A student's school and resident school district is based on where the student resides. In some circumstances, a family may ask to transfer their student to a school outside of their resident district. This is called a nonresident student transfer. You may also hear it referred to as an out-of-district transfer, interdistrict transfer, choice transfer, variance, waiver, or school choice.
- Nonresident students are those who live outside the school district boundaries of the district they are asking to attend
- Whether the student transfer request is accepted or denied is determined by the school districts. The process a school district uses to determine transfer requests is established in their policies and procedures.
- Both the student's resident district and the nonresident district must approve a transfer prior to the student attending a nonresident district. The resident district "releases" the student, and the nonresident district "admits" the student.
- Denied requests can be appealed by requesting a hearing through the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). Appeals are heard on OSPI's behalf by an administrative law judge with the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). OSPI staff does not grant or deny nonresident student transfers.
EXAMPLE: Sarah lives within the boundaries of the Green School District. Due to certain life circumstances, Sarah wants to attend a school within the Blue School District. In order for Sarah to attend school in the Blue School District, both the Green School District and the Blue School District must approve the transfer.
To apply for CHOICE at a nonresident school district, follow the steps below.
Step 1: Contact the nonresident school district before starting the transfer process. Make sure the district is accepting nonresident applications for the school and grade level you are requesting. Many school districts are experiencing student enrollment growth and cannot accept students who live outside of their district. If the district is accepting nonresident applications, contact your resident district to complete a Choice Transfer online application form. In addition to the title of Choice Transfer, the form may be referred to as an interdistrict transfer, interdistrict variance, interdistrict waiver, or school choice form.
Step 2: Complete the online application. As part of the application, the resident district will ask you to mark on the form which of the following best describes your reason(s) for requesting your district's release. The resident district must release the student from his/her district for any of these reasons:
- The student’s financial, educational, safety, or health conditions would likely be improved, or
- Attendance in the nonresident district is more accessible to the parent’s/guardian’s place of work or to the location of child care, or
- There is a special hardship or detrimental condition, or
- The purpose of the transfer is for enrollment in an online course or school program offered by an OSPI-approved provider.
If you don't have internet or an email address, you won't be able to complete an online application. Please contact Heather Long in the school office for a paper form. (509)784-1800
Questions? Contact Heather Long at (509)784-1911