- Last Updated: 30 June 2021 30 June 2021
|Policies and Regulations||NEPN Code: JCA-R|
Assignment of Students to School, Open Enrollment and Nonresident Students
- Home Attendance Center (HAC): The school assigned to the attendance area in which a student’s parent or legal guardian resides.
- Assigned School: The school to which a student has been assigned by the Superintendent, or designee, or the school to which a student is assigned under open enrollment.
- Resident District: The school district in which a student’s parent or legal guardian resides.
- Nonresident District: A school district in which a student’s parents/legal guardian do not reside.
- Resident Student: A student whose parents or legal guardian reside (actually lives) within the Sioux Falls School District boundary. Resident Student may also include: emancipated minors living within District boundaries; students placed at a residence or institution within District boundaries by the Unified Judicial System, the Department of Corrections, or entities approved by the Department of Social Services, including a foster home; and students within District boundaries determined homeless in accordance with District Policy/Regulation JLG/JLG-R Instruction/Programs for Homeless Students.
- Nonresident Student: A student seeking free school privileges who is living with an adult who resides within the Sioux Falls School District boundary other than a parent, legal guardian, or noncustodial parent.
Assignment of Resident Students to Schools
Resident students in the District shall attend school in their HAC unless assigned to another school by the Superintendent or designee. Address verification is required at the time of enrollment or any time the school has reason to believe that a student’s address or household has changed, unless the student is entitled to an immediate enrollment (e.g. students in foster care; homeless students).
The following documents shall be provided with enrollment in order to verify a student’s address:
- Parent/legal guardian Identification:
- Government-issued photo identification card
- Address verification: One (1) document in the name of the parent/guardian clearly indicating the address is required to verify an address. Documents provided must be current and dated the month of enrollment date or previous month. Verification of address may be established by providing any of the following documentation.
- Approved Documentation:
- Utility bills tied to the home
- Property tax payment or receipt with parent/guardian name and property address
- State/Government agency mail
- Rental property contract, lease, or payment receipts
- Mortgage document
- Homeowner’s insurance policy
- Signed address verification statement on District provided form along with one of the following documents in the parent/guardian name showing primary address: bank statement, voter registration, telephone bill, pay stub, along with one of the approved documents listed in option A above in the homeowner/tenant name.
- Signed address verification statement on District provided form along with address verification check by District personnel.
- Approved Documentation:
If a resident student’s residency is created solely for purpose of attending a particular school without intent to reside at that residence, the District may, at any time during the school year, transfer the student to the appropriate HAC.
Resident students with special needs may be assigned to designated buildings for achieving access to District programs.
Resident students in need of special education or special education and related services may be assigned by a placement committee to buildings where appropriate education programs exist to meet their needs as specified in the Individualized Education Program (IEP).
Change of Residence within District K-12 Boundaries
In the event a parent or legal guardian changes legal residence from one HAC to another, one or more of the following will apply:
- For the current year:
- A student may remain at the school where the student is enrolled at the time of the change in residence for the remainder of the school year; or
- A student may transfer to HAC of the student’s new residence.
- For succeeding school years:
Elementary and Middle School: If prior to the change in residence a student has been enrolled for two (2) consecutive quarters in one school term at the school where the student is enrolled at the time of the change in residence, the parent/guardian may elect to have their student remain at that school through the completion of the school’s respective year span (K-5, 6-8) by filing the District form with the principal or may transfer to the HAC of the student’s new residence; or if prior to the change in residence, a student has been enrolled for less than two (2) consecutive quarters in one school term at the school where the student is enrolled at the time of the change in residence, the student must enroll for the succeeding school year at the school in the HAC in which the new residence is located or apply for open enrollment.
High School: All students must file an application for open enrollment.
The District’s right to change/alter attendance center boundaries overrides any rights created by this section.
Transportation Outside Student Home Attendance Center
When the parent or legal guardian chooses for a student to remain at a school outside of the HAC, seeks assignment to a school outside of the HAC, has been accepted for open enrollment, or the student has been assigned to a school pursuant to Policy JK/JK-R, the parent or guardian is responsible for transporting the student to and from school without reimbursement.
The parent or legal guardian of a South Dakota kindergarten through twelfth-grade student who wishes to enroll the student in the District or in a school in the District other than the HAC must complete an application for open enrollment. The District will accept open enrollment applications for the succeeding school year beginning December 1st. When December 1st falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the District will accept applications beginning the following Monday. Open enrollment applications for the succeeding school year will not be accepted prior to this date.
All applications for open enrollment must be submitted to the Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services on the official application form provided by the South Dakota Department of Education (Open Enrollment Application) or through the District’s online application.
Open Enrollment Applications will be acted upon in the order they are received; however, if the applicant is a sibling of a student accepted into and currently enrolled in the District through open enrollment, that student’s application shall be given priority consideration. Decisions to accept or reject open enrollment requests will be based on the criteria in the “Open Enrollment Application Standards” section of this regulation.
The applicant and the resident school board, if applicable, will be notified within five days of the decision.
Transfers for approved applications may only take place prior to the last Friday in September during the first semester of any school year and prior to the last Friday in January during the second semester of any school year. For applications approved after the deadline in the first semester, the transfer will occur at the start of the second semester. For applications approved after the deadline in the second semester, the transfer will occur at the start of the following school year. These deadlines for transfer do not apply if (1) a student seeking to transfer to an alternative school or a specialized nonpublic educational program; (2) a student enrolls in the District after the deadline in either semester or (3) the Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services as the School Board’s designee determines that special circumstances exist and allows a student to transfer after the deadline.
Withdrawal of Open Enrollment Application Before Approval
An application may be withdrawn by the applicant prior to approval and upon written notification to the Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services.
Withdrawal of Open Enrollment Application After Approval
Once approved by the District, the approved application serves as the applicant’s notice of intent to enroll in the District or desired school within the District and obligates the student to attend the assigned school during the school year, unless:
- the affected Board(s) or the Board’s designee agree in writing to allow the student to transfer back to the HAC or resident district; or
- the parent, legal guardian, or emancipated student changes residence to another school district.
If after the conclusion of any school year a student wishes to return to the HAC or resident district, the student’s parent or legal guardian, or an emancipated student, shall provide notice and complete the Intent to Return to Resident District form no later than August 1. If the affected Board(s)/Board’s designee determines special circumstances exist, a student may be allowed to transfer to the student’s HAC or resident district after the deadline.
Open Enrollment Application Standards
The following standards will be used to accept or reject applications for open enrollment in the Sioux Fall School District.
- Building, class size, and program capacity restrictions are necessary in order to allow room in schools for students who may move into the attendance area. The approval of an Open Enrollment Application may not result in exceeding the building, class, and/or program capacity criteria.
- Actual building, class, and/or program sizes may be above these ratios because of students living in the HAC.
- Each specific building, class, and program capacity for open enrollment purposes shall be based on the following guidelines:
- Building Capacity:
- High School: each building capacity shall be determined by multiplying the number of standard classrooms by 90% of the District authorized budgeted staffing ratio for the year; Exception for 9th grade class: Notwithstanding the Building Capacity limits above, the District will accept 9th grade open enrollments up to 450 students at each building to facilitate comparable class sizes across buildings.
- Middle School: 1,000 per building;
- Elementary School: each building capacity shall be determined by multiplying the ratio equal to .5 of a student less than the District authorized budgeted staffing ratio for the year multiplied by the number of classrooms in a building.
- Prior to December 1st each year, the District will publish on its website the Building Capacity for each building.
- Class Capacity:
- High School: 9th – 500; 10th – 500; 11th – 500; 12th – 500
Once budgetary staffing allocations have been established for the corresponding year, classes will be closed for open enrollment purposes if the class average for core and non-core courses needed by the student reach, or exceed, an average of 28 students per class;
- Middle School: 345 per grade level
- Once budgetary staffing allocations have been established for the corresponding year, classes will be closed for open enrollment purposes if the class average for core and non-core courses needed by the student reach, or exceed, an average of 28 students per class;
- Elementary School: Grade levels within a building shall not exceed the following average number of students per teacher:
K – 25; 1st – 26; 2nd – 27; 3rd-5th – 28
- Exception for K-1st District authorized class sized reduction: 20.5.
- High School: 9th – 500; 10th – 500; 11th – 500; 12th – 500
- Building Capacity:
- Program Capacity:
- Programing for self-contained or out-of-building special education programs or out-of-building regular education programs shall be capped for open enrollment purposes at 75% of the funded student per teacher ratio for the individual programs.
- Special education resource programs, related services, and in-building regular education programs (i.e. reduced class size programming for two or more periods a day) shall be capped for open enrollment purposes at 90% of the funded student per teacher ratio for the individual program.
Open Enrollment Application Process
- Prior to processing open enrollment applications for the succeeding school year, the Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services will determine the projected enrollment for each of the buildings and programs. These projections shall be based on existing staffing and enrollment numbers and will take into account the shift in grade levels and the movement from District assigned schools. The projected enrollments will be compared against the established capacities to determine the number of open enrollment slots available.
- Open Enrollment Applications will then be approved on a space available basis at the time the request is considered. The application shall be assessed in the following order: building, class, program.
- If a requested school is at capacity, the parent/guardian may request the opportunity to be assigned to a school that has capacity for additional students.
- Enrollment projections shall be updated two times prior to the commencement of the school year: once prior to May 1st and once prior to August 15th. If a request was previously denied but more slots become available as projections are updated, previously denied applications shall be reconsidered in the order originally received, excluding applications that have been approved for another building.
- For open enrollment requests to transfer within the same school year, the present staffing and enrollment numbers shall be used to determine whether the building/class/program is at the capacity for open enrollment purposes determined in the Application Standards section of this regulation.
- Out of District: If two or more students from the same family residing in the same household request open enrollment into the District, all requests must either be approved or denied. No denial of an application may result in children from the same household enrolling in different school districts, except as provided in this regulation.
- Within District: If two or more students from the same family residing in the same household request open enrollment, the District may deny an open enrollment request for one student and approve a request for another student in the same family.
- Any student under long-term suspension or expulsion will not be allowed to seek open enrollment until the suspension or expulsion is completed.
- The rules of the South Dakota High School Activities Association will govern eligibility for participation in activities due to open enrollment.
- The decision regarding a student’s application for open enrollment or a request to return to the resident district or HAC is subject to appeal in circuit court.
Open Enrollment of Special Education Students
An Open Enrollment Application for a student in need of special education or special education and related services may be granted only if, after a review of all relevant student education records and direct communication with the student’s parent or guardian and representatives of the resident district, the District Special Education Administration determines that the District can provide an appropriate instructional program and facilities, including required transportation, if necessary, to meet the student’s needs.
If the request to transfer is granted, the District is responsible for the provision of a free appropriate public education for the student in need of special education or special education and related services. If the student requires transportation as a related service, the District shall provide or ensure the provision of transportation within the boundaries of the attendance center to which the student is assigned through open enrollment.
If the District Special Education Administration is not able to confirm the provision of an appropriate instructional program, facilities, and required transportation, if necessary, based on the records review and communication with the student’s parent or guardian and representatives of the resident district, the District must initiate an IEP team meeting consisting of representatives from the District and the resident district to determine whether the District can provide an appropriate instructional program, facilities, and required transportation, if necessary.
A request to transfer a student in need of special education or special education and related services may be denied if an IEP team consisting of representatives from the District and resident district determines that the District cannot provide an appropriate instructional program and facilities, including required transportation, if necessary, to meet the student’s needs. A request may be denied based upon capacity of the building, class, or program as set forth above.
When following the process under this section, a request can be denied even if the student in need of special education services has a sibling enrolled in the District or if the sibling is an open enrollment applicant.
If a parent or guardian of a student in need of special education or special education and related services requests to transfer the student back to the resident district, provisions outlined in the “Withdrawal of Open Enrollment” section of this regulation apply.
If it is determined that a parent or guardian of a student in need of special education or special education and related services submitted an Open Enrollment Application but did not indicate on the application that the student requires special education services, the Open Enrollment Application will be considered void and a new Open Enrollment Application must be completed and will be processed as outlined in this regulation.
Submitting/Resubmitting an Open Enrollment Application
An Open Enrollment Application must be submitted for the succeeding school year when a parent/guardian moves outside of the District K-12 boundaries after the first 30 days of a school term or anytime a student is enrolled as a result of a change in address, or the student enrolls in another school district or an alternative education program.
Open Enrolled Students - Middle/High School Options
Each November, 5th and 8th-grade students attending a school through open enrollment will be required to declare one of the following options:
- attend the assigned school identified by the District. Each year, the District will identify the assigned school option for the incoming 6th and 9th-grade cohorts based on capacity and location. If a student selects this option, the assignment will continue through the completion of the school’s respective year span (6-8, 9-12). If a declaration is not received by December 1, the student will be assigned to the student’s HAC or may apply for open enrollment.
- attend HAC. (If the student’s HAC is outside of the District’s K-12 boundaries, the student will need to submit the Intent to Return to Resident District form to the student’s resident district no later than August 1. Until the District has received notification of receipt of that form, student’s enrollment will remain with the District at the assigned school identified by the District); or
- apply for open enrollment.
Application to Specialized Schools
Information on the District’s Specialized Schools/Programs is available on the District’s website.
The District has the following specialized schools/programs that require special application processes: All City Elementary, Challenge Center, Spanish and Two Way Immersion, Middle School Honor’s Program, and New Technology High School. Students must be accepted through the application process. Out of District Students must also be accepted through the Open Enrollment process, except that, once accepted into a cohort-based specialized program requiring demonstration of specific skill to enroll (Spanish and Two Way Immersion), building capacity and special education resource program capacity limitations do not apply.
Assigned Students/Specialized Schools - Middle/High School Options
At the conclusion of their respective program or upon voluntary exit from a program, students no longer attending a school through a school assignment or specialized school/program will be required to attend the student’s HAC or apply for open enrollment.
Placement of Staff Children
The Sioux Falls School District recognizes the need for a robust and diverse benefit offering for its employees. Components of that offering should include items that may make their work environment and overall employment experience more stress-free and convenient.
In accordance with the above stated goal, the Sioux Falls School District will allow school district staff residing in the Sioux Falls School District the opportunity to have their children, dependents, and minors in their legal care placed in the school where the staff member is currently working, provided that:
- The school is not one of the specialty programs currently offered and having a prescribed enrollment program in place. These would include, but are not limited to, Spanish Immersion and Challenge Center programs. The specific application process applies to these programs.
- The school has capacity at the building for the placement of the student.
- The student’s individualized education needs can be met at the school.
- For successive school years, if the staff member is no longer working in the enrolled school and a student has been enrolled for two (2) consecutive quarters in one school term at a school under this section while the staff member was working for the school, the staff member may elect to have their student (i) remain at that school through the completion of the school’s respective year span (K-5, 6-8, 9-12) by filing the District form with the principal; (ii) transfer to the staff member’s new school; or (iii) return to the HAC. If a student has been enrolled for less than two (2) consecutive quarters in one school term at a school under this section, following completion of the school year the student must return to their HAC or enroll in the staff member’s current school, if all other provisions of this section are met.
- If the staff member ceases to reside in the Sioux Falls School District during any school year, the placement will end at the completion of the school year. If the staff member ceases to reside in the Sioux Falls School District prior to the start of any school year, there will be no placement for the upcoming school year. A staff member residing outside of the Sioux Falls School District must follow the open enrollment application process.
Acceptance of Nonresident Students without payment of Tuition
Nonresident students (student living with someone other than a parent or legal guardian or noncustodial parent) seeking free school privileges must file a Request for Residency Exception annually with the Board or its designee for the student to be accepted into the District.
Acceptance as a nonresident is a privilege granted by the Board under limited exceptional circumstances and the Board may revoke the privilege at any time.
To request that a student is living with someone other than a parent, legal guardian or noncustodial parent be accepted as a resident of the District, the adult with whom the student is living must complete a Petition for Residence Exception form annually and submit the form to the Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services who after thorough review of the student’s academic record (including discipline), educational needs and District capacity (including but not limited to building, program and class capacity and staffing needs) will make a recommendation to the Board on the Petition.
Enrollment after an approved request must take place prior to the last Friday in September during the first semester of any school year and prior to the last Friday in January during the second semester of any school year. For requests approved after the deadline in the first semester, the enrollment will occur at the start of the second semester. For requests approved after the deadline in the second semester, the enrollment will occur at the start of the following school year. These deadlines for transfer do not apply if the Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services as the Board’s designee determines that special circumstances exist and allows a student to enroll after the deadline.
If admission is approved, the adult with whom the student is living must ensure that the student attends school regularly, is punctual, and follows the rules and regulations set forth by the District. Failure to do so may result in the nonresident school acceptance being revoked by the Board or its designee.
If admission is denied, the adult making the request may appeal the denial and request a hearing before the Board. The request for a hearing must be filed within fifteen (15) days of receipt of notification of the denial. The request for a hearing should be sent to the School Board, Instructional Planning Center, 201 East 38th Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57105. The decision of the Board after the hearing is final and may be appealed to the circuit court.
13-28-1.1 Enrolled student defined
13-28-9 School residence for free school privileges--Change of residence--Children of transferred active duty military personnel.
13-38-10 School residency of child residing in home other than residence of parents, guardian, or noncustodial parent – Petition to local school board.
SDCL Ch. 13-28-40 through 47 Open Enrollment Options Program