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.

    The Board of Directors adopted a policy that establishes acceptance or rejection of an application for nonresident admission based upon grade level capacity. 

    For the 2024-25 school year, the following program/grade levels have been determined to be at capacity:

    • Grade Levels 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10
    • Specialized Programs
    • Edgenuity

    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.

    OSPI- Choice Transfer Portal Website

    For questions or assistance, please contact Tammy Haugstad,
    Choice Transfer Coordinator at 360-652-4500

    Types of Variances

    In-District Transfer Request Form (PDF): (Lakewood School to Lakewood School)
    If you live within the boundaries of one Lakewood school, but want your student to attend a different Lakewood school, please complete an In-District Transfer Request Application. Transfer Request forms are available at any Lakewood School or the receptionist located at the District Office. Please return the completed form to the District Office for a decision. Full details of procedures for acceptance and denial are listed in School Board Policy 3131

    Non-Resident Variance (Another school district to a Lakewood School)
    If you live outside Lakewood School District boundaries and want to attend a Lakewood school, you can fill out a Choice Transfer Request form via this link. Full details of procedures for acceptance and denial are listed in School Board Policy 3141

    Non-Resident Variance Release (Lakewood School District to another school district)
    If you live in the Lakewood 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 the 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

    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 1 will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Students would then be expected to enroll in their neighborhood school. If no Choice Transfer has been submitted by August 1 student will be withdrawn.

    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.

    The District shall provide all applicants with written notification (mail or email) of the approval or denial of the application.