Questions & Answers

2019-2020 Open Enrollment Presentation

What is Open Enrollment?

Open Enrollment is Pasadena Unified School District's (PUSD) school of choice program that offers Altadena, Pasadena and Sierra Madre families the opportunity to attend schools outside of their neighborhood school's attendance boundaries. While every child living within PUSD boundaries is guaranteed placement at their school of residence, one campus may have a special program or focus that best meets the needs or interest of an individual student.

Each winter, the Open Enrollment process offers District families the opportunity to apply online for a school other than their school of residence. Enrollment is based on demographic data about the number of school-age children residing within a campus' attendance boundaries. Any seats not occupied by neighborhood students are made available. Space is limited. You may view the number of available spaces at each grade level for schools and programs online.

Whenever the number of applications exceeds the number of available seats at a particular school, a computer-generated random lottery process is utilized to fill the seats. Open Enrollment includes two random lotteries.

Once enrolled, a student does not have to annually reapply.

Who should apply for Open Enrollment and how do we apply?

  • All incoming Kindergarten-12th grade students currently residing in the Pasadena Unified School District are eligible to apply.
  • Complete a 2018-19 application online January 11-February 2, or April 2-6 for the second lottery.
  • Indicate up to five school/program choices in order of preference.
  • Submit the application from any computer with internet service; there is no preference for being first to apply and revisions may be made up until the deadline.
  • Families do not apply if planning to attend their school of residence.

What is my school of residence?

To find your school of residence, visit the School Locator. If you need assistance please call the Office of Enrollment, Permits & Student Records, 626-396-3639.

How do I select the ideal school for my child?

First, visit your school of residence, meet the staff and visit classrooms. Explore other PUSD schools and signature programs. All campuses offer rigorous academic programs aligned to the Common Core Standards, highly qualified teachers, and an array of enrichment opportunities. PUSD schools continue to demonstrate consistent academic achievement. Inquire about before and after-school care programs and also review school profiles online.

At what age is my child eligible to enroll in Kindergarten? Transitional Kindergarten?

Children must be five years old on or before September 1, 2018 to enroll in Kindergarten for the school year beginning August 2018. Children turning five years old between September 2 and December 2, 2018 may enroll in Transitional Kindergarten. Students eligible for Transitional Kindergarten begin on the first day of school in August 2018.

If my child is currently attending a PUSD Pre-School, Expanded Transitional Kindergarten, or Transitional Kindergarten, should we apply for Open Enrollment?

Yes, if the current school the child attends is not the student's school of residence. Enrollment at a PUSD Pre-School, Expanded Transitional, or Transitional Kindergarten class does not guarantee a student will be enrolled at that same school for Kindergarten. Families must go through the District's Open Enrollment process to have their student attend a school other than their home school for Kindergarten.

If I am interested in having my child attend a Magnet Grant school, do I apply?

Yes, to attend a Magnet Grant school that is not the school of residence, families apply. PUSD's three magnet elementary schools are Altadena, Jackson STEM Dual Language Magnet Academy and Washington Elementary STEM Magnet. The two middle school magnets are Eliot Arts Magnet and Washington STEAM Magnet Academy; Muir is an Early-College Magnet.

Note: If applying for any Dual Language Immersion Program you will need to select that specific language program when making your selections on the application.

Do I submit an application to enroll in a College & Career Academy?

Yes, to attend a College & Career Academy not offered at your school of residence. Fifty percent of the total number of open seats is available for students residing outside the attendance area of the requested Academy. APP Academy only accepts students entering 9th grade and has an eligibility requirement: the student must have a cumulative 2.0 GPA to apply.

Should I submit an Open Enrollment application to enroll my child in a Dual Language Immersion Program?

Yes. If your child will be starting Kindergarten, you will need to complete an application to attend one of PUSD's five Dual Language Immersion campuses: San Rafael Elementary-Spanish, Jackson STEM Dual Language Magnet Academy-Spanish, Jefferson Elementary-Spanish, Field Elementary-Mandarin Chinese, and Altadena-French. However, these schools offer "neighborhood preference" (see below) for students living within a defined area of the respective school.

Is there an assessment prior to attending a Dual Language Immersion Program?

There are no requirements to apply for PUSD's Spanish and Mandarin Chinese dual language programs, but a student who applies and is accepted as a Spanish- or Mandarin-dominant speaker will need to pass a language assessment verifying native-language knowledge and skills prior to final registration. If it's determined the child is not a Spanish or Mandarin dominant speaker, the child will not be able to register.

Do I submit an Open Enrollment application to enroll my child in Marshall Fundamental?

Marshall Fundamental is not a school of residence with attendance boundaries; therefore an Open Enrollment application must be submitted to attend Marshall Fundamental. This school offers "neighborhood preference." See below.

What is "Neighborhood Preference"?

Marshall Fundamental and the dual language campuses are subject to "neighborhood preference," which means 50 percent of the total number of open seats is set aside for students who live within defined zones around these schools. However, preference only applies when seats are available in the requested grade levels and applicants who live in the "neighborhood preference" zones list the school or program as their first choice on the application.

Applicants are selected through a random lottery. If not selected via "neighborhood preference" a student's application is re-entered into the general lottery.

Note: For College & Career Academies, 50 percent of open seats are available for students residing outside the school attendance area of the requested Academy.

If I have more than one child in my household, do I need to submit a separate application for each child?

Yes. Each student must submit a separate online application. All efforts will be made to ensure that families with twins or same-grade siblings are accepted into the same school provided the school/program choices are identical and in the same priority order on both applications.

Will my child be considered for admission if we submit an application after the February 2, 2018 application deadline?

Yes. You may submit an application during the late application-second lottery phase, April 2-6, provided your child did not register either during the Sibling & Priority phase of Open Enrollment or following the first lottery. The second lottery includes unfilled seats from the first lottery.

Is there a wait list following the lotteries?

Applicants not offered any placement in the second lottery will be put on a wait list for their first choice school. Projected openings unfilled following the second lottery registration period will be offered to applicants based on wait list standing until all projected seats are filled. No other wait lists will be maintained.

Do I need to submit an application if my child already attends a school other than our school of residence?

No. You need to submit an application only if:

  • You wish to apply for a different PUSD school in the 2018-19 school year, or,
  • You are enrolling your child in PUSD for the first time and wish to enroll in a school other than your school of residence.

What if my child is not accepted at any of the schools I have selected?

You will need to register at your neighborhood school, your school of residence.

What should I do to register my child at our school of residence?

To support the school's planning, families are encouraged to enroll by February 28, 2018. Simply go to your school of residence to register your child. If you are registering for the first time at a PUSD school, you will need to present the following:

  • Original birth certificate, passport, baptismal certificate, immigration certificate, bible record
  • Most recent immunization and vaccination record
  • Proof of residency in the form of a recent gas, electric or water bill in parent/guardian's name
  • Second proof of residency in the form of either a deed of trust, mortgage payment receipt, rental/lease agreement, property tax bill or closing escrow papers in parent/guardian's name
  • Transcripts from previous school, if applicable
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP), if applicable

If my application is accepted, how do I secure my child's seat at the school?

You complete the registration process to secure a seat at the school. See above for required registration documents. Once you receive notice your application has been selected, you must register your child at that school by the deadline included in the notification with proof of residency documents that correspond to the address entered on the application. If a child is not registered by the deadline, the spot will be forfeited. (PUSD considers US Mail not returned to the District as notification delivered.)

Can I change schools during the year?

No. PUSD does not grant mid-year transfers. If your child is currently attending a PUSD school other than your school of residence and you wish to change enrollment to the school of residence, you will need to wait until the end of the school year to un-enroll at which time you may present two proofs of residency (see above) at the Office of Enrollment, Permits & Student Records by July 27, 2018 to receive an intradistrict permit to the school of residence. No transfers will be permitted after July 27. The school a student is registered for on July 27 is the school of attendance for the academic year.

I am new to PUSD but missed Open Enrollment.

New resident families who missed Open Enrollment may request enrollment in a school that did not fill all projected seats at the close of Open Enrollment and has the space. This can vary by grade level within a school. This option closes the Friday before the first day of school.

What are the enrollment opportunities for students who do not reside within PUSD boundaries?

Non-resident families are welcome to explore PUSD signature programs: College & Career Academies in our high schools, Dual Language Immersion Programs in French, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese at elementary sites, the STEAM Magnet at Washington Middle School, Visual & Performing Arts at Eliot, the International Baccalaureate Programme at Willard Elementary School and Blair Middle and High School, and more. Non residents are invited to submit an online application for these signature programs April 2-6, 2018. For all other campuses, non-resident families submit interdistrict permit requests to attend a PUSD school beginning May 7.

Is any preference given to a student whose parent/guardian is employed by the Pasadena Unified School District?

Yes. District employees’ children are offered preference in the General-First Lottery phase. Current, full-time monthly employees may apply online with some restrictions. Unless the student is new to PUSD, the applicant must be entering a transition grade: ETK/TK, K, 1st, 6th or 9th. Space is limited to no more than 10% of the projected openings by grade at any school and placement is through a random lottery.

How can I get even more information?

Contact the Office of Enrollment, Permits & Student Records at 626-396-3639 or 351 S. Hudson Avenue, Room 210, Pasadena CA 91109.

Math Academy

A student eligible for Sibling & Priority Registration who was not selected for Math Academy via Open Enrollment-School Choice lottery or did not pass the final qualifying test, will be given written permission to complete priority registration in their respective IB or DLIP program, or at their sibling priority campus.

Timeline, Including Steps for Students Who Qualify for Sibling & Priority Registration

October 23, 2017 Parents/Guardians of PUSD 5th Graders Received Emailed Notification of Math Academy
Oct. 30-Nov. 3 Parents/Guardians of PUSD 5th Graders Received “Opt-In” Letter Delivered via School
Oct. 30-Nov. 17 Sibling & Priority Registration—Eligible, Transitioning Sibling, IB and Spanish DLIP 5th Graders Wanting to Apply for Math Academy Do Not Register at This Time
November 13-17 Conditional Pre-Assessment
December 4-8

Results of Pre-Assessment Mailed to Students

  • Strongly believe student is candidate
  • Will be strong candidate if improve in these areas
  • Do not believe student will qualify
December 11-18 Sibling & Priority Registration: Last chance to Pre-Enroll for 2018-19 if Student Will Not Be Applying for Math Academy
Jan. 11-Feb. 2, 2018 First Lottery—Apply online for the Math Academy at McKinley and/or Washington STEAM*
(Only Sierra Madre Elementary and Field Transition to Sierra Madre Middle’s Math Academy)
February 26 First Lottery Results Available
March 1-16 Registration for Students Selected via First Lottery
Week of Feb. 26 Final Test to Qualify for Math Academy
March 9 Results of Final Test for Math Academy
March 12-16 Qualifying Math Academy Students Register; Once Registered, Cannot Apply Again
Non-qualifying Students Receive Letter to Complete Sibling & Priority Registration
March 19-23 Spring Recess
April 2-6 Second Lottery—Qualifying Candidates Apply Online If Not Registered and There Are Openings
April 18 Second Lottery Results Available
April 19-27 Registration for Students Selected via Second Lottery
April 30, 2018 2018-19 Open Enrollment-School Choice Closes

*Families who postpone sibling/dual language/IB priority registration, then select choices other than Math Academy during this window will automatically forfeit their chance to do “late” priority registration.

2018-2019 Kindergarten & Transitional Kindergarten Information

Who can enroll in Kindergarten?

Children who turn five years old on or before September 1, 2018 are encouraged to enroll in Kindergarten. September 1st is the state and District's established cutoff date for Kindergarten.

Who can enroll in Transitional Kindergarten (TK)?

Transitional Kinder is for children with birthdates between 9/2/2013 and 12/2/2013.

Does PUSD make placement exceptions for children with birthdays close to the cutoff dates?

PUSD strongly supports the Kindergarten Readiness Act. State funding guidelines are based on adherence to prescribed birth dates. The District may consider enrolling a Transitional Kindergarten student in Kindergarten if the child turns five years old by September 20, 2013 and meets all requirements stated in BP/AR 5111.

What distinguishes Transitional Kindergarten from Kindergarten?

Transitional Kindergarten bridges the path between preschool and kindergarten and gives children an opportunity to learn and grow in an environment tailored to meet their academic and social needs. TK provides the gift of time that will help students build a strong foundation for success in elementary school.

After Transitional Kindergarten, do students advance to Kindergarten or First Grade?

Transitional Kindergarten means the student will be in a Kindergarten program for two years. Students attend the assigned school for one year; after that, they go to Kindergarten at their school of residence or the family applies via Open Enrollment for another PUSD campus or program.

What PUSD schools have Transitional Kindergarten?

Eight PUSD schools host Transitional Kindergarten: Franklin, Jefferson, Longfellow, Madison, McKinley, Norma Coombs, Washington and Willard. Children are assigned to one of the eight schools based on their home address.

Transitional Kindergarten Sites Assigned Schools
Franklin Elementary
527 W. Ventura St., Altadena 91001
Jefferson Elementary
1500 E. Villa St., Pasadena 91106
Longfellow Elementary
1065 E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena 91104
Madison Elementary
515 Ashtabula St., Pasadena 91104
McKinley Elementary
325 S. Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena 91101
Norma Coombs Elementary
2600 Paloma St., Pasadena 91001
Norma Coombs
Don Benito
Washington Elementary
1520 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena 91103
Willard Elementary
301 S. Madre St., Pasadena 91107
Sierra Madre

How long is the class day for Transitional Kindergarten?

Transitional Kindergarten, like Kindergarten, is a full school day.

Is transportation provided for Transitional Kindergarten?

There is only bus transportation for Kindergarten at some campuses.

Are there afterschool options for Transitional Kindergarten children?

Pasadena LEARNs provides afterschool programming for PUSD students in all grades, including Transitional Kindergarten. Registration occurs at the school site.

How do families register for Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten?

Families with children entering Kindergarten are invited to register children beginning March 2018 at their school of residence. To confirm the school of residence, see the School Locator. To register for Transitional Kindergarten, families check in at their school of residence prior to registering at their assigned campus.

What documents are needed to register in Pasadena Unified School District?

To register a child for the first time, the following documents need to be presented at the school office:

  • Child's birth certificate
  • Proof of current immunizations
  • Proof of rent/ownership within PUSD boundaries (deed of trust, property tax bill, lease agreement, rental payment receipt) in the parent/guardian name
  • Current utility bill in the parent/guardian name (the following are accepted: gas, electric or water)

For more information, please call the Office of Enrollment, Permits & Records (626) 396-3639 and visit the California Department of Education. If you are interested in Pre-Kindergarten programs, call or visit Burbank Early Education Center, 2046 N. Allen Ave., Altadena, CA (626) 396-5762.

Transportation Options

Pasadena Unified School District currently offers students bus transportation to some of its signature programs at elementary and middle schools. Please see the district's Schedule of Bus Stops (PDF). This schedule confirms route numbers, pick up/drop off sites, and times.