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Policy 3141

Nonresident Students

Consistent with Chapter 28A.225 RCW, any student who resides outside the district may apply to attend a school in the district or file the parental declaration of the intent to provide home-based instruction and enroll for ancillary services, if any. All applications for nonresident attendance or home-based instruction will be considered on an equal basis.

 The La Center School District Board of Directors annually will inform parents of the inter-district enrollment options and parental involvement opportunities. Information on inter-district acceptance policies will be provided to nonresidents on request. Providing online access to the information satisfies the requirements of this policy unless a parent or guardian specifically requests information to be provided in written form. The district will not charge any transfer fees or tuition costs for enrolling eligible nonresident students. 

 The Superintendent will develop an application form that the parent or guardian will complete to apply for the student’s admission. The form will gather information such as the child’s current legal residence, the school district where the student is currently enrolled or receiving home-based instruction, the basis for requesting release from the resident district and the specific building and grade level (elementary) or course offerings (secondary) in which the student desires to be enrolled if accepted by the district.

The District may use the Standard Choice Transfer System in the Education Data System (EDS) to process those requests for student transfer enrollment into online or alternative learning experience programs or schools.

 A student who resides in a district that does not operate a secondary program will be permitted to enroll in secondary schools in this district in accordance with state law and regulation relating to the financial responsibility of the resident district. 

 Standards for accepting or rejecting an application  

The superintendent will accept or reject an application for nonresident admission based upon the following standards: 

  1. Whether acceptance of a nonresident student would result in the district experiencing significant financial hardship (“financial hardship” does not include routine programmatic costs associated with serving additional disabled or nondisabled students); 
  2. Whether in the grade level or class at the building in which the student desires to be enrolled has the capacity for additional students; 
  3. Whether appropriate educational programs or services are available to improve the student’s condition as stated in requesting release from his or her district of residence; 
  4. Whether the student’s disciplinary records or other documentation indicate a history of violent or disruptive behavior or gang membership (a gang means a group of three or more persons with identifiable leadership that on an ongoing basis regularly conspires and acts in concert mainly for criminal purposes); 
  5. Whether the student has been expelled or suspended from a public school for more than ten consecutive days, in which case the student may apply for admission under the district’s policy for readmission and re-engagement of suspended or expelled students; and  
  6. Whether enrollment of a nonresident student would conflict with a district innovation academy cooperative under RCW 28A.340.080.
  7. Whether the student has repeatedly failed to comply with requirements for participation in an online school program, such as participating in weekly direct contact with the teacher or monthly progress evaluations.

 Admission or denial: Notice of decision and appeal of decision

The superintendent will provide all applicants with written notification of the approval or denial of a nonresident student’s enrollment application in a timely manner. If the student is to be admitted, the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee will notify the resident district and make necessary arrangements for the transfer of student records.

If the application is denied, the superintendent or designee will notify the parent or guardian in writing within 45 business days from receipt of the parent’s application.  The notification will include the reason(s) for denial and inform the parent or guardian of their right to appeal the district’s denial decision to the Superintendent of Public Instruction or his or her designee as detailed in RCW 28A.225.230. 

 Children of full-time employees

  1. Pursuant to RCW 28A.225.225, a nonresident student who is the child of a full-time certificated or classified employee will be permitted to enroll:
    • At the school where the employee is assigned; 
    • At a school forming the district’s kindergarten through twelfth grade continuum which includes the school where the employee is assigned, the student may remain enrolled until he or she completes schooling; or 
    • At a school in the district that provides early intervention services pursuant to RCW 28A.155.065 and/or preschool services pursuant to RCW 28A.155.070, if the student is eligible for such services.
  2. The district may reject the application of a student who is the child of a full-time employee if:
    • Disciplinary records or other evidence supports a conclusion that the student has a history of convictions, violent or disruptive behavior or gang membership; or 
    • The student has been expelled or suspended from a public school for more than ten consecutive days (however, the district’s policies for allowing readmission of expelled or suspended students and the required re-engagement procedures under this rule must apply uniformly to both resident and nonresident applicants seeking admission, pursuant to RCW 28A.225.225(2)(b)); or 
    • The student has repeatedly failed to comply with requirements for participation in an online school program, such as participating in weekly direct contact with the teacher or monthly progress evaluations.


Cross References:

3120 – Enrollment



3115 Homeless Students – Enrollment Rights and Services


Legal References:

RCW 28A.225.220 Adults, children from other districts, agreements for attending school — Tuition


RCW 28A.225.225 Applications from nonresident students or students receiving home-based instruction to attend district school — School employees’ children — Acceptance and rejection standards — Notification


RCW 28A.255.230 Appeal from certain decisions to deny student’s request to attend nonresident district – Procedure


RCW 28A.225.240 Apportionment credit


RCW 28A.225.290 Enrollment options information booklet


RCW 28A.225.300 Enrollment options information to parents


RCW 28A.250.070 Rights of students to attend nonresident school district for the purposes of enrolling in alternative learning experience programs-Standard release form


WAC 392-137 Finance — Nonresident attendance


Management Resources:

2018 December Issue


2015 – October Policy Issue


Policy News, June 2003 Enrolling children of School Employees


Policy News, September 1999 School safety bills impact policy

La Center School District

Adopted: March 28, 2017

Revised:  July 25, 2023