schools. They shall be granted a yearly “roll-over” transfer while attending the transfer school, unless the school site exceeds available capacity or if a specific program is no longer available. Automatic “roll-over” transfers shall not apply from one school level to its feeder school. Transfer applications shall be resubmitted when moving from an elementary school to a middle school or from a middle school to a high school.
- Students who receive an approved transfer from a SINOI school to a non-designated SINOI school may be eligible for bus transportation or mileage reimbursement. Contact the Title I Office to verify eligibility and for application information. It is the responsibility of the parent/legal guardian for transportation to schools for other transfer reasons.
- In the event that transfer approvals must be withdrawn by the district due to a lack of space or program, they shall be canceled in reverse order of their approval.
- Only one transfer approval shall be granted per student per school year. If a student does not wish to remain at their transfer school they shall have the option to return to the school assigned to their address.
- If a student is disenrolled from a transfer school the transfer shall no longer be valid. This shall include students who have been disenrolled due to a long-term suspension or expulsion.
- Questions regarding athletic eligibility for transfer students shall be addressed to the school athletic director or staff members of the Albuquerque Public Schools Athletic Department.
Transportation and/or Reimbursement from SINOI schools to Non-SINOI schools
The district shall provide bus transportation from school sites to a select number of schools, when possible, or shall allow for partial transportation reimbursement for those who qualify. There shall be no reimbursement option for students who are eligible for bus transportation. Those who are eligible for reimbursement, upon application and verification, shall be compensated the cost of mileage not to exceed ten dollars ($10) per day, per dwelling. Applications shall be submitted by the end of the first semester of the academic year. There shall be no retroactive reimbursement for requests received after the fortieth day of the school year. The amount of daily reimbursement shall be determined annually, based on the availability of funds. No additional reimbursement shall be provided for multiple students from the same dwelling being transported to the same school. In the case of students at different schools, payment shall be based on a logical drop-off route not to exceed 10 dollars ($10) per day. In order to be eligible for bus transportation or reimbursement the student must be registered at the Title I school at the time it is designated as a SINOI school. Extenuating circumstances shall be considered on a case-to-case basis by the director of the Student, School and Community Service Center.
The Student, School and Community Service Center shall verify a parent/legal guardian’s proof of insurance, valid driver’s license and residency in order to reimburse the parent/legal guardian for transportation costs. If the license or insurance expire during the reimbursement period, the parent/guardian shall be responsible for providing the Student, School and Community Service Center with updated information prior to the expiration date. Reimbursement payments shall stop and the parent/legal guardian shall reapply for reimbursement if either insurance or driver’s license expires. There shall be no retroactive reimbursement for lapsed insurance or driver’s license.
Alternative schools have the Albuquerque Public Schools district boundaries designated as the school attendance area boundaries. Any student whose residence is within the Albuquerque Public School district boundaries shall be considered a priority-one student. However, any student who is requesting enrollment at an alternative school shall follow the enrollment procedures of the requested school. Alternative school enrollments are subject to site capacity.
Students requesting enrollment in a magnet school shall apply with the Transfer Office. Magnet school programs at a school are subject site capacity. The Transfer Office shall follow the same process as identified for all open enrollment transfer requests for enrollment priorities at magnet schools. Notification to parents regarding approvals or denials shall be completed by the Transfer Office.
Student Who Move out of a School’s Designated Area
Students whose families change residence during the school year may complete the school year at the school currently being attended (if space is available), but shall have first priority to attend the school appropriate to the parents’ new residence for the following school year. Families may also choose to request a student transfer to the previously attended school and in such case shall be given third priority.
A student may complete his/her program at the school where he/she has been attending with full privileges, if he/she has a change of residence under any of the following scenarios:
- the second semester of his/her eleventh grade year, during the summer between grades eleven and twelve, or either semester of his/her twelfth grade year;
- the second semester of his/her seventh grade year, during the summer between grades seven and eight, or either semester of his/her eighth grade year;
- the second semester of his/her fourth grade year, during the summer between grades four and five, or either semester of his/her fifth grade year.
The superintendent, or his/her designee, shall be authorized to initiate administrative student enrollments or exempt a student from the transfer process under the following conditions:
- when the enrollment/transfer enhances the child’s welfare;
- when the enrollment/transfer is in the best interest of the district; or
- When the enrollment is sponsored by a member of the superintendent’s leadership team and approved by the superintendent.
Administrative Position: Assistant Superintendent for School and Community Support
Department Director: Director of Student, School and Community Service Center
Legal Cross Ref.:
- 22-1-4, NMSA 1978
Board Policy Cross Ref.:
- JC - School Attendance Areas
- JC1 - Assignments of Students to School
- JF1 - Enrollment Priorities for Students under the Open Enrollment Act
Procedural Directive Cross Ref.:
NSBA/NEPN Classification: JFABC
Revised: May 1995
Revised: April 1996
Revised: June 1997
Revised: May 1998
Revised: January 1999
Revised: January 2003
Revised: April 16, 2010
Reviewed: September 24, 2010
Reviewed: October 11, 2010
Revised: November 12, 2010
Reviewed: May 20, 2011