School of Choice/Open Enrollment
All students in the Thompson School District are assigned to attend a specific school based on the geographical area of their residence. However, the Board of Education recognizes that students may benefit from having a choice of schools to attend within the district that is not limited by the boundaries of attendance. Students may be allowed to attend any school or participate in the program of their choice on a space-available, first-come, first-served- basis provided they meet the district's guidelines, are eligible for enrollment, and follow the approval process established by the Board of Education.
How do parents/guardians participate in the school of choice/open enrollment program?
Parents/guardians wishing to have their student attend a school outside of their assigned attendance area must go through an application process. Applications are available at all Thompson schools and at the reception desk of the Thompson School District Administration Building, 800 S. Taft Avenue, or here, by clicking on the application form link.
When may applications be submitted?
Elementary, Middle, and High schools – The annual application window for school of choice/open enrollment is the Monday following Thanksgiving break to the last school day prior to winter break.
Where do parents/guardians send the completed application?
Applicants may apply for enrollment in any school with appropriate grade levels and programs and must submit their application directly to their school of choice. The school will stamp completed applications with the official time and date of receipt, and a copy shall be given to the parents/guardian.
Who is responsible for the transportation of students to and from their choice school?
Students who are accepted to attend a school outside of their assigned attendance area are responsible for their own transportation to and from the school.
How long is the school of choice/open enrollment approval valid?
Students accepted by a school of choice will attend that school for the duration of the grades served by the school. For example, if a student attends a school of choice at the elementary level, the approval is valid through the end of grade five. After leaving the elementary or middle level, a student must apply for a school of choice at the next level. If a student does not apply, the student's placement automatically reverts to their attendance area school. The district reserves the right to rescind and/or amend any or all choice enrollments, including reassigning choice-enrolled students to their attendance area school if it determines that there is overcrowding of facilities; the choice school discontinues a particular program or cannot continue to meet the special needs of a student; the student no longer participates in the program that caused the transfer request to be made in the first place; or for other reasons authorized by law and considered by the district to be in the best interest of the student and/or the school.
Will school of choice/open enrollment affect a student’s athletic eligibility?
Students' athletic eligibility status is determined in accordance with the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) rules. For specific information, contact your athletic director or principal at the high school.
How does Thompson School District determine if schools are open for school of choice/open enrollment?
By December 1 of each year, the district will determine the specific schools open to school of choice/open enrollment. A list of the schools will be published on the district website and through other district publications. The decision to open a school for choice is based on space, sufficient staffing, and the adequacy of the facilities to accommodate additional students.
Do all siblings automatically attend the same school of choice?
No. A separate application must be submitted for each student and should be submitted to the requested school at the same time. When possible, however, priority will be given to sibling applications so that families may attend the same school.
How are applications for students with special needs handled?
Applications for school of choice/open enrollment for students with special needs will be approved in conjunction with the Department of Student Support Services. Applications will be approved if the requested school has adequate space, staff, facilities, and if the requested school can meet the requirements of the student's Individualized Education Plan.
Can out-of-district students be considered for school of choice/open enrollment?
Applications for school of choice/open enrollment from out-of-district students will be considered within each application period only after the requests of in-district students have been considered. In-district students have priority over out-of-district students.
If a student applies for school of choice/open enrollment, receives approval, and changes his/her mind, what happens?
Since the requested school of choice officially becomes the home school, students have to reapply to go to another school or back to their original attendance area school.
Is there an appeal process for denial or revocation of school of choice/open enrollment?
Yes. A student and/or parent/guardian may request review of the decision. If the request of a parent /guardian for school of choice/open enrollment is denied, the principal of the requested school shall notify the parent/guardian. At the time of denial, a written appeal may be filed with the appropriate level executive director for elementary/secondary education within ten (10) business days of the denial.
Where can I find out more about school of choice/open enrollment?
Contact any school principal, the director of elementary education, or the director of secondary education. Board Policy JFBA/JFBB, school of choice/open enrollment provides detailed information about process and procedures for school of choice/open enrollment.