Open Enrollment Procedures

Parents or guardians wishing to enroll in a district other than the district in which they reside 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 may request a specific attendance center (school) but the building assignment is at the discretion of the receiving district.

Applications received prior to March 1 will be reviewed in early April.  Applications submitted after March 1 will be reviewed with each board meeting beginning in May.

School assignments for students requesting Des Moines Public Schools who do not have a sibling concurrently enrolled in DMPS will be considered after all within district transfers have been processed.  If space is available, they will be approved in the order in which the application was received.

Decisions for students requesting to leave the Des Moines Public Schools will be processed in accordance to the District’s state approved diversity plan.

Please visit the Information & Forms page in the menu to the right for the open enrollment application.

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

School Assignment Appeal Procedures for Open Enrollment

When a parent disagrees with an open enrollment assignment, parents may appeal that decision. Appeals must be made within two weeks of the date of the assignment. Administration will review each case to determine whether a hardship exist

The following criteria will be utilized for assignment appeal reviews for open enrollment.  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 the assigned school

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.