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School Choice – Frequently Asked Questions

How can families enroll in their neighborhood school?

Every residence in 4J is within the attendance boundary of a neighborhood elementary, middle and high school. Most students attend their neighborhood school, and there are many advantages to doing so.

Students may enroll in their own neighborhood schools at any time. Families are encouraged to register their rising kindergarten students early, anytime after the beginning of the calendar year. For more information, see How to Enroll.

To request enrollment in a different school, use the school choice process.

How can families enroll in a school other than their neighborhood school?

Students who live in 4J may request to enroll in any school, provided there is a space available to meet the student’s needs. 4J has several “alternative” or “magnet” elementary schools that do not have neighborhood attendance areas. Enrollment at these schools is by request only and families from any neighborhood may apply to have their child enroll. In addition, students may request to transfer to a different neighborhood school.

A lottery is held each spring to determine the order in which requests are granted for available openings at each school and the remaining students are placed on the school’s waiting list. To participate in the lottery, submit your school choice request by the lottery deadline. Requests received after the lottery deadline will be accommodated if space is available or placed on the school’s waiting list. For more information and this year’s dates, see School Choice Information.

How can families enroll in a charter school?

Charter schools are independent entities that have their own admission procedures. They are not included in the 4J school choice request and lottery process. For more information or to request enrollment in a charter school, please contact the school directly.

How can families who live outside of the district enroll in 4J?  

Eugene School District 4J welcomes families who live outside of the district to apply for a transfer to 4J and request placement at their preferred schools. A lottery is held each spring to determine the order in which requests will be granted for any available openings. To participate in the lottery, submit your interdistrict transfer request by the lottery deadline. Requests received after the lottery deadline will be accommodated if space is available or placed on the school’s waiting list. For more information and this year’s dates, see School Choice Information.

Are school choice requests accepted at every school and grade? 

Requests are accepted as space is available. District residents have priority for any openings. There may or may not be a space available to meet the student’s needs at their preferred school. Some schools and grades will not be able to accommodate all of the students who wish to attend.

District residents may make a request to attend any 4J school. Non-residents are welcome to request a transfer to the district and may request their preferred school or schools among those that are open to requests.

For more information, see School Choice Information and Out-of-District Transfers.

Which students have priority for available openings?  

Neighborhood residents may enroll in their neighborhood schools at any time. Next, district residents have priority for any openings at neighborhood schools and alternative schools. Remaining openings may be available to non-resident students after 4J residents are accommodated.

Lotteries and post-lottery wait list placement give priority to students who have moved and are requesting to continue enrollment in the school or district (“returning students”) or will be co-enrolled with a sibling. There also are priorities at certain schools for students who are neighborhood residents, heritage language speakers, or qualified to receive free or reduced-price school meals. For more information about priorities, see School Choice Information.

Can I get on the waiting list for a school? 

You may apply to add your student to a school’s waiting list for the current or coming year, if an appropriate application period is open.

There is no early waiting list for any 4J school; parents of preschoolers must wait until the year your student will be entering kindergarten to submit a school choice request.

School waiting lists are reset every year. If a space does not become available for your student in the year you applied for, and you still wish to enroll in that school, you must submit a new application the following year.

Will it help to apply early in the lottery application period?

No. Requests are granted in an order determined by lottery. All eligible requests received in the appropriate application period will be included in the lottery. We do recommend completing your application well before the deadline, so you have time to resolve any questions or technical difficulties.

Post-lottery requests are accommodated first-come, first-served as space is available, and placed on school waiting lists in the order received within priority areas.

I have two students. Do I need to fill out two applications? 

Yes, you must fill out a separate school choice application for each student. If you have twins, you must complete an application for each student but you have the option of entering them into the lottery together or separately. More information is given in the application instructions.

What do I do if I want to apply to more than one school?

Submit one application for each student. You can request one, two or three schools maximum. Do not include your neighborhood school or any charter schools among your three choices. You will be asked to rank your choices (1,2,3). Once you have been offered and accepted a space at a school, your student’s name will be withdrawn from your lower-ranked schools’ lists but will remain on the waitlist for higher-ranked schools.

Do I need to reapply every year? 

Residents and non-residents whose request was not fulfilled: YES. School waiting lists do not carry over to the following year. If your student is not offered enrollment at a school for a given year, and you still wish to enroll in that school, you will need to reapply the following year.

District residents who move: YES. If your student attends their neighborhood school and you move out of the school boundary, or if your student attends a 4J school as a resident and you move out of the district, they may complete the school year. To re-enroll for the following school year, you will need to apply for a transfer. Returning students have first priority for enrollment among district residents and among non-residents.

District residents enrolled on a school choice transfer and remaining at same school: NO. Once a resident student has been enrolled in a 4J school via school choice, the transfer will remain valid until the student completes that school level or moves out of the school district’s boundaries.

Residents and non-residents changing schools: YES. Upon changing school levels (from elementary to middle school or from middle to high school), students must submit a school choice or transfer request if the new school they wish to attend is not their neighborhood school. (The exception is students continuing in a K–12 language immersion program.) Students who attended a neighborhood elementary or middle school via school choice do not have any priority to attend the middle or high school in that neighborhood.

Language immersion: NO. Students in a K–12 language immersion program remain enrolled in the program and do not need to submit a school choice request when moving to the next level. If a student wishes to exit the language immersion program but continue attending the host middle or high school, they must submit a school choice request to remain enrolled in the host school unless it is their neighborhood school.

Non-residents enrolled on a one-year interdistrict transfer: YES. If your student was accepted into the district on a one-year interdistrict transfer, you will need to apply for a new transfer the following year in order to stay enrolled in 4J.

Non-residents enrolled on a multi-year open enrollment transfer and remaining at same school: NO. If your student enrolled in a 4J school in 2018 or earlier on an “open enrollment” transfer, the transfer will remain valid until the student moves out of the school district’s boundaries. Students will need to apply for school selection when changing school level from elementary to middle or middle to high school.

 

What does the lottery determine? 

The lottery does not determine whether there is a space for your student at a school. The lottery determines the order in which any available spaces are offered to students and the remaining students are placed on the school’s waiting list.

How will families be notified of lottery results?  

Parents are notified of lottery results by email shortly after the lottery is conducted. Parents also may check the results and their student’s status at any time by logging into their account at 4jschoolchoice.com.

How will families be notified that a space is available for their student?

If there is a space for your student to enroll at a school you requested, you will be notified by email. Note that this may be shortly after the lottery is conducted—or it may be days, weeks or months later. Parents also may check their student’s status at any time by logging into their account at 4jschoolchoice.com. If you receive an offer to enroll, it will direct you to log into your account dashboard at 4jschoolchoice.com to accept or decline the seat.

IMPORTANT: Parents must accept an offered seat within 5 business days of the email notification or the seat will be automatically declined and offered to the next student on the wait list.

Can a school choice transfer be revoked?

Yes, per school board policy, transfers can be revoked if:
  1. The student shows a pattern of violating school rules and regulations.
  2. The student does not meet specific written conditions of the request.
  3. The information on the request form is falsified,
  4. The student has irregular attendance or chronic tardiness.

Other questions? 

Please email schoolchoice@4j.lane.edu.