Out of Attendance Area (OAA) Enrollment

Out-of-Attendance Area FAQ

  • Due to the need to maintain pupil-teacher ratio (PTR) in accordance with school board policy, schools must follow established procedures that govern enrollment of students from out-of-attendance area. Below are some common questions parents ask. While each school tries to place children in classrooms as early as possible, some schools may need up to two weeks after the start of school to place students, due to class sizes at those schools. This is noted in School Board Policy and administrative regulation AR 1032.2. Elementary OAA space is very limited: most elementary schools will not have any space for out of area students.

    When is an Out-of-Attendance Area application required?

    An Out-of-Attendance Area (OAA) application is required whenever a parent wishes their student to attend a regular enrollment district school that is not in their home transportation area. Visit http://busstop.k12northstar.org/elinkrp/search.aspx to determine the area schools for your home address. Several district schools have strictly lottery-based enrollment: there is no OAA enrollment at these schools.

    When can I submit an Out-of-Attendance Area application?

    For the best chances, an Out-of-Attendance Area application should be submitted using the district's online CAP (Centralized Application Portal) in the spring of the current school year to request OAA enrollment in the fall of the next school year. Please contact your attendance area school to inquire about OAA dates. Check your parent CAP account for more specific date and time information. Spring OAA enrollment: Students who join the district at an out of area school in the spring, or whose family moves out of area during the school year, may submit a paper application to the OAA school to complete the current year. Admission under these circumstances is not considered to be placement via the CAP system and thus does not imply continuing placement at the OAA school for subsequent years. To continue at the OAA school in the next year, spring OAA enrollees must apply through the CAP and be offered a seat.

    What does the Out-of-Attendance Area application process entail? 

    • Parent fills out the OAA application online during the application window, or submits a paper copy during that time frame to the school they want their child to attend in the fall, except for students who will enter kindergarten in the fall. Incoming kindergarten students register at their neighborhood school in the spring and may fill out the OAA form indicating the alternate school. The neighborhood school will forward the OAA form to the requested school. 

    • Each school will try to make a determination on OAA applications as early as possible in the fall, but some schools may need up to two weeks after the start of school to determine availability due to class sizes at that school. Students already enrolled in the district are expected to attend their area school while waiting for an OAA determination to be made so that the student doesn't miss instruction.

    • Parents should enroll their child at their neighborhood school if the family needs a “guarantee” of placement to make child care arrangements, or if the family needs an immediate answer to placement questions.

    Do I need to fill out an application each year?

    • Once granted enrollment through the online OAA application process, your child may remain at the school through the highest grade level unless: you withdraw, transportation or attendance become an issue, or the next grade level is only available by lottery.

    • If an OAA application is unsuccessful for a given year, the parent must submit a new OAA application each subsequent year that the parent continues to seek OAA enrollment for the child. Applications do not roll over from one application year to the next.

    What is the criteria for being accepted at the OAA school?

    1. Available space at the requested grade level.

    2. Placed on waitlist through the online process.

    How will my child be accepted?

    If your child is on the waitlist, the school will contact you when it is able to determine numbers at the grade level for which you are seeking OAA status. Final confirmation may take up to 10 days after school starts.

    What is the cutoff for OAA students to be assigned to a class?

    OAA students will not be seated in a classroom with enrollment of 20 or more students in kindergarten, 22 or more students in grades 1-3, or 24 or more students in grades 4-6.

    Can my child continue to attend the K-6 OAA school until he or she moves to middle school?

    Provided that your child obtained their OAA seat through the CAP system, s/he may remain at the school through the highest grade level offerred unless: you withdraw, transportation or attendance become an issue, or the next grade level is only available by enrollment lottery.  Attendance at middle school is based on where you physically live, but several K-8 options schools offer enrollment in grade 7 & 8 through their enrollment lotteries for those grade levels.

    Will all my elementary children (siblings) be able to attend the same OAA school?

    Not necessarily. Siblings of a student who is admitted or enrolled though the CAP will have a preference in placement on the waitlist through the CAP process that establishes the waitlist order. Applications submitted in August through December are added in the order in which they are submitted, without regard to sibling status.

    What happens if we know someone does not reside in the neighborhood and they say they do?

    • Any time residency is in question and when newly enrolling a student in school, the parent will be asked to produce proof of residency in the form of a rental agreement or utility bill (i.e. phone, water, electric, etc.).

    • Different documentation may be required of military families who live in military housing.


    For more information on the lottery process visit the CAP Information page.

Last Modified on April 2, 2024