In 2010, the Open Enrollment Act came into effect in California. According to the California Department of Education website, “The Open Enrollment Act provides students enrolled in one of the 1,000 “low-achieving” schools, hereinafter referred to as “Open Enrollment” schools, the option to enroll in a different school with a higher Academic Performance Index (API) than the pupil’s school of residence.”
This means that parents seeking quality education for their child can pull their him/her away from a low performing school. Providing a choice for families is crucial because many of us rely on education for a chance of upward mobility in our socioeconomic status, and parents should have a big say in their children’s education.
As our schools are working to tackle the challenge of educating thousands of students while keeping up to date with modern teaching, there are various factors that contribute to a student’s education. Ultimately quality education does not look the same for everyone, but open school enrollment gives parents the opportunity to be able to define this and act on it. Some schools provide distinct programs that others do not within their school district.
While having this option to enroll in another school is a great thing for parents, we also need to consider those that may not know about this option and understand how to ensure their children are getting quality education.
Over the last several years, there have been cases across the Inland Empire where parents and students have shown their discontent with schools in the region. Last year, at Rubidoux High School, students hosted a walk out because of their teachers and a counselor publicly posted inappropriate comments about students participating in “A Day Without Immigrants” boycott. For several years, there’s been a lack of quality administration at a high school within the San Bernardino City Unified School District, such as Arroyo Valley High School where parents protested the appointment of the new principal. In addition, in the Redlands Unified School District students have been dealing with the impacts of a sexual assault case from a teacher.
Various schools struggle with providing quality education for our students, and we need to continue to inform parents about open enrollment as well include better mechanisms to help improve our schools and to make parent and student voices truly heard.
Of the 1,000 schools open enrollment school in California, many are within the Inland Empire. Some school districts in Riverside County include: Alvord Unified, Banning Unified, Beaumont Unified, Corona-Norco Unified, Desert Sands Unified, Hemet Unified, Jurupa Unified, Moreno Valley Unified, Nuview Union, Palo Verde Unified, Riverside Unified and a handful of others. The list of specific schools can be found here.
The districts in San Bernardino County includes: Apple Valley Unified, Barstow Unified, Bear Valley Unified, Chaffey Joint Union High, Chino Valley Unified, Colton Joint Unified, Cucamonga Elementary, Fontana Unified, Helendale Elementary, Morongo Unified, Needles Unified, Ontario-Montclair, Rialto Unified, Rim of the World Unified, San Bernardino City Unified, Victor Valley Union High, Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified and among others. The list of specific schools can be found here.
If you’re interested in learning more about a specific school district, visit its website to learn more about the enrollment process. Most institutions ask for similar documents such as: a birth certificate, immunization records and proof of residency, but all vary with different forms to fill out.