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Attend a Different School in the District
Apply to a Choice school or explore enrolling at another district school

Lake Washington School District offers two options to parents who are looking for alternatives to the assigned neighborhood school. One option is to investigate Choice Schools, which are open to residents from all over the district. Each choice school has its own application process. The Choice School section has more information on applying to choice schools, as well as information on each school. Parents must provide transportation for their student who attends a Choice School.

Variance within Lake Washington School District
Another option is to receive an approved variance to another school in the Lake Washington School District, known as an In-District Variance. You can apply for an In-District Variance to any school within the district that has been determined to be "Open." Please note that at the Elementary Level, though a school may be identified as "Open," there may be grade levels within the school that are at enrollment capacity and those grade levels may be "Closed." Applications to these schools are not guaranteed acceptance. Refer to the "Open and Closed Schools" charts below to determine whether a school you may be interested in is available for an In-District Variance request.

Variances are limited
Due to increasing enrollment, many schools are closed to In-District Variances. Open schools may have limited space available. In-District Variances are accepted on a space available basis. The district has developed a priority process for accepting In-District Variances when an open school / grade level receives more requests than the specific number of available spaces at that school. In applying that process,

  • First priority is given to students with a concurrently enrolled sibling at the requested school. Should requests exceed spaces available, a lottery will be conducted.
  • Should space remain, next priority is given to students who have attended a school which feeds into the requested school. (For example, students may attend a "split-feeder," a district program, or were on a previously-approved variance.)
  • Should requests exceed spaces available, a lottery will be conducted.
  • Should spaces remain, next priority is given to remaining variance requests.
  • Should requests that remain exceed spaces available, a lottery will be conducted.

Open Enrollment
You can apply for an In-District Variance at any time, but In-District Variance requests initiated during the Open Enrollment period will ensure that you learn earlier whether your In-District Variance is approved. The open enrollment period for the 2014-15 school year will be from February 3 to 28, 2014.

Parents are required to provide transportation for their student who attends a school through an In-District Variance. Student(s) must continue to meet his / her school's attendance expectations. For this information, please refer to your school's Student Handbook.

Open Enrollment Period: February 3, 2014 - February 28, 2014

2014-15 Elementary Schools
Alcott Closed K-5
Audubon

Closed K-5

Bell Open
Blackwell Open
Carson Open
Dickinson Closed K-5
Einstein Closed K-5
Franklin Closed K-5
Frost Closed K-5
Juanita Closed K-5
Keller Closed K-5
Kirk Closed K-5
Lakeview Closed K-5
Mann Closed K-5
McAuliffe Open
Mead Closed K-5
Muir Closed K-5
Redmond Closed K-5
Rockwell Closed K-5
Rosa Parks Closed K-5
Rose Hill Open
Rush Closed K-5
Sandburg Closed K-5
Smith Open
Thoreau Open
Twain Closed K-5
Wilder Closed K-5
   
2014-15 Secondary Schools
Evergreen Middle School Closed
Finn Hill Middle School Open
Inglewood Middle School Closed
Kamiakin Middle School Open
Kirkland Middle School Closed
Redmond Middle School Closed
Rose Hill Middle School Open
   
*Eastlake High School Limited Variances
*Juanita High School Limited Variances
*Lake Washington High School Limited Variances
*Redmond High School Limited Variances
​* = Closed to Inter-District Transfer Requests

Note: Unless otherwise noted, Closed means closed to all new In-District Variance Requests and Inter-District Transfers.

How to apply for an In-District variance:
Transferring to or from LWSD? See Between District Transfers

  • Go to your current neighborhood school and ask the school's office to provide you with an In-District Variance Request Form.
  • Fill out the In-District Variance Request Form completely and turn it in to the neighborhood school to which your student is currently assigned.
  • The principal or his / her designee will sign the form and forward it to the requested school, one school request per form.
  • You may not request a school that has been identified with a "closed" designation. This type of request will not be forwarded to those identified "closed" schools.
  • The requested school will notify you whether or not your variance has been approved. Typically, elementary schools notify parents within the May / June time frame, though kindergarten variances may not have decisions communicated until August. Secondary schools are generally able to notify parents within the school registration window / March, provided the request was made within the identified Open Enrollment time period.

When to apply:

  • The LWSD Open Enrollment period takes place from February 3 to 28, 2014. Apply any time during that period: no priority to your request is given based on the date of application so long as it falls within those dates.
  • Applications made during open enrollment period will be given first consideration. Decisions will be made on a school-by-school basis, depending on space availability. 
  • Applications made after the Open Enrollment period will still be considered. However, due to space and staffing availability constraints, parents may not find out if their In-District Variance has been approved until just before the new school year begins.

When to re-apply:

  • Once a student has been granted an In-District Variance between two LWSD schools, they do not need to reapply. They can continue attending that school.
  • Students going into 6th grade or 9th grade must file for new In-District Variance if they wish to attend an available school outside of their neighborhood school. That new In-District Variance may be granted if space is available.

Schools with no space available are closed
Before the Open Enrollment period, the district determines which schools will have room to accommodate In-District Variances and which will be closed. An elementary school may be open only for specific grade levels. Check this website or ask any school for a copy of the list.

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