Open Enrollment FAQs


General Questions
Open Enrollment 2019-20

What is Open Enrollment?

Open Enrollment is an opportunity for each student who resides permanently within the boundaries of Sacramento City Unified School District to apply for enrollment for schools (Grades K-8) within the district, when space is available. 

Who is eligible apply?

Only those students who reside within the SCUSD attendance area are eligible to participate in the Open Enrollment process.

Which schools have criteria for admission?

For additional information on these requirements, please contact the school site.

What schools do not have an attendance area boundary assignment?

Are there visitation days?

You can see a full list of these school visitation events at  

Is transportation provided by the school district to my Open Enrollment School?

No, transportation is not provided for Open Enrollment Students. Parents are responsible for transporting their Open Enrollment students.


Application Questions
Open Enrollment 2019-20

Where can I apply to participate in Open Enrollment?

You can apply through the 24 hour online application process on our website which begins at 8:00 am on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 and ends on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 5:00 pm. 

You can also apply through the walk-in application process which begins on Wednesday, February 12 and ends on Friday, February 14, 2020. The Walk-in Application Process will be held at the Enrollment and Attendance Center, located at 5601 47th Avenue as follows:

  • Wednesday, February 12, 2020 from 9:00am – 3:00pm
  • Thursday, February 13, 2020 from 12:00pm – 5:00pm
  • Friday, February 14 2020 from  9:00am – 11:00am

How many school choice options can I have?

Two.  When filling out your application there will be two options available. Your first choice should be the school or program you most prefer – your No. 1 pick. If you prefer this school or program over all others, you may select “no second choice.”

If you are deciding between two programs or schools and each is equally desired, you may indicate both – one as your first choice pick and one as your second. Be aware, however; that if your second choice is approved, your child will not be placed on the first-choice waiting list.

If you are not approved for either your first or second choice, your child will placed on the first-choice waiting list ONLY.

Where can I get an application if I want to apply to one of the specialty programs?

You must complete and submit the district Open Enrollment online application as well as fulfill the specialty program requirements.

Please check the Specialty Programs for information on specific program requirements. 

How do I know you received my online application? 

Once you successfully submit an online application, you will receive a confirmation screen that you can print for your records. Confirmation emails will also be sent to the student’s parents/guardians email listed on the application.

Are my chances of getting into my first school of choice option increased if I decide to apply early?

No. It doesn’t matter when you apply, as long as you apply within the Open Enrollment time line. The Open Enrollment application process is not on a first-come, first-served basis. The District utilizes a computerized lottery system to ensure fairness.


Process Questions
Open Enrollment 2019-20

If my child is already attending his/her school of choice through Open Enrollment placement, do I need to reapply?

No. You do not need to reapply to that school site. Your school of choice becomes your neighborhood school.

Does my child have the right to return to his/her neighborhood or current school after being accepted at his/her new school of choice?

It depends. Your new school of choice becomes your “neighborhood” school. However, if your original neighborhood school has space, and is not part of the Open Enrollment process, then your child can return to his/her neighborhood or current school if space is available. If your neighborhood or current school takes part in Open Enrollment, then in order to return, you must apply through the Open Enrollment process or obtain an intra-district permit through the Enrollment Center.

If my child is attending a Sacramento City School on an inter-district permit (i.e., you live outside of the district boundaries), can I apply for Open Enrollment?

No. Children currently attending a Sacramento City School on an inter-district permit cannot apply during this period. However; there is a process to reapply/renew an inter-district permit.

Where can I get an inter-district permit?

You can get an inter-district permit from your own school district, our website or you can get a form from the SCUSD’s Enrollment Center (5601 47th Avenue). Your current district must approve the inter-district permit first, and then you must submit it to the SCUSD Enrollment Center for processing.  A transcript and/or withdrawal grades as well as attendance and behavior reports are required when requesting an inter-district permit transfer.

How will students be selected for placement?

Students will be selected for placement by a randomly computerized lottery selection process.

What happens if I am interested in a school that doesn’t participate in Open Enrollment?

Parents will be required to complete an intra-district permit and will be contacted if/when space becomes available (please attach grades, attendance and behavior reports from the last school the student attended). 

Do I need to bring any documents to apply for Open Enrollment?

No. Residency will be verified by district personnel.

Is translation available during Open Enrollment?

Yes. Translators will be available in Chinese, Hmong, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Can Students with an IEP or 504 Plan participate in the Open Enrollment Process?


Do all schools participate in the Open Enrollment Program?

No. Not all district schools participate in the Open Enrollment process. Some schools reach their grade level enrollment capacity prior to the Open Enrollment time period.

I live within the Sacramento City Unified School District boundary, but my child is attending a private school. Can my child apply for Open Enrollment? 

Yes, because you reside within the SCUSD boundary.

Do GATE identified students receive priority preference in the lottery?



Kindergarten Specific Questions
Open Enrollment 2019-20

Can incoming kindergarten students apply for Open Enrollment?

Yes.  Under the Kindergarten Readiness Act students must be 5 years old by September 1, 2020 to enroll in the 2020-2021 school year (EC Section 48000[a]).

Should I register my kindergartener in his/her neighborhood school before I apply for Open Enrollment?

It is recommended that you register your kindergartener in his/her neighborhood school before or after you apply for Open Enrollment in case your child is not selected through the lottery.

The following documents are required to complete enrollment for students NEW to the district (including kindergarten):

  1. Valid Photo ID
  2. Current mortgage / property tax bill or rental / lease agreement
  3. Current utility bill (SMUD, PG&E, or WATER) with correct name and address
  4. Proof of birth – original county issued birth certificate or passport for each child that will be enrolled
  5. Immunization record for each child
  6. Individualized Education Plan (IEP) if your child is receiving Special Education services
  7. Guardianship / Custody papers (if applicable)

Lottery Questions
Open Enrollment 2019-20

When and how will I be notified whether my application for a “school of choice” was selected through the lottery process?

You will be notified by U.S. mail. Notification letters go out on Spring 2020.

It is imperative that an updated residence address is on file with the district and on the Open Enrollment application.

Who has priority in the lottery selection process?

Lottery Selection Priorities:

First priority

  • Siblings of students already in attendance at that school and will continue to be enrolled in the upcoming 2020-2021 school year.

Second priority

  • Children whose parent/guardian’s primary place of employment is the selected school site.

Third priority (administrative priority)

  • When unique circumstances occur at a school site, such as a school closure, program changes, and/or over-crowding occurs; district administrators may institute a specific priority to meet staffing and housing needs.

Schools without Attendance Boundaries:

First priority

  • Siblings of students already in attendance at that school and will continue to be enrolled in the upcoming school year.

Second priority

  • Children whose parent/guardians’ primary place of employment is the selected school site.

Third priority

  • All other students who reside in the Sacramento City Unified School District attendance area, but are not included in the first or second priorities.

What happens if my child doesn’t get accepted to the first or second school of choice?

Your child will only be placed on the waiting list for their first choice. Placement from the waiting list occurs only if space becomes available. The Enrollment Center Director working with site administrators will contact the parent(s)/ guardian(s) when and if space becomes available.

Students who apply to a specialized program and have not met the school’s admissions requirements will not be included in the lottery. If the student hasn’t applied to another site, the student must attend his/her neighborhood or current school.


Registration Questions
Open Enrollment 2019-20

What is the timeline for the school of choice registration?

Once your child has been accepted into the first or second choice school, you must register them at the Enrollment Center to attend the new school of choice within the dates during the two week period of Monday, April 13 through Friday, April 24, 2020.

If you fail to complete the registration within this timeline, your child will be automatically dropped from the Open Enrollment school of choice list.