Open Enrollment Procedures

All Lauderdale County School students residing within the school zoning boundaries may request a transfer to attend a school other than the student’s zoned school if it is determined that space is available. If the amount of applications exceeds the number of seats available, selections will be made through a lottery process in the presence of parents. The district will publish a list of schools that are anticipated to have capacity two weeks prior to the open enrollment period for each year.

Academic ability, athletic ability and extra-curricular participation may not be used as admissions criteria for open enrollment transfer students. However, per state law, if a student’s open enrollment transfer is granted, the student must maintain satisfactory attendance (truancy), behavior, and effort to remain in the new school. A student who has been granted an open enrollment transfer shall be permitted to attend through their graduating year, provided the child continues to maintain acceptable behavior, academic performance, and attendance.

Open Enrollment Priority Considerations

Open Enrollment requests will be considered after the school district grants transfers/enrollment based on the priority status below; in the order that each application is received.

The order of priorities for the open enrollment transfer decision shall be:

1. Current and Zoned Students – Students who are zoned or currently enrolled in the requested school at the time the open enrollment process is initiated shall remain in their currently assigned school.

2. NEW Requests for Sibling Transfers – Students with siblings (this term is to describe a brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or foster child living in the same household) already at a school may request a transfer to the same or feeder school as their enrolled sibling. If a student is granted a transfer based on their siblings’ enrollment at a school, the students will be permitted to attend the school to which they were transferred through that particular school’s exit grade level. Siblings must be enrolled at the requested school year during the school year for which sibling attendance is requested.

3. Random Selection – Once the number of applications exceeds the number of seats available, a random selection process (Lottery) will be conducted. Students whose parents have completed and submitted an Open Enrollment Transfer Application will be randomly selected for transfer based upon availability within the specific school.

a. Siblings of students who are randomly selected during the open enrollment process will be given priority, if seats are available.

Open Enrollment Application Process

Only the student’s parent or legal guardian may apply for a transfer on behalf of the student. The open enrollment period will be communicated by the school district on an annual basis. Open Enrollment Applications must be picked up at the Lauderdale County Schools’ Department of Education at 321 Armory Ave, Ripley, TN. Applications will be available from February 26, 2024 – March 26, 2024. Once the Application is complete, it must be submitted to the Lauderdale County Department of Education by 4:00 p.m. on March 26, 2024. Applications that are not received by 4:00 p.m. on March 26, 2024, will not be accepted or considered. Applications must be returned in person. Mailed, emailed, or faxed applications will not be accepted. Filling out and completing an application does not guarantee admittance. Upon submitting the open enrollment application, the parent/guardian must provide a copy of his/her Photo ID. 

If an application is not submitted by the deadline, or if the student is not selected, he/she shall report to their base school (school that is located in the parent/guardian’s school zone or residence where the student is required to attend). The Open enrollment period for the 2024-2025 school year for all students will be February 26 – March 26.

Lottery Process

If the number of applications exceeds the number of open slots available at a given school, a lottery will be held for selection of students for the open enrollment process. The lottery determines the order in which available slots will be filled. At least one legal parent/guardian MUST be present at the lottery selection process in order for the application to be considered. ONE lottery drawing will be held for all schools whose total number of open enrollment applications exceeds the number of openings available. If necessary, this lottery will be held at the Ripley Elementary Gymnasium on April 11, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. Families will be notified in advance if the lottery drawing is necessary. Families will be notified in advance if a lottery drawing is necessary. 

General Information

1. Transportation – Transportation will not be provided by Lauderdale County Schools for students who are granted transfers through the open enrollment process. Transportation shall be the responsibility of the parents/guardians or students.

2. Available Capacity – All transfers are subject to limitations of available capacity. Determinations of capacity will take into consideration physical space available and the staffing level established by the school district.

3. Athletics – Students who participate in TSSAA governed sports or Middle School sanctioned sports and transfer to another school may lose athletic eligibility for one year. See TSSAA regulations.

4. Duration – Approved transfers through the open enrollment process are typically granted for the duration of time a student remains in the school district. Students who transfer out of the school district may not be allowed to return to the same school and must go through the open enrollment process again, unless the student’s parent/guardian resides in the appropriate school zone. Students who are granted transfers will be expected to maintain an appropriate academic, disciplinary and attendance record at the school in which they are granted to attend. If a student does not meet these expectations, the principal of the school may request that the transfer be revoked and the student be returned to the base school (school in which the student is zoned) as outlined in T.C.A - 49-2-128.