Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment is the process that allows families to complete an application to attend a school other than their assigned neighborhood school. (Not sure which is your assigned school-of-residence? Use PUSD’s School Locator.) Although many families choose to attend their neighborhood school, some families find another program, school culture, or school location to be more in line with the needs of their family.

The Open Enrollment process is a random lottery where students are admitted to schools outside their neighborhood based on the available seats projected at any given school. There were significant changes to the Open Enrollment process for the 2019-2020 school year, and we don’t know yet if any changes will be made for students entering school in 2020-2021.  A PEN slide presentation summarizes the important information. Detailed information is available on PUSD website’s Open Enrollment page.

NOTE: To enter Kindergarten, a student must turn five years old by September 1. Students with fall birth dates (Sept 2-Dec 2) may choose to enroll in a Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program. TK programs are located on seven PUSD campuses, and students are assigned according to residential address. TK is not part of the Open Enrollment process.

Data from the 2018 Open Enrollment process, organized by school/grade, were released by the District’s Office of Permits in September. PEN has summarized this data – including the number of projected lottery openings and whether space remained available at the end of Open Enrollment in May 2018 – on each of our school fact sheets. Last year’s numbers are not predictive of the number of open seats or demand for those seats in future years. Projected openings for the 2018-2019 school year were posted in January 2018, prior to the start of the general application period.


  • Priority Enrollment is October 29 - November 16, 2018 for sibling preference, dual language program 5th & 8th graders, and Willard IB 5th graders matriculating to IB at Blair

  • PEN hosts our annual Navigating Open Enrollment meeting on December 4, 2018 where parents will learn about the procedures and get their questions answered. The slide presentation is available here.


  • PUSD website posts the projected number of seats that will be available to Open Enrollment students for each grade at each school.

  • Open Enrollment application submission period takes place from January 10 - February 1, 2019. Math Academy 8th graders register at PHS (families will receive information directly from Math Academy about their procedures)

  • Parents can select as many schools as they prefer to their neighborhood school on their Open Enrollment application, ranked in order of preference.


  • Random lottery takes place in February

  • Lottery results are mailed to families and posted online and mailed to families on February 26, 2019.

  • Families accepted to one of their enrollment choices register at their school from March March 4 - 15, 2019. These families are now finished with the OE process.

  • Families must notify PUSD if they want to enter the second lottery to try to get a higher preference school assignment without losing their Round 1 school assignment between March 25 - 29.

  • Families who missed the first lottery may submit an online application between March 25 - 29.


  • 2nd Lottery results are mailed and posted online on April 10, 2019.

  • Families register at their school between April 11 - 19. Families who wish to remain on a wait list for all of their higher preference schools must notify PUSD during this time frame also.

  • Inter-district transfer requests for families who live outside of the PUSD boundaries, may be submitted from April 29 - June 7, 2019.


  • Families who are new to PUSD, but missed the lottery may submit requests to attend a school other than their assigned school of residence at the District office, 351 South Hudson, Pasadena, Room 210 from June 3 -August 9, 2019.


How Will the Open Enrollment School Choice Process Work This Year

  1. Complete an online application and list every school you prefer to your assigned school of residence. Families who wish to enter a school other than their assigned school of residence, a Dual Language Immersion Program, or Marshall Secondary School must participate in this process.

  2. Random lottery system assigns each application a random number

  3. Families are notified by mail and on the Open Enrollment webpage where they have been assigned from the first lottery

  4. Families either:

    • Register at your assigned school OR

    • Notify PUSD through the Open Enrollment webpage that you wish to enter the second lottery to try to get a higher preference school assignment without losing your first lottery assignment OR

    • Leave the Open Enrollment process if you do nothing

  5. Families are notified by mail and on the Open Enrollment webpage of their placement from the second lottery

    • Register at your assigned school AND

    • Be placed on wait list for every school above the assigned school

  6. Through August 9, families on the wait lists are notified as spaces become available at a preferred school