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Student Assignment

FAQ

Questions for newcomers

  • What is an enrollment cap?

    Several schools in high-growth areas have reached the maximum number of students they can effectively teach. When that happens, the Board of Education may place an enrollment cap on the school. This means that new students may be assigned to an overflow school until a seat becomes available at their base school. Learn more.
  • Where do we enroll our students?

    Enrollment begins at your base school. Learn where to go and what to bring.
  • I just moved here. What school will my children attend?

    Begin your process by entering your address in the Base School Locator. This will show the assigned base schools for your address. You will also see options such as magnet schools and calendar options that your child can apply for once you enroll at your base school.
  • I'm assigned to a multi-track year-round calendar school. How do I find out my track?

    Track assignments are made with consideration to parent input, siblings, grade level scheduling, and mandatory class size limits. All track assignments are made at the school.
     
    Families applying for a year-round school will be asked to rank the four tracks when they submit their online application. Every effort will be made to honor an existing track when a student moves from one year-round school to another year-round school, but this is not guaranteed.
     
    Notification of track change requests for existing students at a school and track assignments for students new to the school will be given mid-March.
     
    All track assignments are subject to change based on enrollment variations.  Families should work with the school staff at your school to discuss track assignments.

Find your base school

  • How do I find my base school?

    Enter your address in the Base School Locator. This will show the assigned base schools for your address. You will also see options such as magnet schools that your child can apply for once you enroll at your base school.
  • Will my student get transportation to school?

    Students are guaranteed district bus transportation to their base school or their calendar option school, unless you live in a no transport zone close to the school. Students must sign up for bus service to let the district know they need to be picked up and dropped off.

How to enroll

  • What if I have questions about obtaining verified forms such as birth certificates?

    You may call or visit the Office of Student Assignment for assistance if you have questions or concerns about obtaining the proper documents.
  • What is a notary or notarized form?

    A notary is a person who is authorized to perform certain legal formalities, such as witnessing the signing of contracts or certifying documents and signatures. When a form has been verified by a notary, it is notarized. Some student assignment forms require verification by a notary. Most banks and post offices have employees who may perform this verification. The Office of Student Assignment may also be able to notarize required forms. If you will need notary assistance, please call the Office of Student Assignment before your visit to ensure a notary will be in the office.

Change your school

  • What is my calendar option, and how can I attend?

    Every student has one or more calendar option schools.
     
    For example, if a student has a traditional school as his or her base, they have the option of applying to attend one or more nearby year-round schools. Conversely, those based at a year-round school will have one or more traditional calendar options.
     
    You can apply during the calendar option application period. Admittance is based on seat availability and priorities for selection as determined by the Board of Education. Parents who apply to all of their calendar options have a greater chance of being seated in a school of the calendar they request.
     
    If a student is accepted to a calendar option, they are eligible for district transportation.
  • What if I want to transfer, but I don't have transportation to my desired school?

    Parents should not submit a transfer request if they are not able to transport their student to and from school every day. If a transfer request is granted, the student is considered ineligible for transportation, and the family is responsible for getting the student to and from school.
     
    However, families may request transportation for ineligible students by completing the online transportation form and selecting option four, "I want to request bus service for an ineligible student." The transportation department begins considering these requests 30 days after the start of the school year to determine if there is space on existing routes.
     
    Any approved service is valid only for the current school year. Transfer students must re-apply each school year for bus service.
  • Who is eligible to submit an early transfer application?

    Current students, as well as students who pre-register for the upcoming school year, can participate in any of the school application processes. Students with disabilities who are served in regional programs will have school assignments based on their program needs as defined by their individual education plans (IEP) but can apply during any of the application periods. Contact Special Education at 919-431-7334 for more information.
     
    The Early Transfer application provides parents with an opportunity for guaranteed assignments based on priorities approved by the Board of Education. Only requests based on one of the five reasons listed below will be processed during the Early Transfer application period.
     
    • Request to be assigned to a school where an entering grade sibling is currently attending the school and will continue to attend the school for the upcoming school year.  The early transfer application period is the only time sibling requests will be approved. Parent must provide their own transportation to and from school. School district transportation will not be provided.
    • Request to be assigned to your base school for the upcoming school year. The early transfer application period is the only time base assignment requests will be approved unless extraordinary/compelling circumstances exist. Neighborhood busing is provided for students attending their base school, unless they are in the walk zone. With neighborhood busing, students may walk to a location centrally located to students assigned to that stop. The bus travels to a number of neighborhood stops and then delivers students to their school. In the afternoon, students are returned to the neighborhood stop to make their way home.
    • Request to remain at your current school due to a Board of Education-approved change in assignment.  Parent must provide their own transportation to and from school. School district transportation will not be provided.
    • Requests for a sibling to be assigned to a school where an older sibling is grandfathered as a result of a Board of Education-approved assignment change can also be made during the early transfer application period.  The early transfer application period is the ONLY time grandfathering requests will be approved. Parent must provide their own transportation to and from school. School district transportation will not be provided.
    • Requests from employees for their students to attend the same school/campus where the parent is employed. Parent must provide their own transportation to and from school. School district transportation will not be provided. 
  • Who is eligible to submit a hardship transfer application?

    Current students, as well as students who pre-register for the upcoming school year, can participate in any of the hardship transfer processes. The Board considers school assignment transfers to be appropriate only in rare or exceptional circumstances. Students with disabilities who are served in regional programs will have school assignments based on their program needs as defined by their individual education plans (IEP). Contact Special Education at 919-431-7334 for more information.
    • The Office of Student Assignment is authorized to grant transfer requests for the following reasons, if capacity and other resources are available at the school to which reassignment is requested:
    • Request to be assigned to a school where a sibling is currently attending the school and will continue to attend the school for the following school year.
    • Requests to align school calendars for siblings in grades K-8.
    • Request to be reassigned to the student’s base school.
    • Request to remain at the student’s current school due to a Board of Education approved change in assignment.
    • Request from employees for their students to attend the same school where the parent is employed.
  • What are the chances my hardship transfer application will be approved?

    The Board considers school assignment transfers to be appropriate only in rare or exceptional circumstances. Schools with enrollment caps will not have seats for students who are not in the base attendance area. Schools that are projected to have crowding percentages greater than 95 percent are not available for transfer students. Magnet schools are not available for transfer students.
  • Can I apply for magnet status if I’m already assigned to a magnet school as a transfer student?

    Yes. Any non-base, non-magnet student at a magnet school can apply to get magnet status.
  • What are the chances my magnet application will be approved?

    We use a set of prioritized criteria when selecting magnet students. Learn more.
  • How are siblings prioritized?

    The highest priority in any of the application processes is for entering grade siblings to attend the same school as an older sibling, so long as the siblings live at the same address. Requests to assign a kindergarten, 6th or 9th grade sibling to the same school as an older sibling are guaranteed if the request is made during the January/February online applications.
    Applications for siblings in the same grade span are considered together. This means that if you apply for more than one sibling to attend a school, the application process will not select one sibling without the other. If there are not available seats for each sibling, the program will select none of the siblings.
  • What if I have applied for more than one selection process?

    Applicant pools are created for each of the early college, leadership academies, magnet, and calendar applications. These four applications are prioritized in the selection process. Applicants not selected for their first choice are placed in an applicant pool. Parents can remove their student from the applicant pool through their parent account if they no longer want to be seated at the application school. Applicant pools will be processed in to fill any available seats. If a student is assigned to a school from the applicant pool, this will become the student’s school assignment. After the applicant pools are processed, they will be dissolved.
  • If I do not receive a seat through an application process, may I appeal the decision?

    You may not appeal the final decision of the application process. However, families who have participated in an application process and have a demonstrated need or hardship may apply for a hardship transfer between May 1 and May 15. Hardship transfers require documentation and are granted on a very limited basis. If a hardship transfer is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision to the Board of Education. If a transfer is granted, parents assume responsibility for the student's transportation.
  • If my application is accepted and I receive a seat at a new school, do I lose the spot in my current school?

    Yes. Students who apply for and receive a seat at a new school lose the spot at their previous school. Please also see "What if I have applied for more than one selection process?"
  • If my student is not selected for a school, will he or she be added to a waiting list?

    The school district no longer uses numbered wait lists in their application processes because facility utilizations change with each application placement. All applicants not seated for their first choice school will be in the applicant pool and may be assigned to the application school if seats become available. Selection from the applicant pool will be done by staff using criteria related to equitable facility utilization and the original selection priorities.
  • What are my chances of getting in if I am in an applicant pool?

    This varies based on the number of available seats at the school, the number of applicants, and the selection priorities for the school.
  • If I do not receive a seat through an application process, may I appeal?

    You may not appeal the final decision in any of the application processes except the hardship transfer application.
  • If my transfer is denied, can I appeal?

    Current WCPSS families who apply during the hardship application period within 10 business days of their initial notice of assignment (May 1) may appeal if their transfer request is denied. Families making initial enrollment have the opportunity to submit a hardship application within 10 business days of their initial enrollment.  These new families have 10 days to request an appeal if their transfer request is denied by staff.  Instructions on how to appeal are included on the denial letter. Families that have not been granted a placement through any of the other application processes, such as the magnet and calendar application processes, may not appeal.

Capped Schools

  • My base school is capped. What does that mean for my child?

    Schools with enrollment caps are schools that are experiencing both excessive crowding and high residential growth in their attendance area.
     
    These schools are so crowded that every available space at the school is serving a student, and there is no room for any additional students. The Board of Education reviews school utilization annually and sets enrollment caps at schools that have the most crowding.
     
    A total enrollment cap number is set for each grade at the school with an enrollment cap. Once a school reaches this total enrollment number, any new families who move into the base attendance area will be assigned to an overflow school. 
     
    Most of the time, parents can choose from more than one overflow school.
     
    One is the "calendar option" school, which is a nearby school the the opposite calendar of the base school. For example, if the base school has a traditional calendar, a nearby year-round school will be a calendar option.
     
    You can also choose a designated overflow school.  
     
    The choices offered to a parent as the overflow school are based on seat availability at the grade needed.  
     
    Transportation will be provided to and from the overflow school.
     
    Students assigned to an overflow school are also placed on a numbered wait list and could be called back to the base school if a seat becomes available.
  • Who may attend a capped school?

    Students who:
    • Currently live in the school’s base attendance area and established residence in the base attendance area before the date the enrollment cap was placed. They must present themselves prior to June 1 in order to avoid being capped out and assigned to an overflow school.
    • Rising kindergarten students and others who pre-register for the upcoming school year who have established residency before the cap date. They must present themselves prior to June 1 in order to avoid being capped out and assigned to an overflow school.
    • Children of full-time school district employees who work at the capped school.
    Enrollment caps begin on different dates for different schools. Families should contact the school’s data manager to find out the effective date of the enrollment cap.
  • What if I move into the base attendance area of a school after enrollment has been capped?

    If a student’s base school has an enrollment cap, he or she may be assigned to an overflow school. (A capped school still may have a few available seats, depending on the grade level.)
     
    Transportation is provided to the overflow school.
     
  • Where do I enroll if my base school has an enrollment cap?

    Families should begin the enrollment process at their base schools, even if that school has an enrollment cap. This allows staff to determine if there is a seat available at the capped school or if your student will be assigned to an overflow school and placed on the wait list.
  • How do I prove residency when enrolling?

    Families must be living in their homes at the time of enrollment. Families may bring current utility bills (gas, water, or electric), closing papers on a new home purchase, or a lease to show how long they have lived at their address. Offers to purchase a home, or contracts/leases that show the family is not yet domiciled at the home, will not be accepted as proof of residency.
  • Will I be contacted if a seat opens up at my base school?

    Students who are capped out of their base schools remain on a waitlist and will be contacted if seats open. Families may be contacted during the summer before school starts if a seat has become available for their student.
     
    Families may also be contacted at the end of the second quarter for a mid-year placement if a seat becomes available during the first half of the year. Those contacted mid-year can request to continue at their current school to finish the year and be assigned to their base school for the following school year.
     
    If the student is called back to the base school over the summer and declines the seat, school district transportation will no longer be provided to and from the overflow school unless the overflow school is the calendar option school for the family’s address.
     
     
  • What happens if my calendar option school has an enrollment cap? Will there be available seats for calendar option students?

    It is possible that an application school may be capped. Generally, an application school has a set number of seats for application students and a set number of seats for base students.  In most cases, available application seats will remain. The available application seats may be adjusted to allow room for the base students in the event the base attendance area is in a high growth area. In cases of extreme high growth, there may be no available calendar option seats at a school.
  • How do modular units affect crowding?

    This will depend on the crowding situation at the school.
     
    They may be used to make more room for additional base students to attend, or the population will remain the same and the extra space will be used to ease crowding.
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