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Enrollment in OUSD Schools: The Options Process (School Choice)

All parents want their children to attend schools where they will thrive, both academically and personally. For each family, though, that environment may be quite different. To allow you to find the right fit for your child, Oakland Unified allows any student to apply to any school in the District. The goal of this open enrollment practice—called the School Options Program—is to ensure all families have equitable access to high-performing schools across the city.

The Options Process does not guarantee that every family will be accepted into its first-choice school. It does, however, significantly expand the educational options available for all Oakland families. By increasing access to a range of academic programs, many of which would otherwise be out-of-reach for disadvantaged students, the Options Process serves the District goals of achievement, equity, and accountability
Our offices are located at 746 Grand Avenue (at the Lakeview School Campus, across from the Grand Lake Theatre). All enrollment services for preschool and kindergarten through the 12th grade are provided at the 746 Grand Avenue location.
Call (510) 273-1600 for updates and more information. We are open from 8:00am to 2:00pm, Monday-Friday.
NOTE: The last Friday of the month the Student Assignment Center will be closed to the public, along with the rest of the FSCP campus for Professional Development. The dates for 2013: September 27, October 25, November 20 and December 22. 
How It Works (2014-2015)
Under the School Options open enrollment program, all entering kindergarten, middle, and high-school students must submit an application to attend a school in the fall, even if it’s the school in their neighborhood. The open enrollment period ENDED on January 17 @ 3:00 PM. Requests for transfer to other OUSD schools in the fall are also accepted during the open enrollment period. Students already enrolled at a school do not need to reapply each year to continue attending there.
How It Works for 5th and 8th Grade students currently attending an OUSD School
If your child is currently attending a 5th or 8th grade class at an OUSD school you will receive a pre-printed application at the school site. Fill out and submit the applications to your school site during the same window (December 9, 2013-January 17, 2014). Document any changes of address in the form and provide updated proofs of address if you move, make sure your phone numbers listed are up to date. You must turn this pre-printed application at your school site. 

What if I'm Late?
You may still apply for enrollment in 2014-2015, however you will not participate in the initial round of assignments. We will consider your options based on the space remaining and we will still use the priorities set forward by the board, Sibling and Neighborhood. The link above will have more information. Apply ASAP, the more you wait the less space availability you will encounter. 
Options Enrollment Timeline

Options timeline

The timeline above illustrates the different phases of the enrollment process happening throughout the year. Each year, specific dates are set for each step. The Options Enrollment window for the 2014-15 school year will begin on December 9, 2013 and close on Friday January 17, 2014.

Key Months
  • December-January: Open enrollment (Options Window). Submit your application
  • March: Notification of new school assignments by mail. Save your letter of assignment.
  • April-May: Kindergarten registration at school sites and secondary student assignment confirmation. Confirm and register your child at your assigned school site to make sure you save your assigned seat.

What if I missed the Enrollment Window?

Families who miss the window for submitting an on-time application will be able to apply in person at the Student Assignment Office (746 Grand Avenue).  The same application materials are required for later applications, and students will be placed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Late applicants are eligible for any seats that remain available at schools.

Where to Go for More Information

Please use the links on the left side of the screen to access more information about how to enroll in an OUSD school, including forms, what to consider when choosing a school, transfers, registration, and information about what documentation you will need to provide.

The Student Assignment Center can help you through the entire enrollment process, whether your child is brand new to OUSD; returning to OUSD from a charter school, private school, or school in another city; or transitioning from another OUSD school. This office is at 746 Grand Avenue. Placement specialists are available from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, or by appointment. Language testing for students whose primary language is not English is also provided.

For more information or to make an appointment, contact the office at 273-1600 or email

Last Modified on March 6, 2014