Trinity County Office of Education
Sarah Supahan – County Superintendent of Schools
www.tcoek12.org • (530) 623-2861
Interdistrict Agreements and what it means to live in one district but attend school in another.
As our schools wrap up one school year and prepare for the next, we wanted to take a moment to explain interdistrict agreements and what it means to live in one district but attend school in another. We hope to give you an overview of some of the basic rules and steps involved in navigating this process.
Who Makes the Decision?
School districts and their governing boards are responsible for developing policies and procedures about interdistrict transfer agreements. Parents/guardians must first request a transfer from their district of residence to attend the district of proposed enrollment. The district of proposed enrollment may have rules around that agreement (i.e., it may include rules for behavior, attendance, etc.). School districts must make sure that interdistrict agreements are accepted or denied in a way that is unbiased, and not based on athletic or academic ability, physical condition, or English language proficiency (EC48301). Please remember that both the district you live in and the district you want to attend must sign the interdistrict agreement before it becomes valid. One or both districts may deny the request.
What Happens when a Request is Denied?
The district of proposed enrollment may deny an interdistrict agreement request for multiple reasons. This may include, but is not limited to, the grade level you are trying to enroll in is already full or the number of approved interdistrict transfers (as determined by the governing school board) is already at maximum levels. There are no guarantees that a request to attend will be approved. If your request is denied, the best approach may be to reach out to the district that denied the request. Having a face-to-face meeting or making a phone call is a good way to understand why the request was denied and to ensure that you are on a waiting list for the future. It also goes a long way to establish a positive working relationship with both the school your child is currently enrolled in as well as the school you wish them to attend.
If your request is denied, there are options for appeal. A school district that denies a request for interdistrict agreement must advise the parent of the right to appeal the denial to the County Board of Education within 30 calendar days from the date of the district’s final denial. There are limitations on the types of appeals the County Board of Education can hear (these limitations can be found in the Interdistrict Attendance Appeal Handbook at the Trinity County Office of Education).
Interdistrict agreements can be tricky to understand. There are resources available to you at your local school districts in print (upon request) as well online through their websites. While the County Board of Education cannot force a local school district to approve your request, they can hear an appeal in certain situations. Our best advice would be to make sure you talk with your local school first and share your concerns with them. The more we work together on these challenging issues, the more successful we will be.