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In-District Variance Process
Transferring schools within Lake Washington School District
Parents/Guardians can apply to receive an approved variance for their student to enroll and attend a school other than their School Designated for the Geographic Attendance Area within Lake Washington School District (“District”). This transfer process is known as an In-District Variance. You can apply for an In-District Variance to any school within the District by filling out and submitting an In-District Variance Request “Form” at any school within the District. Directions for filling out and submitting the Form are provided below.
When making an In-District Variance Request, schools are designated by the District as either “Open” or “Closed” or “Limited” to such requests. An “Open” school designation means that the school is not at enrollment capacity and that it is therefore able to accept students from outside its designated geographic attendance area. Please visit Choice Transfers for out-of-district transfer information. Please note that even though a school may be designated as "Open," there may be grade levels within the school that are at enrollment capacity and unable to accept students from outside the school’s designated geographic attendance area. A “Closed” designation means the school is at enrollment capacity and unable to accept students from outside the school designated for the geographic attendance area. In-District Variance Requests made to “closed” schools will not be accepted. A “Limited” designation means the school is closed to out-of-district variances and has limited capacity for in-district variances.
Refer to the Open Schools List which is located on the District’s website to determine whether a school you may be interested in is available for an In-District Variance Request.
Acceptance of In-District Variances is limited
Due to increasing enrollment, many schools are closed to In-District Variance Requests. Open schools may have limited space available. In-District Variance Requests are accepted on a space available basis and on a priority basis.
The District has developed a priority process for consideration and acceptance of In-District Variance Requests when an open school/grade level receives more In-District Variance Requests, during the Open Enrollment period, than the specific number of available spaces at that school. The priority process is as follows:
- First priority is given to students with a concurrently enrolled sibling at the requested open school. Should In-District Variance 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 In-District Variance Request.);
- Should In-District Variance Requests exceed spaces available, a lottery will be conducted;
- Should spaces remain, next priority is given to the remaining In-District Variance Requests; and
- Should In-District Variance Requests that remain exceed spaces available, a lottery will be conducted.
You can apply for an In-District Variance at any time for the next school year, but In-District Variance Requests initiated during the Open Enrollment period are given priority and may allow you to learn earlier whether your In-District Variance Request is approved. If the In-District Variance Request is submitted during the designated Open Enrollment Period, no priority to the request is given based on the date the In-District Variance Request is received by the District. In-District Variance Request is received after the expiration of the Open Enrollment Period will be considered on a first come, first serve basis.
If the In-District Variance request is approved, parents/guardians are required to provide transportation for their student(s) to the new transfer school. Student(s) must continue to meet his/her new school's attendance and behavior expectations. For this information, please refer to your new transfer school's Student Handbook.
Schools with no space available are closed to In-District Variances
Before the Open Enrollment period, starts the District determines which schools will have room to accommodate In-District Variances and which will be limited or closed. An “Open” or “Limited” school may be open only for specific grade levels. Check the Open Schools List on the District’s website.