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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 110566
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Our family moved to Johnston, Iowa from Pella, IA on June 1.

Customer Question

Our family moved to Johnston, Iowa from Pella, IA on June 1. We purchased our house specifically with our 10 year old son's education in mind. We registered him at the grade school servicing that area - Timber Ridge Elementary School - which happens to be 2 blocks away. We were told that the school had reached its legal limit of students and our son would have to be placed in another school close by. I asked if there were any open enrolled children at the school and the answer was yes. I then was told that the school did not want to move them around so they could maintain a stable learning environment for them. So, my child, who has Timber Ridge as his assigned school, has to be bumped around to another school while a student, not within the Timber Ridge school district is allowed to stay. Additionally, transportation must be provided by the school for him - I do not know what that will look like yet.
What are the options, if any, for our son to attend his district assigned Elementary school - Timber Ridge?
What is the schools legal requirement for providing my child with an education in the district-assigned school?
We are willing to accept this for this school year - 2015-2016 - since he is in 5th grade and next year he will go to the Middle School. Our concern is that this will again be the case in middle school.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Unfortunately, while there are school districts based on residence, if a school in a district reaches their legal capacity, they cannot be forced to accept any more students in that school. Your child's right is to be placed in another school, but you cannot force him into a school that is designated as at their capacity. All you can do for this school year is file an appeal to the school board and many times there are some students who do not end up enrolling from the open enrollments and if that is the case they may get him in, but next year since it is your son's district he would be placed in that school.
District students are given preference if enrolled in time since they are considered before open enrollment students are admitted. In this case you moved into the area late, June 1, which is the big issue. Next year, your child is already counted in district and gets preference for enrollment in his district school.

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