Open Enrollment. These two words bring strong emotions to the parents of Boulder. For some who chose to enroll their kids in their neighborhood school, open enrollment in the Boulder Valley School District [BVSD] is not a big deal. Phew! For the 40% of us who do open enroll our children it can be stressful.
So what is open enrollment in BVSD? Any child can go to any school based on availability by entering their child into the lottery system called, Open Enrollment. All families in BVSD can look at all schools to see which one seems to meet their child[ren]’s needs best. There are many choices [charter schools, focus schools, and neighborhood schools] and each has it’s benefits and drawbacks. But ultimately many Boulderites choose to open enroll their children in an attempt to try and find the best fit. For more details on open enrollment click here.
There are two main types of BVSD schools:
1. Neighborhood Schools: These are the schools that are designated for your neighborhood. Your child can always get into these schools if you live within the boundaries. You DO NOT need to open enroll to these schools if you are in the neighborhood, but you CAN if you want your child to go to the school, but you are not in the designated boundary.
2. Focus/Charter Schools: These are open enrollment schools that serve ALL of BVSD. There are NO designated neighborhood boundaries for Focus and Charter schools. You MUST open enroll to these schools.
To help you visualize the open enrollment process here is the BVDS open enrollment flow chart:
For Boulder Families with younger children there are a few schools that have open enrollment options for preschool, such as Community Montessori. For these schools, open enrolling at preschool age is the best way to secure a slot for your child. So even if your child is too young for elementary schools, taking a look at the open enrollment process can be really helpful. Likewise, the award winning Peak to Peak Charter School has open enrollment policies that favor those who have applied many times. They are all a bit different, so best to do your research!
Open enrollment happens for a limited time. You MUST apply to open enroll your child between December 2, 2013 and January 17, 2014. To get an open enrollment application head to the BVSD website. Good luck to everyone open enrolling a child this year!