Open Enrollment and Transfers

Questions?

Please contact Debbie Romano, Operations Coordinator, at romanod@issaquah.wednet.edu or 425-837-7010.

Resources

Regulations

Beginning February 1, the Issaquah School District will be accepting Open Enrollment applications from students who wish to transfer schools at the beginning of the new school year. Open Enrollment applications can be completed by students within the District who wish to transfer schools within the District, students within the District who wish to attend a school in another District, or students who wish to transfer to Issaquah from another District.

The Open Enrollment application process is NOT for:

  • Students who plan on attending their neighborhood school. Students are guaranteed enrollment at their neighborhood school, and can simply enroll by starting the online enrollment process on our New Student Enrollment webpage.
  • Students who have moved during the current school year. To update your address, please contact the registrar at your student's school with an updated Residence Verification Form.
  • Students who are already open enrolled at their desired school. Students automatically retain enrollment at the school within the grade span (grades 1-5, grades 6-8, and grades 9-12). Open enrollment kindergartners must reapply for open enrollment in 1st grade.

Which Schools are Available?

All Issaquah School District Schools are closed for transfers for the 2021-2022 School Year.

 The Enrollment office will approve or deny transfer based on the following criteria:

  • Projected enrollment numbers for the building and specific grade at both the neighborhood school and requested school
  • Projected staffing levels
  • Building capacity 

ISD Resident Students: Applications to Gibson Ek High School, Mind Education Right Left Integration (MERLIN), and the Science-Technology Program are NOT part of Open Enrollment. If your student is enrolled in MERLIN or Science Tech and has a sibling that wishes to attend the same school, the sibling must submit an application through Open Enrollment. 

Closed middle and high schools may take in-district students on a one-in, one-out basis and closed elementary schools may take in-district students on a space availability basis. Students may apply to attend any closed school, but entrance cannot be assured.

Transfer Types and Applications

If you have moved during the 2020-2021 school year, please contact your neighborhood school to update your address. 


Beginning February 1 each school year, the Issaquah School District accepts open enrollment applications for in-district transfers. Students who reside in the Issaquah School District and want to attend a district school other than their neighborhood school are eligible to submit an application. Permission to enroll in a school other than the attendance area school may or may not be granted by the District based on whether or not that school is declared "closed" for the coming school year. Schools may be designated as "closed" based on current student population or projected enrollment that will exceed District established building or classroom capacity at the grade level requested.

February's open enrollment period is an especially important time for 8th grade students who are going to enter high school in the fall. Students establish athletic eligibility at the first school they attend in grades 9-12. WIAA participation regulations apply within the District as well as between Issaquah and other districts. In some cases, academic classes and programs may differ between the three high schools and might influence attendance choices.

NJROTC: All students requesting a transfer to Liberty High School for the NJROTC program must apply for the transfer in February. Those students in good standing will be approved to transfer as long as they remain in the NJROTC program.

Applications for transfers are available online for download 3131F In-District Transfer Request or in each school’s registration office.

Please submit the completed In-District (3131F) transfer request form one the following four ways:

  • By e-mail: RomanoD@issaquah.wednet.edu
  • By mail: Issaquah School District, c/o Debbie Romano, 5150 220th AVE SE, Issaquah, WA 98029
  • By fax: 425-837-7117
  • In person: Debbie Romano, ISD Administration Building: 5150 220th AVE SE, Issaquah, WA 98029

Student transfer may be granted upon consent of the principal and superintendent/designee and on a space available basis. For more information:

Beginning February 1 each school year, the Issaquah School District begins accepting Choice Transfer applications. Choice Transfer applications are for students residing in the Issaquah School District who wish to transfer to a school in another school district the following September. This includes online schools. Enrollment is not guaranteed from year to year. 

How to apply for a Choice transfer

Families now have two ways to apply for a choice transfer. Please note, only one option below needs to be complete to apply for a choice transfer.

Option 1: Applying via the Issaquah School District

  • Contact the desired school district your student wishes to transfer to in order to learn when Choice transfer applications are accepted.
  • Complete the Choice transfer request form. This needs to be done each year that your student wants to transfer out of an ISD school.
  • Submit the completed Choice transfer request form to ISD in one of the following four ways:
    • By e-mail:RomanoD@issaquah.wednet.edu
    • By mail: Issaquah School District, c/o Debbie Romano, 5150 220th AVE SE, Issaquah, WA 98029
    • By fax: 425-837-7117
    • In person: Debbie Romano, 5150 220th AVE SE, Issaquah, WA 98029
  • The Issaquah School District will determine if your request for release will be approved. If so, the form will be processed and your student will be released pending acceptance to the district you want your student to attend.
  • The new school district will notify you by email if your transfer has been approved or denied.

Option 2: Applying through the Washington State Choice Transfer Request Portal

Families may also apply for a choice transfer through OSPI's Choice Transfer Request Portal. Click here to access the portal, as well as information on the process. Please note, families must have an active email address to use the system. If you do not have an active email address, please complete the steps above to fill out a physical form with the Issaquah School District.

What Happens Next?

If your student is approved for a Choice Transfer the parent or guardian must withdraw the student from their current school in preparation for transfer to their new district. Release of the student by the Issaquah School District does not guarantee acceptance by another District. Students who reside in the Issaquah Schools attendance area and attend a school outside of the District, may return to the Issaquah District at any time unless they have been excluded for disciplinary reasons. Parents assume full responsibility for transportation and supervision between the student's home and school of choice.


For more information:

Inter-District Transfer applications are no longer available for the 2020-2021 school year. Open Enrollment for the 2021-2022 school year begins February 1, 2021.

Students residing in school districts outside the Issaquah School District and want to attend a school within the Issaquah School District may apply for an inter-district transfer. These transfers are approved on a space-available basis after transfers within the district have been accommodated.

A Choice Student Transfer Agreement is obtained from the home district and completed by the parent(s)/ guardian(s) or adult student and returned to the home district. The student is then released by the school District where the student currently resides and, after acceptance, the agreement is filed with the Issaquah School District administrator responsible for administering this policy.

If you are not a resident of the Issaquah School District, please consider the following information:

  • Priority is given to ISD resident students, and students of full time ISD certificated and classified staff.
  • Closed schools do not have the capacity to accept out of district transfer students.

How to apply

  • Go to the school district office of your home school district to get a choice transfer form.
  • Fill out the form and turn it in to your home school district.
  • A designated person from your home school district will process the choice form to release your student or will inform you that the release to transfer has been denied.
  • New requests from out-of-district students will be placed on waiting lists in order of the request date.
  • Issaquah School District will notify you whether your request has been accepted or the transfer is denied.
  • Students outside the district will be placed after the in-district students are accommodated.

When to Apply

  • Any time after each February 1 for the next school year.

How to Renew

All non-resident students must reapply for admission for each school year and will be accepted by the District based upon the same conditions as for other non-resident students applying to the District for the first time. Once admitted, continuing attendance for non-resident students is not assured and may be refused by the District for reasons of over-enrollment, excessive absences, academic non-performance, and/or have no severe, ongoing, or pervasive disruptive behavior incidents or repeated misconduct.


All students who apply to the District will be considered based upon the same criteria, except that non-resident students who have been in the District during the previous year and who have maintained a satisfactory record of achievement, attendance and citizenship will be given priority for continuing enrollment in the next year.

A student who moves out of the District does not automatically maintain the right to remain in the District, even though Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association eligibility rules would still allow him/her to continue in athletics in Issaquah. Students who move from the District must notify the School District within 5 days and apply to remain in District schools and are subject to regulations outlined for all transfer students. If denied acceptance, parent(s)/guardian(s)/adult student will be notified of the right to appeal under RCW 28A.225.230(3).

For more information:

Details

A lottery and/or waiting list will be used if necessary.

Whenever the number of applicants exceeds the available transfer spaces at a particular grade level in a school, a lottery will be conducted after the close of the Open Enrollment period. The District Enrollment Office will maintain a waiting list for all schools if necessary. No waiting list will be carried over from year to year.

Transportation is NOT provided for Open Enrolled students.

Transportation is the responsibility of the parent or guardian. Open Enrollment students may ride existing bus routes on a “space available” basis. Parents cannot be advised by the Transportation Department if there is space available until mid to late September.

Siblings have preference.

If the student who is applying has a sibling at the requested school, the applying sibling will have preference in admission providing that both siblings will attend the school together for a minimum of one year.

Open Enrollment for in-district transfers is required once per school.

When a student has been accepted through Open Enrollment as an in-district transfer, they may stay at the school as long as the student maintains good academic standing, have satisfactory attendance (no unexcused absences or excessive tardiness), and/or have no severe, ongoing, or pervasive disruptive behavior incidents or repeated misconduct. When it is time to go to the next school level (from elementary school to middle school or middle school to high school) the student defaults back to their attendance area school. You must apply through Open Enrollment to request a different school at the next academic level.

Open Enrollment for inter-district transfers is required each school year.

When a student has been accepted through Open Enrollment as an inter-district transfer, they may stay at the school for the full academic year as long as the student maintains good academic standing, have satisfactory attendance (no unexcused absences or excessive tardiness), and/or have no severe, ongoing, or pervasive disruptive behavior incidents or repeated misconduct. A new application is required annually for consideration.

Open Enrolled students do not follow their new school’s feeder pattern.

When it is time to go to the next academic level (from elementary school to middle school or middle school to high school) the student defaults back to their attendance area school. You must apply through Open Enrollment to request a different school.

Open Enrolled students entering 9th grade may participate in athletics.

If your student is going to a new school in 9th grade, they will be able to participate in athletics at the new school. If your student is transferring to a new school in 10th, 11th or 12th grades, they may not be eligible to participate in sports at the varsity level. Please review the Washington Interscholastic Athletics Association (WIAA) guidelines for eligibility.