There are now several school districts in Shelby County. If you don’t like the school you are zoned for you can apply for a Shelby County Schools Optional Program (open to all county families, details here) or apply for a transfer to another neighborhood school. Here are the upcoming dates and details on applying for a transfer (also called Open Enrollment) with Shelby County Schools, Germantown Municpal School District, Collierville Schools and Bartlett City Schools. Want more options? Check out Arlington Community Schools and Millington Municipal Schools:
Shelby County Schools
For neighborhood (aka in-district) schools you either live within the school zone (school zone locator) and register your child in August, or you live outside the zone and apply online via General Transfer (also known as Open Enrollment or Student Transfer) starting on Tuesday, February 16, 2016.
You do NOT need to re-apply each year to keep your child at a school they have transferred to via this process.
Priority is given to the following students (in this order):
- children whose parents work full-time at the school requested
- children with siblings at the school requested
- children who have been rezoned out of the school but are entering the school’s exit grade
- high school students who wish to take courses not offered at their current school
- all other Shelby County Schools students, based on when their application is submitted
- students outside of the Shelby County Schools area
Typically SCS shares information on schools with available space prior to the transfer process, but if I were you I wouldn’t trust it. The year I applied to get my son transferred for kindergarten the principal told me he had no idea where the published numbers came from as no one had asked him (my son got a spot). Unlike Optional schools, in-district schools do not have open houses. Call schools directly to set up a tour. For detailed information on the process please read Policy #6002 from the Shelby County School Board (last revised 3/26/13).
When the time comes to apply online you’ll need your child’s social security number (or ID number if their current school is using something besides their SSN) before you start. If your child is currently enrolled you can test their information online before the actual enrollment date. Some years parents have had issues with some browsers, so I recommend you have more than one installed on your PC, just in case.
It typically takes a l o n g time to hear if your child got a spot at a school. They may claim it will happen in April, or just after school is out, but don’t count on it. Expect to hear via U.S. Mail in June. I highly recommend parents also apply to an Optional School (info here) as well since, in the past, parents have been notified much earlier than in the General Transfer process.
Open Enrollment for the Germantown school district runs through February 5th. Anyone in Shelby County to can request a transfer, students outside the county must pay tuition (fee TBD). Go here.
Open Enrollment is February 22 – March 18, 2016. Go here. Open to any student residing in Tennessee. Residents living outside of Shelby County will be required to pay a tuition fee of $3,700 per school year.
The website has not yet been updated for the coming school year. Go here.
Best of luck to all of you in getting your child enrolled into a great school for next year. Just remember – it can be done. Try to stay calm and patient, and if you get frustrated pull out a calculator and think of all the money you’ll be saving by having your kids in a public school.