Student Enrollment Options

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

Dear Superintendents and Principals,

As students and families prepare for the new school year you may receive questions about student enrollment options. The enrollment process is often the first experience that families and students have with a school and is an important step in welcoming them and helping them transition to the school community. The process also includes students who may want to withdraw from their neighborhood school and enroll in another school or program. 

It is important for your staff, students and community to know that regular rules and policies regarding student enrollment are still in effect for the 2020-21 school year. These options include Intradistrict Transfer, Interdistrict Transfer, Tuition, Contract, Homeschool, and Enrollment in public charter schools. Please take the time to review these policies at the state and district level as questions arise.

Public Charter Schools

In Oregon, students and families have the choice to transfer to public charter schools outside of their district of residence. Districts may not take action to prevent a student from leaving the resident district to enroll in a non-virtual public charter school.

Resident districts may deny a student’s enrollment in a virtual public charter school only when the district has reached the 3% cap.  That is, 3% of the district’s students are enrolled in a virtual public charter school that is not sponsored by the district. Districts that deny enrollment in virtual charter schools must provide written notice to the family within 14 days of receiving the notice of intent to enroll and must provide a list of two online options for the student. Families may appeal a district denial following the Virtual Charter School Enrollment Appeal Process.

A notice of intent to enroll is only used for virtual public charter schools and is not a part of the process for non-virtual public charter schools. 

This list of known virtual charter schools in Oregon can help districts determine what schools qualify as virtual charter schools. The list depends on voluntary reporting. If the  charter school you are researching is not on the list and you have reason to believe it is a virtual charter school, please contact Kate Pattison, ODE’s Charter School Specialist.  

Intradistrict Transfer

Districts may establish policy and a process for students to transfer between schools within a district. Students transfer for a variety of reasons such as seeking programs not offered at their neighborhood school, to protect their health and safety or other motivations. Most districts identify the criteria and procedures through their policy on Intradistrict Transfer Students (JECBB).*

Interdistrict Transfer

A student may transfer between districts if the student receives consent to transfer from both the district of residence and the receiving district. This is typically documented in an interdistrict agreement that outlines any conditions or other provisions. Most districts have a policy describing the process for the interdistrict transfer of resident students (JECF).*

A district may consider a transfer request outside of the district’s interdistrict transfer policy and procedures where a hardship exists. Hardship is defined in OAR 581-021-0019(1)(c).

The interdistrict transfer statute has specific provisions allowing a student to remain at their current school for a period of time following a move to a new district. If the student moves mid-year, the student may remain enrolled at the school in their former resident district until the end of the year. If the student moves over the summer, the student may remain enrolled for the following school year.


A student may enroll in a district other than their district of residence by paying tuition to the new district if the district accepts tuition paying students. Most districts set a tuition rate annually and follow their policy on the Admission of Nonresident Students (JECB).*


Two districts may enter into a contract for the education of a student or group of students. An example of transfer by contract is where district A contracts with neighboring district B to provide grades 9-12 for high school students residing in district A. 

Home School

Some families may consider home schooling as a temporary solution, opting out of the public system for a portion or all of the 2020-21 school year then opting back in. In these cases, where a family is home schooling for just one school year, the only rule that applies is sending the family’s notification of intent to home school to their local ESD. Families are asked to notify their ESD when they enroll their children back into their neighborhood school.

For more information, see ORS 339.035 and OAR 581-021-0026.

Please contact Annie Marges with questions about home schooling.


Additional Questions?

Enrollment is a complex and crucial topic. We want to help you get this right. Please contact Kate Pattison with any questions and concerns.

Thank you,

Colt Gill
Director of the Oregon Department of Education


*These references are to Oregon School Boards Association (OSBA) sample policies. If you would like to see these policies please contact OSBA.