Voluntary Transfers

  • Voluntary transfers are requests from parents for their student(s) to attend a school other than their designated home attendance area school.  Transfer forms must be filled out for each student requesting a transfer.  Families are required to provide their own transportation for the student(s) when voluntarily transferring.  Employees of the Iowa City Community School District do not receive preference in the transfer process.

    Elementary Voluntary School Transfer Information 
    **Please note, new elementary voluntary transfer guidelines were approved by the Board on 10/23/18, with an additional edit approved by the Board on 12/11/18. The new guidelines go into effect for the 2019-20 school year and can be found here: https://www.iowacityschools.org/Page/17960.

    • Transfer requests are required at the elementary level on an annual basis.
    • Students do not have an automatic guarantee to keep the transfer beyond one year.
    • Transfers approved prior to the 2014-15 school year and for the 2014-15 school year do not require annual application.
    • On December 10, 2015 the No Child Left Behind Act was replaced with the Every Student Succeeds Act. School districts are no longer required to allow new SINA transfers. Students currently on a SINA transfer will be allowed to continue attending their designated school through 6th grade. 
    • Students who are provided transfers into an elementary school are NOT guaranteed any subsequent junior high transfers.
    • The deadline for submitting elementary transfer requests for the following school year is March 1st. 
    • Transfers will be processed as received after March 1st on a first come, first serve basis and approval will be based on space available.
    • Transfers will be granted based on class sizes remaining within board-established class size parameters.
    • A student who is not granted a voluntary transfer will be placed on a waiting list through mid-September. If classroom space becomes available, families will be contacted to determine if they wish to accept the space.
    • If a voluntary transfer is requested after the start of the school year due to a change of address, the transfer will only be valid through the remainder of the current school year.
    • The voluntary transfer form is not intended for families who are homeless. Please contact the ESC for services.   

    Secondary Voluntary School Transfer Information

    • Transfer requests will be required at both the junior high school and high school level. Students who have been provided elementary school level transfers are NOT guaranteed any subsequent junior high school transfers.
    • Students who have been provided junior high school level transfers are NOT guaranteed any subsequent high school transfers.
    • The deadline for submitting secondary transfer requests for the following school year is December 1st. Determinations will be made by January 15th.
    • Transfers will be processed as received after December 1st on a first come, first serve basis and approval will be based on programming, staffing, and space available.
    • Transfer requests will be granted based on the receiving school capacity not exceeding 95% and the sending school capacity not falling below 80%.
    • The voluntary transfer form is not intended for families who are homeless. Please contact the ESC for services.
    • Once a secondary voluntary transfer has been approved the parent does not need to apply each year for their student(s) to remain at that school. 
    • The procedures/guidelines for Varsity Athletics and Voluntary Transfer Requests do still apply. 
    • The School Board voted to close Liberty High for open enrollment in and voluntary transfers in for classes 2021 and younger with the exception of hardships at the November 14, 2017 board meeting.

    All Voluntary Transfers are Subject to Cancellation Upon:

    • Changes to boundaries/attendance areas
    • Changes to District transfer policies
    • Verification that transfer request information provided was inaccurate or incomplete
    • Failure of the student to maintain adequate attendance and/or behavior patterns
    • Change in student transportation needs

    Students Receiving Special Services

    • If a student in your family has been placed at a school that is not your designated home attendance area school due to Special Education, English Language Learner (ELL) programs, or for 504 Plan purposes, their siblings may also attend that placement school.  Once the placed student is no longer assigned to the attendance center for the above special services, all family members must return to their home school.
    • When a student receiving Special Education services or student receiving services under Section 504 transfers schools, the building principal/designee will call a meeting of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) team or 504 building level team, and, in consultation with parents, will review the student’s IEP or Section 504 Plan prior to enrollment at the beginning of a new school year or within 5 days of enrollment if the school year has already begun.