Seattle Public Schools


Non-Resident Students

Enrolling Non-resident Students

Seattle Public Schools welcome non-resident students to enroll with us. Non-resident students are those who don’t live within the Seattle School district boundaries. However, there are some limits, based on school board policy, on whether we can accept a student from another school district.

Non-residents may attend our schools as long as:

  • The anticipated needs of resident students are met first
  • Acceptance of the non-resident student does not create a financial hardship for SPS
  • The non-resident student’s attendance and disciplinary records meet appropriate standards, which are set by the school board.

Non-resident student assignments are for one academic year only. You must make a new application each academic year to request continued enrollment in Seattle Public Schools.

School Placement

Non-resident students be assigned only to schools and programs when space is available for students who live outside of the school’s attendance area. Space must also be available for your grade level and program needs. Any schools/grades/programs with a waitlist of resident students cannot accept any non-resident students.

  • School assignments based on an address within the school district are not automatically continued if the student becomes a non-resident. Resident students who move out of the SPS boundary must submit the Choice Transfer Request form within 10 days to maintain the assignment at SPS.
  • Non-resident students may not be placed on waitlists.

Application Process and Timeline

State law requires that non-resident students supply a Choice Transfer Request from the district of residence each year to apply for non-resident enrollment. The transfer request for non-residents who wish to attend SPS must be submitted by the deadlines specified each year. Applications are considered on a first come/first served basis.

Enrollment Timeline for 2024-25 School Year

Non-resident enrollment timeline: June 1 – August 31

Non-resident SPS employees: Non-resident full-time or certificated SPS employees’ children may participate in the Open Enrollment School Choice process to request their parent’s school worksite only. Non-resident employees’ children requesting schools outside of their parent’s school worksite must follow the general non-resident enrollment timeline: June 1 through August 31.

Application Process

  • Applications will be accepted beginning June 1 for the following school year. Applications received before June 1 will not be reviewed until June 1.
  • Applications may take up to four weeks to process. It is our goal that applications received by the August 31 deadline will receive a response before the first day of school – depending on when the application was received and submitted.
  • Applicants must submit all required documents listed below and the Choice Transfer Request form by the deadline for further review.

Required Documents

Policy and Appeal Information

District policy governs whether or not a non-resident student may attend Seattle Public Schools. Factors taken into consideration include space availability; program capacity and/or cost; history of suspensions or expulsions; and concerns with attendance or behavior.

If the non-resident application is denied, the parent/guardian may appeal to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in Olympia at 360-725-6266, and request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge with the Washington State Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). For more information, please visit OSPI’s Non-Resident Transfer Webpage.

Parents should be sure to have their child enrolled in a school while they are waiting to hear the outcome of their appeal

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