All parents want their children to attend the best school possible, and sometimes it can take a few extra steps to get your child into that school.

The process of choice or open enrollment can be confusing and complex at times, with deadlines that must be met and important factors to consider.

Watch this short video featuring Shannon Fitzgerald, director of school choice for Denver Public Schools, as she discusses some important information as well as some easy short tips to help parents with the process of choice enrollment. While the tips are specific to Denver, there is some general information here as well that could help parents anywhere in Colorado who are considering open enrollment. However, make sure to get deadlines and specific requirements from your home district or the district you’re trying to open enroll into.

Here are some quick tips for choice enrollment:

  • Make sure to visit a few schools that are of interest to you and your child.
  • Pair an appropriate school that fits and meets the needs of your child.
  • For the best chance of securing a seat for your child in another school, completed enrollment forms for the first year need to be returned in late January prior to the end of first round choice.
  • If your child isn’t accepted in the first round, you can apply for second round choice, with forms to be completed in August.
  • Deadlines for magnet schools (schools that emphasize a particular style of learning or student need such as bilingual, Montessori, or International Baccalaureate) are usually earlier than regular choice. Check with the particular school.
  • Transportation to another neighborhood is not provided through the choice process, transportation to magnet schools is provided in most cases.

Questions to consider when contemplating open enrollment:

  • Does your child have a specific talent or interest?
  • Is your child gifted, or doe he/she need some extra help and attention?
  • How does your child learn best (highly structured environment, hands on learning, etc.)?
  • What are your daycare needs?
  • Is transportation available to your school of choice or can you provide it?

What you’ll need to register for open enrollment:

  • Verification of child’s date of birth (birth certificate or other documentation).
  • Your child’s immunization records.
  • Proof of your home address (something mailed to your address, such as a utility bill or a copy of a lease).
  • Name and address of your child’s previous school (if you are transferring from another school district) so that your child’s academic records may be obtained.

(Source: Denver Public Schools)

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