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School Transfers

Student attendance variances

The school a student attends is determined by each student's residential address. If a student wishes to attend a school that does not serve the area of his/her residence, parents must request a variance. The variance is called a "Choice Transfer." Choice Transfers are approved or denied based on a number of reasons, including but not limited to, whether or not there is enough space for additional students.

Choice Transfers are granted for one full school year, or until the end of the current school year. Families wishing to remain at their non-residential school must remember to apply for a variance each year.

The Board of Directors adopted a policy that establishes capacities for each of our buildings. Several of our schools are over capacity and growth is projected to continue.

For the 2023-24 school year, all schools have been determined to be at capacity:

  • Glenwood Elementary School
  • Highland Elementary School
  • Hillcrest Elementary School
  • Mt. Pilchuck Elementary School
  • Skyline Elementary School
  • Stevens Creek Elementary School
  • Sunnycrest Elementary School
  • North Lake Middle School
  • Lake Stevens Middle School
  • Cavelero Mid High School
  • Lake Stevens High School
  • Early Learning Center

Families still need to annually apply for a Choice Transfer in subsequent school years.

For questions, or more information, please contact Kristi Morrow, Choice Transfer Coordinator, at 425-335-1669 or by email at:

Types of variances

In-District Transfer Request Form (PDF): Lake Stevens School to Lake Stevens School
If you live within the boundaries of one Lake Stevens school, but want your student to attend a different Lake Stevens school, please complete an In-District Transfer Request Application. Area Transfer Request forms are available at any Lake Stevens School or the receptionist located at the Educational Service Center. Please return the completed form to the Educational Service Center for a decision. Full details of procedures for acceptance and denial are listed in School Board Policy 5011. Appeals may be directed to the Superintendent or designee.

Choice Transfer RequestOther school district to Lake Stevens School
If you live outside of the Lake Stevens School District boundaries and want to attend a Lake Stevens school, you can apply for a Choice Transfer Request via this link. Full details of procedures for acceptance and denial are listed in School Board Policy 5020 and under WAC 392-137-195.

Additional information needed for consideration:

  • Copy of Attendance Record (previous/current year)
  • Copy of Discipline Report
  • Copy of IEP/504 (If applicable)

Non-Resident Variance Release: Lake Stevens School to another school district
If you live within the Lake Stevens School District boundaries and want your student to attend a school in another district, you must fill out a Choice Transfer Request form via this link.

General information

Falsification of an address, residence or conditions of living arrangements to obtain a school assignment may be cause for withdrawal of the student from that school. Written notice of intent to withdraw the student will be forwarded to the parent/guardian. Such falsification may also cause forfeiture of any future transfer rights through the highest-grade level of that school.

Students living with someone other than their parent/legal guardian must provide a legal guardianship agreement. Additional verification may be requested, e.g. letter describing the living arrangement from the family with whom the student resides. In the case of students placed in temporary homes on the advice or direction of a public agency, e.g., Juvenile Court, Department of Social & Health Services, written evidence provided by an agency shall be considered sufficient to demonstrate necessity of a residential change and/or school assignment.

If an eligible student is homeless per the Federal McKinney-Vento Act, the district shall not require proof of residency or any other information regarding an address and shall enroll the student at the request of the student or parent/guardian. Students enrolled in a district program for children without a legal residence may continue in that school until the end of the academic year.

Variances may be approved or denied based on:

  • Space or program availability and/or class size
  • Student's disciplinary records
  • Student's attendance patterns

Renewing Variances
Families must apply for a variance EVERY year that they want their student to attend a school that is not their neighborhood school. Applications received after June 30 and prior to August 31 will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Students would then be expected to enroll in their neighborhood school.

In all cases where the District approves a variance, the student or the student's parent(s) shall be solely responsible for transportation to and from school.

Applications will be reviewed in the order they are received beginning May 15. The District shall provide all applicants with written notification of the approval or denial of the application within 45 days of receipt.

Right to Appeal
Per RCW 28A.225.230(3) and WAC 392-137-190, parents/guardians have the right to appeal to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to determine if the District complied with state statute, regulations, district policy and procedures and if they were applied fairly and equitably. Additional information on Student Transfer Appeals may be found at the OSPI Student Transfers page.