What is Open Enrollment? Open Enrollment is Pasadena Unified School District's (PUSD) school choice system that offers Altadena, Pasadena, and Sierra Madre families the opportunity to attend schools outside of their neighborhood school's attendance boundaries. While every child living within PUSD boundaries is guaranteed placement at their school of residence, one campus may have a special program or focus that best meets the needs or interests of an individual student.
Each winter, the Open Enrollment process offers District families the opportunity to apply online for a school other than their school of residence. Enrollment is based on demographic data about the number of school-age children residing within a campus' attendance boundaries. Any seats not occupied by neighborhood students are made available. Space is limited. You may view the number of available spaces at each grade level for schools and programs online.
When the number of applications exceeds the number of available seats, a random lottery process is utilized to assign families to schools. Open Enrollment includes two random lotteries after which families may choose to participate in waiting lists for slots that may open during the summer.
Once enrolled in a PUSD school, a student does not need to reapply until they plan to change schools.
Who may apply for Open Enrollment? All incoming Kindergarten-12th grade students currently residing in the Pasadena Unified School District are eligible to apply. Full-time, monthly PUSD employees and full-time, monthly "City of Pasadena" employees are also invited to apply. Families do not apply if planning to attend their school of residence. Out-of-district families should contact the Office of Enrollment to inquire about eligibility to participate and the required interdistrict permit process.
How do I apply for Open Enrollment? Complete an application online during published application dates (Espanol). Indicate an ordered list of all schools that you prefer to your neighborhood school. Submit the application from any computer with internet service; there is no preference for being first to apply and revisions to your list of preferred schools may be made up until the deadline.
What is my school of residence? To find your school of residence, visit the School Locator. If you need assistance please call the Office of Enrollment, Permits & Student Records at (626)396-3639.
How should I determine the list of preferred schools I submit? Explore the Schools Guide(English)(Espanol) and tour your school of residence any other PUSD schools or programs that interest you. All campuses offer rigorous academic programs aligned to the Common Core Standards, highly qualified teachers, and an array of enrichment opportunities. PUSD schools continue to demonstrate consistent academic achievement. Inquire about before and after-school care programs, school start times, and consider proximity (transportation is not generally provided).
Your list of preferred schools should include all schools, in order of preference that you prefer to your school of residence. Your list may include as many schools as you would like, with your school of residence as the final school on your list.
In 2018, PUSD redesigned the Open Enrollment process so that the best strategy for all families is to list their true preferences. There is no need to strategically consider the available capacity of a school when deciding on your list of preferred schools. Even if there are not many spots available at a school you prefer, it is in your interest to include that school on your list. Please list true preferences, consider school start times and
What happens after the first round of Open Enrollment? After the first lottery, applicants must take one of three possible actions (1) accept an offered school and pre-enroll, (2) select to continue to next round (2nd lottery) with the goal of being assigned a school higher on their submitted list of preferences, or (3) decline an offered school. Families that continue to the next round are guaranteed that they will be assigned to either the same school as round 1 or to a school they prefer over their round 1 assignment (the same list of preferences from the original application is used). Historically, around 1/3 of offered seats re-open during round 2, so there is an opportunity for many families to improve their assignment by participating in round 2. During the 2nd lottery, applicants residing in PUSD who missed the 1st lottery may also submit an application.
Is there a waiting list following the second round of Open Enrollment? Yes, following the second round lottery, applicants will have the option to remain on the waiting list for all schools that they listed on their application as preferred to the school they were assigned in round 2. Familes must request this option by the published deadline.
Any remaining seats following the second round registration period will be offered to applicants based on their position on the waiting lists until all projected seats are filled. Waiting lists will be maintained until one week before school starts. Historically, many families are successfully placed off of the waiting lists during the summer months.
At what age is my child eligible to enroll in Kindergarten? Transitional Kindergarten? Children must be five years old on or before September 1 to enroll in Kindergarten for the upcoming school year. Children turning five years old between September 2 and February 2 for the upcoming school year may enroll in Transitional Kindergarten.
If my child is currently attending a PUSD Pre-School or Transitional Kindergarten, should we apply for Open Enrollment? Yes, enrollment in a PUSD Pre-School or Transitional Kindergarten class does not guarantee a student will be enrolled at that same school for Kindergarten. Families must participate in the District's Open Enrollment process to have their student attend a school other than their school of residence for Kindergarten.
Should I submit an Open Enrollment application to enroll my child in a Dual Language Immersion Program? Yes. Applications are required for dual language immersion programs. Living in a school's attendance zone or preference zone does not guarantee placement in dual language immersion.
Is there an assessment prior to attending a Dual Language Immersion Program? There are no requirements to apply for PUSD's French, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese dual language programs. Students may apply as English only or native speaker. A student who applies and is accepted as a French-, Spanish- or Mandarin-dominant speaker will need to pass a language assessment verifying native-language knowledge and skills prior to final registration. Language assessment is done at the school site. If it is determined the child is not a Spanish or Mandarin dominant speaker, the child will not be able to register and no change will be made to English only.
If I have more than one child in my household, do I need to submit a separate application for each child? Yes. Each student must submit a separate online application. All efforts will be made to ensure that families with twins or same-grade siblings are accepted into the same school provided the school/program choices are identical and in the same priority order on both applications.
Will my child be considered for admission if we submit an application after the February 1, 2020 application deadline? Yes. You may submit an application during the late application-second lottery phase, March 25-29, provided your child did not register either during the Sibling & Priority phase of Open Enrollment or following the first lottery. The second lottery allocates unfilled seats from the first lottery.
Do I need to submit an application if my child already attends a school other than our school of residence? No. You need to submit an application only if: You wish to apply for a different PUSD school in the upcoming school year, or, You are enrolling your child in PUSD for the first time and wish to enroll in a school other than your school of residence.
What if my child is not accepted at any of the schools I have selected? Applicants may remain on the waitlist for any schools included on their lottery application until one week before school begins. All students may also enroll at their assigned school of residence.
If my application is accepted, how do I secure my child's seat at the school? Once the applicant receives notice of an offer, the parent or guardian must "accept" the offer on the lottery website and must also complete the online registration process for the child by the deadlines. Documentation required at the time of registration will include proof of residency documents that correspond to the address entered on the application and documentation to verify the child's name and date of birth (such as a birth certificate). If a child is not properly registered by the deadline, the spot will be forfeited.
Welcome to Open Enrollment
Thank you for your interest in PUSD schools and the Open Enrollment process.
Please see below for frequently requested information:
If you have any additional questions, please contact us by phone at (626)396-3639 or via email. For a list of staff email addresses, please visit pusd.us/enrollment.
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