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Students Attending a School Outside their Attendance Boundaries

Students who had approved transfers for school year 2021-2022 and disenrolled from the transfer school to attend eCADEMY K-8 Magnet, eCADEMY Magnet High School, a charter school, a school in a NM school district, a private school or home school will be allowed to go back to the transfer school for 2021-2022 at any time during the school year. 

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.

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 request 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 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) ) transfer that 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

The following priorities are in rank order:

  1. Students living within the established attendance boundaries for a school.
  2. Students who are enrolled at a school designated as a school that needs improvement or a school subject to corrective action.
  3. Students who have previously attended the school, which includes children of a military family who will be attending school in the district during the upcoming year
  4. Other enrollment preferences, including:
    1. Students with siblings already attending the school requested and who will be attending simultaneously for the upcoming school year. The parent/legal guardian completing the transfer request shall provide the name(s) of siblings attending the school. Transfer approval shall be revoked if the claim of having a sibling at the requested school cannot be verified.
    2. 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 residing on non-taxed federal trust lands within a 50-mile radius of Albuquerque (i.e., lands of the Pueblos of Acoma, Cochiti, Isleta, Jemez, Laguna, San Felipe, Sandia, Santa Ana, Santo Domingo, Zia and To'hajiilee/Canoncito Navajo)
      • Students who have other siblings requesting the same school but none are currently attending the requested school; (names must be provided by the parent/legal guardian completing the transfer request) for the purposes of approving transfer requests for students from the same family, when possible
      • Students who are children of an employee of the school being requested (employee name and employee number must be provided by the parent/legal guardian 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 parent/legal guardian completing the transfer request)
    The Student, Parent, Employee Service Center shall verify the cases above. A transfer approval shall be revoked if the claim of the stated condition cannot be verified.
  5. Students who qualify in one of the following preferences shall be given the next consideration using a random lottery selection process:
    1. After-school care for students
    2. Child care for siblings of students attending the requested school
    3. Extreme hardship
    4. Location of the student’s previous school
    5. Student safety
    6. Students who indicate other preferences shall be given the final consideration 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).
  6. 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 that allow for additional enrollees during the school year, students shall be given the opportunity to enroll in the order on the waiting list.

Student Transfers

  • 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, Parent, Employee Service Center (6400 Uptown Blvd. NE suite 100 west (505) 855-9050) shall begin accepting transfer requests on January 1 for consideration for the following school year. A separate request form must be completed for each child requesting a transfer.
  • The district shall utilize a series of enrollment windows to accept requests. The first window shall take place from January 1 through January 31 for the following school year. Subsequent lottery windows shall run periodically, as determined by the Transfer Office. All requests received during each window shall be processed as having been received on the same day.
  • Up to three school choices may be listed, but are not required on the transfer request. 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 request 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 shall be sent by email to the address found on the transfer request, or by phone if necessary.
  • Subsequent random lottery selection processes shall be held periodically as determined by the Transfer Office with notification to follow the lottery. Parents may contact the Transfer Office to verify the transfer status if notification has not been received.
  • If a transfer is approved, parents/legal guardians will have ten (10) days to accept or decline the transfer. Transfers that are declined or if the parent/legal guardian does not respond the transfer request will be deleted. Parents/legal guardians may submit a new transfer request.
  • If a transfer is approved and accepted, the written approval notification 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 that are not acted upon in a timely manner shall be void.
  • Pending transfer approval, the student shall attend his/her assigned school or may 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
  • 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 constitute the one transfer allowed per year.  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 school designated as a school in need of improvement or a school subject to corrective action to a school that received higher ratings may be eligible for bus transportation or mileage reimbursement. Contact the Student, Parent, Employee Service Center to verify eligibility and for application information. It is the responsibility of the parent/legal guardian for transportation to schools for other transfer reasons.
  • Students of a military family who receive a transfer may enroll in a public school prior to their actual physical presence in the district. The school shall preregister the student in anticipation of the student’s enrollment provided the student’s parent/guardian provides proof of residence in the district within forty-five (45) days of published arrival.
  • 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. “Roll over” transfers constitute a transfer for that 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 dis-enrolled from a transfer school, the transfer shall no longer be valid.
  • Transfer students, other than students who have been placed at a school outside of their assigned school based on address in accordance with their IEP, will have their transfer revoked for the transfer school they are attending at the time of their long-term suspension (LTS). Upon completion of a LTS, a student may return to their assigned school, request a transfer for the next school year, or explore alternative options. The transfer revocation date for students receiving special education services assigned to an Alternative Educational Setting (AES), through a LTS hearing, will be determined at the end of the suspension period by the IEP team in consultation with school and district administration. 
  • The APS transfer policy is not connected to New Mexico Activities Association’s (NMAA) eligibility. An approved transfer does not guarantee NMAA eligibility.
    • Eighth (8th) grade students not already attending the school they will be participating in must participate at their home attendance public high school. Eighth grade students attending a middle school on a transfer may only participate in their home attendance public high school.
    • 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

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 (40th) 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 school at the time it received the rating making it a school subject to corrective action. 

The APS Transportation Department 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 APS Transportation Department 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.

Magnet Schools

Students requesting enrollment in a magnet school shall follow the enrollment procedures of the requested school. Students should check the website of the requested magnet school to determine if requests are made directly to the magnet school or through the Transfer Office. Magnet school programs at a school are subject to site capacity. The magnet school shall follow the same process as identified for all open enrollment transfer requests. In order to ensure that families know all of their options prior to accepting one, notification to parents regarding approvals or denials should be completed by the magnet school in a similar timeline as notification from the Transfer Office of general APS transfers. 

Alternative Magnet Schools

Alternative magnet schools are designed to assist students who may not have been successful in a traditional setting. Alternative magnet schools have the Albuquerque Public Schools’ district boundaries designated as their school attendance boundaries. Any student who resides within the Albuquerque Public Schools’ district boundaries shall be considered a priority-one student. Any student requesting enrollment at an alternative magnet school shall follow the enrollment procedure of the requested school. Alternative magnet school enrollments are subject to site capacity and are exempt from the one transfer per year maximum requirement. Alternative magnet schools include schools such as BlendEd, School on Wheels, and Freedom High School.

Students 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:

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  • when the enrollment/transfer is in accordance with the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding entered into between Albuquerque Public Schools and tribal entities that are signatories to the APS Indian Education Policies and Procedures 
  • when the enrollment is sponsored by a member of the superintendent’s leadership team and approved by the superintendent
  • when the student is placed through a Best Interest Determination process due to their placement in foster care

Administrative Position:

  • Chief Operations Officer
  • Associate Superintendents for Leadership and Learning

Department Director:

  • Executive Director of Student, Parent, Employee Service Center
  • School Principals


Legal Cross Ref.:

  • §22-1-4, NMSA 1978
  • §22-2E-4, NMSA 1978
  • §22-2F-3, NMSA 1978
  • NMAC 6.12.13
  • NMAC

Board Policy Cross Ref.:

Procedural Directive Cross Ref.:

NSBA/NEPN Classification: JFABC

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