How to Switch School Districts Without Moving: Schooling Options
As a parent, it can be frustrating to feel trapped in a school district in which you or your child are unhappy or underserved. Many parents even go so far as to explore the option of moving to find a more suitable place for their child. Others feel that their options are limited because of their inability to relocate.
There are options for parents wanting their child to attend a school outside of their zoned district, and these options have increased significantly in the last few years. Learn how to get into a school outside your district without relocating.
Can I Enroll My Child in Another School District?
Often parents find themselves asking “Can my child go to a school outside of our district?” The answer to that question is often, “It depends.” The ability to enroll your student in a school in another district can vary from state to state or even district to district.
Some schools in each area are designated as schools of choice, meaning that they reserve spots in their programs for students from outside of their zoned area. These schools may be charter schools, magnet schools or alternative school programs and can offer a wide variety of options for you and your child. The application and enrollment process at each school of choice varies from a simple paper application to a lottery selection for eligible students.
Check in your area to see if any schools such as the Rhodes School for the Performing Arts are available for enrollment. Each school has different enrollment procedures. Click here to begin the enrollment process for Rhodes School.
Here are some of the available options for parents who want to place their child in another school district.
Charter schools are public schools that serve the student population of a wide area and are not limited to traditional zoning that applies to many traditional public schools. They can often cross over district lines and admit students from many areas who would have attended a wide variety of schools otherwise.
Charter schools generally have a mission or “charter” that guides their vision and direction. These schools can offer a variety of programs in areas that may not traditionally be served by the neighborhood schools.
One of the advantages of charter schools is that, unlike private schools, students cannot be required to pay tuition to attend. This makes charter schools a great alternative for parents looking to move their student from their neighborhood school. They are also held to many of the same testing standards that traditional public schools are held to and may not discriminate in the acceptance of students to their programs.
Rhodes School for the Performing Arts is a charter school with four locations in the Houston metropolitan area.
Magnet schools are a part of the public school district in which you live. They accept students through an application or lottery process, though they may be limited to the students that are traditionally served by a local school district. However, some magnet schools are able to accept students from a wider geographic area and serve as a good alternative for parents who are looking to get their child out of their zoned school. Each district is different so a parents must inquire with their local school.
Like charter schools, magnet schools may not charge tuition to attend. They also may not discriminate in their enrollment policies and must be secular institutions. However, a distinction between magnet schools vs. charter schools is that a magnet school operates on district standards while a charter operates according to their charter. Magnet schools offer a great school of choice option for students looking to attend a school outside of their zone.
Rhodes School for the Performing Arts is proud to have received the unusual designation of both charter and magnet, thanks to our unique performing arts program.
Alternative schools are programs that offer nontraditional programs, like charter and magnet programs and they accept students from outside their zones. They generally have a relatively small class size and may offer various curricula.
Alternative schools generally encompass a wider variety of schools and may include programs for special education or students who have had behavioral issues at their home schools. It is important to explore exactly what types of programs are classified as ‘alternative’ in your area.
Most students’ main option for education is to attend their neighborhood school. This is typically the default if you are unaware of your options for attending out-of-district school.
Some public schools are deemed as a school of choice, meaning that they hold spots open for students who are not traditionally zoned in the geographic school district that the school would normally serve.
Here at the Rhodes School for the Performing Arts, we are proud to be a school of choice, serving students throughout the Houston metropolitan area. Visit our website to learn more about our performing arts school in Houston today.
Private Schools and Residential Schools
Private and residential schools offer programs that are not governed by the local school districts. Therefore, they may pull students regardless of their geographic location. In fact, students in residential programs may come from hundreds of miles away and board at the location of their school.
While these programs are a good fit for some, they can be expensive and financial aid can be hard to secure. The cost is a problem for many families, and, unlike charter or magnet schools, these schools can have various requirements for admission that may preclude students from various religious backgrounds or with various learning disabilities from attending.
Rhodes School for the Performing Arts
Rhodes School is a charter school for the performing arts located in Houston, TX. We are proud to also be the first school in our area to be both a magnet school and a charter school. We are a tuition-free school of choice, and Rhodes School accepts students regardless of their zoned school district.
Learn more about admission to Rhodes School for the Performing Arts today!