Open Enrollment is a once a year process for “In District” school transfers and affords parents/guardians the opportunity to request an elementary school other than their neighborhood school or current school of attendance within the Benicia Unified School District.
The process is only open in the Spring between March 1st – 31st of each year for the upcoming school year. During that time the parent is able to fill out their request in the linked form when it is opened on March 1st. The request must be made by March 31st for it to be considered and is strictly based on space availability. Approval of transfer applications is reviewed later in the Spring. Students with siblings will be considered first in this process.
By policy, our goal is for every student to attend his or her school of residence, often referred to as the neighborhood school. Attendance boundaries for each district school have been established by the Board of Education. These boundaries are periodically reviewed and adjusted to provide for such changes as the opening of new schools. Most students in the district attend their neighborhood school. There are some situations in which students attend schools other than their school of residence.
- Transitional Kindergarten which is located at only certain elementary sites.
- Schools that do not have enough room in a grade level to accommodate all students living within the boundary of that school. When this occurs, students are placed on a waitlist at their resident school and assigned, or overflowed, to another school. This situation occurs for a number of reasons: Rapid growth in student enrollment at a particular school and/or turnover of housing in existing neighborhoods, classes in a grade level have reached capacity limits or overflow of resident students from prior years. Class size in the district is bound by California Department of Education regulations and by class size limits contracted with the Benicia Teachers Association (teachers’ union).
- Families choose for their student(s) to attend another school.
What happens after the Open Enrollment application has been submitted?
There is no guarantee of placement through the Open Enrollment process. Open Enrollment applications are accommodated if there is space available in the requested grade at the requested school. All applications received are placed on the list under a “pending” status and transfers are offered as space becomes available. Transfers are granted for individual students by school, by grade, and not by family.
NOTE: All decisions will be communicated to the families one way or another via email.
When a student completes registration at their resident school and there is no available space in their grade level at that site, the student is overflowed to another District school that has space available. This placement is temporary and the student MUST return to their resident school when space becomes available except when a transfer is approved through the District’s Open Enrollment process (please see Board Policy 5116.1 and Administrative Regulations 5116.1 linked above).
When the District is notified that a student is in need of an overflow placement, the District will review enrollment numbers at other District schools and assign placement accordingly. Parent(s)/guardian(s) will be notified of placement details within 5 school days by their resident school secretary.
Between the months of August and January, if space becomes available at the resident school, an overflow student will be given the option to return to their resident school at that time. A request to finish the year at the overflow school may be approved ONLY for the remainder of the current school year. Between the months of February and June, all overflow students will remain at their overflow school for the remainder of the school year.
All overflow students will return to their resident school the following school year. However, there may be some instances where space is not yet available. Overflowed students who would like to remain at the overflowed school will be approved only if space is available.
Please keep in mind
- Students must be enrolled (or pre-enrolled) in their neighborhood or current school of attendance before an Open Enrollment application will be considered.
- Families must notify their neighborhood school of any changes to their address, email or phone number that occur after submission of the Open Enrollment application.
- Applications must be submitted via online by 4:00 p.m. on March 31st.
We understand and apologize for the inconvenience overflow may cause you and your family. Feel free to contact student firstname.lastname@example.org or any school office for more information. Thank you for your understanding.
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