Transfer FAQs

Tips and guidelines for requesting a school transfer

How transfers work

We can approve transfers only if a school has space and program availability for new students. If more people request spaces than are available, we will use a lottery-style random drawing to approve transfers and assign spaces at each particular school.

  • Transfers are not approved on a first-come, first-served basis. The random selection process we use is in compliance with state and federal regulations.
  • The transfer process factors in student needs (See Transfer Priorities below.)

Complete the Transfer Request Form or contact the Transfer Office by phone at (505) 855-9050. A separate transfer request form must be completed for each child. Those who can submit a transfer requests are:

  • Parents or legal guardians;
  • Students at least 18 years old; or
  • Students that have been legally emancipated.

Students who move during the school year

Students who move during the school year may finish the school year at the school in their old neighborhood (if space is available). They will also have first priority to attend the designated school for their new address. If you request a transfer to stay in the school at the student's old address, you will be given third priority in processing their transfer request.

Transferring multiple students

If you are transferring multiple students, a separate application form must be submitted for each student requesting a transfer to different schools. There is no guarantee that space will be available at the same school for all students when multiple schools are requested for multiple students.

If you are submitting requests for multiple students with the hope of placing them at the same school, list a single school on the Transfer Request Form to avoid having them placed in separate locations.

How are transfers granted

Only one transfer per year

Students will only be approved for one transfer per year. This includes transfer rollovers (renewals) as accepted by enrollment at the beginning of the school year.

Early applicants

Those who apply between January 1 and January 31 will be included in the first random drawing for schools. The first drawing occurs before the end of the school year.

Additional random drawings

After the first drawing, we will hold additional random drawings later in the year as space becomes available at schools.

How transfers are prioritized

  1. Students living within the established attendance boundaries for a school.
  2. Students who are enrolled at a school which has received an “F” rating for at least the two years in the last four years and are applying to attend a school with a higher rating, will have second priority when requesting a transfer. To determine the classification of your designated or transfer school, visit New Mexico Public Education Department. Navigate to School Data, then to School Grading. Select the Albuquerque school district, locate your school on the list, and follow the prompts.
  3. Students who have previously attended the school.
  4. Other enrollment preferences, including:
    • Students with siblings already attending the school requested and who will be attending simultaneously for the upcoming school year. Those students will be placed into the requested school when possible.
    • If space is still available, placement will be granted to students who:
      • have other siblings requesting the same school but none are currently attending the requested school;
      • are children of an employee of the school being requested; or
      • have at least one parent on active military duty.
    • Those placements are followed by students who have a specific reason such as child care needs, and other reasons.
  5. Transfer requests with no reason specified.

The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) SINOI process is no longer used for priority consideration.  New Mexico now uses an A – F school grading system.

Approved Transfers

Notification of approval

You will receive notice by e-mail that your transfer has been approved or of waiting list status. Parents may contact the Student Service Center by phone at (505) 855-9040:

  • If you haven't received notification by June
  • If you do not have an e-mail address.

Accepting the transfer

Families receiving approved transfers will have ten (10) business days to accept or decline the approved transfer. The request will be deleted and a new request will need to be completed if:

  • If a family declines the approved transfer; or
  • If a family doesn't respond to the approved transfer.

School registration process

Remember, students should attend their neighborhood school until their transfer request is approved. As soon as you receive a transfer approval, please contact your new school to find out when the student can complete the registration process.

The registration process for approved transfers varies depending on when you receive the approval notification:

  • Before Summer: You must contact your new school to see if you need to pre-register for the Fall semester.
  • During Summer: Contact the school and to make sure your paperwork is processed by the time of Fall registration. Note: you might not be able to reach anyone during summer break.
  • During the School Year: Contact your new school immediately upon receipt of the transfer approval. Watch out! If you wait too long to contact the school, you may lose your spot, and your transfer approval will be voided.

If the student is currently enrolled in an APS school, you will need to get withdrawal papers from their current school. However, we encourage you to contact the transfer school to find what paperwork you need to bring with you.

Renewals and Waiting Lists

Renewing transfers

Students who have successfully transferred schools will usually be automatically re-enrolled each year at the transfer school. However, because transfer requests are granted on the basis of available programs and classroom size, automatic transfer re-enrollment is not guaranteed.

A new transfer request will need to be filled out if:

  • The transfer student has been promoted to the next school level (for example, from elementary to middle school, or from middle to high school) and wants to attend a school other than their neighborhood school.

  • The transfer student is dis-enrolled from their transfer school.

Waiting lists

If a transfer request cannot be approved for any of the requested schools, the student's name will automatically be placed on a waiting list for that school year.

  • If space becomes available at a school, students on the waiting list will get transferred first.
  • If a transfer request is approved for any of the requested schools, all remaining requests will be withdrawn and the student's name will be removed from all waiting lists. If you only want your child to be considered for one particular school, please list that school in the 1st choice field and leave the other fields blank.

Waiting lists do not carry over from one year to the next. You must complete a new application each year, even if it's the same request as last year. Contact the Transfer Office at (505) 855-9050 to get information about school enrollment space and program availability.

Transportation and Athletics


Students transferring to a school outside their neighborhood school will not be able to ride an APS bus to school. Parents/guardians are responsible for transportation.

Athletics and Activities

Some restrictions regarding athletics programs apply to newly transferred students. Questions concerning athletic eligibility can be addressed by contacting individual school athletic directors or by contacting the Athletic Department at (505) 884-9580.

Certain education activities are not offered at all schools. Enrollment in special education programs is determined by educational program availability, physical site capacity, and the ability to maintain specified class sizes.