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Enrollment Priorities for Students Outside School Attendance Boundaries - January 2003 Revision

Note: This procedural directive was reviewed and revised in April 2010. We provide this revision for historic purposes only. Please refer to the current procedural directive, which has been renamed Students Attending a School Outside their Attendance Boundaries Procedural Directive.

Students who reside within the Albuquerque Public Schools District boundaries will have first priority to enroll at the school designated by the Board to serve the attendance area within which the student resides.

Families of all students enrolled outside their local school attendance boundaries must provide their own transportation to school unless the enrollment is an ESEA transfer that requires that the district provide transportation.

Procedures for Student Enrollment

The district will define the availability of the program physical site capacity (classroom space) and classroom size for each school in the district. Definition of site capacity will take into account the maximum class sizes allowed by law, regulation and policies; or class sizes established in the charter of a charter school, whichever is lower.

The district will accept enrollments for students outside school attendance boundaries to any school in the district that has the educational programs available, physical site capacity (classroom space) and class size to accept students. The district may establish additional enrollment preferences for admitting students. The enrollment preferences may include:
(1) after school child care for students;
(2) child care for siblings of students attending the public school;
(3) children of employees employed at the public school;
(4) extreme hardship;
(5) location of a student's previous school;
(6) siblings of students already attending the public school; and
(7) student safety.

Enrollment requests will be assigned one of five defined priorities. First priority will be students residing within the defined attendance area of the school. Second priority will be students qualifying for transfer through the Elementary/Secondary Education Act "No Child Left Behind." Third priority will be students who were previously enrolled at the requested school. Fourth priority are new requests which include one or more of the preferences identified above. All other requests will be assigned fifth priority.

Enrollment requests will be approved in priority order as long as the site has educational program availability, physical site capacity and the ability to maintain specified class sizes. If the number of outside school attendance boundary enrollment requests exceed available capacity, the district shall determine enrollment approvals according to a random selection process within priority two through priority five in descending priority order.

The process shall also be used to establish position on a waiting list for future enrollment consideration. If changes in educational program availability, physical site capacity, and ability to maintain specified class sizes allow for additional enrollees during the school year, students will be given the opportunity to enroll in their order on the waiting list.

The superintendent or designee is authorized to initiate administrative student enrollments when the enrollment enhances either the child’s welfare or the best interests of the district.

Students whose families move during the school year may complete the school year in the school currently being attended (if space is available), but will have first priority to attend the school appropriate to the parents’ new residence. Families may also choose to request re-enrollment in the previously attended school and in such case will be given second priority, as described in Board Policy and the Public School Code.

Students requesting enrollment to a magnet school must apply to the District Transfer Office. Magnet school programs at a school are subject to educational program availability, physical site capacity and the ability to maintain specified class sizes. The District Transfer Office will follow the same process as identifed for all open enrollment transfer requests. Notification to parents regarding approvals or denials will be made by the District Transfer Office.

Alternative schools have the APS district boundaries designated as the school attendance area boundaries. Any student whose residence is within the APS district boundaries is considered a priority one student. However, any student who is requesting enrollment at an Alternative school must follow the enrollment procedures of the requested school. Alternative school enrollments are subject to educational program availability, physical site capacity and the ability to maintain specified class sizes.

Certain special education programs are not offered at all schools. These programs have specified attendance area boundaries that are broader than the school attendance area boundaries where the program may be located. Therefore, any student whose residence is within the designated attendance area boundaries of a specified program is considered a priority one student. Any student’s enrollment in such special education program is subject to educational program availability, physical site capacity and the ability to maintain specified class sizes.

Processes and Timelines

  • Enrollment requests must be initiated by either parents (guardian) or students 18 years of age or older or students who are emancipated by the courts.
  • Parents seeking to enroll a student outside school attendance boundaries, for the upcoming school year should file their yearly request for enrollment as soon after February 1 as possible in order to be processed before the close of the current school year. Enrollment applications received earlier will be marked February 1. Priority three transfers are automatically renewed each year the student attends the school, and as long as the site has educational program availability, physical site capacity and the ability to maintain specified class sizes. If transfer students cause a school to exceed maximum allowable class size, those enrollments will be cancelled in accordance with section F of this directive.

    The district will utilize a series of enrollment windows to accept applications. The first window is from February 1 through March 15. All applications submitted during this window will be processed as having been received the same day. This procedure is followed to remove discrimination against wage earner parents to allow them to apply at a time which will not result in lost wages. Applications will be assigned a waiting list position if the number of such applications exceeds the classroom space and class size availability at a school. After September 15, enrollment applications will be processed according to Section D.

  • The respective special education administrator must verify educational program availability and ability to maintain specified class sizes for all special education enrollments prior to a special education eligible student enrolling at a school.
  • During the school year, should space become available for students who are on a waiting list, new enrollments will be processed at the beginning of the next semester and/or grading period.
  • Open enrollment requests will be granted only once per academic year.
  • Open enrollment for students from outside school attendance boundaries will be cancelled in the reverse order of approval. In situations where no initial random selection process was used for enrollment, students will be disenrolled subject to a random selection process.
  • All students enrolled at a school, regardless of priority, are subject to the same discipline and attendance policies.

NSBA/NEPN Classification: JFABC

Cross Ref.:

Legal Ref.: 22-1-4, NMSA 1978, as amended

Revised: May 1995
April 1996
June 1997
May 1998
January 1999
January 2003