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 to their student who attends a choice school.
Variance within Lake Washington School District
The other option is to receive an approved variance to another school in the Lake Washington School District. You can apply for a variance to any school within the district. Applications are not guaranteed acceptance. Whether your variance is approved or not depends primarily on whether there is room at the school to which you applied. Refer to the "Closed Schools" charts listed below to determine whether a school you may be interested in is available for a variance request.
Limits on Variances at High Schools
At the elementary and middle levels, schools are open or closed at each grade level. In the past, high schools have accepted all variance requests from students who live in the district. Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, each district high school will have a limit on the number of in-district variances they can accept.
The district has developed a process for awarding available variances when a high school receives more in-district variance requests than the specific number available at that school. The new process gives priority for variances first to students who will have a sibling concurrently enrolled at the high school. Second preference is given to students who attend a split feeder, i.e., a middle school that feeds into two high schools, and who wish to attend the other high school into which their middle school feeds. If there is still space available for in-district variances after these two preferences, a lottery will determine acceptance of any remaining applicants.
You can apply for a variance at any time but variance requests initiated during the Open Enrollment period will ensure that you learn earlier whether your variance is approved. The open enrollment period for the 2013-14 school year will be from February 1 to 28, 2013.
Parents are required to provide transportation for their student who attends a variance requested school and their student must continue to meet his/her school's attendance expectations. For this information, please refer to your school's Student Handbook.