Deadline is February 1 for open enrollment

Deadline is February 1 for open enrollment Families who want to enroll a student in another public school under the state's open enrollment program have until Monday, Feb. 1 to submit an application to the school district they want to attend.

State law sets the Feb. 1 deadline to apply for open enrollment. The "choice" school district then has until March 1 to process the application and respond to the family within five days. Application forms may be picked up from any public school business office.

The 1999-2000 school term will be the second year that open enrollment has been an option for South Dakota students. "Over the past year, between 1 percent and 2 percent of South Dakota's students took advantage of open enrollment to attend another public school," said Ray Christensen, secretary of the South Dakota Department of Education and Cultural Affairs. "The process to apply for open enrollment is relatively simple, with a one-page form to fill out and submit by Feb. 1."

Applications are considered by using standards that each school district has adopted related to the capacity of their school buildings, classrooms or programs. Families who change residence after the open enrollment deadlines may still apply with the timelines waived. Applications also may be withdrawn any time before March 1.

Once approved, the open enrollment application obligates the student to attend the new school in the coming school year, unless both affected school boards agree in writing to allow the student to transfer back. Once enrolled in the new school, the student does not have to resubmit annual applications.

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