Open Enrollment Overview

Open Enrollment Overview

What is Open Enrollment?

Open enrollment has been in effect in Akron Public Schools since 1993. Originally, it was designed to allow Akron Public Schools students to open enroll into surrounding schools other than their assigned home school and vice versa. Home school assignments are determined by the address of the student's parent(s) or legal guardian(s). Each year, approximately 3,000 open enrollment applications are received.

The open enrollment department has numerous responsibilities associated with the accountability of students involving the loss or gain of state or federal funding. Following is a brief synopsis of some of the essential duties and responsibilities:
  • collection and compilation of demographic data which affects funding and reports as well as coordination of space utilization
  • accountability of all intra-district and inter-district open enrollment students, charter school students, and court-placed students entering and leaving Akron Public Schools
  • school-wide projections by grade levels for future years
  • submission of state or federal reports requested by various agencies that allocate funding for Impact Aide, and liaison with Information Management Department for mandates from the Ohio Department of Education including EMIS (Education Management Information System)
Space Requirements

Students cannot transfer if the school or the grade level they are applying to is filled to capacity. A lottery system will be used to fill space in buildings or grades with limited space. If there are space limitations, siblings of students already attending the school where a student wishes to transfer will have a preference. Akron Public Schools students will have preference over non-resident students. Students currently enrolled in a school in the same cluster to which they are applying will also have preference.

Students approved to attend a school through open enrollment remain in the cluster of the school they are currently attending. There is no need to reapply when moving from elementary school to middle school or middle school to high school.

Private, parochial, charter and home-schooled students must apply for open enrollment to enter or exit Akron Public Schools outside of their public school home district.

Students currently open enrolled may return to their home school at the beginning of the new school year by re-enrolling at their home school.

Change of Address for Open Enrollment

Students who move out of the Akron school district during the school year must apply for open enrollment in order to remain in Akron Public Schools. This must be done as soon as school officials are made aware of the change of address. The parent/guardian must go to the school office with proof of their new address and fill out an open enrollment application. The recently dated proof of residency and application will be forwarded to the Open Enrollment Office.  Attendance and discipline may have an impact on approval.
  • Inter-district open enrollment can be an ongoing process throughout the school year.
  • Inter-district students open enrolled at an Akron school, and who move into the Akron Public Schools district, must complete a CLT form at their current school if their new home address is not within that school's attendance district where they are attending through open enrollment.
Returning to an Akron Public School

An inter-district open enrollment student who wishes to return to APS must show proof of address and re-enroll in his/her home school district. The open enrollment director must be informed of the return. Intra-district open enrollment assignments are for the entire school year. A student may return to his/her home school only after receiving permission from both the sending and receiving school principals if there is an unusual situation.

Notification of Approval or Denial

High School/Specialty School applicants will be notified during the month of January as to acceptance/denial. K-8 applicants will be notified in the month of March. Information regarding open enrollment status will not be given over the telephone.

Once approved, the parent/guardian needs to contact the school for any additional enrollment requirements.

High School Athletic Eligibility

In accordance with the Ohio High School Athletic Associations (OHSAA) bylaw 4-7-3, students can make a choice of a school when advancing from eighth grade to ninth grade. However, if a student transfers after establishing eligibility during the ninth-grade year, the student may be ineligible for the season of the participating sport. Exceptions to this rule are as follows:
  • If the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) change residence from one district to another, the student may be eligible for athletics.
  • Eighth-grade students enrolling in high school, either through residency or open enrollment, are eligible for athletics providing they meet grade and attendance requirements.
Career College Academies of Akron

Students who wish to attend another high school outside of their assigned high school for a career education program must apply for open enrollment. Applicants will be screened through the College and Career Academies of Akron office. Academy Pathways are available for students in grades 10-12. Exception: Ninth-Grade students are included in the academy pathways at Buchtel CLC and East CLC as they are a 7th-12th-grade building.


Students whose open enrollment transfers are approved will not be transported to their new school except as designated in the Administrative Regulations.* High school students will receive free Akron Metro bus passes.

Special Education Students

Special education students (students with an Individualized Education Plan) will be approved or denied based on space availability and with a consultation with the special education office in Akron Public Schools.

Glossary of Terms
  • Home school: the school to which a student is assigned based on the home address of his/her parent(s) or guardian(s)
  • Home district: the school district to which a student is assigned based on the home address of his/her parent(s) or guardian(s)
  • Intra-district open enrollment: a transfer from one Akron public school to another
  • Inter-district open enrollment: a transfer from one school district to another
  • Open enrollment: a program that allows students to open enroll into another school, other than their assigned home school
*The Open Enrollment Bylaws and Policy for inter-district and intra-district are 5113 and 5113.01 respectively. The Administrative Regulations are established in conjunction with the policy. The policy is on the Akron Public Schools website.

The Akron Board of Education does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, creed or ancestry, age, gender, marital status, or disability in employment or in its educational program and activities.
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