Procedures

Parents or guardians of a Des Moines resident student wishing to enroll in a school other than their address-assigned school within the District must make formal application between July 1 and March 1 the year prior to enrollment. Those enrolling in kindergarten have until September 1 to submit their application.

Parents must request a specific school but may list other acceptable choices.  Applications will be dated upon receipt and processing will begin at the end of March. Applications for kindergarten students will be processed in August after the final fall registration.

Applications for within district transfer will be approved in the following order:

1. Within district and out of district siblings of current students who will be concurrently enrolled (if space is available).

2. Current IB students transitioning to the next level, following the feeder patterns listed below (if space is available):

  • Hubbell-Merrill-Roosevelt
  • Park Avenue-Brody-Lincoln
  • Stowe-Goodrell-East
  • Walnut Street-Meredith-Hoover

3. Students of current DMPS employees (if space is available).

4. Applicants who meet the district’s diversity plan requirements and/or whose special programming needs (ELL or SPED) can be accommodated at the building requested will be approved in the order in which they were received (if space is available).

5. Applicants who do not meet the district’s diversity plan will be approved in the order in which they were received (if space is available).

To download a copy of the DMPS Diversity Plan, please click here.

Special note: the approval of one family member into a school does not guarantee that other or future siblings will be similarly approved. All applications are made on an individual basis and are determined by existing circumstances at the time the application is received.

Appeal Process for Within-District Transfers

When a within-district transfer request is denied, parents may appeal that decision. Appeals must be made within two weeks of the date of denial. Administration will review each case to determine whether a hardship exists.  The following criteria will be utilized for appeal reviews for within district transfers.  Applicants must provide supporting documentation for their appeal.  Space must be available.  If space is unavailable, accommodations could be made for placement in another school that has space.

  • Pervasive and consistent bullying or harassment
  • Health issues that can’t be accommodated at neighborhood school
  • 1.5-mile walking distance (using mileage data from Transportation computer software)
  • Childcare responsibilities
  • Continuation at School – student is currently enrolled at school but has moved out of attendance area

* Applicants must be in good standing for attendance and behavior in order to be approved.

** Some conditions (hardship) for approving an appeal may not be listed as criteria.  Based on a unique circumstance, a determination for an approval could be made on an individual basis after considering all of the relevant information and documentation.

Please visit the Information & Forms page in the menu to the right for the within district transfer application.

Hardships and Late Applications

Hardships and late applications may be given special consideration. Exceptions may include, but are not limited to, a change in a child’s parents’ marital status, a change in the family’s residence, a guardianship proceeding, adoption, or participation in a substance abuse or mental health treatment program.